The Battle of the Bands may be one of the last hurrahs for Catalina Foothills High School alt-rockers Manic After Dark.

The group is less active recently than the year before, when it played shows at the Rock, the Living Room and some other local venues.

They're all seniors, and the band's future doesn't extend past May since some of them expect to be going to college out of state, says bassist and singer Jake Morris, 18.

"I think we'll probably go our separate ways when we go to college," says Morris. "We'll keep playing (individually), even when we go off to college. When we come back to visit we'll jam - it just won't be as serious."

In the meantime, they continue to write songs and practice once a week, getting ready for the Battle of the Bands.

There's a touch of reggae in some of their originals.

"We all write together," says Morris. "When we're writing, it's at band practice," although Morris says lyrics sometimes come from individual members.

"One of our guitarists, Raymond Sanchez, he's brought lyrics to us and we've written" the music together.

Drummer Daniel Olitzky, 17, says playing some guitar has helped him to contribute in the writing process. "Or, sometimes, I'll start playing something on the drums, and we'll write from there. Or the guys will have some guitar riffs, and I'll join in."

But Forrest Reiland, the band's other guitarist, won't take any credit for lyrics. "I don't come up with any lyrical ideas," the 18-year- old said.

Guitar is his interest, but he's not taking a lot of credit there, either.

"Me and the other guitarist (Raymond Sanchez) switch off" on lead. "I wouldn't call either one of us lead players," Reiland says.

Still, Reiland obviously has put in some time studying great rock guitarists since he started on electric guitar when he was 11. Before that, he played classical guitar, taking lessons.

"I'm self-taught on electric. I like a lot of classic rock guitarists - Hendrix, Page. I like John Frusciante a lot. I think (classical) has influenced my (electric) playing. I have a bit of a different style than other guitarists."

Guitarist Sanchez, 18, says he spends several hours a day practicing guitar. "I wouldn't even call it practice. It's more like how I like to spend my free time," Sanchez says. "Music is my passion. It's a cliché, but that's the way it is."

The band has had a sweet deal, as bands go. They get along well, and they've got a place to rehearse.

"We're all good buddies," says Reiland.

"We lucked out," Morris says. "We used to play in my room, but now we have a separate room in my house. Everyone in my house plays (music). My dad's a guitarist. It's just a hobby, he plays with friends. He's a rocker. I've been trying to teach him some jazz stuff."

Morris said the practice room is even equipped with a set of drums that Olitzky can use.

Olitzky says he wants to keep playing, even when it's over for Manic After Hours. He continues to take lessons and practices about an hour a day.