Lesson 22 to compete in local battle of the bandsWritten by Guest Author | | GuestAuthor@toledofreepress.com
By Chase Will
On March 7, local band Lesson 22 will compete in Rock Fights 2014 for a chance to win $1,500. The competition is comprised of several shows, each featuring different lineups. Victory in each round is decided by the audience and each night’s winners will then compete against the nine other finalists to determine an overall winner.
Lesson 22 has played across Midwest Ohio for four years, including at Frankie’s Inner City, Rocket Bar and Howard’s Club H. Recently, they won the 2nd Aniccoustics Battle of the Bands in Bowling Green and recorded with Groovebox Studios in Detroit after a successful fundraising campaign.
The four members have been best friends since high school. After playing a few songs together and discovering a unique dynamic, they began rehearsing consistently in the basement of their bassist, Matt Patrick. They’re currently sharing a house, which gives the advantage of practicing constantly.
“I think starting out as an underdog makes us stick out more because we’ve found ways to keep the energy alive,” said vocalist Kevin Stoll. “Before a show, we huddle together and hum the same note. It’s like getting in tune with each other rather than just tuning our instruments.”
“Like Pavlov’s dog and the bell,” added drummer Travis Richards. “We get our minds in the same place, and no matter what happened earlier that day, we get on stage and deliver a great show.”
Audience enjoyment is the key to their love for music. In the 60-plus shows they’ve played, they said their favorites involved providing a one-of-a-kind experience and making listeners go wild.
“Crowd energy is the number one thing,” said guitarist Chris Kirk. “If you have a huge group standing and listening, that’s one thing, but if you have people totally into your music, that’s great. The more spontaneous things are, I think, the better.”
“I get crazy sometimes,” Stoll said. “For me, it’s the right balance between professionalism and showmanship.”
Since releasing their first album “Animal Hill,” the band has experimented with various songwriting techniques. They said they avoid reliance on power chords, and strive to create a new sound with every song.
“We’re in a transitional period,” Kirk said. “Things aren’t as structured, and now we just go with the flow. I like that you can pretty much create whatever you want with music.”
Adapting and going with the flow alludes to the band’s name, which was inspired by growing through relationships and life changes.
“It means learn from your life and be better for it,” said Kirk. “Take criticism well, but realize what’s valuable criticism.”
Rock Fights 2014 will take place at Main Street Bar & Grill, 141 Main St. Tickets are $5, available from the bands or at the door. Doors open at 7 p.m. More information can be found at innovationconcerts.com. The contest started Jan. 3. Finalists so far are Saints & Sinners, UnLaBeLeD, Decades Past, Paying for the Priceless, Aggravated Assault, BathHouseBetty and Sugarboxx. Lesson 22 can be found on Reverbnation.com and Facebook, where their first album is available.