That is what Dana McKinney believes is ahead for a heavy metal band he manages called Neon Sky.
Neon Sky won in the semi-finals of the Battle of the Bands in Cincinnati, and will return there to play in the finals in February.
McKinney’s son Zack Rolfe is one of the members of the band that formed the group in the first place.
“Zack started this band officially almost five years ago now,” McKinney said. “And it has gone through a couple of different name changes, he and Jay Smith. Jay Smith moved to Cincinnati, and he (Rolfe) is actually going to go against Jay Smith’s band at the Battle of the bands.”
After members of the band were brought in one at a time, things began to happen for the group.
“Everything was like magic,” McKinney said. “They started opening up at different places and venues for national acts like Sworn Enemy and Black Dahlia Murder. They formed quickly, and the people they opened for were impressed with their ages.”
Rolfe said his group ranges in age from 15 to 18 which makes them by far one of the youngest metal acts in the business.
“I’m 17,” Rolfe said. “I’m the lead guitarist and then there’s Nick Blankenship, Nick Cook, Marty Potts, and Duncan Ross.”
All are from Northwest High School, except for Potts, who is from Minford.
“Together we have been playing for almost a-year-and-a-half, but I have been playing for maybe six years,” Rolfe said.
In order to reach the finals the band had to make some large strides.
“We were in the Battle of the Bands and won the semi-finals, but other than that we haven’t been in any competition, and coming up we have the Battle of the Bands finals,” Rolfe said. “We will all be meeting up on February 15, and there is a lot that will come from this.”
The event is sponsored by Gorilla Productions, and will take place at Dirty Jacks in Cincinnati.
“They’re pretty famous and they’re putting together some major tours for famous bands, so the winners of this — they get a little bit of the spotlight, and get put on some tours and some headlining shows,” Rolfe said.
As with all young bands there are groups that inspired them. While this band plays all original material, they have been influenced by the successful metal bands that have gone before them.
“I grew up focusing a lot of my guitar around Pantera and Dimebag Darrell, and then, eventually I started writing my own music, using his techniques. And now we started this band,” Rolfe said.
Rolfe said there are different types of bands in the Battle of the Bands, but all basically in the same genre.
“It’s all focusing around metal. There’s the different types of metal that’s going to be there,” Rolfe said. “There’s some softer bands, and there’s some really really hard bands that are going to play there.”
Rolfe said the young band has played to some good sized crowds.
“Really we’ve had crowds of all kinds. Even people that never really been around that much of metal, and they have come to check it out and see what it’s all about,” Rolfe said. “And even just to the people in the area that like metal — we’ve brought a lot of people in from places like Huntington (W.Va.) and we’ve played Cincinnati, so we have a wide fan base in Cincinnati too.”
McKinney said it is important to sell tickets to the event in order to have a large turnout from the Scioto County and surrounding areas.
Tickets can be purchased by calling Rolfe at (740) 285-5503 or McKinney at (740) 285-4526.
Information is also available on the band page at myspace.com/officialneonsky.
“The more people we have out there the more chance we have of winning,” Rolfe said. “It’s one of those old school competitions where the louder the crowd is the more chance you have of winning.”