Views #1489 | Intermediate 5

High School Band

Ben discusses being in a rock band in high school in America.

Hana: So I've heard that you were in a band when you were a high school kid.

Ben: Yeah, actually I was. All four years I was in high school I was actually in a few bands. Yeah, I was in one pretty early on when I was a kid. Me and four of my friends.

Hana: All right. So, did you have a name for your band or bands?

Ben: Yeah, I guess the serious band I was in we were called Lucky Number Two. I know it sounds stupid and I thought it did too actually but I came into the band. I was asked to join. I didn't start it.

Hana: Okay, right.

Ben: They said, "Hey, we need a bass player. Do you play bass?"

Hana: And I said, "Yeah, I do. I play bass, why?"

Ben: And they said, "Well, we need a bass player so can you come and try out, audition?" And I did. And I said, "Oh, hey what's the band name?" And they're like, "Lucky Number Two." I was like, "Oh, wow. So lame." But, I wanted to play music so I just went along with it and said, "Yeah, sure."

Hana: Okay, right. So why did they name the band Lucky Number Two? Do you know the reason?

Ben: I don't think there was a reason. I think at one point they just when they were thinking about what to do they couldn't decide on something so they just decided something and just went with it. They said, "Okay, we're going to decide this and we're going to do it." So I don't know, Lucky Number Two, yeah.

Hana: Right. So what kind of music did you used to play?

Ben: It was like a punk music.

Hana: Okay.

Ben: So, yeah, which actually at the time was not very popular among young people in my town.

Hana: Right. I'm not really a big fan of music, I don't really know anything about music. So what's punk music like?

Ben: What's punk music like?

Hana: Yeah.

Ben: Well our band, we had two guitar players, a bass player, and a drummer. And one of the guitar players sang too. So punk music is fast.

Hana: Right.

Ben: It's fast and the drums are also fast. And the vocals are usually kind of yelling or screaming in a way. And not always but sometimes bands are political.

Hana: Right. Political?

Ben: Like we had a political ... I don't know how you would say ... At that time it was 2008.

Hana: Yeah.

Ben: Sorry, that's wrong 2004. Yeah. George Bush was the President.

Hana: Yeah, yes.

Ben: And we didn't like him. We were kind of on the other side. So a lot of our songs were kind of politically driven.

Hana: Right.

Ben: So our lyrics were like about ...

Hana: So like criticizing.

Ben: Yeah, like anti-president lyrics like that. I don't know. It's kind of funny because one of our songs actually ... 'cause you know the American flag is red, white, and blue the colors.

Hana: Yes.

Ben: So one of our songs was called Red, White, Black, and Blue like a bruise.

Hana: Oh.

Ben: I don't know. We were angsty. I don't know. That's how I would describe punk music at that time.

Hana: Right.

Ben: Fast, politically driven lyrics, and screaming vocals.

Hana: Okay. Sorry to ask stupid questions but ...

Ben: No, no, go ahead.

Hana: So the guitar that you used to use it's that one that sort of connects to the amplifiers?

Ben: Yes.

Hana: Not like acoustic guitar?

Ben: No, everyone played electric loud, loud music.

Hana: Okay.

Ben: Yeah.

Hana: Loud music.

Ben: Yeah, very loud guitars.

Hana: Okay. Why do you or why did you like punk music?

Ben: I don't know. I was a high school student and I was angry about life and my parents. I didn't really get along with my parents. And so, it was a good outlet for me, a way to express myself outside of school. And so, it was very useful in that way. That's why I liked it.

Hana: Did you have a chance to sort of perform in public?

Ben: Yeah, you know it's funny because we thought ... when you're 15 years old you can't really think too far ahead in the future but we thought, "We're going to be popular. People are going to like this and we're going to get big. Maybe we don't have to go to college. Maybe we can just play music for the rest of our lives."

Hana: Right.

Ben: But yeah, no, back to your question sorry. We probably played a show as we call it or like we would play at different venues around, different live houses around in our town.

Hana: Yeah, oh cool.

Ben: Probably like twice a month.

Hana: All right.

Ben: We'd sell tickets. I'd go actually we'd make a flyer and I would go to the top of the stairwell in the high school and I would take all these flyers and just throw them down the stairs, just have the flyers ... I don't know it sounds funny to talk about it now, but yeah.

Hana: All right.

Ben: So we played like twice a month for about three years.

Hana: Wow. So you used to make money from that then.

Ben: I don't know about money but we did make enough to pay for our cd's that we would record.

Hana: Oh wow.

Ben: Yeah.

Hana: Wow.

Ben: No, it wasn't profitable in any way it was just fun. And I met so many different people from being a band so it was really, really, it was really nice. Socially it was really good for I think a high school student like myself.

Hana: Oh, that's interesting.

Ben: Yeah, thanks. Thanks for asking.

Learn vocabulary from the lesson!

sound stupid

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I know it sounds stupid.

When something sounds stupid, it does not seem serious. It seems silly or strange. Notice the following:

  1. I know this sounds stupid, but I like to sleep with gloves on.

try out

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I tried out for the band.

When you try out for something, you perform and demonstrate your skill in hopes of being accepted to join something. Notice the following:

  1. In high school I tried out for the football team but I did not make it.

go with it

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We just went with it.

When you go with something, that means you make a decision to do something with confidence and no regrets. Notice the following:

  1. sample 1
  2. sample 2

politically driven

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Our music was politically driven.

Here, driven means motivated or influenced. Notice the following:

  1. The ads on TV are all commercially driven, meaning the sponsors what people to buy something.

angsty

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We were angsty.

When you are angsty, you have angst which is a feeling of uneasiness or dread or worry. Notice the following:

  1. Children often get angsty at the doctor's office.

flyer

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We threw flyers from the roof.

A flyer is a sheet of paper that advertises or promotes something, often an event. Notice the following:

  1. I saw a flyer about a new cafe that is opening next month.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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