The struggles can be many for teen bands: They can’t book gigs in traditional bar venues because they’re too young. They have to juggle their music with school, athletics, family and jobs. They can’t guarantee they’ll stick together after …
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Many talented young musicians and teen bands are performing throughout the Denver-metro area. Here are just a few:
Over the Castle
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School of Rock
Aurora, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Littleton
The struggles can be many for teen bands: They can’t book gigs in traditional bar venues because they’re too young. They have to juggle their music with school, athletics, family and jobs. They can’t guarantee they’ll stick together after graduation.But their passion — and perserverance — quickly makes the challenges fade away.“All these kids have dreams of becoming a musician, so it’s important for people to support them,” said Cadence Fisher, 15, a bassist with Skeleton Dolls, a Golden-based alternative rock band that consists of herself and her two sisters. “Just because we’re young, it doesn’t mean we’re going to be terrible.”Skeleton Dolls, which recently performed at the Buffalo Rose is one of many teen bands livening up the music scene across the metro-Denver area: On the north end of town you can find bands such as Broomfield-based Oblivate, and south in Castle Rock the band Over the Castle holds court.“Starting early gives aspiring musicians the experience to become more motivated and driven to continue with music,” said Abby Cracraft, 16, a bassist with Obliviate. “We will be contributing to the music scene for years to come.”Obliviate’s five members range in age from 15 to 17. Besides Cracraft, there’s Abby Reynolds, lead vocals; Andrew Saunders and Lexi Richards, both on guitar; and drummer Andrew Robinson.With so many members, the band makes it schedules compatible in two ways. First, band practice takes place consistently at the same place, for two hours at the same time every Friday. Second, so that each member can keep pace and work individually, they send videos and audio recordings to each other in a group message.Performances are planned out well in advance, Cracraft said, and because Globalsound Studio — the band’s manager and producer — takes care of all the booking, “all we have to focus on is the music.”Being in a band creates a special kind of unity, said Aria Fisher, 12, who drums with Skeleton Dolls along with sisters Cadence and Harmony, who plays the guitar. All three sing vocals.“It’s fun to play with people and connect in that way,” Aria said. “Music is something that brings everyone together.”But there’s no guarantee successful bands will stay together after high school.Harmony Fisher, for example, plans on attending college out-of-state to pursue biomedical engineering once she graduates.“We would definitely love to make something of this band in the music scene,” Harmony said. “But one of the things about being a teen band is that you have to be prepared for the possibility of it falling apart because of future plans.”Another challenge is booking shows, said Jason Kaplan, 16, drummer for Over the Castle.“Anything we can get our hands on, we’ll take,” he said. The band usually performs in public, family-friendly events such as community festivals. “A lot of people don’t take you seriously until they see you perform. But then afterwards, they come up to you and shake your hand. I think that’s great.”Over the Castle consists of Kaplan; lead singer Maya Stone, 17; and 17-year-old twin sisters Loren Hardy on bass and keyboard and Jenna Hardy on lead guitar.They are already dreaming of the future.“If it’s your dream to play music, don’t ever give up on it,” Kaplan said. “We always remind ourselves that music is art. And we’re proud of our art. For every one person that doesn’t like a certain song, someone else will love it.”
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