Garage band today, international rock sensation tomorrow—that’s what happened to dozens of bands over the years with the opportunities from Ernie Ball, and it could happen to you, too.
Ernie Ball’s annual unsigned artist program recently launched PLAY Warped Tour, giving 41 bands the chance to hit the main stage at Vans Warped Tour. Go to http://ernieball.com/play to sign up.
If you’re still unsure about signing up, check out these success stories of several artists who were given the same opportunity with Ernie Ball’s Battle Of The Bands, which ultimately kick-started their path to stardom.
Nothing More were the champions of the 2007 Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands, competing with over 13,000 bands. From there, the band catapulted to success, sharing the stage with scene staples such as the Used, Yellowcard and Coheed And Cambria.
Success didn’t stop there—“This Is the Time (Ballast),” the first single from their self-titled debut made it all the way to No. 2 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, and “This Is The Time (Ballast)” rocketed to the second spot on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, along with becoming number one on the Mediabase Active Rock chart.
“Winning the Ernie Ball Warped Tour Battle of the Bands was one of the best things to ever happen to Nothing More,” says bassist Daniel Oliver. “Believe it or not, the finals were actually Jonny’s first show as lead singer. And after a 1,000 shows, including several trips around the world, I’m still rocking the Musicman Bass that they gave me every single night.”
You remember these AltPress cover stars, right? PVRIS were finalists in the 2013 Ernie Ball Warped Tour Battle of the Bands, which allowed them to catch the eyes of the folks at Tragic Hero records, who threw them on stage with A Skylit Drive that fall. It was a fast track to the top for PVRIS as they’re currently touring with Fall Out Boy and are set to embark on a headlining tour this summer.
The indie alt-rock five-piece Night Argent dominated the Ernie Ball Warped Tour Battle of the Bands in 2014, competing with over 15,000 bands. Since then, they have hit the stage with the likes of Imagine Dragons, Andy Grammer, Parachute, the Devil Wears Prada and more. Their music won the grand prize at the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, along with awards from the Billboard World Song Contest and ISC. Their music has been featured on MTV, Bravo, Showtime and Fuse. Night Argent self produced their self-titled EP, which is set to be released April 22. They are already set to begin working with multi-platinum selling producer and industry legend John Feldmann on their next EP.
James Valentine of Maroon 5
James Valentine is the lead guitarist for the Grammy award-winning band Maroon 5. Even those who aren’t into mainstream music can’t deny that Maroon 5 has become a household name.
Valentine competed in Ernie Ball’s Battle of the Bands when he was a member of the band Square (which also included members of Reel Big Fish and Maxeen).
“Ernie Ball’s Battle of the Bands was a game-changer for me,” Valentine said. “The contest is the reason I was able to make the move from Nebraska to L.A. and start the 15 year odyssey of a career. It’s great that Ernie Ball gives the gift back to the music community. It’s a big part of why I chose to work with them on the Valentine guitar; they actually care about the players and are a big part of the community as a whole.”
Want to sign your band up for a chance to play the mainstage at your city's Warped date? Check below for all the details:
The grand prize includes:
- 3-song EP produced by New Found Glory guitarist and producer Chad Gilbert
- $10,000 in cash
- Mentoring session with Kevin Lyman, Chad Gilbert and Hopeless Records
- $10,000 Guitar Center gear card
Here’s how to enter for your big break:
- Entries are open until May 31, 2016
- Unsigned bands enter their profile online at http://ernieball.com/play, upload their original music and choose as how date they wish to play
- Bands are given digital promotional tool kits to promote their submissions, which are ranked using proprietary algorithm that tracks social aggregation
- Kevin Lyman and Chad Gilbert will review the submissions for each market and choose a winner