It’s been a rough few weeks for the music world. With the loss of Chris Cornell and the heartbreaking attack on a concert in Manchester many people are wondering what the future holds for music.
Minor Strut are a band from Norco, California. They’re like any other band; they love music, they love playing, and their passion is infectious. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I was able to sit on the sofa in the UK and watch them play a show, live, in the US. And they’re good. Really good.
On 13th May 2017, Minor Strut shared the stage with Tommy Odetto, Ro Ashika, and Patricia Avis. Oh, and they also shared the stage with Chevy Metal and Dave Grohl. Not bad for a group of guys aged between 11 and 16, right?!
Minor Strut are incredibly passionate and amazingly talented. And they stopped by to talk about their music, their inspirations, and that show. Make sure to check out the end of this post for the super special video that Minor Strut sent to the UK Foo Family!
Hi guys! Thank you for doing this. I really appreciate it! Firstly, please tell us a little about yourself (favourite bands, favourite songs etc).
Josh, 13 years old (keys)- Journey and Foo Fighters. I really like the song Faithfully by Journey and Drops of Jupiter from Train.
Aiden, 13 years old (drums) -Muse, Rise Against, Social Distortion, Green Day and Foo Fighters. My favorite songs are Drones from Rise Against, and Drones from Muse. All my Life and Everlong by the Foo Fighters.
Ethan “E”, 12 years old (lead guitar)- Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers. My favorite song is Dark Necessities by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Marquis, 16 years old, (bass) – Guns N Roses, Foo Fighters and The Beatles.
David, 11 years old, (lead vocals/ guitar)- Foo Fighters, Panic! At the Disco, Guns N Roses, Elvis, Frank Turner, The Beatles, Journey and so many more.
I have a lot of favorite songs from Foo Fighters I love Monkey Wrench and Everlong. From Guns N Roses I love Sweet Child O’ Mine.
How did you all meet? How long have the band been together?
We are all students of Rockstars of Tomorrow, a music Academy in Norco, California. David and E knew each other and played some gigs together before they became a band. They were jokingly known as ED. In 2014, our music school wanted to form a band and our instructors handpicked all the members and scheduled a band rehearsal. On February 9, 2014, we all met for our first band rehearsal and within 30 minutes we were ready to perform It’s A Long Way to The Top by ACDC. We named our band Minor Revolution because we were ready to make history. Shortly after we were asked by a punk band with a similar name to change our name due to copyright. And so we had our first band meeting at a local pizza shop and named our band Minor Strut. History was made and we’ve been together for over 3 years.
We all have people we look to as an inspiration. Who are your inspirations and why?
Josh- One of my biggest inspirations is Jonathan Cain. He is just so amazing at writing songs and playing any instrument.
Aiden- Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters, Johnny Tempesta from the Cult, David Hidalgo Jr. from Social Distortion and my instructor Jericho Law.
The musicians inspire me because of their talent and the techniques they use.
My instructor inspires me because he has taught me how to play and have fun. He has also taught me how to play the piano.
My parents inspire me to strive to do my best.
E- Slash inspires me because he uses such simple scales, yet his solos are so melodic and complex. Eddie Van Halen inspires me because he is amazing and his complex guitar playing has made me a better artist. Dave Grohl inspires me because he is an amazing song writer. Chris Shiflett inspires me because he is one of those guitar players that is really good but is laid back and not flashy.
Marquis- My Mom inspires me because she always puts my brother and I first and she works really hard. She teaches me to be positive, humble and to be appreciative of what I have.
David- Dave Grohl “Always have the highest bar for yourself. Wake up every day and no matter how crappy you feel, want to change something for the better. Do something that makes someone happy. Create something that inspires someone. Be someone’s light when they are hopeless.” These are the words I try to live by. What he says makes sense to me and makes me want to be a better entertainer, performer and person. He is so energetic and fun to watch.
Many bands have that one song that they love to play live. Which song do you like to play together the most?
Josh- I really like to play Hysteria by Muse. It has a rush on energy and a fun song to play.
Aiden- I’m Walking. A Minor Strut original song because it’s a fun song to play.
E- Right now I like playing Everlong by the Foo Fighers with my band.
David- My favorite song to play with the band is a work in progress and it’s a thank you to everyone who continues to support us and encourages us to dream big. We are rehearsing a special epic cover and it’s a surprise. Hint, it has some amazing harmonies.
David, you recently met Dave Grohl. How was that for you? What did you say to one another?
David- Dave was super nice and he made me feel on top of the world. I was holding a Minor Strut CD and he asked me if that was my band. He said he had heard of us and asked me if he could have it. I was completely amazed that he said that and that he would jump off the stage just to sign my album and drum sticks. It was probably one of the happiest days of my life.
Meeting Dave obviously lead to the show at Conejo Valley Days (CVD). We don’t really have shows like Conejo Valley Days here in the UK so it’s going to be fun to hear about it from you! What was that show like?
David- The Foozies Foo Fighters news is a Foo Fighter fan club. I met Ms Karen Foozie at the book signing at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books where I met Dave Grohl. Karen and her friends from the fan club were just amazing. My mom was standing in line for me to get my book signed and I stayed with the Foozies near the stage to get a better view. We spent a lot of hours in hot sun waiting for Dave and his mom to take the stage. The Foozies were so nice and supportive of me. A few days later Ms Karen sent me a package with some amazing Foo merch and so when our band had a show I just wanted to say Thank you. So, I dedicated Everlong to her from our set. She shared the video and somehow got it to Ms Sarah Turrell and she shared it with Mr David Vierra from Rock & Roll Pizza and that got us on the bill to share the stage with Chevy Metal. Just amazing.
Conejo Valley Days is a small but well known community festival in Thousand Oaks, CA. It’s been held every year since 1956 to celebrate the area’s heritage and volunteer spirit. Community, friends and family get together to celebrate with music, fun and good food. The stage is small and intimate and fans can get up close to their favorite bands.
Were you nervous before the show? If so, how did you deal with the nerves? What was it like when you found out that Taylor was watching? What was your favourite part of the show?
Josh- I was a little nervous before the show because someone from the Foo Fighters might be watching us but I just did what I do on every show and played with all my energy. The show was awesome. We got to play on the same stage as Chevy Metal and Dave Grohl. It was super cool because Taylor got to see us play and we were able to meet him. I really liked watching Chevy Metal play and when Dave Grohl entered the stage, it just blew me away.
Aiden- Yes! I told myself that I knew what to do and I knew how to play those songs. We play a lot of shows so I knew it would be okay. When I realized Taylor Hawkins was watching I was amazed and excited! He was right there really watching me play. I saw him and turned to my dad to tell him but kept playing. Taylor gave me a big hug after our set and said nice things to me. It was an awesome experience and an opportunity for our band to get known. My favorite part was to play the same stage as Chevy Metal. We have seen them perform three times but this time I was able to see them and Dave Grohl up close as I was sitting right behind Taylor with my little brother.
E- CVD was amazing. It was laid back and casual. Everyone was really nice. There was a lot of fun rides, food and great bands. I wasn’t nervous before the show, but when I looked over and saw Taylor Hawkins watching us play, my eyes got really big (Thank God! I was wearing sunglasses).
It was amazing to see Taylor Hawkins watching us but scary at the same time because I didn’t want to mess up. My favorite part of the show was sitting right behind the drum riser while Chevy Metal and Dave Grohl killed it.
Marquis- I wasn’t nervous before the show but I did get nervous when I found out Taylor Hawkins was watching! I was really excited that he watched us perform. A great crowd cheering for us and Taylor Hawkins seeing us were my favorite parts of this show.
David- It was such an honor to play on the same stage as Chevy Metal and Dave Grohl. There was a ton of people and it was so much fun. I never really get nervous before a show. (Unless it’s an audition or a competition because I feel pressure not to mess up.) At CVD I took a deep breath and just rocked it.
When I saw Taylor Hawkins I lost my breath and my heart skipped a beat. I almost cried. Felt like a dream come true. I have no words it felt like a dream.
My favorite part was watching Dave Grohl play with Chevy Metal. He did a super cool guitar lick and I thought to myself this is so cool. I loved it.
What did you do after you’d played?
After we played we went back stage and Taylor Hawkins said “You guys killed it!”. We stayed back stage to watch the other bands and waited for Chevy Metal and Dave Grohl. We met new fans, had some good food and went on carnival rides. Rock & Roll Pizza was amazing. Spent time with our families and friends.
What advice do you have for other musicians?
Josh- When on stage play with all the energy you have.
Aiden- Ah, keep doing what you love. Don’t stop believing in yourself. The song ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ is in my head now.
E- Keep practicing and stay humble.
Marquis- Follow your heart and God and your parents will guide you. Be happy, stay humble and think positive.
David- Put your life, love and soul in your music and just give a show. Don’t think or worry about what people will say.
Finally, what do you see yourselves doing in the future?
Josh- I would like to continue my education and go to college. If I have the chance I would like to be a meteorologist or a musician.
Aiden- I can see myself playing at The Forum.
E- I see myself still doing music and going to college.
Marquis- I would like to continue to play with Minor Strut as long as we are together because music makes people happy and I love playing bass.
David- I see myself playing on a huge stage in front of millions of people with my fellow band mates and being able to do a back flip like Brandon Urie of Panic! At the Disco does on stage. I also see myself being a music teacher and an owner of a Rockstars of Tomorrow studio inspiring other kids to rock.