Local band to appear on reality show

Published 5:48 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Stomps Hills, a Southern rock band from Clanton, will appear on the reality show "War of Rock." The premiere of the show has yet to be announced.

At some point, nearly everyone who has ever picked a guitar or sung along with the car radio has dreamed of being a rock star. The thought of being around the glitz, the glam, and legions of screaming fans everywhere strikes the fancy of day dreamers ages 8 to 80.

For most, it will remain a fantasy. Rock n’ roll isn’t exactly an easy field to get into, and even established artists can struggle in obscurity. But for most, the opportunity to have a chance to be a rock star for just a day is too much to pass up on.

Just ask the members of local band Stomps Hills.

For at least one night, Stomps Hills, a Southern rock outfit from Clanton made up of Stephen Blackwell, Katrina Blackwell, Marty Minor, Kenny Nunn and Kenneth Kirkland, will get the opportunity to live out those dreams as part of the new reality show “War of Rock.”

The show’s premise follows bands across the country as they compete against each other, trying to earn prizes and the ultimate prize of $25,000, a tour bus and a record deal. The first episode will be filmed at Iron Horse Café in Hoover August 6, and will be aired at a later date on a station to be announced.

“It’s a real rock TV show with prizes and recording contract [opportunities],” said group guitarist Stephen Blackwell. “A panel of judges, as well as the audience [determines the winner]. Bands are given a one to four rating, four being the highest. If you win the first round, you move on to the national competition.”

Blackwell said the group, (which derives its name from the original name of the area it hails from) entered the contest on a whim, not expecting to be selected for the show.

“We heard it on the radio and saw it online to submit an application to the website,” he said. “A panel of judges picked eight [bands] out of 40. It just happened.”

While the band may be surprised at their selection, those who follow them know why they were picked. Despite all working 40-hour workweeks, each member takes their music very seriously. They are currently ranked eighth out of all Southern rock bands in Central Alabama on the website reverbnation.com.

“We all have full-time jobs,” said Blackwell. “But we’re all full-time committed to the band.”

They’re no strangers to the Chilton County music scene, either. Since forming in 2008, the band has played at Ridersville Thunder Bike Rally, the Clanton Police Auxiliary’s Battle Jam and opened for David Ball in May at Jemison’s Mayfest.

The thought of getting up and playing to not only a live audience but also a television audience as well might be intimidating to some, but Blackwell said he felt they would have no problems. He also said the show provides the band a chance they’ve wanted for a while.

“Not at all,” he said. “We’re all lifelong musicians; we jump at the chance to perform. It just helps boost us to the next level of our music career. We’re very confident, and the reason why is because we plan to keep it real.”

For more information on Stomps Hills and the War of Rock contest, log on to www.reverbnation.com/stomps hill, www.facebook.com/stompshills, or www.warofrock.com.