Local indie band Mang had quite a first show.
Mang beat nine other groups, winning a battle of the bands along with $540.
The group plans on spending their winnings in the recording studio.
The four members of Mang — Colton Hash on bass, vocalist Allie Hay, guitarist and vocalist Connor Smith and Joe Bullington on drums — all are heavily influenced by Modest Mouse.
The name Mang came from another band they love, Ween, and their song Stallion. After hearing that song, they started calling each other “mang” instead of “man,” and when it came to name the band it just seemed to work.
The boys in the band, who are all 17 years old, started jamming together in August. Hay, 16, was invited to sing with them in December. They started with Queens of the Stone Age and Red Hot Chili Peppers covers and then started writing their own music.
Although the band is fairly new, the teens have been musicians for a while. Hash started three years ago. Smith has been playing guitar about four years. Bullington began drumming a year and a half ago. Hay has taken voice lessons since the fourth grade.
They will soon record a demo and hope to have songs on their MySpace page — www.myspace.com/mmaanngg — soon after that. The band hopes to have another show by the end of the month.
Finding places to play in Helena is quite a task, especially for teens, Smith said. That is one of the reasons they were so thankful for the battle of the bands held at Coney Island two weeks ago.
“It’s so cool that Mike (Campbell, owner of Coney Island) started that up. He’s really passionate about expanding the Helena music scene,” Smith said.
Mang was the youngest band to compete.
“We would have been happy with anything,” Bullington said.
While the members of Mang wouldn’t necessarily mind being rock stars, none are counting on it. Smith is going to Montana State University to study music technology. Hash is not sure what his career goals are yet but would like to continue playing. Bullington said he doesn’t aspire to be famous but he’d like to go on a small tour at some point.
“I’d like to be singing somewhere all of my life,” Hay said.
The only plan so far is to play as many shows as possible this summer.
The band tries to practice at least once a week at Hash’s house. Their parents have been quite supportive of the band.
“It’s nice living in the woods so there’s no one to complain,” Hash added.
Reporter Angela Brandt: 447-4078 or firstname.lastname@example.org