The Battleship Agenda has been making quite a few waves in Denver since officially launching in June 2009 (pardon the puns). Since releasing their first demos, this female-fronted band with post-punk sensibilities has captured the attention of local radio DJs, shared the stage with some great bands, put out an attention-grabbing EP, and most recently placed in the Top 12 with Channel 93.3s’ Hometown For the Holidays band competition. They’re even getting eyed by some industry professionals (though they won’t say who). Quite a list for a band not yet eight months old.
That said, this band has been working both smart and hard to get where they are. They resisted the urge to play gigs right away, choosing instead to wait until they had a decent recording in hand and a solid repertoire. They’ve passed out armloads of their music for free at local concerts to get their name out there. And they’ve tried to use the Internet in a smart way, hand-picking their contacts and personalizing their approach, rather than just sending mass MySpace messages likely to get ignored. Says lead vocalist Kat Barnes, “We send a personal note and use their name if we can. It takes more time, but I think in the long run it works better.” This strategic approach, combined with some timely support from radio and press, have contributed to The Battleship Agenda’s early successes.
The band actually emerged from several pre-existing relationships. Guitarist Nick Ferro and bassist Kellen Niemeier have played together since their pre-teens; Chris Brinson (drums) and lead vocalist Kat Barnes were classmates in high school. When Tyler Call (guitar) and Ferro first conceptualized the band a more than a year ago, the other relationships worked into the band’s formation over the next few months, during which time they focused on gelling together. “We literally did nothing but practice until we went into the studio in early May,” says Ferro.
It’s apparent the combination works. Kat Barnes’ low-register, slightly-raspy voice blends well over the heavy drums and chunky guitars. Not only do they play high-energy shows and make great music together, but it’s apparent the bandmates enjoy hanging together.
Among the things the band loves about their path so far is the relationships they’ve made. Says Tyler Call, “We love it when we get to hang out with people, anywhere, all the time, at shows.” Ferro adds, “I’ve probably made more friends in this band than with any other one.”
When asked for the backstory behind their band name, the bandmates laugh. “If we tell you, we have to kill you,” quips Kat.
You can catch The Battleship Agenda live this Saturday, January 23, at the Marquis Theater, 2009 Larimer St., sharing the roster with Northern Way. Cost is $10 in advance, $12 at the door, and the show starts at 7:00 PM. Check them out for yourself.
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For more on The Battleship Agenda, check out The Oomph Music Blog.
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