Sil Shoda vies for Hard Rock top spot |

Sil Shoda vies for Hard Rock top spot

Adam Jensen
Reno's Sil Shoda is competing for spot at Hard Rock Live this July.
Tyson Schroeder | Provided

After winning the South Shore stop of the Hard Rock Rising battle of the bands competition, Reno’s Sil Shoda is in the running for a chance to perform in Rome this July.

More than 10,000 bands entered the worldwide contest and more than 700 bands competed in battles at Hard Rock Cafes around the globe.

Sil Shoda is now up against the winners of other local competitions in online voting to be one of the top 25 to advance to the next round, where a panel of celebrity judges and industry professionals will determine the overall winner of the contest. The first place winner gets the opportunity to perform at the Hard Rock Live Rome music festival. Second and third prize winners will each receive new music equipment and gear valued at $10,000.

Sil Shoda began in late 2008 and blends hard rock and country influences, although “anything that gets your foot stompin,’your heart pumpin,’ and your head bangin’” is fair game, according to the band, which released their first full-length album, “Aces and Eights,” in June 2011.

The album tilted toward the metal end of the rock spectrum, but the band’s roots remain in country-infused rock, said singer and guitarist Robbie James during a Monday phone interview.

“We try to have fun and keep it interesting, throw a curveball and keep people coming to the shows,” James said.

In addition to James the band consists of Anthony Vairetta (backing vocals, lead guitar), David Kellers (backing vocals, bass) and Scott Curtis (drums). They’ve played much of the West Coast, including shows with Buck Cherry, Puddle of Mud, Queensryche, Steel Panther and Eddie Money.

As far as Sil Shoda’s unusual name goes, it was originally intended to be a foreign language play on “strength and unity,” but when a load of merchandise came back misspelled, the band decided to roll with it and Sil Shoda was born, James said with a laugh.

And, even if they don’t make it to the next round of the Hard Rock contest, their success in the battle of the bands has already opened doors, including slots at Harveys Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena this summer, James said.

As of press time Wednesday, the band was just outside the top 25 in the voting for the contest.

The panel that will decide who gets the Rome performance slot includes Steven Van Zandt, founding member of the E Street Band; Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit; Laura Taylor of Everybody’s Management; Stone, guitarist of Taiwanese band Mayday and Hard Rock Records’ Artist Relations Executive James Buell, who will determine the grand prize winner and two runner-up bands.

“It is so important that we continue to show our support for emerging artists and give new talent a chance at much greater exposure,” Hutchison said in a press release from Hard Rock Cafe.“I’m really eager to hear the top 25 bands that the world chooses, and I’m even more excited to pick the winner who will perform at Hard Rock’s first Hard Rock Live in Rome music festival.”

The event will feature a headline performance by Italian chart toppers, Negramaro, best known for their album “Mentre Tutto Scorre,” which has gone platinum six times since its release. More than 40,000 fans from across Italy are expected to attend Hard Rock Live, which will include six hours of live performances by more than 10 bands on two outdoor stages.

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