Student’s group performs in battle of the bands competition

Annie Matheis, News/Web Editor

Catchy guitar riffs fly out the speakers.

Amps muffle the melodic lyrics.

Drums and bass kick out a steady beat.

Senior Karalyne Winegarner’s new alternative band, The Let Downs, will perform their first show at a battle of the bands competition called the Next Big Thing Tour on Dec. 11 at the Granada Theater in Lawrence.

The Let Downs comprises of Winegarner, and Johnson County Community College students Billy Davis, Danny Davis and Ryan Meador.

They will cover bands like MGMT and Paramore, along with several original songs.

“Writing songs can be frustrating,” Danny said. “But once we have an idea, it’s so much fun to turn it into something that sounds good and watch it all come together.”

The time slot they will play depends on how many tickets they sell. The more tickets the band can sell, the more popular time slot they will receive.

Also, if the band sells over 100 tickets, they will get $200 and 5 hours in a professional recording studio.

A winning band will be chosen by a panel of judges at the competition, and that band will receive either 20 hours in a recording studio or $500.

The judges will be looking for the ability to play well and come up with original material.

Winegarner said she is excited about the competition.

“It is going to be a really good opportunity to get experience,” Winegarner said. “The more shows we play, the better we will get at performing.”

Winegarner, Billy and Danny played together in a different band a year ago. However, they broke up because several members went to college.

Being the only girl of the band, Winegarner said she sometimes feels she is the mother figure in The Let Downs.

“It is kind of how it has always been for me,” she said. “The band I was in before was the same thing— I was the only girl. I tell them what to do, how to dress. It keeps it interesting. I don’t know if I like it, but it makes it a good adventure.”

Winegarner said she feels very comfortable with performing live.

“I know, even if something did go wrong, we would be able to cover it up, so I am not really nervous about it,” Winegarner said.

She said it can sometimes take a while for a piece of music to sound performance-ready.

“When you are working on something with a band, and it does not sound good, you work on the different sections of it,” Winegarner said. “It is really a good feeling to see that finished product being performed on stage and see the audience react well to it. That makes it really enjoyable to be working with music.”

Winegarner said she wants a career in music, whether she is performing or managing. She plans to attend college to attain a degree in music business.

“I have always enjoyed playing music, ever since I was really little,” Winegarner said. “And performing just came naturally with wanting to play music. I really like doing it and it is definitely something I can see myself doing in the future. If it is not performing, then managing performances. I really do enjoy it.”

Winegarner said she thinks it will be worth the trip to Lawrence for people to see The Let Downs.

“It is going to be a really great experience,” Winegarner said. “Our music is really fun.”