It all started with a joke from senior Matthew Trecek’s dad, Bruce.
“You two should start a band!”
When he opened the door to senior Jacob Roberts carrying his guitar inside the Trecek’s house, Bruce didn’t realize his comment would lead to a ’90s alt-rock cover band. He didn’t know then that an iconic avocado sticker would soon plaster computers and phones across the school. He didn’t know that he would bring together five friends with a love of music. Now their impromptu rehearsals are what they look forward to most each week.
Jacob and Matthew already played acoustic guitar together whenever they were at parties or with friends, and they both agreed that jamming together was more fun than alone. The more Jacob thought about Bruce’s comment, the more he liked it.
“Why not form a band?” Jacob thought.
The next day in Forensics class, Jacob couldn’t wait to solidify the idea with Matthew, who was immediately on board. The next step in the process was the most important – deciding on a name. Spit-firing back and forth different names and using random word generators, they found BEHOLD: Avocado to be the most fun and unique and stuck with it.
“I wanted to get back into guitar, but I didn’t really have a reason to,” Matthew said. “I wasn’t really working towards something, but being a part of this band, I can have certain goals. I can memorize a song by when we’re next meeting, because when you’re a band, you want to sound as best as you can, so it gives you an incentive to keep practicing.”
But they couldn’t do it alone: they didn’t have anyone to keep the beat. Knowing that junior Sam Sokoloff played percussion for East band, Jacob explained that BEHOLD: Avocado needed a drummer, and wanted another friend to fill the role.
“I already had a basic understanding of simple drum fills, but I just used Youtube tutorials and I kind of self-taught myself,” Sam said.
Sitting in sixth hour forensics last spring, Jacob told senior Kate Danciger about BEHOLD: Avocado with Matthew and Sam.
“Oh dude, that’s awesome! Can I be in this band?” Kate asked.
“Well, Matthew and I already play the guitar, and Sam’s on the drums,” Jacob said.
“I have a bass…”
“Do you know how to play?”
“No, but I can teach myself. I will teach myself. I want to be in a band, and if it takes teaching myself how to play the bass, then I’m gonna do it.”
Youtube tutorials, Ultimate Guitar apps and Minsky’s cheese pizzas fueled the band’s rehearsals. Since each member was learning new music, practice was key for succeeding. With a drum kit and ’90s alt-rock-loving parents, Kate’s basement was the perfect setup for practice. Also, Mrs. Danciger bought them Minsky’s.
To help appeal to students, Matthew designed their avocado stickers and ordered 1000, which soon flooded the school. The band members offered the stickers for free to anyone who wanted them to promote the band’s first concert.
“We were sitting in my basement on a Monday night, and Jacob said ‘Let’s do a show,’” Kate said. “We wanted to have our first concert with a group of people we know who will support us and give us honest feedback. He looks at our calendar, and it was September first. We were like, ‘that’s two weeks away,’ but we were cool with it, so we were like ‘okay, we’re down.’”
The band amped up their practices to four times a week from once a week in preparation for the upcoming show. Expecting only 10 kids and their parents’ friends to show up, they were happily surprised when 40 people flooded Kate’s backyard to hear their ’90s alt-rock covers.
“Our first concert changed a lot of stuff,” Sam said. “It was cool to see that people actually cared.”
Senior Caroline Blubaugh, a close friend to the band members, came to the concert, and after the show, played acoustic with them. It was that point when the band members started getting interested in Caroline as a guitarist and singer, and a few weeks later the band approved her as the newest member of BEHOLD: Avocado. The band doesn’t specify who does what – they’re just content to be rehearsing and hanging out with each other.
“We don’t really have arrangements on that, and I don’t really care,” Caroline said. “I’m just happy to be in the band. It’s just a fun thing.”
Since they’ve only played five songs at their show, their current goal is to come up with a set list of at least 10 songs by their next show. Each member gets to choose music for the group to cover – focusing on ’90s alternative rock such as “Undone” by Weezer and “Blister in the Sun” by Violent Femmes. But even though they’ve only performed covers, the band is working on originals as well.
“For me, [BEHOLD: Avocado is] a great creative outlet and a good way to relax and connect, hanging out with friends and playing music” Sam said. “It’s something I can look back on and tell my kids, like, ‘Oh yeah, I was in a band in high school.’”
For now, they’ve got their routine: Matthew takes care of the artwork, Sam provides the comedic relief, Kate’s got the basement, Jacob has the pretty voice, and Caroline’s tagging along for the ride. Mrs. Danciger provides the Minsky’s.