Every teen goes to concerts and goes home wanting to start a band or pick up a new instrument. It all looks like so much fun! But, ever wondered if all that head banging, string picking and drum bashing is all it's cracked up to be?
Some Top of Utah teens who have started their own bands agreed to share an inside look at what it's like really like. Music is an amazing and individual hobby -- the variety and depth of the music teen bands and musicians write and perform is Ãºber wide.
With inspiration coming from bands like The Devil Wears Prada to Mayday Parade, Counting Crows and August Burns Red, area teen bands are definitely not your stereotypical garage bands.
How did the band get together?
Some bands are brainchildren of big recording buffs. Others start as best friends jamming in someone's basement or garage. For our Top of Utah bands, it's a little bit of both.
"It started as a little idea; Mike (Hulce) and Sean (Ruthven) talked about it since they were in eighth grade," says Nick Iongi of A Dream Divided, a Tremonton band.
Since the inception of A Dream Divided, Hulce and Ruthven have seen their "baby," as Ruthven calls it, through many moody guitarists and flaky members.
"We've been together about nine months; just long enough to make a baby!" said vocalist Ruthven, a senior at Bear River High School.
In contrast, Tracing Yesterday of Millville and Private Partners of Ogden started as groups of friends hanging out and jamming to whatever beat happened to roll out of their equipment.
According to Private Partner's Facebook page, the band began when vocalist Dylan Garcia was listening to his brother and friends jam. He jotted down a few lyrics, sang through them with the band a few times and the rest, as they say, is history.
Bassist Alec Spear of Tracing Yesterday said, "Jordan (Colledge, vocals) and Jaden (Johnson, lead guitar) started playing some acoustic covers, but Jaden, Jordan, Jeff (Merkley, drums) and I were all friends, so it just worked out. Then Nick (Apgar, second guitar and piano) moved down here from Washington and he joined about a year after that."
Is being is a band all fun and games?
Every once in a while gossip magazines and tabloids will have a heyday about a band's bloody breakup over long practices and too much touring. Do teen bands have this same problem?
"It's an even balance of work and play," said Drew Olguin of Private Partners in Ogden.
Iongi, bassist for A Dream Divided, said, "There have been some sucky practices, but that kind of stuff happens. It's still a bunch of fun!"
And band leader Johnson of Tracing Yesterday said, "At least half of our practices involve water noodles."
Do you perform your own music or covers?
Some music fans might argue that some of the best music isn't performed by the artist who made it famous but by someone else who heard the song and made if their own, such as Fall Out Boy's version of "Beat It" by Michael Jackson.
For local teen bands, covers are OK but playing their own music is far better than any cover.
"It depends on the venue," says drummer Hulce, who plays for A Dream Divided and is a graduate of Bear River High. "Mostly we try to play our own stuff as we can."
When it comes down to the actual writing of the music, methods of local bands vary. Tracing Yesterday members, for instance, point a simultaneous and unanimous finger at guitarist Johnson as the chief writer of most of the band's music.
In A Dream Divided's music, "everything is a collaboration" says Hulce.
With Garcia writing lyrics and the rest of the band helping with tunes, music performed by Private Partners is born by "playing random rhythm and jam until we work it out," says Garcia, a graduate of West High School in Salt Lake City.
What's your favorite part of being in a band?
Everyone does something for a reason, right? Athletes, for instance, will tell you they get a rush from the game; others like just being with their friends and having fun.
These Top of Utah teens also love being in their bands for varied reasons.
Olguin, a member of Private Partners and a student at St. Joseph Catholic High School, said his favorite parts are meeting new people, making music and expressing himself.
Spear, a Mountain Crest junior and member of Tracing Yesterday, says his favorite part is having best friends to write music and have fun with.
How often do you practice?
About once or twice a week, or as often as occasion requires is the general consensus of band members.
Ruthven of A Dream Divided said that on weeks when the band has a gig or performance they might practice more than that, but on normal weeks the group tries to practice at least once.
Where can I find your music?
Local teen band music isn't hard to find.
By YouTubing "A Dream Divided" or "Tracing Yesterday," you're sure to find some awesome live songs of crowd-pleasers from recent gigs and even a video blog of practices. Recently, Tracing Yesterday and Private Partners have been in the studio working on EPs and albums.
Private Practice can be found at www.reverbnation.com/privatepartners. A sample of Tracing Yesterday can be found at http://soundcloud.com/tracingyesterday. And all three bands can be found on Facebook.
Abby Payne is a junior at Bear River High. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeff Merkley, drums
Nick Apgar, second guitar and piano
Jordan Colledge, vocals
Alec Spear, bass
Jaden Johnson, lead guitar
A Dream Divided
Michael Hulce, drums/ backup
Sean Ruthven, vocals
Nick Iongi, bass
Bruce Davids, rhythm
Jake Norr, lead guitar
Drew Olguin, bass/acoustic guitar
Devin Olguin, guitar
Hunter Garcia, drums
Dylan Garcia, vocals