Diverse musicians join up, form band ‘For the Cause’
By Rachel Sullivan - Special to The Telegraph
Romeo Spike founders Mike Kunz and Donn Aaron met in 2006 through a mutual friend. Despite the fact that Kunz lived in Chicago and Aaron lived in Atlanta, the two struck up an immediate friendship that resulted in a friendly weekly songwriting competition.
When they realized that they were writing worthwhile material, they formed the bones of Romeo Spike and began working on their first album, “For the Cause.” Before long, Kunz moved to Atlanta, and the two friends began advertising for other band members. Drummer Will Brown and bass player Skyler Ross answered the ads, and Romeo Spike was complete.
Romeo Spike is set to take the stage Saturday night at the Hummingbird Stage and Taproom.
Kunz and Brown recently gave a joint phone interview in which they took turns discussing the band, their music and each other. According to Kunz, “it was all just for fun in the beginning. Then things got out of hand. We found a producer and suddenly I had to move.”
Brown spoke for himself and for Ross when he said he had been looking for a band to join.
“I answered an ad on Craigslist. I wish I had a cool story, but this one is kind of lame. At least it worked out well,” Brown said.
The band will be featuring songs from “For the Cause,” along with some new songs Saturday at the Hummingbird Stage and Taproom. According to Kunz, “the band is about collaboration, about finding the right tool. Sometimes one of us will come in with a new song. Sometimes someone will show up with a sound or a riff and a whole new song emerges. It’s a bit like trying to bottle magic.”
After Brown finished ribbing Kunz for that last remark, he agreed in principle. “It’s fun because we all draw from various influences. Donn is your classic rock, while I like anything from Motown to Queens of the Stone Age. Skyler, man, he’s diverse and he has a formal jazz background,” he said.
Kunz chimed in: “I’m a recovering jazz musician, too. It took me awhile, but I’ve rediscovered rock.”
Despite their somewhat unorthodox beginnings, the band members complement each other well. Brown, who has never had a formal drum lesson, said, “Mike and Sky are both trained. Donn just started playing one day and he’s a natural-born guitar player through and through. As for me, I make up for my lack of skill with my natural good looks.” There was a moment of silence before Kunz laughed and said, “I would have said your high energy and enthusiasm, but OK.
“Just tell everyone to come out and hear us. It’s a new music blend, different from what they’ll have heard before. It’s rock, modern and classic,” he added, “It’s important to follow your passion and stay true to what you believe. I have a blind belief in myself, in this project, and in the others.”
Brown added, “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. There are lots of roads out there, but you can always carve a new one and make your own way, too.”
On the Web: www.romeospike.com