Local band places third for Grammy contest

Salt Lake City band Son of Ian was nominated to play at the 2013 Grammys. After the voting was done, the band took third place out of eight different bands in the Mountain Region.

The Grammys have an event called Gig of a Lifetime. Trenton McKean, head of Son of Ian, got an e-mail from the Grammys telling him someone submitted them into the event. Contestants submit a music video for a band and see if it makes the cut. If it does, then the band moves onto the regional voting period. All the voting is done online and eliminates everyone but the top eight of the region. No. 1 from each region moves on to the final voting. Someone submitted Son of Ian’s music video of their song “Bitter World.”

“I just ran with it — went to KSL TV and did an interview,” McKean said. “It wasn’t my bandmates who submitted it, so I’m assuming it was a fan?”

McKean is a student at Weber State University and also the lead singer and guitarist for Son of Ian. The band rehearses at least once a week at Evan Powell’s house in Salt Lake City. Powell is the drummer for Son of Ian. He and McKean have known each other and played together on and off for 11 years. They both played for some time in an older band called Fourth Watch.

Patrick Neville, who went to high school with McKean, joined the band a little more than a year ago.

“I was bar-hopping in Salt Lake, and we walked into the Green Pig,” Neville said. “I saw Trent’s glowing face. I listened to them, and then we started playing from then on.”

Rehearsals are held downstairs in Powell’s basement, in a dimly lit and soundproofed room. The other members of the band are Dave Oster, who plays the saxophone, and Carl Ross, who plays bass guitar. Neville and Oster used to play together, and Oster also played with McKean in Fourth Watch. Every member of the band has deep roots with each other and their own musical backgrounds. Ross, the oldest member of the band, is originally from Trinidad and has played bass for more than 50 years.

McKean writes the majority of the songs himself, but said he welcomes the other members of the band to write too.

“I’m always willing to let the other guys be creative,” McKean said. “Pat has actually written songs before that were amazing.”

Not only do the band members write their own music — they also have a diverse genre. Each member comes from a different background of music. Some members come from jazz origins, while others come from rock and even reggae. Each member of the band gives input and criticism to each other see if they can improve any part of a song.

“Pat and Trent are phenomenal songwriters, and it’s a pleasure to watch them work,” Oster said.

Neville joked that he calls the tone switch on his guitar the mud switch.

“You hear that? It sounds like you’re just throwing the guitar in the mud. I’m calling this the mud switch!” he said during a rehearsal.

Son of Ian gets booked for shows around Ogden and Salt Lake City. The band frequently plays at the Green Pig Pub and the Hog Wallow Pub & Patio. The band released its first album, “Good Morning September,” in early July.

Taking third place after being nominated in the Grammys was a huge honor for each member of the band.

“I’m not sad we didn’t win,” Powell said. “It would have been sweet, of course, but I’m just glad we were able to get our name out there more. This is an awesome band, and I love playing with all these guys.”

The band will play a local show on March 8at the Hog Wallow Pub & Patio in Cottonwood Heights. More information about Son of Ian is available at www.sonofian.net.