The Duncan Banner

Local News

December 14, 2010

Southern Heretics battle the bands

DUNCAN — For those about to rock, the Southern Heretics are here to salute you. They are a hard rock/metal band from the Duncan-Marlow area competing in the “A Fight For Fame” battle of the bands competition.

Following their win during the first round of the competition, they are preparing for their semi-finals performance Wednesday at the Bora Bora club in Oklahoma City. The band is anxious to play in the next round of competition.

“We’re hoping our performance will be good,” Kyle ‘Gage’ Holman, he bassist, said. “We really don’t know what to expect.”

The Heretics are influenced by metal bands like Black Label Society, Metallica and Black Sabbath, using those artists to help shape and mold their own signature sound. They also perform covers from the wide spectrum of rock and metal genres of music.

“We cover a wide assortment of bands, including Kiss, The Doors and The Rolling Stones,” Shane Davis, rhythm guitarist, said. “We like to put our own unique spin on each song, by ‘metalling’ it up.”

Davis, Gage along with Randall Philips on vocals and lead guitar and their drummer Brett Dobbs make up Southern Heretics. In addition to the material they cover, they have written roughly 10 original songs, which they pepper their performances with.

Southern Heretics were interested in performing in the contest earlier in the year but they lost a member due to family obligations and went searching for a replacement, ultimately settling upon Davis. From there, the band had to start over from the beginning, integrating Davis into the fold.

“So getting a new guy to fill that part, it really feels like starting over again from square one,” Gage said.

After months of practicing and playing gigs from Marlow, Lawton, Chickasha and the Oklahoma City area, they felt comfortable enough for competition.

Before their set at the Bora Bora, the band felt a little uneasy and nervous about their performance.

“We did not feel on top of our game,” Gage said. “We were tripping power breakers during sound check, we were not feeling it.”

A Fight For Fame isn’t your typical battle of the bands contest, that usually leave decision power solely to the audience. It is a hybrid of judges weighing in and crowd participation. The judges are there to help provide constructive criticism as well as helping to determine the winner.

Even though they were nervous during their performance, the Southern Heretics ended up receiving good reviews from the judges, with only minor elements that needed to be tweaked.

“When they gave us feedback, they told us that we need to work on keeping the crowd energy up while we tuned our guitars, that the downtime would be a real bummer for a crowd,” Davis said. “It was very interesting to play for the judges and get real feedback for our act.”

For Gage, he felt that the judges were just playing nice with them, being soft on their performance until the next act performed.

“The judges had nothing really bad to say, we thought they were taking it easy on us,” Gage said. “But following us, a rap group performed, we felt they had talent but the judges cut them to shreds.”

The Southern Heretics feel comfortable and have been practicing in preparation for their semi-final performance, hoping to bring their band to a new level.

— Joshua Kellogg is a reporter for The Duncan Banner. He can be reached at 580-255-5354, Ext. 142, or via e-mail at

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