Photo by Emily Clingman
By Charlie Englar
The youth movement in the Colorado punk scene is in full gear, with the driver’s seat occupied by an insightful and energetic trio from Arvada.
Synergy is Josh Rock on guitar (15 years old), Ryan Teater on bass (15 years old) and Jay Rock on drums (18 years old). And yes: Rock is their real last name, Josh and Jay are brothers and they can play.
When Scene held its 20th annual Battle of the Bands on November 13, 2011 at Hodi’s Half Note in Fort Collins, many in attendance that Sunday evening were unaware of the pop-punk group Synergy, let alone the formidable musical chops they possessed.
As Scene’s own Dusty Ray remarked about the band’s second place performance in his review of the Battle of the Bands showcase; “Synergy…wowed the audience with their musical talents, energy, onstage chemistry and humorous lyrics.”
Ray went on to acknowledge that the band did a superb job of “tearing through driving, epically fast pop-punk rifts with ease,” also stating that “Synergy set the crowd up for a treat.”
It was a taste of success for a band that has been honing their craft for years.
While one wouldn’t think there to be much of a band history with individuals of such young stature, the history is indeed there.
Meeting on a bus ride to school on the first day of 4th grade, Teater offered Josh Rock some Purell Hand Sanitizer as an olive branch, and their friendship grew from there (the group has recently penned a tune aptly titled “Thank You Purell”).
The group was officially formed roughly a year later, in 2007, when the eldest Rock, Jay, picked up drums.
When it came time to decide on a name for the band, Synergy displayed an almost sage-like deliverance in the decision. According to the group, the artistically designed S, which appears at the beginning of Synergy on their CDs and in the “official” display of the name, was conceived on its own. The group then went looking for “S” words, settling on Synergy, which was noticed on a popular hockey stick made by Easton (all the boys are also avid organized-league hockey players).
Unsatisfied with the initial superficial finding/meaning of the word, the group searched out the definition of Synergy before deciding on it as the official band name.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines Synergy as “the interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.” Upon finding the definition, the boys knew they had their name.
Being the age they are, one would also have a fairly sensible question in “Have they, or do they, make original music on a consistent basis?” The answer would be a resounding “yes.”
According to the father of the two/manager of all, Larry Rock, “They have 21 original songs now. Five on their 2010 demo CD, Band Time, thirteen on their full CD, Enough Said, and more.”
Within the band’s growing repertoire of original music, it is guitar player Josh who does the majority of the writing for the group. Channeling from the experiences of a fairly typical 15-year-old, Josh touches on subjects like girls, school, break-ups and the like. The difference here, however, is Josh creates such intuitive lyrics and rhythm, highlighted by wonderful wittiness and humor, that it leaves the listener wondering how a boy of such an age has the mind frame to materialize such a smooth sound and delivery.
Josh will then typically bring his topic for a song and a guitar melody to the other two members, who will work out their bass and drum parts respectively. The senior of the group, drummer Jay, writes much of the musical structure for Synergy.
Love of music is key here, and all members acknowledge their admiration for pop-punk band Blink 182, with each of the boys listing their respective instrumental counterparts of Blink as their favorite musicians. They do, however, express their not-so-hidden disdain for Blink’s newest album, Neighborhoods, noting an affinity for the band’s “earlier stuff.” It is partly with this in mind that Synergy fully established the band’s official motto; “Bring Punk Rock Back.”
All of Synergy’s music can be found on a variety of online musical outlets, including iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody and Spotify. Visit youtube.com/synergybandcolorado for videos and more information about the band.