By Lie Shia Ong
They're a group of 14- to 17-year-old's from Milford, Conn. They write their own music and play their own instruments. One of them even holds a world record for playing the drums. They call themselves "Kicking Daisies," and they were just voted the winner of Radio Disney's "N.B.T." (Next Big Thing), a show which spotlights young recording artists to help launch their careers.
Bing: Radio Disney's 'N.B.T.'
MSN TV had the chance to chat with the group, sisters Caitlin (drums) and Carly Kalafus (bass), Duran Visek (guitar) and Ben Spremulli (guitar), about "N.B.T." and how their lives have changed since winning the competition.
MSN TV: How does it feel to be Radio Disney's "Next Big Thing" winners?
Duran Visek: It was awesome!
Caitlin Kalafus: We were sound-checking because we had a show that night, and our manager came up to me and he tapped me on the shoulder when I was playing drums. We knew something was going to happen -- a good call or bad call. We were all nervous. We all put our instruments down and we walked back to the room, and when it was announced we were the winners of "N.B.T.," we started screaming. Everyone was in the room. Our parents started crying and everyone was hugging. It was just the best feeling ever.
Duran: It was a wonderful way to celebrate.
What was the 11-week competition like for all of you?
Carly Kalafus: It was awesome because we got to fly out to Los Angeles to film with everyone, and all the other artists were so awesome. We immediately became best friends with them, and it was so much fun.
What do you think helped you all win?
Caitlin: I think it was the fact that collectively, our music is super energetic, it connects to everyone -- older and younger. I guess a lot of fans just liked our songs.
Caitlin, you're actually one of the world's fastest female drummers, drumming 799 beats per minute.
Caitlin: Yes, I currently am. I haven't worked on it lately because a lot of the "Kicking Daisies" stuff doesn't involve double kicks except for a few songs, but sometimes I try to see if I can drum really fast. I would love to keep getting faster, it's just a really cool thing and it's just an awesome workout. I wish I could run that fast!
What do you want people out there to know about "Kicking Daisies"?
Ben Spremulli: Most importantly, we're very thankful for all the fans -- and for everyone out there who supports us.
Caitlin: You can expect a lot of high-end energy from our concerts. We have Facebook and Myspace and we really do like to talk to our fans on there. We all have our own Facebook pages.
Duran: We support the high-energy stuff. We're not going to judge you if you go up to the front of the stage and lose your mind, because we do the same thing!
Caitlin: Or crowd-surf off the top of the stage ...
Duran: And plunge into the crowd ...
Caitlin: (Laughs) We do that a lot.
How are you managing to balance school and your music?
Ben: We're actually home-schooled, which is really convenient because we can get a couple of days of work done in just a couple of hours, so that way, if we know if we have to do something later in the week, we can finish that week in one day, and we're already caught up with school.
I hear you're taking over "Radio Disney."
Duran: Yeah, I'm really excited. It was really fun recording the interviews and just hanging out with [Radio Disney DJ's] Ernie and Jake. They're really fun guys and they kind of understand our personalities, so we have a lot of fun on the radio with them and a lot of fun behind the camera with them.
Caitlin: We do a couple acoustic songs -- and we get to share secrets about each other.
Duran: Me and Caitlin do a beat-boxing rap, too!
After doing Radio Disney, you guys are heading to Florida?
Duran: Yes, as part of winning "N.B.T.," we're getting the chance to open for All-Star Weekend in Celebration Village in Orlando at Disney World.
What are you guys asking Santa for this year?
Caitlin: I want a new phone
Duran: My two front teeth!
Duran: Me and Caitlin both want new phones.
Ben: I want iTunes gift card (laughs). I've listened to just about everything on my iPod five times!