Acoustics for Autism: Michigan teens Bulletproof Snow have ambitious dreamsWritten by Staff Reports | | email@example.com
By Ashley Streichert
TOLEDO FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
A majority of great success stories come with equally fantastic tales of hard work, and Trey McLaughlin’s biography is no exception.
With help from his dedicated dad Brian McLaughlin, the 17-year-old started his self-described “modern rock” band two years ago and is already playing in impressive venues around the country.
Balancing his coursework, social life and family time, Trey has managed to grow the band’s recognition with three fellow rockers and create new music for the boys to perform at their various gigs.
Bulletproof Snow consists of four high school students from Michigan’s Livingston County. Trey, who is lead vocalist and plays guitar, is joined by Connor Cheney, 17, on drums, Jake Yacobelli, 17, on lead guitar and Matt Coon, 16, on bass. Cheney, Yacobelli and Coon also provide backing vocals.
Trey credits the group’s inspiration to big-name rock bands including Foo Fighters and the Goo Goo Dolls, along with ’80s metal crooners Skid Row. This mashup of catchy genres is vividly reflected by Bulletproof Snow’s sound.
Its single “Punished for My Innocence” left a lasting mark on the organizers of benefit concert Acoustics for Autism and snagged a four-minute slot on the nonprofit’s new compilation album. Proceeds from sales go to Project iAm, a group that benefits families affected by autism in Northwest Ohio.
“It’s something nice that provides a lasting memory for people,” Brian said of the album.
Though the band members are elated to have a spot on the playlist, it wasn’t earned simply with catchy lyrics and an upbeat track. The teens are seasoned pros on the benefit stage. The group has performed at the Acoustics for Autism benefit held at The Village Idiot in Maumee for the past three years.
“It’s a great event to get behind,” Brian said. “Trey had a friend he hung out with a lot when he was younger who had a little brother with autism. Trey actually spent a lot of time with him at their house and experienced firsthand what it’s like to deal with autism in the family.”
“It’s tough,” Trey said. “Just being able to support it, we’re extremely happy to.”
As for Cheney, Yacobelli and Coon’s futures, their goals are to pursue professional careers in the music industry after graduation.
“That’s Trey’s dream, so we’re giving it a shot,” Brian added.
Bulletproof Snow has a few events on the horizon, including a trip to Austin, Texas, for SXSW musical festival later this month and, of course, the Acoustics for Autism event March 9. The group is slated to play at 2 p.m. in the outdoor tent.