Chris (JASZcomicbookrapper) Jaszczyszak performing at the BUSU Battle of the Bands event last year. He was told he could not play at this year’s event because he does not fit the traditional definition of a band. (SUBMITTED)
A band must play instruments in order to take part in this year’s Battle of the Bands put on by the Brandon University Students’ Union (BUSU).
Chris (JASZcomicbookrapper) Jaszczyszak applied to take part in the 2014 Battle of the Bands after his experience last year left him feeling encouraged.
"The BUSU council last year was really supportive at the event and got me involved with other opportunities to play on campus," Jaszczyszak said.
"This year I was told that because I don’t use instruments I can’t take part."
Jaszczyszak uses his computer to make rap and hip hop style music. Despite not using traditional instruments, he considers himself to be a band just as much as any musician taking part.
BUSU VP external Sandra Mutasa is in charge of the Battle of the Bands event taking place Aug. 6, 13 and 20.
She said that the criteria for the event changed slightly from last year.
"We want to have live bands playing actual instruments," Mutasa said. "Having all the bands in a similar format makes it easier to judge the contest."
Jaszczyszak doesn’t agree with this decision — rather he sees it as musical discrimination.
"If they only wanted traditional bands all within the same genres, then they should have told me that when I asked before applying," he said. "This is discriminatory and there is a need for more variety in music genres promoted here."
Eight bands have been chosen to play the two nights of battles.
The four bands each night will be judged by two local radio station representatives and two BUSU executives. The winners will play again for the chance to open at BUSU’s annual Rock the Block.
"None of the bands have competed in our battle before," Mutasa said. "We really wanted to get new bands and offer this experience to even more bands."
Mutasa confirmed that all the bands were chosen by herself with some consultation with other BUSU executives. Most of the bands play music in the rock to classic rock genres.
"We could only pick eight applicants out of over 12 because of time constraints," she said.
The event is the pre-party for the annual Rock the Block festivities. Each night of the battle will cost $5 at the door and bands will start at 7 p.m.
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Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 30, 2014