Battle of the Bands: A profile of Uni's Shoompie
Published: Monday, March 9, 2009 - 1:31pm
Who & What: Eleven local teen bands are scheduled to compete in the Champaign Park District's seventh annual Battle of the Bands, including Shoompie, featuring Uni students Clement Dossin, Eddie Diazmuñoz, Carter Hutchens, Kareem Sayegh, and Teddy Zamora-Mills; for a complete list of bands and links to their Web sites, go to the end of the article
When & Where: Wednesday, March 11, at the Virginia Theatre, 203 W. Park, Champaign; performances begin at 6.30 p.m.
Why: See Champaign's best teenage bands!
Price: $5 for students, $8 for adults
Prizes: Three hours of recording time at Pogo Studio, a paid performance at a Champaign Park District event, a performance at the Taste of Champaign-Urbana, and performance as the opening act at a summer concert. There is also a prize for the band attracting the largest contingent of fans.
The band Shoompie performs an original composition titled, simply, "Funk." The song is available on the band's MySpace page as well.
Click to listen (3:05)
"Natsuki told me about it and asked me if I was going to do it, jokingly," Kareem recalls. "But I said yes."
Now Kareem and his bandmates are poised to take the stage Wednesday night at the Virginia Theatre, one of only 11 area teen groups chosen to compete in the seventh annual event.
That's quite an accomplishment for a band that didn't exist 10 weeks ago. After learning about the contest, Kareem approached senior Clement Dossin, an experienced saxophonist who plays in the Uni jazz band. Kareem, a guitarist and singer, had in mind a group that would fuse rock and other genres.
"Clement thought it was preposterous that we would have a band with just the sax and guitar," Sayegh says. "But then I explained it, and he also thought it would be a good idea."
The two boys then approached fellow senior Teddy Zamora-Mills, an accomplished musician who plays guitar for the band but also has experience with saxophone, violin, bass, and piano.
The band continued to grow when junior Eddie Diazmuñoz joined on percussion, and soon after Carter Hutchens joined on bass.
The band Shoompie performs an original composition titled "Latin." The song is available on the band's MySpace page as well.
Click to listen (5:16)
And so Shoompie was born. The group takes its name from the nickname of Clement's dog.
The boys filled out an application, arranged for a band photo, wrote up some lyrics, and recorded a CD of three original songs. They submitted the material to a panel of judges and waited to hear if they made the cut.
They did. The winner of the Battle of the Bands, which begins at 6:30 p.m., will receive three hours of recording time at Pogo Studio (owned by Uni alum Mark Rubel), a paid performance at a Champaign Park District event, a performance at the Taste of Champaign-Urbana, a performance as the opening act at a summer concert, and a chance to compete in the Battle of the Bands state finals at the Illinois State Fair.
A prize (tickets to an upcoming show at Assembly Hall) will also go to the band that attracts the largest contingent of fans. For a complete list of the bands that will perform Wednesday night as well as the judges who will determine the winner, go to the end of this article.
Each band will have 12 minutes to perform, according to Kristen Larson, a special-event coordinator for the Champaign Park District. Deductions will occur if bands go over their time limits. Larson will determine the order of appearance by drawing names out of a hat Tuesday afternoon.
The band Shoompie performs an original composition titled "Rock." The song is available on the band's MySpace page as well.
Click to listen (4:07)
The Shoompie boys have a genuine love of music. Although the music they make can be called rock-fusion, Kareem was quick to note that the band does not really have a genre.
"We play what we feel like playing," he says.
Though they frequently combine jazz and rock, their music is influenced in part by the indie rock the boys admire, as well as the jazz training of Clement and Teddy.
The boys have all been into music since they were young. Diazmuñoz grew up with music — his father Eduardo Diazmuñoz is a professor of opera at the University of Illinois School of Music and conductor of Colombia's Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra.
"He is one of the main reasons why I got into music," Eddie says. "I just really enjoy it when he compliments me on something new that I have come up with."
Eddie was also in The Capote Flat, which released an album in August. Shoompie's other members have played in less formal bands, such as Carter for his church band.
Practice is held in Kareem's basement a few times a week. They begin with practicing a few songs and then tuning. This can be the longest bit as it is hard to hear oneself when four other musicians are tuning at the same time.
Kareem describes the rehearsals as "fun," but some practices were more productive than others.
"Sometimes we would just be cursing at each other when we messed up," he says. "But other rehearsals were more productive and we mastered the songs.”
Sometimes the band wrote and recorded entire songs in only one session.
Even though Shoompie's original purpose was to compete in the Battle of the Bands, the group has evolved into much more. Once the competition is finished, the boys hope to continue playing together for as long as possible.
Kareem, Carter, Clement, Eddie, and Teddy all want to pursue music as a hobby in the future, but not as a career.
"Its just a lot of fun to play music with friends and mess around with different ideas for songs," Teddy says. "The best part is when you find something that sounds good and just jam over it."
Junior Eddie Diazmuñoz provides the beat for Shoompie. The Champaign Park District's seventh annual Battle of the Bands will begin 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign. Gargoyle photo by Katherine Allen (click to enlarge)
Competitors in the 2009 Champaign Park District battle of the bands
- The Band Geeks — Champaign
- F.O.B. — Urbana
- Gandhi and the Triggerfish — Champaign
- Graphic Violence — Villa Grove
- The Jips — Farmer City
- Mind's Eye* — Urbana
- Rusalka — Mahomet
- Saint Syke — Champaign
- Shark Bandit — Champaign
- SHOOMPIE — Champaign
- Three Minute Brainwash — Urbana
*No Web site available
Note: The event begins 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Virginia Theatre, 203 W. Park, Champaign. Each band will have 12 minutes to perform. The concert is expected to end about 9 p.m. The order of appearance will be determined Tuesday afternoon by a random drawing conducted by the Champaign Park District's Kristen Larson.
Judges for the 2009 Champaign Park District battle of the bands
- Angie Heaton
Champaign-Urbana-based singer/songwriter/drummer/guitar player. Angie has been a part of the local music scene for the past 18 years. She has played in several local bands over the years and is currently part of the band Angie Heaton and the Gentle Tamers.
- Terry Hawkins
Owner of Skins-n-Tins Drum Shop as well as drummer for local band Delta Kings. He has been a part of the local music scene for more than 15 years.
- Dan Perrino
Was part of the U of I music program for 40 years in a number of different capacities. He has taught both instrumental and voice students, heading numerous groups and ensembles. He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Ace Award by 40 North | 88 West as well as the Chancellor's Medallion from the University of Illinois.
Note: Biographical information about the judges was provided by Kristen Larson of the Champaign Park District.