Many bands that we know today started off as a small town “garage” band with a dream to become a hit in the music industry. Four musicians from PHS decided they wanted to do the same. Eighth graders Adin Monroe, Keenan Hays, Gavin King and Marty Higgins combined their skills and talent to form their own band, Stoked.
They unexpectedly formed the band about a year ago in health class. The name Stoked was simply created because it “sounded cool” to them. The band was originally only Monroe, Hays and King, but then Higgins joined in later, who has now been a member of the band for three months. They mostly play alternative rock and like to compare themselves to other bands like Weezer, Cage The Elephant and Green Day.
“Most bands we look up to, like Cage The Elephant, started off small like us. Through lots of practice and hard work, we hope to gain popularity and success as they did,” said Monroe.
The group doesn’t have an official rehearsal schedule, but they practice when they can, which is usually the weekends. Monroe plays the drum set, King is the lead singer and plays rhythm guitar, Hays plays lead guitar and Higgins recently learned how to play bass guitar. They have performed one gig so far and are planning on more.
The band has three original songs that are still in the making, but they mostly play cover songs. One of the their original songs is called “ Under The Stars,” and each member of the band wrote their own part, but Monroe wrote the lyrics of the song. Some cover songs they play include “Song Two” by Blur, “You’re Gonna Go Far Kid” by the Offspring and “Warning” by Green Day. The members of the band hope to be remembered for their creativity, ability to have fun during a performance, and their original songs.
“I have always wanted to be known for something and leave a mark on the world so people would recognize I did something, and I think music is the way to do that,” said Hays.
The group has many things they plan to improve on during their practices. One thing they all agree that needs to be improved is communicating better and practicing regularly, which will help them sound better and function smoothly. Another thing they want to improve is practicing on their own and being able to play well by themselves, which will hopefully lead to playing well together.
“Practice is key. First, we need to get better at playing cover songs, and then we can create good originals,” said Monroe.
Although the band needs to make a few improvements, they also do a lot of things well. They are able to cooperate with each other, which is very important when it comes to being in a band. They also have no trouble giving each other feedback so they can be their absolute best. The members get along well and can adapt to each other when playing.
“One thing we do well is having fun when we play. We can jump around and still sound good. I also find that we can start learning and playing a new song fairly fast,” said King.
The group is hoping to play at the Dogwood Festival and Paoli Fest this year. They’re all very confident in the band and plan for a long, successful road ahead of them.
“I think the future of the band looks promising. We need to stick together as friends and as a band. If we keep having fun and enjoying playing music together, good things will come to the band,” said Higgins.
You can follow them on Instagram @stoked_the_band for previews of their work.
Story by Angie Ceja