STORY AND ILLUSTRATION BY MELANIE POOL | COURTESY PHOTOS
The fantasy of having a band brings to mind lights, sold-out shows, fame and money. So many high school students imagine starting a band and getting famous. But what does it take to actually start a band in high school?
“It doesn’t just happen and a lot of people don’t realize that. It’s not like you just think of what to write. It’s very strenuous and everybody has to give their part or it’s not going to work out, “junior Jacob Parsons said. Parsons is the bassist for the band Lead the Riot, which he started with senior Alex Sprague and junior Conner Stotts.
But if the reality of starting a band is so much work, what’s the point?
“It’s just kind of natural, I mean being able to do the things I love like singing. Especially when I get to do it with some of the best people I’ve ever met,” Stotts said, proving that the while the reality of having a band is tough, if you’re in it for the right reasons it is an enjoyable, amazing experience.
While Lead the Riot and Outbreak 99 are stylistically different, the inspiration and passion music behind both bands are equal. “Me and Ashley both really liked writing music and we were into the same music and we were just like, ‘let’s inspire people with our music,’” Plata said. While Outbreak 99 was inspired by the music they listened to, the members of Lead the Riot were all mostly inspired by their parents’ involvement in music. Sprague and Parsons both directly credited their fathers being in bands as the source of their inspiration.
While oftentimes band names are chosen for their specific meaning both groups just thought of something they thought would sound cool. The only exception to that is the number in Outbreak 99’s name – it’s part of the band’s name because Kat Plata and Ashley Luckey, the two that the group initially began with, were both born in 1999. As for Lead the Riot, while they didn’t choose the name for any reason the members do not regret their choice of name. “As we continue on it starts to mean more and more to us because we wanna make our only little group of Rioters,” Stotts said.