Hard Rock Rising 2013, a global battle of the bands hosted by Hard Rock International, started off with 12,000 artists and bands from around the world. The competition kicked off this year in the first week of January, scouring the entire globe for one independent act that rocked the hardest. Four months and several rounds later, our own local Toms River band, The Creeptones, is still kicking! Now in the final judging round (featuring the Top 25 acts from around the globe), raw talent and community support have catapulted our local boys to 9th place in the competition.


Hard Rock Atlantic City Facebook
Hard Rock Atlantic City Facebook

Their fate now lies in the hands and ears of a panel of music industry professionals. Steven Van Zandt of the E Street Band, Live Nation Senior Vice President of Music Toby Leighton-Pope, Hard Rock International's Head of Music and Artist Relations John Kirkpatrick, and Hard Rock Records co-heads of A&R, James Buell and Blake Smith are among the judges who will choose a winner from the Top 25 acts to be announce tomorrow, May 6th.

The Grand Prize?

 A 6-city world tour with dates in Tokyo, Honolulu, Sydney, Honk Kong, and Chicago, a one-year record deal with Hard Rock Records complete with a professionally produced album and music video, $22,000 worth of cash and equipment, and the opportunity to open for NJ's own Bruce Springsteen in front of 80,000 fans in London's Olympic Park!
I got a chance to speak with Carmine Stoppiello, 23, the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the band about how their mindset and passion helped them to accomplish this feat:


"We focus on harmony, songwriting, driving force, and emotion. I think that mixture is tough to make happen but it is our ultimate goal. To make great songs. We have had such a blast writing music, and playing it for people, and we're excited every day to have a new chance to reach a fresh set of ears. 
The best part about listening to music is finding a group or artist that can resonate with you internally as well as externally. The kind of music that first makes you feel, and then makes you act. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do these things. We are our own worst critics, but as Billy Joel once said "Only fools are satisfied." Words to live by. We can always do better." 

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