OFF THE RADAR: Burn The Ballroom

Editors Note: These days there are so many up-and-coming bands hitting the airwaves that it's enough to make your head spin. But for every band that you hear of, there's probably at least ten other bands out their that are just slightly off the radar, just waiting to take their place in the spotlight, and this column is where you're gonna hear all about em. 

It’s been a year of new beginnings for Northern Virginia based band Burn the Ballroom.

After releasing their first full length LP in September of 2012, founder and lead singer Alan Gant found himself in search of both a drummer and guitarist to join up with him and bassist Jackson Harar.

Enter new members Jack Ivins on drums and Matt “Sterling” Pearson on lead guitar. And with a now fully formed band, the four set off for a show at SXSW this past March.

“We toured out there [to Austin] and then we played 8 gigs when we were there,” Gant said. Stops along the way included both Nashville, TN and Texarkana on the border of Texas and Arkansas.

This being their first tour since getting together, it was a real chance for the band to see how well they could really work with each other.

“You never really know somebody until you have to share a tiny space with them for a week,” Gant said. “You know when you see each other’s stupid faces every day for 24 hours and you sleep next to that person that’s when you really figure out who somebody is.”

After getting back from their week of intense bonding, the group has been working away at writing and practicing new stuff. Having this new lineup has allowed for the sound of the band to become more fun and fleshed out.

“There are going to be a lot more lead guitar parts,” Gant said of the future sounds. “Since Matt is very good at lead guitar and for the first time we actually have a lead guitarist who is not also singing.”

To get to know these guys’ sound check out their album Burn the Ballroom. If the tracks don’t inspire you to rock your little punk hearts out there is no hope. The album opens fast and hard with “Angels in Wind,” mellow out toward the middle with “Wait for Me,” and ends with soft melodies on “Far Away.” All of the tracks feature face melting guitar riffs and dance worthy drum beats.

There’s no doubt a song for any person on this album. And there’s no doubt that only bright things lay in store for the band.

“Everything is getting better all the time and I’m really excited about the next round of songs,” Gant said. “Even when I come to the band with a formula for a song I’ve written, I always want to see what a really fantastic drummer could do with that song.”

With more collaboration from all the members of the band will come even better songs. And a full lineup means even better tours. The band is currently looking into booking a tour around Indonesia where they have a lot of fans and there is a pretty great punk scene.

Also be on the lookout for the band to start touring around the DC area. And if you’re ready to jump on the BTB bandwagon, grab a ticket for their show on June 1st at Empire in Springfield. It will be their first local show with the whole new lineup.

For band member bios, tour info, audio links, news and more be sure to check out the brand new BTB website. And be sure to get your FREE DOWNLOAD of their cover of Queen’s “The Show Must Go On.”