SpokesBUZZ Program Unveils Class of 2014 Lineup


By Hap Fry

Nothing at all against the Egg & I, it’s just that Josh Schoenig is hopeful that his career will lead him in another direction and away from bussing tables at the popular breakfast spot.
“I love the Egg & I, but I would love to have music as a career,” Schoenig said during a recent interview with Scene Magazine. “It’s what I’m most passionate about.”
Schoenig and the rest of his Shatterproof bandmates now have a sizable opportunity to make a potential career in the music industry come to fruition. The high-charged alternative rock group was accepted last month into SpokesBUZZ Class of 2014.
Shatterproof, which features Branson Hoog (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), Jeremy Marmor (guitar, vocals), Tj Wessel (violin, keys) and Benjamin Spoliansky (drums), in addition to Schoenig (bass), has no member over the age of 19. The group plans on making the most out of the opportunity now in front of them.
“We want to use SpokesBUZZ as a launching pad,” Schoenig said. “They have so many resources with the information and guidance they can provide. We really want to use this as a springboard to take the next step – get a manager and get a booking company and just move forward.”
Established and founded in 2009 by Dani Grant, SpokesBUZZ is a grassroots nonprofit that seeks to promote and bring along bands and acts that have yet to sign a professional contract. SpokesBUZZ has served as a launching pad for past alumni bands like Musketeer Gripweed and Fierce Bad Rabbit.
“Our first event was taking a half-dozen Fort Collins bands to South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin in 2010,” said Kip Carrico, one of the board and committee members for SpokesBUZZ. “It developed into an organization from there to promote the Fort Collins music scene and help incubate local bands – just work with them on professional development and provide a sort of management-company to them.”
The SpokesBUZZ Class of 2014 also includes Wasteland Hop (hip hop), Winchester Holiday (indie, folk and pop) and Maxwell Hughes (singer/songwriter), along with Denver-based group Common Anomaly and The Yawpers out of Boulder.
Carrico said a little over 30 bands applied for the four local spots this year – up from the 15-20 that applied the past two years. He said that the board and committee, which votes on which bands to bring in, sought out a number of different things – diversity and potential possibly heading the list.
“We do look for diversity,” Carrico said. “We’re not gonna bring in eight bluegrass bands. “We want to represent the diversity of the Fort Collins music scene.
“I guess for me what weighed most heavily was sort of the innovative nature of each band. Between innovation and diversity of genre, those were the two driving factors in my approach.”
That SpokeBUZZ has expanded its program outside of Fort Collins by bringing in The Yawpers and Common Anomaly gives a strong indication of what future plans are for the grassroots nonprofit.
“I think we’re firmly established within the local music scene as a fixture,” Carrico said. “I think we’re looking to expand our horizons a little further in Colorado and try and partner with some state-level organizations.”
Because SpokeBUZZ is a 501c3 nonprofit, it is constantly looking for grants, donations and business partnerships to stay afloat.
“It’s tough for any new organization to make it work financially,” Carrico said. “We’re really working to try and make it a sustainable future. We want to see our bands succeed. The last thing we want to do is hold them back.”
Consider that music to the ears of a young group like Shatterproof. Barely a month in, they already believe SpokesBUZZ will help pay big dividends down the road like it did for Fierce Bad Rabbit, Musketeer Gripweed, Trichome, Whitewater Ramble and The Holler among others.
“Just learning how to function as a band in terms of the business aspect of things is going to be huge for us,” Schoenig said. “That’s what we’re looking forward to the most. We want to get as much expertise and information out of the program as we can and try to achieve the same goals as some of these bands ahead of us did.”

SpokesBUZZ Class of 2014 Roster

New Bands:                                         Returning Bands:
Maxwell Hughes                                Lindsey O’Brian Band
Shatterproof                                        The Deadwood Saints
Wasteland Hop                                   The Echo Chamber           
Winchester Holiday                          Better Than Bacon
Common Anomaly                             Justin Roth
The Yawpers

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