Their MTV.com biography begins with “to our dozens of fans around the world,” but Santa Barbara-based band Them Terribles is hoping to attract the attention of millions as they compete against two other groups to win the Dew Circuit Breakout crown.
Hosted by MTV2, The Dew Circuit Breakout ’07 is an annual contest for up-and-coming bands, with past winners like Yellowcard, HelloGoodbye and Taking Back Sunday. Them Terribles, comprised of Santa Barbara residents Matt Green, Jonny Black, Joey Benenati and Geoff Franklin, are performing live in New York City’s Times Square on Dec. 15 as part of the competition’s final elimination round. The band is also playing a local show at Sandbar at 514 State St. on Friday night.
The two other finalists will also play concerts on Dec. 15, with online voting to select the winners, according to the MTV2 Web site. The winning band will make a music video, which will receive airplay on MTV and MTV2, and have a chance to compete in MTV’s Artist of the Week contest.
Guitarist Jonny Black said he was surprised when Them Terribles was initially selected by MTV as one of the 12 finalists in the Dew Circuit Breakout competition, which is designed to give exposure to new, previously unknown bands across the country.
“Basically, I was just sitting around on a summer day and saw a commercial for the Dew Circuit contest,” Black said. “All you had to do is submit a bio, a picture and a song. I didn’t really think anything of it.”
A month later, an MTV2 representative called, informing the band that they had made the first cut, out of approximately 5,000 entries, Them Terribles was one of 12 bands left to compete for the crown.
The competition accepts thousands of entries during its application period. All of the bands are subject to online voting. Twelve bands remained after the first elimination round, and six were left after the second elimination. Now, after the third elimination, only three bands remain.
“Oct. 1 was when they announced the 12 finalists,” Black said. “After all the online voting, it went down to six bands, and it is now down to three, and it’s been cool. After they cut it down to six bands, they sent a film crew down to us and followed us around.”
Black said the band – together for over two years – is finally starting to see the payoff for all their hard work.
“You’re working hard and not making a lot of money as a new band, and at a certain point you’re like ‘what the fuck am I doing?'” Black said. “Once the momentum starts going, you move forward, and we’ve been reaching a tangible level of success.”
Along with the national publicity, the local music scene – notably KJEE 92.9 FM – has helped promote the band, regularly playing the new single “Tangerine” on its airwaves. “Tangerine” is available on the band’s new EP, Rock, Paper, Terribles. The album is available online through iTunes and also at Just Play Music, a music store located at 619 State St.
Them Terribles has a West Coast tour planned for January, Black said, and the band is very busy since they entered the Dew Circuit Breakout contest.
“Since this whole thing started, we’ve been working nonstop,” Black said. “We don’t really have time to get into any sort of trouble. We’re working 24/7 trying to make this happen.”
Black said the band appreciates the chance to garner national attention in an MTV contest.
“I think it’s cool that they are showing an interest in discovering small bands with this, because usually MTV is so untouchable for a small, independent band, and they’re usually promoting big label acts,” said Black. “But it’s been cool. MTV2 tries to keep an ear to the ground in terms of new music.”
The final Dew Circuit Breakout performances air on MTV2 at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 15. To vote for Them Terribles or either of the other bands, go to www.dewcircuitbreakout.mtv2.com.