Kids on Bikes
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Kids on Bikes

Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States | INDIE

Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Pop

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Dec
10
Kids on Bikes @ The Cavern Club

Liverpool, None, United Kingdom

Liverpool, None, United Kingdom

Nov
25
Kids on Bikes @ The V-Spot

Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA

Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA

Nov
23
Kids on Bikes @ The Keys

Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA

Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

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Forging a following in the local music scene is probably as difficult right now as it has been in recent history. The amount of local music venues in Scranton and surrounding areas aren't as numerous as they were 10-15 years ago, which means less available stage time. The still struggling economy is making less people willing to hand over greenbacks just to walk through the door at local bars and clubs, which means there's less money to be made for local bands, and more importantly, less people are exposed to local music.

It's sort of like the old saying - if a band plays a show and nobody's around to hear it, does it make a sound?

For Scranton-based Kids on Bikes, the battle for recognition is one they're winning so far. The quartet - Rob Miller (vocals, guitar), Brad Parks (guitar, vocals), Greg Leeson (bass) and Mike Evancavich (drums) - advanced to the second round of the battle of the bands at Breakers over the summer, then won Rock United, a battle of the bands to benefit The United Way, at Whistles on Oct. 1.

Not bad for a group that's been together for just seven months.

Miller and Parks started as an acoustic duo before Leeson joined them a couple years ago. They added Evancavich about seven months ago and their first show with the current lineup was that battle of the bands at Breakers.

"Beakers was a really cool experience, being up there above everybody else," Parks said, referring to the raised stage at the Pocono Downs at Mohegan Sun club. "It was a our first show with Mike and we were all pretty pumped up. When we won that first show and people were chanting 'KOB! KOB!,' it was a super awesome experience."

During the Rock United competition, Kids on Bikes won on the strength of solid pop-rock originals during the 15-minute set. But a strong following that was sparked by the band's energy packed set also helped push them over the top.

"Mike's a big part of the energy because when we played as a three-piece, there was no jumping around or dancing," said Miller, who isn't afraid to dance with the crowd while singing. "It was just us up there trying to survive and not have people walking out on us. As soon as the drums came in, it was a whole different band."

Shortly after Evancavich joined Kids on Bikes, they put out an EP of six songs titled Selection A, a reference to the title menu of the original Nintendo game Excitebike. They have plans for an LP titled A Picturesque Front, which they hope to finish in early 2011. Miller said the album focuses on the hopelessness many feel these days because of many of the things happening in the world - economic struggles, two wars overseas and more.

After just a half hour with all four band members, their excitement about the new album is obvious. But between playing shows and life, finding time to work on the new music has been difficult, although they've already started work on a few of the songs in the studio.

"You want to play shows and get (the music) out there, but now we're playing so many shows that we don't have time to practice because we have lives outside the band," Miller admitted.

Part of Kids on Bikes' charm is that they don't take themselves too seriously. Sure, they're serious about their music, but the success they've had in recent months hasn't given them any sense of entitlement. They have a parody song called "Hey Genesee," a song about walking into a bar and finding out the only beer available is Genesee, which is played to the tune of "Hey Jealousy" by the Gin Blossoms.

They also occasionally play as Dr. Robert Glassonion, a Beatles tribute band in which they dress up as the Fab Four.

"We told our friends about this band that nobody knew, that we saw this Beatles cover band, they're great," Leeson said. "We're promoting them and everybody got there and they were like, what the ...?"

They played a show on Halloween while dressed in costume, just another example of their fun-loving attitudes. We met with Kids on Bikes in Leeson's living room, and it took only a few minutes before the jokes at each other's expense started in. There was even a tombstone in Leeson's front yard marking Parks' "death" following his wedding in October.

It's clear the friendships these four have forged are just as important, and probably even moreso, than the music itself.

"I don't want to be one of those bands that gets in fights because of tough things," Miller said before admitting he might be the toughest of the four to deal with.

Like many bands on the rise, they don't have their sights set on a record deal. After all, as Leeson points out, what good is that with the current state of the record industry, anyway? Evancavich has a more realistic, and probably more fruitful, goal in mind.

"I love playing original music," he said. "I'd like to just try to get that scene going again around here. I remember back in the '90s when I was in high school there was a ton of original bands around here."

His voice trailed off after that last sentence, much like the local music scene has slowly faded in recent years. But with groups like Kids on Bikes forging forward, there's hope on the horizon.

For more information on Kids on Bikes, check out www.kids-on-bikes.com. They'll play The Keys at 244 Penn Ave. in Scranton on Saturday night as part of the Sound for Scoliosis benefit. - The Electric City


Discography

SELECTION A - 6 song debut EP

Photos

Bio

Kids on Bikes is an energetic indie pop/rock band based out of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA. The band focus is primarily on original music and a heavily engaging live show, but will also include cover songs from artists such as The Beatles or Red Hot Chili Peppers to fill out a full 4 hour performance. The band consists of founding members Brad Parks (Guitar, Vocals, Harmonica) and Robert Miller (Vocals, Guitar, Kazoo) along with Gregory Leeson (Bass, Guitar, Hammered Dulcimer) and Mike Evancavich (Drums).

Kids on Bikes recently released their debut, 6-song EP entitled 'SELECTION A' and is currently working on their full length album 'a picturesque front.'