Santa Barbara-based band Them Terribles beat out approximately 5,000 other groups to become one of 12 finalists in an MTV2 competition that could put the band on the charts.

The Dew Circuit Breakout ’07, hosted by MTV2, is an annual contest that boasts past winners like Yellowcard and Taking Back Sunday. The 12 finalists – including Them Terribles – are currently pitted against each other to see who can amass the most online votes before Oct. 28. The top six bands will then advance further in the competition.

Them Terribles’ lead singer Matt Green said victory over the other competitors has helped motivate the band.

“We were obviously really excited about it,” Green said. “It was definitely good news to rally everybody together and have everyone move in the same direction. It gave us the ‘we are going to bust our asses and make it happen’ attitude.”

MTV2 will feature the top six bands on air. Them Terribles’ guitar player Jonny Black said if his band makes it into the top six, they will have a huge party in recognition of the show.

By the end of 2007, only three bands will remain. Each will perform in a televised concert in New York City on Dec. 8.

The chance to play a live concert in Times Square to be broadcast on MTV2 is an amazing prospect, Black said.

“It’s a good opportunity to get exposure,” he said. “If we go all the way, we will be able to play shows anywhere.”

Black said he entered the band in the MTV2 contest on a whim.

“I just saw the commercial on TV, and I threw on a song and a picture and a bio and forgot about it and all of a sudden I got a call,” Black said. “‘Hey, it’s MTV.’ It was kind of crazy.”

Black, Green and drummer Joey Benenati all attended high school in Santa Barbara and played for various punk bands. After graduating over four years ago, Green said he and his friends moved to Los Angeles, where they all played in different bands.

In 2005, the three high school friends joined up with bass player Geoff Franklin and formed Them Terribles.

Green said the first competition the band entered was Velvet Jones’ Battle of the Bands, where they won a spot at the 2005 Vans Warped Tour in Ventura. Later that year, Them Terribles won the Rock the Planet contest in L.A., beating out over 40 other bands to win free recording time and a mentorship with Loren Israel of Capitol Records.

About three months ago, the band released their first record, a seven-song demo entitled Rock, Paper, Terribles.

While the news came as a bit of a surprise, Green said the band is ready to focus on winning the competition. He said Them Terribles plans to perform in Santa Barbara and Isla Vista in the coming weeks and hopes to get enough votes by Oct. 28 to qualify for the top six.

Green said the group recently moved back to Santa Barbara because its members just graduated from college, their leases in L.A. were up and, like most recent grads, they needed to figure out what to do with their lives. However, they will probably move back to L.A. in the near future, he said.

“It’s a good place to be for music,” Black said.

To vote for Them Terribles – or any of the other bands in the competition – log on to