Stuttgart bands battle it out for performance supremacy
May 15, 2006
STUTTGART, Germany — Like many rock bands, Kingsley comes from a humble background.
“We played in the street like hobos,” said drummer Chris Daniel, a junior. “We made like 60 euros in change in two hours.”
They’ve come a long way. OK, maybe just six or seven miles, from panhandling in downtown Stuttgart to winning first place Friday night at Patch American High School’s Battle of the Bands.
And like the other five bands in the event, the members of Kingsley were influenced by their rock forefathers, not to mention their fathers. The bands plowed through selections by Nirvana and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and there wasn’t a trace of hip-hop.
Seems today’s kids, at least the ones with guitars in their hands, don’t care much for today’s music.
Daniel said he grew up listening to the Allman Brothers Band, because that’s what his father played on the stereo.
“I didn’t think it was cool,” Daniel said. “But it must have sunk in like osmosis, and as you get older, it just kind of comes out of you.”
But he added that if his dad had instead played Abba, he probably wouldn’t have grown up to like Abba.
Kingsley, a three-piece that also includes Chris’ brother, bassist Harrison Daniel, and guitarist Sascha Gray, impressed someone at the battle.
“We got a gig next weekend,” Harrison Daniel said after their set. “We just got it five minutes ago.”
Turns out they’ll be warming up for something called the Grilled Strings Band. But they vowed to return to their panhandling roots in the near future.
Jo Jo Sticks, a four-piece band that played all original music, seemed to be the favorite going into the event. They were going to play last, and they had their own T-shirts ($8 each).
They even had a manager with a van.
“At first I was just helping out,” said 12th-grader Steve Townsend. “I guess the fact that I can drive with all the gear doesn’t hurt.”
Jo Jo Sticks had to settle for second place. The band’s guitarist, Ian Scott, said his rock hero is Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. Speaking of geezers, 56-year-old Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath is the favorite bassist of Sticks’ bassist, eighth-grader Maxx Perry.
“He plays with his fingers and plays really fast,” said Perry, no relation to Aerosmith’s Joe.
Thai Confluence finished third. Amadeus, Menusha and The Unforsaken also were on the bill.
Seventeen-year-old twins Alex and Derek Taylor of Thai Confluence were influenced, sort of, by their father, Air Force Col. Whit Taylor.
“We got them piano lessons, violin lessons, clarinet lessons,” Whit Taylor said. “It didn’t seem to light their fire, until they got into the rock and roll instruments.”