Perhaps it's the collaboration of four Catholic school boys and a tree-loving environmentalist that makes local up-and-coming band, North Park Avenue, different. Or maybe it's the fact that each song has an original flair that makes it so unique. Either way, North Park Avenue's distinct sound allows it to stand out from the typical high school band.
The lead singer and front man of the group is Dave Pfeiffer, a senior at St. Mary's High School in Lancaster. Drummer and backup vocalist Keith Kropski, backup vocalist and guitarist Cam Powell and guitarist Jeremy Wild also attend St. Mary's. Bassist Luke Hoffarth is a sophomore at Villa Maria College.
Surprisingly, North Park Avenue dates back as far as grammar school when Cam, Dave and Keith had a band. After a few breakups and changes in lineup, the original band reunited and recruited Luke in May 2005 to perform under the name From This Day Forth. Before adding Jeremy in September 2005, Keith accidentally came across the perfect name. "I was delivering papers and happened to notice the North Park Avenue street sign. It seemed to be the original name that we had been searching for," said Keith.
The band's original sound stems from a wide range of musical influences, including Anberlin, Hawthorne Heights, Spitalfield and the Goo Goo Dolls. Add in the bass inspiration of jazz soloist Jaco Pastorius and you're left with North Park Avenue's mixture of musical genres.
Cam says: "Since each song reflects a different influence, our music never gets old."
Currently, North Park Avenue has 15 original songs. "We collaborate off of each other' ideas and blend our personalities when repeating each song," said Dave. Cam wrote "Let Go" as "an outlet for what I was going through at the time." The other songs, including "Missing the 8th", Jeremy explained to be about "girls breaking our hearts."
Despite a few setbacks, North Park Avenue plans on releasing a full-length CD, at the start of the summer. "We play for anyone who is open-minded to our musical philosophy," said Luke. North Park Avenue has played a variety of venues. The band took first place in a Battle of the Bands at Classic Roxx back when it was still in business. More recently, the band tied for second place in a battle of the bands at the Buffalo Icon.
Even though most of the band members will graduate from high school this year, they hope to stay local and keep the band together. "It's not like we're out to get huge, we're just having fun," said Keith. Jeremy followed up with "on the off chance that it did happen though, it would be great."
To find out more about North Park Avenue, log onto www.myspace.com/NorthParkAvenue.
The band is hoping to be picked to play at this year's Warped Tour and invites fans to vote online at www.battleofthebands/NorthParkAvenue.
Jessica Yox is a junior at Sacred Heart Academy.