August 15, 2011

In 2007, when he was just a freshman at Gorham High School, guitarist Alex Verrill got word about Reindeer Records’ annual statewide Rock-Off competition for high school bands—his golden opportunity to get his band out in the local music scene.  In April of that year, CROSSED OUT made their first live appearance at Rock-Off 24.

“I remember being backstage with the other band members thinking, ‘wow, we made it, we’re real rock stars now.’  Of course we were very far from it,” said the band leader, and although his band didn’t fare all that well with its debut showcase, Verrill was determined and inspired.

A year later, in Rock-Off 25, CROSSED OUT made it to the top five.  “We felt a lot more content with our progression,” Verrill stated, “though we were saddened to hear Reindeer would no longer be putting on the Rock-Off competition.

In late 2009, the band released their first album entitled “Corrupt.”  Despite an appearance on Fox 23 TV’s Good Day Maine and a guest spot on radio station 106.3 The Bone, “we jumped another hurdle in the music world…but the band was ready to call it quits,” reported Verrill.

Then in 2010, the band got word that Reindeer had organized another competition for high school bands—The Off-Ramp—a six-month event that featured many music industry challenges.  “The band had huge success in the competition but still came home with no trophy,” remarked Verrill, who was weeks away from graduation and would therefore no longer be eligible to compete in future events.

A few days after The Off-Ramp Exit 26 Finale in May of 2011, Verrill received a phone call from Reindeer Records President Louis Philippe who wanted to discuss a possible record deal with CROSSED OUT.  “We were exhilarated,” Verrill asserted, “like we were finally being recognized for all our hard work.”

Immediately the band started recording what would become their debut CD as a signed artist, “Prelude to Darkness.”  “We were planning on recording another album regardless of our status in the competition, but the record deal definitely pushed us more to get it done,” Verrill noted.

“CROSSED OUT is the perfect example of a band that doesn’t ‘win’ but still has what it takes to make it,” said Philippe.  “Reindeer is all about process-vs-product, and CROSSED OUT has magnificently, humbly, professionally and victoriously embraced that process.”

“After dealing with CROSSED OUT for all these years, I can’t say enough about their dedication, attitude and cooperation,” Philippe reported. “And with Verrill’s superior communication and organizational skills, and the band’s commitment to stay together now that some members have graduated, there’s no doubt they will super-size this milestone opportunity.”

“CROSSED OUT has invested their time and talent to be a part of Reindeer for the past four years;  it’s a pleasure to be able to return the favor by investing in their future,” avowed Philippe.

Much of the summer was spent conquering the major challenge of writing, recording and mixing (“and re-mixing and re-mixing and re-mixing,” added Philippe).  The end result is a vision realized by a local hard rock quartet empowered by their hard work.

“I have worked tirelessly over the past four to five years trying to accomplish my goals of becoming a rock star” Verrill states, “I would have never thought years ago during Rock-Off 24 that the intimidating record label president would become a good friend and mentor.”

“We still have a lot more to accomplish in order to live out our dreams, but with our determination I see it as a real possibility,” the band leader affirmed.

CROSSED OUT is: Mike Allen – guitar, Justin Getchell – drums/vocals, Mike Tracy – bass, and Alex Verrill – vocals/guitar.

“Prelude To Darkness” is slated for a fall release.  Follow the band as their incredible journey continues by finding Reindeer Group Inc and CROSSED OUT on Facebook.



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