Monday, November 7, 2011

Rock School band makes it to Battle of the Bands

Rock School student Lars Tatum has gone from virtual rock star to concert guitarist and vocalist.
Tatum and his Rock School band Interlude recently got the chance to compete at the Hillsborough County Battle of the Bands at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds in Dover.
It all started nearly three years ago with Guitar Hero. When Tatum got a taste of playing in a band through the video game, he was hooked.
“Once I mastered Guitar Hero, I thought I’d step it up a notch and start playing a real guitar,” said Tatum, 12, of W. Tampa.
He began with private guitar lessons and joined the Patel Conservatory’s Rock School when a friend recommended the program.
“When I came to Rock School, I had never played with more than one other person,” said Tatum. “I liked the energy it created, making it all come together.”
When Tatum wanted his group to perform a Led Zepplin song, instructor Lee Ahlin urged Tatum to be the one to sing it.
“I never had an interest in singing, but Lee got my vocals working,” said Tatum, now the lead singer of his band. “I’m liking it more and more.”
Interlude came together through this summer's Rock School session and the group seemed to gel. “We all work together pretty well,” said Tatum.
When the group performed at our Rock School Blowout in August, an audience member approached them and urged them to try out for Battle of the Bands. Despite the fact that the competition is geared towards high school students, to their surprise, Interlude was accepted.
“Being able to get into that competition was a huge deal,” said Tatum’s mom, Desiree. 
For the competition, the group had to do a 45-minute set, which gave them just a couple of months to come up with a full repertoire.
“Lee helped us. We learned nine songs,” said Tatum. “We were able to bang them out in a relatively short amount of time. I was amazed.”
Now all this group wants to do is get out and play. “When it was all over, I was ready for more.”
They played at a Halloween party last weekend, and can’t wait for the upcoming Rock School Blowout.

“I like playing in front of a bunch of people,” said Tatum, who also said he never gets nervous when performing. “When it comes to being on stage, you’re not four different people, you’re one band.”
Check out this up-and-coming group of talented young musicians at Rock School Blowout this Sat., Nov. 12, 2011 at 1 p.m.
Join us for this fun and free event outside the Straz Center on the Riverwalk. Spend an afternoon enjoying great weather overlooking the river while you jam to some old and new rock favorites.

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