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MOUNT WASHINGTON - They hope they are on target for a very successful musical career.
The Mount Washington teens form the band Bullet, which recently won a Battle of the Band contest at Headliner’s Music Hall in Louisville.
With the win, the battle’s sponsor, Gorilla Music Productions of Cleveland, Ohio, is offering the band $500 and 20 hours of free studio time.
Bullet consists of bassist Matt Thompson, lead guitarist Wade Kelly, vocalist Christian Bailey and drummer Cody Ash.
The band’s fans recognize them better by their stage names: Tommy Kixx, Izzy Roxx, Kristi Krank and Kodi Krash.
Bullet plays what they refer to as “Hair Metal, Sleaze, Rock and Roll” music. Their stage presence is similar in style and look to the 80s hair band Poison.
Each band member attends Bullitt East High School, where the band has performed for fellow students. Kelly plays football while Ash is a member of the baseball team.
The current four Bullet members have worked together for one year, originally meeting at Eastside Middle School.
Kelly got into Rock music after hearing AC/DC, referring to it as “A life-changing experience.” He recalled wearing a school-boy outfit similar to AC/DC guitarist Angus Young during his first performance at an Eastside talent show.
“I started playing guitar in seventh grade,” said Kelly. “I actually wanted to play drums. (Christian) locked me in a closet with a guitar until I learned how to play it.”
Like Kelly, Thompson was unaware he’d become a bass player. He also began playing in junior high.
“We needed a bass, so I learned bass,” Thompson said.
Ash and Thompson played football together. Ash’s musical career began in sixth grade; he focused on drums after receiving a set for Christmas.
Bailey originally tried the drums but decided to sing.
“I come from a family of talented singers,” he said. “My sister Amy was in Kentuckiana Idol, and my parents can both sing.”
Bailey’s rock revelation, he recalled, took place when he heard the Aerosmith song, “Dream On,” in a Ponderosa Steakhouse parking lot.
The band has a repertoire of up to nine original songs they hope to record in Cleveland. They perform those and many cover songs in concert.
The recent Battle of the Bands victory allowed Bullet to enter a national online contest sponsored by Gorilla. The winning bands will receive $25,000 or a 25-city tour of the United States.
Ash said Bullet was competing with over 100 bands nationwide.
Along with the contest, Bullet has been offered an opportunity to record and tour with Breaking Stride, an established Rock band based in Cincinnati.
Bullet’s ultimate goal is to play the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, where many Rock bands have made big names over the past 30 years.
All except Bailey, who also has plans to study emergency medicine in college.
“If something big happens with the band before then, that might wait.” Bailey said of college.
The big break could be a victory in Gorilla’s nationwide talent search contest. The top 10 vote getters will be announced March 1.
To vote for Bullet, go to www.gorillamusic.com and click the box that reads “Vote.”