Their name comes from the fact they make a lot of noise, but according to one teen magazine and fans across the Bulkley Valley, The Racket are much more than noise.
With less than two years under their belts as a collective, frontman, guitarist and lead vocalist Eli Larson,17, together with bassist Stephen DeWit, 18, and drummer Simon Stockner, 17, have come together as a unit.
With their latest EP, Out of the Cold, released on iTunes, the trio are now focused on taking home the top prize in the youthink magazine’s Best Teen Band Contest 2013.
The grand prize includes $2,000 towards music development, $500 gift certificate to Long and McQuade, recording of one single by Jay Evjen and a one-day songwriting session with acclaimed songwriter Shaun Verreault of Wide Mouth Mason and the list goes on.
Although the trio originally met when they were about 12 years-old, it wasn’t until five years later they would meet as musicians at the 2011 Midsummer Music Festival.
There, Larson and Stockner, performed as a duo.
“These guys are good,” DeWit recalls thinking when he heard the pair on stage.
“But I thought man they could sure use a bass player.
DeWit then ran into Stockner a week later at a music camp and asked if he could join the band.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Larson admits it took a while to get used to having someone playing the songs with him.
“When it was just Simon and me, I didn’t have to worry about what key I was playing in, I just played,” Larson said.
“But once he learned the songs, it sounded so good.”
Watching the three interact, it is clear music has forged a strong friendship, which in turn has nurtured their music.
“We’re like brothers,” DeWit added.
The band spent the winter and spring practicing before hitting the festival stages, including gigs at the 2012 Midsummer Music and Kispiox Music Festivals, as well as the Telkwa BBQ where they opened for Trooper.
“We were the first band to play on the new stage in Telkwa,” DeWit said.
The songs on their recently released EP, Out of the Cold, reflect varied tastes in music centred around straight-ahead rock music.
There are hints of Celtic music, blues, folk, but with their own original spin.
The EP was produced by Jake Jenne and James Lamb.
Their musical tastes are varied, as indicated by the artists they would most enjoy playing with, including the likes of The Black Keys, Led Zeppelin, Joe Cocker and Jeff Buckley.
The Racket have come a long way in just a short time, but they still have big plans, including coming up with another set of songs and hitting the stage as much as they can.
Although they would welcome tremendous success, their focus will always be the music, Larson said.
“We’re going to try our best to take it as far as we can,” DeWit said.
“But if that means we’re just making good music because we like making good music, then that’s OK too.
“We’re going to do music our way.”
Part of doing it their way is writing songs together, which requires a bit of trust, Larson said.
“Now we’re a lot more of a collective,” Larson said.
“You have to trust them and the trust is there.”
Ideas, riffs are shared and the others add their musical two-cents worth.
To vote for The Racket as Best Teen Band, visit www.youthink.ca.