Radio station 93.3 WMMR added another piece to its listener-created rock band with the selection of Warminster resident Ryan Voelker as rhythm guitarist to its six-member group.
The contest was announced by afternoon personality Jaxon at the beginning of the year, with user-created videos created and submitted by candidates for each instrument. Voelker sent his audition tape by the March 18 deadline and was one of the finalists on March 21. He then had five days to campaign heavily for fans, friends and family members to text the code as many times as possible, and on March 26 Voelker was .
"They didn't give out the number of actual votes," said Voelker, "but they told me I had more than double the amount of the second place guy. I'm just really thankful for all the peple that supported and voted for me. I wouldn't be here without them."
Voelker will now wait with the rest of the announced winners, including lead guitarist Vahe Sarkissian from Bensalem, bassist Rob Smith from Vineland, N.J., and drummer Christopher Bones from Philadelphia, as the rest of the pieces are put together. Voting begins tomorrow for the "wild card" player, basically someone to play any additional, miscellaneous instruments. That winner will be announced on April 2, followed by the start of the final contest for the lead singer on April 4, with the winner announced on April 12.
"After that, we'll all meet and start rehearsing and writing songs," said Voelker.
The full band will make its stage debut at the station's annual MMR*B*Q concert on May 20 at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, opening for major bands including Shinedown, Godsmack and Steel Panther. They will also record a three song demo at Forge Recording in Oreland.
It's a huge opportunity for the 25-year-old musician. Voelker started playing at the age of 10, when an uncle bought him his first guitar. The 2005 Tennent graduate has been in and out of area bands over the past 15 years and is familiar with how personalities can sometimes clash.
"I'm not too worried about how we'll get along," said Voelker. "I'm a pretty easy-going guy. I think we're all just excited about the chance to get our music out there."
Voelker's past experiences has been in the lead guitar role, but he's prepared to fulfill his new duties as the rhythm guitarist.
"Basically, I'm there to complement the lead guitarist," said Voelker. "I need to hold the fort down and make sure the music is solid underneath the lead's solos."