Local Teen Band Heading to Hollywood

A local teen band made up of four Austintown Fitch students is performing in Hollywood at the end of the month after being nominated for several awards for the Indie Music Channel, an online radio station.

The song “They Take It All” is just one of the songs Northern Whale will be playing in just a few weeks at the House of Blues in Hollywood, Calif.

“When we found out that we could play there, it was kind of surreal,” said guitarist Brandon Fisher.

Other members are Jake Stephens, bass; Jake Capezzuto, guitar and vocals; and Seth Donchess, drums.

When they go to California, the teens will find out if they’ve won any of the awards the Indie Music Channel nominated them for, including Best Teen Band and Best Teen Album. The young artists said it was their love of music that brought them together.

“One day we were just sitting in a circle, passing guitars around,” Stephens said.

Now they play gigs not just locally, but across the region, using social media to sell themselves. They write all their own songs in the alternative genre, inspired by the likes of The Cure, Walk the Moon and The Vaccines.

“A lot of people think they’re meaningful and kind of deep meaning, but we don’t really read into any of our songs,” Stephens said.

The songs alone may not hold deep meaning, but how the musicians share them does. Northern Whale is also now part of an effort to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Two of their songs are featured on a CD with other bands from around the country, with all proceeds going to cancer research.

“I think it’s a big step for us. I think it’s really cool and it’ll definitely help the kids,” Donchess said.

The teens are also selling “Believe in Something” bracelets to benefit St. Jude’s.

With all of their accomplishments, people would think the band is trying to get a record deal. But in reality, they said they just want to enjoy the ride.

“We all want to take it as far as we can, doing as much as we can, but I think if it doesn’t go that far, we’re not going to beat ourselves up because we’re enjoying it. We’re having fun, and we wouldn’t trade that for anything,” Fisher said.

The band’s second album will be out sometime this spring.

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