Some might be surprised to hear three all-Mormon bands are making headway in the music world.
Neon Trees, The Terks and Fictionist all have local roots. Though they each have different sounds, styles and are in different places in their careers, these bands are causing some heads — or ears — to turn toward Utah.
Neon Trees, an alternative pop-rock band, united in Provo, Utah, and played in different venues for a few years before it got its big break in 2008.
Rolling Stone Magazine reported that Ronnie Vannucci Jr., drummer for The Killers, went to one of the band's shows in Vegas and was "so impressed, he offered the band a few opening slots on The Killers’ massive Day & Age tour."
Tyler Glenn, guitarist for the band, told Rolling Stone that Neon Trees has made a conscious effort to not always associate with The Killers, and Vannucci had said before he believed the band could stand on its own.
Neon Trees also told Rolling Stone none of the band members drink or party, but they avoid preaching their Mormon beliefs in songs.
The band's popularity has continued to grow, as is evidenced by the band's ever-growing presence in the music world.
Formed in South Jordan, Utah, The Terks are a rock band hoping to keep traditional rock — such as that of Eric Clapton and Elvis Presley — alive. The band's sound has been likened to R.E.M., early Pearl Jam sounds, with shades of the mid 1960s pop of The Byrds and The Beatles, according to the group's Facebook page.
The Terks have been together in its current formation for only six months, but the band was recently crowned winners of the eWorld Music Awards for "Best Band" not signed with a major label.
The band won studio time with Drew Lane, Billboard winner for work on "High School Musical," and will have a song featured on the movie "Stranded." The feature film is due for release sometime in 2011.
The eWorld Music Awards provided exposure for the band that its members are hopeful will lead to good things in the future.
Fictionist, a band that started in Provo, has played together for three years and has the opportunity, along with 16 other bands, to make Rolling Stone history.
The band was selected out of more than 1,200 artists to be in "So You Wanna Be A Rock & Roll Star" — a novel competition for artists not signed with a major label. The winner will appear on the cover of Rolling Stone — a first-time occurrence in the history of the magazine — and will win a record deal with Atlantic Records.
Rolling Stone featured Fictionist in an article and described the band as a space-rock quintet with a blend of psychedelia and peppy indie rock.
Rolling Stones also reported Fictionist's religious affiliation as Mormons, and again, pointed out the band members try to avoid explicit religious references in their lyrics.