Bogota Band Earns Top Honors at ‘Battle’ of High School Bands
Doomsday Diaries takes home the $500 top prize at the event sponsored annually by the Fort Lee Film Commission. This year, a $250 second prize was offered thanks to the local Wendy’s.
The Fort Lee Film Commission hosted its eighth annual “Battle of the High School Bands” at the Fort Lee Community Center Friday, and the winner was a band from Bogota called Doomsday Diaries.
“This year our Community Center staff was able to include two large stage video monitors to add to the mix, and what with the lights and sound, it was a great opportunity for our local garage bands to get on stage and play their music in as close to a real rock concert sense as they could imagine,” said executive director Tom Meyers of the Fort Lee Film Commission.
Judges for this year’s competition included Paul Umrichin, Stacy D'Arc and Lou Azzollini, who decided that in addition to the top prize of $500, which Doomsday Diaries received, there would be a $250 “Wendy’s Audience Choice Award” courtesy of Wendy’s in Fort Lee.
That prize went to the band, Studio 19, comprised of musicians from Leonia and Ridgefield Park.
A total of seven bands competed this year, including two from Fort Lee, but all of the bands were made up of high school students from the area, according to Meyers.
Umrichin, who was serving as a judge in the competition for the third time, is a heavy metal drummer from Fort Lee. He said the talent he saw this year was outstanding, making the judges’ job a particularly difficult one.
“All the bands were fantastic, and we really did have a close call between all of them,” Umrichin said. “But in the end Doomsday Diaries, they just—besides playing—captured what we were looking for all around.”
He added, “But all the bands did well.”
Umrichin also talked about the Wendy’s Audience Choice Award and the thinking behind it.
“A few years ago, we switched from doing an audience vote for the bands to the judges, because it always favored a Fort Lee band,” he said. “So we wanted to fair things out a little bit.”
Below is a list of the other bands that competed in the 2012 Battle of the High School Bands:
- Suburbia - Fort Lee
- Pigeon – Palisades Park
- The Antics – Matawan, NJ
- Ninth Minute – Fort Lee
- The Ride Down – Oradell
The members of Wendy’s Audience Choice Award winners, Studio 19, are Cassidy Marks and Maleyna Marks of Leonia High School, and Gregory Alders and Daniel Buttacavole of Ridgefield Park High School.
The lineup for winning band, Doomsday Diaries, is Jason "J Von Doom" Sproviero of Bergen County Technical High School on guitar and vocals, Sean "The Evil Twin" Spoviero of Bergen County Technical High School on bass and vocals, Jessica Kenny of Paramus Catholic High School on vocals, Dominic Calabrese of Bogota High School on drums and Wesley Buirkle of Bergen County Technical High School on guitar.
“We hope to use these two bands at our 2013 Fort Lee Arts and Music Festival and Fort Lee Movies and Music Under the Stars,” Meyers said.