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Aurora, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Aurora, Illinois, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Alternative




"Spectators "Paranoia""

Out of Chicago, IL, the Spectators have a unique sound that makes it hard to place the band in one particular genre. The Chicago-based band consists of Josiah Viland (lead vocals), Chris Ford (bass and vocals) Aaron Viland (synthesizer, guitar, monotron, and vocals), and Walter Halliwell (guitar, synthesizer, and vocals). Their sound and style flow throughout their debut album Paranoia. The album, released on April 5, 2014, features carefully honed vocals, and a sound that merges futuristic tones with familiar rock themes.

The album kicks off with Live Fast, which sets the unique tone of the album. This particular track is quick to catch the listener’s attention with a catchy chorus and intriguing rifts. Live Fast is the perfect introduction to their edgier tunes, which includes Cross the Line, The Start, Next to Me, and Drift.

Though most of the album features edgier, more funky sounds, Spectators have also proven that they can successfully create tunes with a softer side. I Don’t Mind, in particular, tends to stand out against the crowd of up=tempo tracks on the album. The song showcases lead singer Josiah’s unique voice. His raspy, yet soulful, voice is quick to grab ones attention. Josiah’s voice, coupled with an impressive arrangement, is reason enough to purchase the entire album.

Overall, Paranoia is an impressive debut from a band that is still relatively young. Given the many different sounds that can be found on the record, it is easy to imagine that the album will give listeners a reason to diversify their specific musical tastes. One cannot help but wonder what else the band will have in store for their followers when their debut is so strong. - 50K MUSIC MAG

"Spectators: Be Smart And Keep Your Noggins Covered"

Early in April the Spectators have released their debut "Paranoia" - Rachel reviewed it a few days ago. I've talked to the guys from Aurora (IL) and gained some really extraordinary insights into Martian-Terrestrial relationship ...

50K MUSIC: There's not much information to find about the Spectators on the interweb. Please tell us something about the band. Where are you from? Where does your (musical) inspiration come from? What are your roots?
Spectators: Ever since we arrived on earth, we've resided in Aurora, IL. Our musical influence comes from all across the universe. Earth is extremely derivative of the folk music of Pluto, which is kind of lame, but there are a few interesting artists here. Our terrestrial influences include Sly and the Family Stone, Katy Perry, Vicente Hernandez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Nate Dogg, Bono, and many more.

50K MUSIC: What exactly does "Experimental Indie Space Dance-Punk" mean?
Spectators: The listener can form his/her own opinion regarding the implications.

50K MUSIC: You've just released your debut album "Paranoia". How has it been received by your fans?
Spectators: Extremely well.

50K MUSIC: ... and how about the critics?
Spectators: critics?

50K MUSIC: At the end of March you've introduced "Paranoia" to a crowd of more than 200 fans at the album release party. Please give us an in-depth coverage.
Spectators: Well, we received word from a friend that the Martians were invading to stealthily feed off the brains of the creatures here on earth, so we planned this costume party to keep as many people's brains safe as we possibly could. Luckily, Martians can't even tell a resident of Uranus apart from a citizen of a foreign galaxy, so all our costumed fans were pretty well off. The night started off with a dance party featuring DJ Hector Guerrero, then resumed with an acoustic set by earthling, Kenny Hass, and ended with our performance of Paranoia in its entirety. We had to extend the set due to a delay in the Martian invasion but all went well and there wasn't a drained brain in the building. After the performance, we gave a young fan a tin foil hat to ensure his safety in future invasions. All of the attendees seemed to be quite ecstatic the entire time and we all had a Sun-ton of fun.

50K MUSIC: ... are there any videos to share the atmosphere of this gig?
Spectators: We have some concert footage compiled that could be posted on youtube in the near future.

50K MUSIC: Will fans see you on stage again later this year ... do you have any plans for touring or playing festivals this summer?
Spectators: We have a lot in store but nothing has been announced yet. We're currently doing a brief festival tour of the galaxy, but the earthlings will get another taste of us soon enough.

50K MUSIC: 50K MUSIC MAG focuses on crowdfunded Indie music. Would you consider crowdfunding to finance your music?
Spectators: We always encourage people to give us money.

50K MUSIC: Are there any other plans for the next few months?
Spectators: After this tour of the galaxy, we're going to take a little break from space travel. The time difference messes up our sleep patterns a bit. So this summer, you can expect a big handful of us Spectators.

50K MUSIC: And last one: anything you want your fans to know?
Spectators: Most humans have lost most of their brains. Wear tin foil hats, people. I know it's exciting to run around with your miscreant friends with naked heads but please be smart and keep your noggins covered. - 50K MUSIC MAG

"Local band Spectators in the spotlight for VH1 contest"

Even though local band Spectators did not come away with a record deal after competing this week in VH1's "Make a Band Famous" competition, the members are happy about being put in the spotlight.

"It was fun for us," said Josiah Viland, a Batavia resident and the lead singer of Spectators. "We were grateful to be there in the first place. Also, none of us had ever been to New York City. We are grateful for the excuse to visit the Big Apple."

Spectators competed against 23 other bands from around the country for a a record contract with Republic Records and exposure on VH1’s show “You Oughta Know.” New York City band Fancy Reagan was named the winner.

As part of the event, Spectators had to perform its song "Retro" in exactly 60 seconds. But band members said technical problems marred the band's performance.

"The judges couldn't hear Josiah's voice," said Walter Halliwell, who plays guitar and synthesizer in the band.

After those problems, the judges let the band try again. Halliwell said he understands how problems can come up, especially during a 24-hour streaming show featuring 24 bands.

"We are very understanding of the fact there was so much going on," Halliwell said. "You can't expect everything to go perfectly."

Spectators, which describes its sound as indie-space-dance-punk/rejuvenation, formed three years ago. The band's members are from Batavia, Aurora and South Elgin.

The band received a few compliments from the judges, including Grammy Award-nominee Natasha Bedingfield, who said she "liked the beat."

The judges also complimented the dancing style of bassist Chris Ford, who appreciated the compliment.

"I was glad to hear that," he said. "It helps create a vibe for the band." - Kane County Chronicle

"Local band competing for record contract"

Local band Spectators will compete today with 23 other bands for the chance to win a record deal as part of VH1's "Make a Band Famous" competition.

"We are very excited," said Josiah Viland, a Batavia resident and the lead singer of Spectators. "There will be a live audience."

The 24-hour event will stream live starting at 7 p.m. today. As part of the event, the band will have to go through different challenges.

"In the first challenge, we will have to play a song in exactly 60 seconds," said Walter Halliwell, who plays guitar and synthesizer in the band. "They wanted to see how good we are by being flexible and on our toes."

People can vote for the band by tweeting a vote containing #SpectatorsMusic and #MABF. Multiple "tweets" count as well.

"Voting is something that the judges [will] take in consideration," Viland said.

The winner of the competition will receive a grand prize that includes a record contract with Republic Records and exposure on VH1’s show “You Oughta Know.”

Spectators, which describes its sound as indie-space-dance-punk/rejuvenation, formed three years ago. The band's members are from Batavia, Aurora and South Elgin.

The band members drove all night starting Monday in order to make it to New York City in time for the contest.

"We haven't slept in 32 hours, but that's rock 'n' roll," Halliwell said. - Kane County Chronicle


Still working on that hot first release.



Spectators is a three-piece Indie-Space/Dance-Punk (ISDP) band from the Suburbs of Chicago. Since the group's formation in 2012, they have built a strong following through their invigorating live performances with a unique blend of experimental rock and stimulating pop. Their first full-length album, Paranoia, was released on April 5th, 2014.

As a result of Paranoia's release, the band became well known in the Chicagoland area appearing on radio interviews, opening spots for bands/artists such as Saints of Valory and Chris Medina, and ultimately having the opportunity to perform in New York on VH1.
During a 2016 hiatus, lead singer Josiah Viland enjoyed a season in professional baseball whilst guitarist Walter Halliwell toured with the Christian pop band, Citizen Way. In the meantime, drummer Tayler Buck played at home with his cat.

The three remaining Spectators reunited in the summer of 2017 to begin laying the foundation for a new record. Working alongside producers Zach Kranz and 12th, Spectators released their latest album, The String and the Bow, in the Fall of 2018.


Venues/Events Spectators have played at include:

House of Blues Chicago (headlined, played Q87 show, opened), VH1 in New York, Wire, Elbo Room, Cubby Bear North, House Cafe, Hard Rock Cafe Chicago, Beat Kitchen, Whippersnap Festival, Blooming Fest, White Buffalo Music Festival, Bottom Lounge (opening for Chris Medina), Taste of Lombard, Fitz Spare Keys, Six Flags Great America, Batavia Fourth of July Celebration, churches, and more.

Band Members