The Contestants
Gig Seeker Pro

The Contestants

Band Pop Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Up & Coming(This Week's Music Previews)"


(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) While the Empty Set was never a band to restrain itself when it came to pop choruses, the new project to rise from their ashes, the Contestants, have refined their skills to an entirely new level. On their brand-new long-player, A Fitting Retreat (which is released tonight), the quintet's harmonies are layered thick, the tempo is loose, and the influence is set squarely on Alex Chilton. It's a bit too mature to fall under the category of bubblegum pop (more Big Star, less Box Tops). Instead, it's classic power pop with mammoth hooks, sans the guilt of listening to something so indulgent. EAC - Portland Mercury


A Fitting Retreat-LP



Hello to all. The Contestants are pleased to introduce…well…themselves. For those who love the harmonic and kinetic, the melodic and energetic, you have found the perfect sphere for your ears to orbit. A guitar pop capsule adrift in tonal ozone, as it were. The Contestants love what they do and it’s absolutely audible. They are a band of music fans and of friends.

The members hold varied, though not incongruous, ideals. The Beatles are there, of course, as are Broken Social Scene, The Zombies, Pinback, Guided By Voices, XTC, a little Big Star, New Pornographers, Sloan, and The Cure. While hook-filled guitar pop is certainly the guiding principle, a decidedly epic quality exists in their sound paired with a certain structured deliberateness in song arrangements.

The Contestants hail from the musical wonderland of Portland, Oregon and came into being over the course of several years and several lineup changes. After recording their first two EP’s and a full-length album under the name The Empty Set, some members left as others were added. The new lineup -- Josh Kirby, Darin Fabrick, John Meyer, L.S. Walker and Jean-Paul Ramos -- began recording as The Contestants in the Winter of 2006. It was an exciting time for the band, both creatively and collaboratively. No idea or whim was held back. No filters. No timetables.

In the end, what came out of those nearly two years of work and play was a streamlined quartet (L.S. Walker departed during mixing), a collection of 12 songs entitled “A Fitting Retreat,” and a new identity as The Contestants.

In April 2008, John Meyer left the group, but in that same month, Martti Hill(formerly of The Divided) came on board as drummer and Percussionist. In June 2008, former musical collaborater Scott Eggimann joined the Contestants' musical fold, adding guitar, keyboards, and vocals to the musical stew.