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Young rock group Those Guys is getting a following — and gigs
KINGSTON — When Those Guys get on stage and play, the music may sound similar to the classic rock you hear on the radio. The three-member band, which formed three years ago, has since played numerous shows as a local cover band, gaining popularity in fall 2010.
In September, Cole Brooks (drums/percussion), Odin Coleman (lead guitar/harmonica) and Jack Kemper (vocals/guitar) will play at Poulsbo's Americana Music Festival, four days after they begin their first day of high school.
"We wanted to bring it all back from the ’60s and ’70s," Odin, 14, said. "We all kind of got fed up with most of the contemporary music."
The band formed in sixth grade, following a short-lived band consisting of Jack and Odin. Though the three have played music together for about three years, they just recently began getting the majority of their gigs. Gigs this year include Kingston's Fourth of July and Tiny Town, the Filling Station, Kingston Yacht Club, Hare and Hounds Public House, and birthdays and smaller events.
Those Guys describe their music as rock 'n' roll with blues influence. Among Those Guys' favorite bands are Led Zeppelin, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and local bands Jaded Mary and Blues Counselors. All three members agreed their parents’ choice of music played a part in what they listen to now. And Jack's father, Toby Kemper, helped set them in the right direction with his Kingston Middle School American Music Experience class.
"Mr. Kemper's class definitely influenced all of us," Cole said, adding Kemper also helped Those Guys write its first song.
The members of Those Guys took Kemper's class from sixth to eighth grade. Kemper, who began teaching the class four years ago, said one or two bands form from his class each year. Those Guys took it to a new level.
"They've really taken it seriously," Kemper said. "They're all pretty well schooled in music."
Kemper hosts a few concerts ever year. During the 2010-11 school year there were three at KMS, with about 70 students performing.
When Those Guys were paid to perform the opening gig during the Kingston Fourth of July celebration, Kemper said he knew the band was something out of the ordinary.
"I know a lot of adult musicians who have been floored," he said. "They say 'I can't even imagine what they will be like in a few years.' "
The band has not been without challenges. In seventh grade, Those Guys split up after an argument over leadership. More recently, a fourth member of the band quit, but did not want to go into detail about the decision.
On stage, Those Guys enjoy those crowd reactions. Currently, the band has two "really refined" original songs and a few instrumentals, the rest are covers. In the future, breaking away from covers and expanding to Seattle venues is on the band's to-do list.
"(Those Guys) are just trying to bring back music we like," Jack said. "It's something like when you write a book, you write something that you would have liked to read. So we play this, so we have something to listen to."