The typical local band projects an image of about four or five teenage friends jamming in a garage for fun. Add in to that picture three more members, a couple of shiny horns and a blast of energy, and the result is the not-so-typical ska band, Abominable Killer Snowmen, or AKS for short.
Formed originally as a trio in 2005 for a high school talent show, it has since progressed into the three-time first place battle of the bands winning sensation that it is today.
AKS is Alec Dube as lead singer/tenor saxophonist, Ricky Coates on trumpet, Jason Roman on bass, Seamus McDonell on bari sax, Eric Equils doubling on guitar and vocals, Zak Piontkowski on drums, Kyle Zastrow on trombone, and Eric Richardson on guitar.
With a six-track EP released last year and more songs now being recorded in the studio, the band is looking forward to releasing a full-length CD later in the year. NeXt talked to two band members about their music.
>NeXt: You have an interesting band name. Where did it come from?
Alec: Jake and I came up with the idea of the band. After a few jam sessions we decided to get a solid name for the group. Being the clever fellows we are, we decided to turn the name of our genre (ska) around, and call the band that. After learning that there are a lot of different things out there right now named "AKS," we decided to add more to the name. Abominable Killer Snowmen just kind of stuck.
>NeXt: How would you describe your style of music?
Ricky: We're a musical blend of ska, punk, fusion, rock and much more.
>NeXt: What bands have influenced you the most?
Ricky: Well, it's different for all of us I guess. For me, it's pretty much ska, punk, and all sorts of rock, plus a little gypsy here and there. But for Jason and Seamus, it's mostly metal and rock. Equils and Alec are all over the place with influences whether it be jazz, rock, punk -- whatever works. Zak is mostly into punk, but now branching out into all kinds of metal. Kyle, well nobody knows what's up with him, he's mainly there. Ha. No, he listens to everything.
NeXt: Describe the songwriting process for AKS.
Ricky: Really it depends on who writes it, usually either Alec or Eric. They come up with a whole combo of lyrics and chord progressions, then bring them to practice. Usually we just say if we have a song, talk about what it's like, then roll through it. After the rhythm section gets it down, we work on horn parts and other sweet stuff we can add to the song, like dance moves or gang vocals. After that we practice the song about a million and six times before we play it live.
>NeXt: Where does the inspiration for your lyrics come from?
Alec: When I write a song, I try to think about everything going on around me, and how it affects me. Music to me is an alternate form of communication to people, so I basically translate my thoughts for everyone.
>NeXt: Why should people listen to AKS? What is different about seeing AKS live than other bands?
Ricky: Well people should really listen to us mainly because besides being a completely different music genre to most, we also are really just fun to listen to. I mean the songs are catchy, the lyrics are amazing, horn lines are well placed, so it just sounds like this amazing explosion of music that you don't want to get away from. As for what's different about seeing, it's never the same show twice. We constantly try to update our live show so it's always an insane, yet impressive, model of musicianship. You feel like you're actually with the band I suppose seeing as how there are so many people in our band that we often barely fit on stage.
NeXt: What has been the biggest moment for the band so far?
Ricky: I'm pretty sure it was opening up for Catch 22 at Club Infinity last August. Abominable Killer Snowmen will play at 6 p.m. Saturday at Xtreme Wheels Skatepark. Or check them out online at www.myspace.com/aksska.
Laura Rumschik is a junior at Mount St. Mary Academy.