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South Jordan Journal

Peanut Butter Octopus wins student category in Sojo battle of the bands

Jun 28, 2018 02:55PM ● By Keyra Kristoffersen

High school student band, Peanut Butter Octopus, wins first place in student category in SoJo Battle of the Bands. (Peanut Butter Octopus)

By Keyra Kristoffersen | [email protected] 

A band of students from Riverton High School won first place and $3,000 competing in the student category of the SoJo Summerfest Battle of the Bands on May 31. 

“It's just fun to be able to go out and be able to do our own thing with our own band and see that other people enjoy that as well,” said DJ Taylor, vocalist and rhythm guitarist for Peanut Butter Octopus. 

Taylor, bassist AJ Darbee and drummer Noah Hambleton all started out at Sandy’s School of Rock and began forming the band, eventually adding guitarist Ryan Bennett. The band was complete just in time to compete in the 2017 PTA Battle of the Bands, competed again in 2018 and now in the 2018 SoJo Summerfest Battle of the Bands.  

The band has had a difficult time defining their sound to anyone who asks because their influences are as varied as classical, metal, jazz, rock and pop. 

“I could never put a definitive classification on it,” said Bennett. “It's rock music but has influences from a lot of different places. The four of us are quite mutual but also diverse and scattered across the board.” 

Taylor, a Bruno Mars fan, is glad of the opportunity to mix their sound, taking jazz and pop songs and making them more rock and vice versa in order to make their music as accessible as possible. 

The band won with a set of five songs that included “Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked” by Cage the Elephant, “R U Mine” by Arctic Monkeys, “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley, “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars and an original song called “Strawberries.” 

Peanut Butter Octopus plans to begin writing new songs and record a CD. They will also be playing at Riverton Days in the afternoon on July 4.