Young musicians given a leg up in Sterling Heights

Teen band Cyadine have won the chance to record an EP, thanks to the Sterling Heights Battle of the Bands. For the four young members of thrash metal band Cyadine, it’s time to shine. The band has walked away from the Sterling Heights Battle of the Bands with a $4,000 check for a recording studio, thanks to their winning performance last week. But budding musicians who compete in the annual competition, say the exposure and experience alone is worth the effort.

Cyadine guitarist Eddie Knappenberger says the band members are very grateful and that the win will allow them to develop and produce more of their sound.

“We believe that this is our official beginning in the music industry,” Knappenberger says. “We are cranking on the originals and hope to get a crazy fan base to start our journey.”

As the winners, Cyadine (pronounced sigh-ah-dine) will take the main stage on July 25 for SterlingFest, the city’s annual event that draws over 100,000 visitors and will this year headline artist such as Sugar Ray, Mega 80s and Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe.

Frame42 were proud to claim second place in this year's Battle of the Bands.

This year’s runner-up band Frame42 secured a $500 gift card and a band made up of eighth- and ninth-grade students, Boys of Summer, came in third place. Frame42’s manager Deb Barber says the band was proud to claim the second spot and that the experience was “incredible”.

Boys of Summer guitarist/vocalist Nolan Eszes agrees and says playing in the competition meant a lot to them. 

“We’re used to playing at restaurants and smaller venues,” says Eszes, “but to be up on stage like we were with a pretty big crowd all watching us, it was an amazing new experience.” 

“I know that we all learned something new from it and now we can continue to get better and better.”

Boys of Summer claimed third place in the competition.

The first prize won by Knappenberger and Cyadine’s other members (Bennie Knappenberger, Shane Uhl, and Noah Polston) allows them the chance to record an EP at Sound Shop, a Macomb recording studio. Studio owner Josh Ford says it is important to support and encourage local bands.

“They might be local but you have got to start somewhere,” Ford says.

For many up-and-coming bands, the opportunity to record can be a big boost in their progress. Ford says often it can spark new ideas for song-writing, and the EP can be used to secure further paid performances.

“The experience of making a record is quite different than playing live,” says Ford, “and for many of these young musicians it will be a good learning experience.”  

Three teen bands were selected to compete in this year’s battle, and all members had to be under 19 years of age. Each band was required to supply a demo video and perform for 20 minutes, although not necessarily their own material, and were judged by a panel of three music professionals and city representatives.

Students were judged for their cohesiveness as a group, their stage presence and appearance, their musical talent, and their interaction with (and response from) the crowd.

The judging panel at the Sterling Heights Battle of the Bands gave valuable pointers and feedback to the competing musicians.

Read more articles by Kate Roff.

Kate Roff is an award-winning freelance writer and journalism educator, currently based out of Detroit. She is the managing editor of Metromode and Model D. Contact her at