Last Updated 15 | 03 | 2013 at 08:30


Hard Rock Rising

Article By:
Eric Montfort

Eric Montfort reviews the Global Battle of the Bands Competition which gives Malta talents a chance at international stardom.

“We are very pleased with the way Hard Rock Rising has been going over the past couple of years. In this second edition, the response was once more, very big, and the quality even better.” This statement came from Arthur Gauci, CEO of Hard Rock Café in Malta, who was one of the speakers during yesterday’s press conference on the next phase of the Hard Rock Rising competition. 

Adolf Vella, Sales and Marketing Manager of Hard Rock Café Malta went on to explain that this competition, now in its third phase, commenced with 14 bands, nine of which managed to make it through the next qualifying round. Through multiple live battle events, these artistes will vie for the top spot to represent Malta at Hard Rock Rising’s global competition. Performances by Different Strings, Criminal Kiss, Negative Spaces, Mojo, Ascendor, Manatapu, RiSE, The Creepers and Aces Shade will be judged by a panel of local industry judges and hosted by Colin Fitz.

These events kick off next Thursday March 21st at Hard Rock Café, Bay Street, St. Julian’s and will continue every Thursday until April 11th when the winner will be chosen in the final round. Each of the preliminary winners will feature in this final round and one band will then be selected to represent Malta in the international competition.

This competition is the result of Hard Rock International’s efforts and has called on aspiring musicians from around the globe to rock out for what could be a once-in-a-lifetime possibility thanks to this year’s Hard Rock Rising - the most far reaching battle of the bands competition in the world.  As Hard Rock continues its commitment to emerging artistes, Hard Rock Rising will place the Grand Prize winner on a fast-track to global stardom as they embark on a World Tour in six renowned cities arranged by Hard Rock Entertainment. Venues include Hard Rock Calling Festival in London, and appearances at Hard Rock Café venues in Sydney, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Chicago and Honolulu.  The winning band will also be able to make an album and music video through Hard Rock Records, as well as receiving new music equipment and gear valued at $10,000. The international competition takes a different direction when it comes to voting, as fans from all over the world can take part. Indeed, they were instrumental in narrowing down over 12,000 bands to the top contenders.

Mr. Gauci also spoke about Hard Rock Café’s commitment to the promotion of our burgeoning local rock scene. “This organisation, in its relatively short time in Malta, has committed itself to promote Maltese rock music. It has given an opportunity to local talents to not only measure themselves within themselves but also in terms of international standards.” Mr. Gauci also recalled that Colourblind who won last year’s local round, were just four slots short of making the final 20 list in last year’s Global Battle of The Bands, which was held in Rome. Three local talents also supported David Knopfler when he performed in Malta as part of the first decade since the establishment of Hard Rock Café in Malta. In 2007, Hard Rock Café was also behind Bands, a 16-programme series, broadcast on TVM. These programmes featured many local bands competing against one another, as well as various interviews with the participants themselves.

This press conference was also addressed by Go CEO Yiannos Michaelides. He spoke about how some of the greatest talents like The Beatles and Pink Floyd had humble and low-profile beginnings, similar to this venue. Mr. Michaelides praised local talent and also hoped to see even more enthusiasm and participation. He felt very happy with the way Go has been involving itself, not just as a leading player in our communications industry and social media, but also through its direct sponsorship of such events. Mr. Michaelides also recalled Go’s sponsorship of The Three Artistes, a local trio, featuring Errol Sammut of Airport Impressions fame, Nicky Morales and Nicki Gravino. Their song , Our Time, was a huge hit on local radio stations.

Hard Rock Rising is being hosted in partnership with Go and supported by Budweiser, Clint-on-One,, Pejxa Music and Manic Magazine in collaboration with BAM Events.

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