Hard to believe we are at the end of the week, and what a week it was. I love being around the creative process, and consider myself very lucky to be a part of P.J. Olsson’s Rock Camp. I’ve known most of these kids for years, and they never make me feel like an intrusive adult – it is pure pleasure to be able to walk into one of the rehearsal rooms and observe like a fly on the wall. But I can tell you, these campers can throw a pretty good party too. Instructor Danny Thompson had a birthday during the weekend, and the campers planned a surprise party on Friday. Cake, balloons, streamers – and an awesome drum head that they all signed. Danny had no idea it was coming.
Today, rather than merely getting up on stage in front of the instructors, all four bands had to play to each other – and I tell you, it is a mutual admiration society, just a very nurturing environment all around.
Let’s meet a few more campers:
Ty – a student at Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw Schools
Charlotte – a student at Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw Schools
Katie – formerly at Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw Schools, and will be attending Gogebic Community College
Daryn – formerly at Houghton-Portage Schools, serving in the National Guard, and will be attending Gogebic Community College
Question: What inspired you to decide you wanted to pursue music?
Ty: playing The Beatles Rock Band game
Charlotte: seeing my first Rock Camp show – seeing all the kids on stage – made me think I could be part of that
Katie: when I was younger my mom had a Beatles’ CD, and I would always take it and listen on my discman
Daryn: a friend showed me some Grateful Dead live videos, and I liked seeing that connection with an audience
Question: Are there any artist or musical genres you are currently listening to that inspire the direction of your own music?
Ty: from my early exposure to The Beatles, I branched out into other Classic Rock bands – Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and many others
Charlotte: I listen to everything, but the person that most impacted my playing was Kelsey Cook, who came to Rock Camp a few years ago as an instructor. [kelseycookdrums.com]
Katie: indie rock, right now Snail Mail
Daryn: The Dead & Company [surviving members of the Grateful Dead] – I like that vibe
Questions: What instruments do you play?
Ty: guitar, saxophone, bass, and keyboards
Charlotte: drums, percussion, and vocals
Katie: saxophone, bass, vocals
Daryn: guitar, bass, ukulele, and vocals
Question: Why should people come out to the Big Show?
Ty: all these kids put so much effort into putting together a “product” that will entertain people
Katie: it supports local music, and I think it is one of the best events of the year
Daryn: because we work so hard in learning these songs and the show is our way to show how hard we worked and the dedication we have
Charlotte chose to share a favorite camp memory: we had been jamming and this whole vibe happened – everyone was in unison – it felt so incredible.
And finally, this just in from our London correspondent, Adele…she says “Hello.”