McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

June 10, 2014

Stillwater band seeks fame in VH1 contest in New York City

STILLWATER, Okla. — A Stillwater band hopes to make it big in the Big Apple on VH1’s show, Make A Band Famous.

The One Seven Four will be participating in a series of challenges against 24 other bands, which will occur over 24 hours throughout New York City. The live streaming, uncensored event will start at 7 p.m. Wednesday at makeabandfamous.vh1.com.

 The contest is hosted by Stillwater native Tyson Ritter of the All-American Rejects. The Stillwater band and 2,000 other hopefuls entered a 15-second video on Instagram.

The One Seven Four advanced to the top 60, which was chosen by  a panel of judges at VH1, then fans Tweeted to send the band into the final round.

“All of our fans support got us in to the top 24,” said Cody Payne, vocal leader and rhythm guitar player.

The band already has been assigned its first challenge, one minute to impress the judges with an original song. The band will have a camera crew follow it around NYC while they take on off-the-wall, wacky challenges. One challenge will be to perform a song using all toy instruments. Payne described the show as a cross between MTV’s The Real World and American Idol.

“All of the challenges are more band based,” Payne said. “Everybody has a role. They’re going to try to take us out of our elements that we’re used to.”

Band members Jake Ledbetter, Scott Crissup, Dillion Prough and Payne practiced in two rehearsals before traveling to New York City this week. Each member plays multiple instruments, so Payne said they didn’t have to prepare too much.

“Just from doing what we do weekly our creativity is in a really good spot for the competition,” Payne said. “Each band member puts their own touch to it.”

Originally known as Exit One Seven Four, the band transitioned from red-dirt music to pop/indie genre two years ago. Payne, who grew up on 70’s and classic rock, said it was an easy transition for the group.

Contest winners will sign with Republic Records and get a full-time spot on VH1. The band’s goal is to put out a good single, gain a strong fan base and tour the world. Payne said this contest is an opportunity to show off their new style of music.

“We’ve been looking for that break out of the box opportunity to showcase our new sound and new album we just finished,” Payne said.

Voting for the bands will start over among top 24. Payne said The One Seven Four encourages family, friends and fans to vote for them on Twitter using #mabf and #theonesevenfour.

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