Irvine band Entice beat out four other bands--from an initial field of 120--Friday night at Citywalk in Universal City to win the grand prize of 98.7's "Rockstar" competition, netting them $10,000 in cash, $5,000 at the Best Buy music store (yes, some Best Buys sell instruments) and a smattering of other fab winnings; by far their biggest achievement in three years as a band.
We caught up with Entice singer/guitarist Isaac Leland to get his thoughts on the big win, and what's next for the band now that they're insanely rich and all that. (Well, by local band standards.)
Q: Take me through how you got started in the competition. There was an initial field of 120 bands, right?
A: Our bassist Kevin (Brunhober) just saw the contest and went on the site, and basically what you do is submit a video. It's up to the station to choose who's good enough, by the video, to even be in the contest. Of the bands that were chosen, we felt we had a really good shot. It just went from there.
Q: And after that were the competitions. What was that experience like?
A: Each band, they put you in groups of like 10 or 5, and you play this show at Citywalk. The winner at that date gets to be in the voting (top 15). Once you're in the voting, you just go from there.
Q: How long did you get to play? 20 minutes?
A: You just played for two songs. In the finals, you got to play three.
Q: OK, obvious question--what are you spending the $10,000 on?
A: Frolic around in a room first. (Laughs.) We plan on putting it all towards getting on tour, a legit tour. Obviously the 5 grand we get form Best Buy, we're just going to buy some new gear. We're all super excited about that. We've all been talking about "Oh, I wish we've had this," or "I wish we had that," lately, and now we have it.
Q: Sometimes these things can be slow. Is it going to take a while to get that money dispersed to the band?
A: It's going to be within a month. They're already starting the process right now.
Q: And taxes mean that it's not going to be "really," $10,000, of course.
A: Totally. We gotta work on that. My dad is an accountant, so he'll tackle all of that.
Q: It's been less than a week, but have you gotten a lot of attention from this already? People checking you out that you wouldn't have heard from otherwise?
A: The best part about this, I feel, is just there's a giant pool of bands in Orange County. There's thousands of bands around here. This kind of gives us the reputation we've been looking for. So far, everyone that has come to our shows, has said that, but that's not everyone in Orange County. You don't hear us on the radio. This pushes us beyond your normal Orange County band. We're something different now. We needed some recognition for sure. It takes people a while to give you the time of day.
Q: And all this happened right after you put out your first record (Let The Fire Come). That works out nicely.
A: Oh, perfect timing. Couldn't have been better. We released the album on Tuesday, and bam, Friday, here comes publicity.
Q: 98.7 is an LA-based station, and the contest drew acts from all over Southern Califonia--LA proper, IE, etc. Do you think your win also raises the profile for Orange County music?
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A: I totally think it does. There's a lot of good bands we play with from a lot of different areas. It's like the state championships. I think it's a win for Orange County.
Q: What's the timetable for the rest of the grand prize--like playing at a 98.7-sponsored show and a day at the NightBird Recording Studio?
A: We're not sure exactly what the show is yet for that, so we're just waiting for htem as to how that works out. I'm hoping it's just a really cool show. As far as the recording goes, we kind of haven't planned for what we'd like to do for that. We have access to our own studio for free, so we're thinking of just going in there and getting drum tracks done and getting three songs out of it.
Entice play Thursady, Oct. 1, at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. 8 p.m. $10. All ages.