Dayton band in national competition to perform at the Hollywood Bowl

Credit: Bohemian Funk

Credit: Bohemian Funk

Though they have only been making music together for two years, Dayton-based rock ‘n’ roll band Bohemian Funk already has a chance at achieving national success.

Bohemian Funk, which consists of Rocko Dalian as the lead singer, Graham Werts on drums, Eric Webber on lead guitar and Montana Iverson on bass guitar, was originally formed at the end of 2019. When it comes to their origin story, the band admits that fate definitely played a large part.

Dalian, originally from Detroit, first met Werts while in a facility for drug rehabilitation. At that time, the only activity that Dalian could do while receiving treatment was play music. Luckily, Werts, who worked at the facility, also played music and the pair quickly hit it off. At some point after meeting Werts, Dalian moved from Detroit to Dayton, where he moved in across the street from Webber. Then, as if it was written in the stars, Dalian met Iverson, who worked at the same bar, and made him the last addition to the band.

Since forming in 2019, the band has performed at locations in the Miami Valley and across the Midwest. While the members of Bohemian Funk each cite different musical influences, the band has come together to form a sound that manages to combine the sounds and the aesthetic of the 1970s and ‘80s with a more progressive sound inspired by modern-day rock bands like Maroon 5.

Credit: Bohemian Funk

Credit: Bohemian Funk

While performing and making music, the band caught the attention of a talent scout in Nashville who introduced them to Jeff Thomas, a Grammy Award-winning sound engineer who has previously worked with The Rolling Stones, Metallica, Dave Matthews Band and David Lee Roth. Since June, the band has been working with Thomas as they produce their first studio album. Thus far, the band has released four singles — “Detroit Cowboy,” “Rolling Stone, “Rock the Night Away” and “Bad Dog.”

Last year, the four band members made the leap that other musicians often struggle to make — they quit their day jobs to pursue music as a full-time career.

“We take this so seriously,” Dalian said. “We all quit our jobs for this. We work every single day to make this dream come true that we’ve all had since we were kids.”

Shortly after forming, the band made another important decision in order to secure their success: Hayley Carson. As the manager of the band, one of Carson’s first acts was to enter the band into a national competition with big stakes.

“I truly believe in their sound, talent and ambition,” Carson said. “They aren’t just talented, but they have the work ethic to back it up — and they’ve got that funky twist to them. I fully believe in lifting up Dayton artists. The music scene in our area is incredible and I think Bohemian Funk can shine a light on the awesome things that are going on here.”

Credit: Bohemian Funk

Credit: Bohemian Funk

Currently, Bohemian Funk is a top contender in Opening Act 2021, a national competition designed to find the next big musical act by popular vote. If they secure a win, the band will receive $10,000, a meeting with record label executives and a chance to open for prestigious acts at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Since the contest went live on Aug. 16, Bohemian Funk has managed to remain in first place in its group. Between now and Sept. 16, their group will make two more cuts to determine the top five and, finally, the top contestant. If they become the top contestant in their group, Bohemian will move on to the quarterfinals, which begin on Sept. 17, to compete against the top contestants from the other groups involved in the competition. The winner of Opening Act 2021 will be announced on Oct. 7.

Winners of each round of the contest will be decided by popular vote from members of the public, who get one free vote per day. Additional votes, called “Together Votes,” can be purchased for $1 per additional vote. In order to ensure that Bohemian Funk makes it to the final rounds of the competition, Carson has set up a system of daily reminders via text for anyone who texts “FUNK” to 94253.

“We’re excited to even be here, but, now that we’re here, I have this amazing feeling in my stomach,” Dalian said. “And we all do. Like, we just believe that it’s gonna happen.”

Those who want to cast their vote for Bohemian Funk can do so by visiting Opening Act’s website.

Bohemian Funk’s music is currently streaming on Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube. More information about the band, like their upcoming tour dates in the Miami Valley, can be found by visiting their Facebook and Instagram pages.

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