The clock is winding down as eight bands prepare to battle it out at Rockus Maximus XV.
The Pasco County Library System's 15th annual battle of the bands, featuring young musicians from the Bay area and elsewhere, will be held Friday, March 23.
Up for grabs: $1,000 cash and 10 hours of recording time at Morrisound Recording in Tampa.
Patch caught up with Open Box Policy, one of the bands hoping to take home the top prize, to find out what makes them rock.
Patch: Who are you guys?
Open Box Policy:
Vinny Suffredini, 17. I Live in New Port Richey, I play guitar and sing for Open Box Policy and I'm a senior at River Ridge High School.
Jeremy Delaire, 18. I live in New Port Richey, I play bass for Open Box Policy and I'm also a senior at River Ridge High School.
Steffen Albright, 17. I too live in New Port Richey, I am the drummer for Open Box Policy and I am a junior at River Ridge High School.
Mark Mattalina, 16. I live in New Port Richey Florida, I play lead guitar for Open Box Policy and I am junior at Fivay High School.
Patch: How long have you been performing together?
Open Box Policy: We started really playing shows in February of 2011 but have been making music since about 2008.
Patch: Describe your music.
Open Box Policy: I would describe our music as something that is a bit different than what everyone else tends to play today. We play pop-punk music but we don't play what people today consider pop-punk. We go for a more old school approach to the music and draw influences from bands like Green Day, Weezer, Blink-182 and even some newer music but our influences are more than just punk. Everyone in the band listens to a bunch of different stuff and with all of those influences, we can clash sometimes in the process of writing new material but usually we shape it to give it our unique sound.
Patch: Why should you win Rockus Maximus?
Open Box Policy: We should win Rockus Maximus because I think our band has something special to offer the listeners of the world. We try to connect to our audience and have them jump around, sing along to cover tunes we do, and just have a really good time. Plus with the prize money and recording time in a real studio, we can get some new merchandise for our band and also get a taste of recording in a real studio. People always tend to like us if they never have heard us and we get a lot of positive feedback from them and we appreciate it. Another reason we should win is because our band is about the music and we don't try to play what's trending and follow that wave of bands. We play our music, we do our own thing, have a great time while doing it, and we're better than the rest.
Patch: What’s the story behind your band name?
Open Box Policy: Our band name came about when I (Vinny) was jamming with my friend Shawn and he came up with the name and I always liked the sound of it because it mainly sounded really cool and it was easy to abbreviate (OBP). Then when we first started we called ourselves Dark Monday and then later changed it back to Open Box Policy because we thought it was a much better name.
Patch: What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened while you were performing?
Open Box Policy: That's a hard one 'cause I suppose what some might consider funny we may consider just having a good time or part of the show. But at on of our shows at the Brass Mug we were playing our song "Absence" and in the last chorus there are two breaks and he plays a drum fill for each one and our guitarist, Mark, does a guitar spin each time. So when it got to the fill, Mark did his guitar spin but Steffen dropped a stick at the same time so there was no fill and so he grabbed another stick and came back in and at the next fill, the same thing happened at the same exact spot. So needless to say that just made Mark's guitar spin look unnecessary. After the whole thing we laughed about it and thought it was funny how it all played out.
Patch: Where do you see yourselves a year from now?
Open Box Policy: In a year from now I would love to see us touring Florida and possibly touring some other states. I hope to progress as a band to a new level and be something better than what we are now. I'd love to see this band become something big and hopefully we can copyright our songs and then send them out to some record companies and see what happens. I hope this band goes on to do great thing and I know we will collectively always make music in some way shape or form.
Thanks and good luck, guys!
Join the audience and support your favorite band at the Rotary Pavilion at The Concourse, 15325 Alric Pottberg Road (1/4 mile west of the Suncoast Parkway on SR-52) in Shady Hills. The concert runs from 6 to 11 p.m.
The Land O' Lakes and New Port Richey Patch editors will be among the judges.
There is also an online voting competition currently under way. The band that garners the most votes in the online competition will bring home a $500 gift card from Encore Music. A $250 card goes to the band with the second highest number of online votes.