GREENVILLE — A young, local band is making music and performing live, and in the process, trying to make a name for itself in the music world.
The Shades of Cool, self characterized as a “punk” band, is based in the Dayton, Ohio, metropolitan area, but three of its members share a Darke County connection.
Band members Cory Penkal (guitar), Morgan Carter (bass), and Austin White (drums) are all Greenville natives. The one outlier, Joseph Kollar (vocals), is originally from Patchogue, a village on Long Island, New York.
The four members of the band sat down for an interview with The Daily Advocate Tuesday.
All in their late teens or early 20s, The Shades of Cool has been together in its current incarnation since the winter of 2015. Carter is the most recent addition to the lineup. Despite their young age, each brings at least a decade of musical involvement to the group.
When asked to describe their musical style, the answers given varied.
“I kind of have a heavier side to me, and I like Alternative,” said White. “We all kind of met in the middle, really.”
“It was more ‘folk punk’ when it was just Cory and I,” said Kollar.
“A lot of 90s revival,” added Penkal. “Like Sunny Day Real Estate, bands like that, really obscure stuff. Like Bleach, but nothing past Bleach.”
“It’s Alternative, risen from the ashes of Pop-Punk,” Kollar said, laughing.
Both White and Kollar call Penkal a “guitar wizard.”
“You think he’s going to do this thing and he does this other thing, and it’s like ‘Where did you come from?’” said White.
For himself, Penkal said he likes the improvisational guitar style of Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin.
“I love Page, it’s kind of like an apathetic style. I really love that,” he said.
Carter, who was raised on classic rock, says she’s new to bass playing, but has found it not a hard transition from guitar to bass.
“I’ve been playing the guitar for 12 years,” she said, “I’ve kind of just picked up the bass from what I knew on the guitar — a simplified version of the guitar, for me.”
Kollar, the group’s vocalist, points to singer Lana Del Rey as a “huge influence” on his work. In fact, the band’s name is derived from one of her songs “Shades of Cool.”
“I’ve always liked music. Music has always been a big, big part of my life,” Kollar said. “I would sing to myself, but then there was no reason not to ‘cover’ music, so I started covering music with Cory, and after a while we started writing our own stuff.”
Among The Shades of Cool’s finished works are two singles “Bad Chemistry” and “Krash Coarse,” along with an extended play (EP) album titled “Sampson.” Many new songs are in the development stages.
The band, which promises “animated, energetic” live performances, has played a number of live venues locally, including in Greenville and Dayton, among others, but is hoping to perform in farther locales and potentially get signed by a record label.
Upcoming live shows include an October 17 event in Cincinnati, and one on November 19 in Bedford, Indiana.
Regardless of what the future holds in terms of fame and fortune, it’s the encouragement and support of local fans which has provided the best inspiration for the group.
“I’ve been in bands a long time, and it’s nothing if you don’t have people there to watch,” said Carter.
“We want to thank all the kids in Greenville who continue to come and support us and the local music scene, everywhere,” said Kollar. “And adults are always welcome at our shows, too.”
People can listen to sample of the band’s music at its website: theshadesofcool.bandcamp.com. The Shades of Cool can also be followed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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