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North Van rock metal band in the running for teen band contest
Holding guitars and drum sticks, rock metal band The Flying Fishmongers sits around the kitchen table.
The 18-year-olds rehearse in the garage at the back of guitarist Aydn Graham’s parents’ house in North Vancouver.
“We couldn’t find a name for a really long time,” says Graham, wearing a blue T-shirt, jeans and long hair. “Then we performed at school and took suggestions. One was The Flying Fishmongers, and we just went with it.”
The band formed at Carson Graham with three others: Devon Webber, Adam Likness and Ali Nobari Moghaddam.
They’ve come a long way in just one year. Making the cut in Youthink’s BC’s Best Teen Band Contest Top 10, they’re in the running to win a recording session and a spot on the cover of the magazine.
The three groups with the most votes in the contest will compete live on April 27 at the Electric Owl in Vancouver for the grand prize. (Go to youthink.ca/bandcontest2013 to vote in the contest.)
For a band whose singles include “Not Going to School,” a song about the teenage frustration of waking up early, their choices after graduating from high school are ironic.
Graham goes to SFU, Webber (guitar and lead vocals) goes to Capilano University and bassist Nobari Moghaddam is away at UVIC. Likness, on drums, is working in the Lower Mainland.
After a long intro, the song starts: “I don’t want to get up, I don’t want to go to school. I just want to lay in my bed. I don’t want to brush my teeth, don’t want to do my hair and I sure don’t want to get dressed.”
But it’s not only high school students who can relate, says Webber, his guitar in hand. “We exaggerate. We don’t hate school. Everyone has that day that just doesn’t go well.”
Influenced by Iron Maiden, Metallica, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, The Flying Fishmongers focus on the way they sound, rather than the exact lyrics, explains Graham.
“We have fun with the songs,” he says, referring to “Renegade & Warrior,” a song that the band enjoys playing but doesn’t have personal meaning to them.
But the members’ tastes do differ, forcing them to find a comfortable compromise ranging from hard rock to psychedelic rock to metal. Webber’s vocals, for instance, are influenced by softer music like old soul and R&B.
Despite Nobari Moghaddam being away at school, the band is determined to stick together.
“So we take the middle ground,” says Webber. “We play classic rock and harder music.”