Tucked neatly inside an attic nook, five teenagers rehearse their latest songs for an upcoming album. High Street, a rock band formed in 2007, is comprised of four boys and one girl, all with one goal in mind: to compose and record music.
"We'd like to get a record deal," said one musician, as the band members nodded their heads in agreement. "That might be nice."
For five hours a week, the band members practice at the Findling home, where drummer Kurt Findling, 14, and electric guitarist Erik Findling, 12, live with their parents, David and Annette. The band's singer, 14-year-old Jenny Thompson lives down the street. Guitarist Billy Hennessy, 14, and basist Emre Erel, 15, commute from nearby towns.
On Tuesday evening, High Street was interviewd live on Fearless Radio, a Chicago-based Internet radio station.* Listeners could also tweet questions to the band during the show.
"What we're trying to do is build a fan base over a long period of time," said Kurt, noting Facebook as a social media tool. "Everytime I have a new friend on Facebook, I suggest he or she 'likes' us on Facebook." The band's page had 380 likes, as of Tuesday aftenoon.
His father, David, seconded him.
"To get the band exposed, we have to be creative, especially with an online presence," he said.
A guitarist himself, David Findling manages the band and built the attic studio with his sons. The band recently hired a publicist as well.
Findling said the online radio interview lasted about an hour with DJ Dirty.
"During the interview there was some good lighthearted barbs poked at each other since the band is like a close knit family," said Findling. "The podcast will be available soon and we'll post on our Facebook page."
"The playback will make the audience laugh for sure."
Sandwiched between a mini-refrigerator, a lava lamp and instruments, the band talks about new songs. After releasing "Out of the Attic" in May 2011, the band, which describes itself as "blues-based rock," played gigs throughout the summer.
In July the band perfomed for a crowd of about 13,000 at Michigan’s Summer Celebration, according to Findling. In August High Street made it to U.S. Cellular Field. More recently, they played at a smaller show and fundraiser for the non-profit, Chloe's Crew.
Back to the Drawing Board
With two freshmen at New Trier High School, one freshman at Loyola Academy, one sophomore at Niles North High School and one middle schooler at Joseph Sears School in Kenilworth, the band considers itself lucky to have found each other.
"It's hard to find talented players your age," said Kurt. "There's an emphasis on sports, which makes it harder to find kids in music."
After meeting in middle school and recruiting Emre through school band directors, High Street said it is moving forward with its song-writing.
"It's great to have the freedom to make whatever you want," Kurt said.
*Nov. 2 Correction: The band was interviewed live on Fearless radio, but did not perform live.