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20 questions

Velure are grateful they failed to make the cut for VH1 reality show

Recently, local rock band Velure fought for a spot on the Music Midtown stage. Last fall, the band tried out for an even bigger stage. After a month-and-a-half of interviews, the group made it to the final cut for the VH1 reality show, "Band on the Run." The show follows four bands as they try to out-earn — and out-argue — each other on a cross-country trip.

But lead guitarist Ben Holst says in the end, things probably have worked out for the best. The way Velure sees it, by not making it on the show, the band avoided the dreaded "overexposed" label.

"It's like the stigma of 'The Real World' people. I equate it with the spoiled trust-fund kid; they're always going to have that stigma," Holst says. Not making it onto VH1 allowed the guitarist to be on the ground floor of Shangri-La Studios in Grant Park, where he now works and records.

The group heard about the show from their former drummer, who said VH1 was looking for some musical diversity.

"We thought, 'It can't hurt,'" says Holst. "If you don't go for the long shot, you don't get anything. The whole process took about a month-and-a-half. We sent in a demo, and they liked that. Then they e-mailed us 20 questions for the band as a whole, and then each individual member had a separate set of questions."

The last stage of auditions for the band consisted of them being interviewed via conference call by two Los Angeles music columnists. Someone videotaped the interviews, which then were sent to VH1.

"[The columnists] were asking us about the dynamic of the band, feeling us out to see if we would be fun to watch on TV. Or be controversial — or at least act controversial. At the end, we played a tune. After that point, it was out of our hands."

Holst, who has only seen trailers for the show, said Velure may not have fit the show's image from the start of the process. "In hindsight, it was easy to read through the casting, with questions like, 'What would you do with a free afternoon in (these five cities)?' 'Does the band fight?' 'Do you have girlfriends?,' 'Do you do drugs?' You know, in more words than that," says Holst.

"We want to play music to play music, because we want good, long-lasting careers. We don't fight, we get along because we're in a band together," Holst says. "We're not necessarily trendy, and in hindsight, we could have said, 'Yeah, we fight all the time, and so-and-so missed a show because he was out with a girl.'

"It's definitely not the end of the world. We're getting some label interest and we have a serious enough foot in the door, even though we're struggling like everyone is. We're kinda glad that it worked out the way that it did."

Velure plays Mon., April 30, at the Georgia Theatre in Athens.??

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