Thousands of new bands form every year, each for their own reasons. Some bands begin hoping to grab the proverbial brass ring of fame, fortune, and an endless supply of women; some do it dreaming of a career so successful that the banality of a 9-5 job will never be their fate.
Fortunately, there are still bands that form for the simple reasons that they love music, love playing music, and are happiest when they are sharing that experience with their friends, family and fans.
Seattle’s newest sensational band, Stuck on a Bus, definitely falls into the latter category. What differentiates Stuck on a Bus from their peers playing the Seattle club circuit is their youth: The five members range in age from 13 to 16 years old.
Stuck on a Bus are comprised of charismatic vocal wunderkind Chase Hagar (age 13); lead guitar wizard Kyle Morrison (age 15); Jake Lindoff, rhythm guitar master (age 16); bass goddess Lydia Vadopalas, (age 16); and powerhouse drummer Kyle McCollum (age 13).
The band has been drawing a larger and more rabid following with every show they play since their first show at Seattle’s legendary Crocodile Club in February 2010. That initial show, a sold-out gig, is remembered by the band as “great fun.” They concur that they were a collective bundle of nerves before they hit the stage that night (something they claim to still experience), but any sign of nervousness disappears the moment they begin to play. Their shared love of music and of playing obviously takes them to a different level once they begin to perform, and watching the band, one nearly immediately forgets just how youthful they are. Stuck on a Bus aren’t just a bunch of talented kids; they’re a great band, period.
The five members of Stuck on a Bus first met at Seattle’s School of Rock, and Chase Hagar quickly realized that she wanted to form a group independent of their School of Rock experience. The band members were chosen not only because of their talent – the five members have been playing music for an average of five years each – but on their personalities and ability to get along both onstage and off. All five members credit their friendship as the key to their success, and stress that anybody thinking of forming a band should choose their bandmates based upon friendship above anything else. According to Hagar , this shared friendship makes the process of choosing which songs to play easier, as each band members’ suggestions of potential additions to their setlist are chosen by consensus.
Stuck on a Bus’ influences are wide and include Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Radiohead, David Bowie, Queen, AC/DC, Metallica, Alice in Chains, Jane’s Addiction, Slayer, Whitechapel, and the Beatles. Their eclectic tastes are evidenced in their shows; while Stuck on a Bus currently performs only cover songs, both Hagar and Kyle Morrison are currently writing original songs for future performance.
With so many schools underfunding or even eliminating their music programs, Stuck on a Bus all agree that music education is a vital part of education and should be available to all students. One of the things they hope to accomplish – and are doing so with their energetic live shows that rival the technical prowess of bands twice their ages – is to continue to spread the message that music is a far too positive and important part of life to be eliminated from education. They also hope to help give other musicians of their age the realization that a great band can exist regardless of the age of the players involved.
If Stuck on a Bus are any indication, music lovers of all ages can take heart in the fact that great bands of any age will continue to form and thrive. The future of rock is alive and well, and in Seattle, the name of that future is Stuck on a Bus.