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Kingman's Gheara aiming for rock glory


Local band Gheara will be competing with 20 other bands in Tempe next week for the chance to open for Rob Zombie and Five Finger Death Punch July 5 at the Mayhem Festival in Phoenix. Pictured left to right are Mike McLaughlin, Nick Lombardo, Jacob Fangmeyer, Corey Ortiz and Josh Fangmeyer.

KINGMAN - A Kingman band is taking a chance at stardom. The local metal band Gheara is driving to Tempe next week to battle against 20 other Arizona bands in the Battle for Mayhem.

First prize: opening for Rob Zombie and Five Finger Death Punch at the 2013 Mayhem Festival tour in Phoenix on July 5.

"This is our first big chance," said lead vocalist Jacob Fangmeyer. "There will be record label scouts out there. At the very least, we'll get our name out there."

The Battle for Mayhem starts at 5 p.m. on May 23 at the Rocky Point Cantina, 1001 E. 8th St., Tempe. Tickets are $13 and can be purchased at www.13thfloorentertainment.com. Gheara fans can get a free T-shirt from the band.

The bands are judged on how many fans show up, how well the group plays together and the reaction from the audience.

Fangmeyer and his brother, Joshua, who plays the drums, started Gheara nearly 10 years ago. They got the band's name by looking up the Romanian word for fang on the Internet.

Band members have come and gone over the years, but the current lineup includes bass guitarist Cory Ortiz, lead guitarist Nick Lombardo, keyboardist Michael McLaughlin and soundman Chris Welter.

This is not the first time the band has played in a battle of the bands concert, Fangmeyer said. They competed in one during their high school years and one in Phoenix. They didn't win either contest.

"You kind of have to have a taste for the music," Fangmeyer said.

The band specializes in death, techno metal, he said.

"We like to keep a groovy beat going," he said. "We draw our best crowds around the Kingman and Lake Havasu areas."

Even if Gheara doesn't make the cut for the Mayhem Festival, Fangmeyer has another plan to get the band's music in the hands of record labels. The band has been working on setting up a sound studio in Kingman.

There are lots of sound studios in Arizona, but they have a tendency to give smaller bands and metal bands the cold shoulder, Fangmeyer said. The band wants to open its sound studio, once it's finished, to all types of bands.

"It'd be cool to put Kingman on the map," he said.


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