WEST SPRINGFIELD It's the 11th hour for one local band who's competing for the opportunity to open for Coldplay in front of a capacity crowd at the TD Banknorth Garden on Aug. 4.
As of noon on July 16, Fendline was inching toward fourth place out of 15 bands competing for the gig. Until tomorrow, online voters have the opportunity to vote for their favorite band's music video at Coldplay's tour Web site, www.coldplayontour.com/wfnx/. Fendline's video, "Break Me Slowly," is the fourth from the top and has garnered 2,837 votes.
The top three bands having received the most votes will move to the final round and one will be chosen by Coldplay.
"It's almost beyond words," Dan Barkyoumb, bass guitarist and backup vocalist, said of the opportunity in an interview with Reminder Publications. "Right now it [music] is everything to us and every waking moment when we're not working [our nine to five jobs] our priority is to this."
Fendline, formally known as Carpe Diem, was formed in 2002 by three friends and graduates of West Springfield High School: guitarist and lead singer Chris Lomma, Barkyoumb and drummer Kevin Lang. Kevin Douthwright joined the band two years later, lending his talents on lead guitar and vocals.
They categorize their music as "roots rock," which according to Lomma is a genre that incorporates a variety of musical influences, including alternative rock, reggae and classic rock.
"It's the mutt of music," he explained. "We get all these [musical] styles in our heads and try to put together something new. It's not that every song has many different styles combined into one song, it's that every song sounds different."
Since 2004, the group has played the local bar circuit and even rocked parties and family picnics. Douthwright noted that the group recently released their live album, "Live from Lasell College." He added that the largest crowd the band has ever played for was about 200 people, tiny in comparison to the Garden, he joked.
"This would be a huge jump in our dream career," Lang said of opening for Coldplay.
When asked what it would mean to him to have such an opportunity, Lomma said, "For me personally, not having gone to college [Lomma is the only band member who did not attend college] and not winning any awards in school. I'm the underdog of the group and music is what I depend on. Just to have our video on the Top 15 and people actually voting for us shows me that I'm being appreciated and to me that's better than sitting in a classroom and having success in a job."
Each of the band members noted their overwhelming desire to play music full-time and are hoping that this competition will move them one step closer to "being paid for their passion," Lomma said.
For more information about Fendline, view upcoming gigs or to view "Break Me Slowly" visit their Myspace page.
Fendline's next gigs include Boston Billiards in West Springfield on July 18 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., and Maximum Capacity in Chicopee on July 19 at 4 p.m.
Fendline, shown left to right, Kevin Douthwright, Kevin Lang, Dan Barkyoumb and Chris LommaReminder Publications submitted photo