Newcastle band The Tillegra Damned in global battle

NEWCASTLE rockers The Tillegra Damned will play in front of their biggest crowd yet as they compete in the world final of the Global Battle of the Bands in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Saturday night.

If the six-piece wins the competition, the members – Jono Collard, Dave Budden, Mica Brankovic, Sam Legge, Jed Rietveld and Matt Thornton – will be bringing home $100,000 in prizes.

The Tillegra Damned fly out first thing this morning, but LIVE caught up with guitarist Budden earlier this week.

What are you looking forward to most about competing in the Global Battle of the Bands final in Malaysia this weekend?

It’s really exciting for all of us.

For a couple of us it’s actually our first time going overseas, so being able to do that with your best mates is going to be great fun. And just the size of the show we’re playing is quite overwhelming.

Up until this point the biggest show we’ve played was to 400 or 500 people, but this is apparently going to be in front of 4000 or 5000, so it’s going to be massive.

What have you been doing to prepare for the final?

We’ve just been trying to stay really calm about it.

Everyone has been like, ‘Make sure you practise, practise, practise’, and we have been to make sure we have our songs ready, but we don’t want to stress out about it too much.

We just want to go and have a great time and have no expectations of ourselves.

All this already, yet the band only formed in the middle of last year?

Our first show was actually the Newcastle heat of the Global Battle of the Bands in July at the Great Northern Hotel.

We did the local heat, then the state final, then the Australasian final in Sydney, and the calibre of the other bands was incredible.

There were some really talented musicians and really nice people involved, and the fact we managed to come out on top was amazing.

There were about 500 bands across Australia and New Zealand going for it. We just took a step back and thought, ‘Wow, that’s really heartening’.

How did it feel to win that Australasian final last year?

That was an incredible moment.

They started the announcements at third place, and the two runners up were really great bands so we were like, ‘We’ve got no chance’.

Then when they called out our name I think it took us about 10seconds to realise what they said.

Then we started jumping around and screaming.

The band is also about to release a debut single?

Yeah, we have a single called Silver Bullet which we recorded a couple of months ago. It actually had its debut airplay on the radio last Friday night on Port Stephens FM.

When we get back from Malaysia we’re going to look at distributing it and selling it at gigs, but for now it’s on our website for people to listen to at thetillegradamned.com.

What is the story behind the band name?

We’d been trying to think of a band name for ages, and as anyone in a band knows, coming up with a name can be the hardest thing, because noone ever agrees on things, or names are too serious or not serious enough.

We were driving to band practice one day and we saw the ‘‘Stop Tillegra Dam’’ sign and thought it’d be a really cool name.

We just put a slight pun on it and made it a bit unique.

The Tillegra Damned will perform at the Global Battle of the Bands grand final in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Saturday night. When they return they have a gig at East Maitland Bowling Club on March 26 from 8pm. Free entry. The Newcastle heat of the next Global Battle of the Bands competition is on at the Great Northern Hotel tomorrow night.

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