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Sleight of hands 

TrickLife gets ready for the big-time

Passing around a single beer bottle like wallflowers at a frat party, the boys of TrickLife are taking a respite from the ear-slicing decibels of their afternoon recording session.

"What do you think about this one?" asks vocalist Jason Coahran as the studio speakers erupt with a tune from the band's recent demo CD. Drummer Christopher Mann is mouthing the words and bouncing noticeably in his chair. Soon, the entire band has forgotten about the half-empty bottle on the floor, and is bobbing along to the heavy nu-metal groove.

Luckily for TrickLife, winner of this year's Best of the Bands competition at Rum Bay, drawing attention to their music is about to get a lot easier. The group, which formed only nine months ago, has already attracted a sizable local buzz following their show-stopping performance in the contest's final round, and has earned a spot on the upcoming film Hard Road, featuring rockers Ted Nugent and Sammy Hagar.

"We haven't met those guys yet or started filming, but we can't wait," said Coahran. Apparently the band -- which also includes bassist Scott McCollum and guitarists Matt Aschbrenner and Eric Cimino -- will meet with the film's producers in the next few months to discuss the details, which will include a spot on the film's soundtrack as well as a live performance in the movie itself.

"We're just starting out," Coahran said, "but soon everybody in this town will know who we are. We put on a better show than ninety percent of the bands we play with, and people are just starting to notice."

KILO morning jock, Ross Ford, agrees. "We haven't played local bands on the air in a long time, but TrickLife could be the band that turns that trend around," he said.

So how does a band this marketable manage to stay virtually unknown in a city of half a million?

"It's simple: People in this town don't go out enough to see commercial-sounding bands," said Mann. He claims that while underground venues and garage bands are able to flourish, bands with aspirations of stardom often fall by the wayside. "We're a melodic metal band, and we actually write hooks," said Mann.

Coahran credits the fans with the bands quick rise.

"I don't even need to sing anymore, the fans are singing all the words for me," he said, lauding the group's rapidly growing fan base.

After the finals in the Best of the Bands, TrickLife walked away with the grand prize, and a chance to fulfill their childhood aspirations.

"Success is not measured in little doses," said Coahran. "We won't feel as if we've 'made it' until we have a tour [and] a bus and playing music becomes our only job. ... Five years from now, I see our band at the Grammys."

The Hard Road ahead doesn't seem intimidating to these guys, and that may be the most important thing they have going for them.

-- Noel Black

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