Meet the 2018 Battle of the Bands finalists | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Meet the 2018 Battle of the Bands finalists

CP asked their thoughts on being selected and how they are preparing for the show.

It’s been a big year for Pittsburgh alt-rock/indie band Chase and the Barons since winning Battle of the Bands in 2017. The group performed at local music festivals, was featured on 105.9 The X, opened for Russian/Californian rock band Red Elvises, released an EP, and recorded a WQED Session. 

And now it’s time for another Pittsburgh band to prevail in the 2018 edition of Battle of the Bands. 

Budding musicians face a multitude of challenges when trying to break into the music industry. Recording music, finding venues, and getting publicity are all difficult feats, and costly ones at that. So to help relieve some of that load, the winner of Battle of the Bands will receive a $2,000 prize, a Pittsburgh City Paper cover story, an opening set for a Drusky Entertainment show, and 24 hours of recording time – more than enough to make a splash in the music scene.  

The contest is an exciting game-changing opportunity for local bands. CP asked the five 2018 finalists their thoughts on being selected and how they are preparing for the show. 

Safety Last

click to enlarge Safety Last
Safety Last
“We are so excited to be chosen for the battle and are looking forward to the show and getting our original material out there. It's going to be a fun night. We have increased practicing and working on the songs we chose for the battle to make sure we prepared so we can do our best.”

Nick Barilla

click to enlarge Nick Barilla
Nick Barilla

“Being selected into this competition is truly a testament to our fans. We’ve been blessed to build a great support system right here in our hometown, and we couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunities that have come our way over the past five years!

We’ve been playing some of these new songs live for a couple of months now, and the response at shows has been personally overwhelming. People have been noticeably moved by these songs, and I can’t wait to see what they do for more people in the future!”  

Haven State

click to enlarge Haven State
Haven State

“We feel honored to be selected out of so many bands, we are preparing vigorously for this show and picking the right songs for a short set has been tough for us.”


“When Closure was voted into Battle of the Bands out of over 60 other nominees, it put into perspective how much support our band has behind us. We now have the opportunity to use all that we’ve learned over the past year to grab the attention of the public eye and create something that is worth their time.”


“Our band really got into the swing of things around this time last year, and at that time we had missed applications for many events like this, so this year is really our first shot at anything like this Battle of the Bands. We were super excited to see that we were chosen as finalists our first time around. A few months ago we brought in a new band member to cover keyboard, guitar, and secondary vocals and we’ve been working hard to further integrate him into our sound since then. Sadly, however, he won’t be able to make it to this show due to a prior commitment so we’re doing everything we can to perfect our set for the show to the best of our ability as a five piece, more similar to our lineup of last year.”

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