Listen up Rye. There are seriously talented and accomplished young musicians in our midst. In just two years, ISpaceWalkSometimes has produced an album of eight original songs, performed in countless venues in the tri-state area, and reaped awards from battle of the bands contests.
By Georgetta L. Morque
Listen up Rye. There are seriously talented and accomplished young musicians in our midst.
In just two years, ISpaceWalkSometimes has produced an album of eight original songs, performed in countless venues in the tri-state area, and reaped awards from battle of the bands contests. The group sells its songs on iTunes and has acquired a large fan base. The average age of the band members is 15.
The Rye contingency consists of John Benoit, guitarist and music writer, and Chris Drago, drummer and vocal melody writer, both 16-year-old sophomores at Rye High School. Although the two have been friends since first grade, they didn’t start playing music together until a few years ago, at School of Rock in Bedford, where they honed their skills. There they got together with singer Sparrow Boe of Bedford, a student at the Masters School, and Sam Starobin, bass player, from Fox Lane High. Guitarist Conor McGillicuddy, John’s cousin, who attends Harrison High, is the fifth band member.
Influenced by groups like Paramore, ISpaceWalk characterizes their music as Alternative, although they sometimes branch into other genres. The band has performed at Webster Hall in New York City, the Loft at the Chance Theater in Poughkeepsie, and The Room in Brookfield, Conn., where they won a preliminary band competition in January and played in the finals last weekend. In December, they won “Best Band” at a competition at Fox Lane High School. Their winning earnings went towards recording their album at OK Records in Nyack, facilitated in part by a mentor, a former director of School of Rock.
The group finds time to practice once or twice a week, in spite of their hectic schedules. Chris also plays lacrosse and John plays the drums in the high school percussion group. The other band members have various commitments as well. Chris gives credit to his mother, Teri Delany, for putting in a lot of work as their manager.
Band members are dedicated and share a passion for what they do. “John and I will write a song every day,” said Chris. The genesis of the song begins with a few chords that John records on his computer and sends to his friend. They have around 30 songs that haven’t been recorded yet.
“Music was an outlet for me and something I was always really into,” said Chris. Influenced and inspired by his late uncle and a number of rock artists, he has played piano, guitar, and violin, but has been enjoying playing drums since he was 12. “I always thought banging on the drums was the most fun.”
John initially played bass and learned the guitar mostly on his own. At School of Rock, he’s been part of the All-Star summer program, touring the East Coast with fellow music students and performing for charities. In terms of technique and writing music, he says he admires a number of artists but “owes his existence” to Jimi Hendrix and the band, Coheed and Cambria. Songwriting seems to come naturally to him. “It’s all about practice. You have to write bad ones before you can write a good one.”
And the good ones keep on coming. Next up on their busy performance schedule was WARY Fest 2012 at Westchester Community College April 28.
To find out more about the group and upcoming gigs, visit them on Facebook or check them out on ReverbNation.