LAST YEAR they were the opening act for Concerts in the Park during Riverboat Days.
This year their goal is to make it further into the play list for the annual event held at George Little Park.
It’s one example of local punk rock/hard rock band Fully Illegal’s approach to the job of making music in northwestern B.C.
“I’d say it’s 65/35 – 65 per cent music, 35 per cent business,” says lead singer and rhythm guitarist Mikala Snyder.
That business includes twice a week practices at Sight and Sound’s rock school quarters and at the home of drummer Nathan Lindsay.
And it also includes plans to re-record an original composition of lead guitarist and vocalist Brandon Krumm and, possibly, an EP of four band originals.
There’s also discussion of playing at the annual Telkwa Barbecue in the Bulkley Valley.
“But I just like to get up there and play,” adds bassist Jordan Forten.
A heavy duty mechanics student at Northwest Community College, Forten is the oldest of the group with Krumm about ready to graduate high school and Snyder and Lindsay both in Grade 9.
The band came together about a year ago through introductions by various family members and others involved in the local music community.
“I actually thought I was going to join two bands,” said Krumm of how the introductions and invitations were relayed.
Band members cite several well-known locals as influences, a list which includes guitarist Rob Brown and Darryl McDicken, a school music teacher and member of several local bands.
On the technical and production side, Mark Ciccone and Anthony Hermens have mentored and assisted the band.
An original name of Hello Cleveland – a take on bands hollering out the name of any city in which they are performing – was then changed to Fully Illegal after the phrase came up in a conversation.
As with most bands starting out, they have a repertoire of covers which they can easily adapt depending upon their audience.
Fully Illegal’s first paying gig brought them $20 each and the second, a Pacific Northern Gas Christmas party, provided them with $100 Sight and Sound gift cards.
The band prides itself on being up and ready for each performance.
“If it would be any word, it would be energetic,” said Snyder in describing the band’s style.
That energy is evident, continued Krumm, in relaying an anecdote in which Forten, after having his bass become unplugged during a performance, was able to maneuver over to the amplifier and plug it in again without missing a beat.
Krumm and Snyder both say they’re surprised at being recognized while out and about, adding that Facebook is an important way for them to market the group.
And as for what they do to wind down after a performance, it’s simple.
“We go for cherry Cokes at Denny’s,” says Snyder.
“Except for Nathan. He goes home and sleeps.”