You’ve all heard of the film School of Rock, correct? Did you know that there actually is a School of Rock, and several of them? The School of Rock Allstars at Bumbershoot today are a bunch of kids (aged 7-17) from Portland, Seattle and other places. As Allstars, some have gotten to travel to Denver, Boise, Salt Lake City, etc. These kids were all brought together to meet each other and learn the same songs for a performance.
Interviewed today was John Luc (age 13, four years in SoR), Anna (age 17, three years in SoR), Galen (age 17, four and a half years in SoR, and John Luc’s older brother) and Ayo (age 16, three years in SoR), plus Seattle G.M. Kris K., and Western Regional Director Carl Hinds.
Randomville: So how was life on the road?
Anna: I learned how to sleep in the fetal position. That’s my new skill for the summer. How to sleep curled up in the back of a bus.
Rv: Were you able to eat healthy at all?
Galen: We tried to eat vegetables as much as possible because we knew we’d have to eat pizza at some point.
Rv: How did you all get involved with School of Rock?
Galen: They were setting up a summer program and my parents were looking for something for me to do. I was kind of playing bass and when I finally got on stage I decided “Okay, this is what I want to do with pretty much all of my time.”
Rv: Do you want to do this for the rest of your life?
Ayo: I was taking guitar lessons and wasn’t really inspired by music and then my dad had heard of School of Rock and one day he picked up a newspaper and saw their ad, so he signed me up and that was that.
Rv: You guys are the future, so what do you want to change in the music industry?
Anna: Ooh. I’m kind of looking forward to the abolishment of the record industry [we all laugh].
Rv: Well, fortunately, I don’t think you have to wait long.
Anna: I’m glad we have the Internet because now more money can go to the bands and I don’t have to pay a middle man. Well, I won’t have to when I get out there with my bands.
Rv: Do any of you own a record player?
Anna: I do. I have a very meager record collection.
Rv: I’m assuming the school teaches you to read music?
Anna: Well, it depends.
Carl: The theory is something we teach to the kids who are gearing more towards furthering their career in music education. Really, we mostly teach music through getting the kids on stage, so we prepare them for songs.
Rv: How much time to you spend learning the songs?
Carl: For the All-stars, they fly in and it’s two, 10 hour days. Normally it’s 14-16 weeks at three hours a week.
Rv: Have you met any celebrities through all of this?
Group: David Bazan, Steve Turner, Ben Gibbard, Nick Harmer (also of Death Cab) who jammed with us. Frank Black. Members of Pedro the Lion.
John Luc: It was really awesome playing on stage with Nick Harmer. He was really good.
Kris K: He was actually, I think, shocked at how good the kids were. I think he was nervous than the kids were [Laughing]