Sterling Schroeder and The Chosen Ones
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Sterling Schroeder and The Chosen Ones

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"Concert raises $1,200 for medical bills"

A year and a half ago, Evan Wishnia, a 25-year-old Full Sail alum, didn’t think he was going to live through 2007.

After an emergency removal of 95 percent of his small intestine, Wishnia struggled through complications while waiting for an organ transplant. Unsure of his future, he anxiously held on while waiting for his operation scheduled earlier this year.

Fully recovered, Wishnia stood surrounded by supporters at Natura Coffee & Tea Friday night.

Evan’s best friend Marc Kozlow, assistant manager of Natura Tea & Coffee, a popular UCF hangout, hosted “Save Evan’s Guts!”—a benefit concert to help raise money for Wishnia’s costly medical bills following his successful surgery.

Through the help of Kozlow’s band, Sterling Schroeder and the Chosen Ones, and other local artists such as Peter Baldwin, the benefit raised nearly $1,200 for Wishnia through raffles, silent auctions, and donations.

Baldwin, who began his set with an upbeat, soulful remake of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song, has been playing shows at Natura for over a year.

“Natura is a great place for the benefit,” Baldwin said. “Everyone here is chill and the crowds are always great.”

In addition to raffles and donations, Kozlow contacted IHeartGuts.com to make custom T-shirts to support Wishnia’s cause.

“I was really pleased with everything,” said Kozlow. “That our economy is in such a recession and everyone was able to come out and help makes me glad that we haven’t lost everything in the world.”

The benefit brought in a crowd of about 150, which is a lot more than what Natura is used to, according to Kozlow.

At the benefit concert, friends were glad to see Wishnia healthy again after his surgery two months ago.

“He lost a lot of weight, he looked discolored for a while,” said Adam Kozlow, Marc Kozlow’s brother. “It’s good to see him back to normal again.”

After his surgery, Wishnia was able to find and identify his organ donor.

“In a while, I’m going to write a letter to the family of the person who donated their organs to me,” said Evan. “I want to let them know that with their loss of life, they helped save another.”

To donate to Wishnia’s cause contact Marc Kozlow at marckoz@gmail.com. - Central Florida Future


"Featured Artist: Sterling Schroeder"


12:51 staff writer Kyle Coppa-Cross interviews acoustic rock band Sterling Schroeder on their musical style, band history, and playing in the Florida Music Festival.

Your music is a very laid back, jazzy light rock. It’s something you would hear in open mic nights and coffee houses. Out of all the styles of music to play, why this?

“I have played electric guitar in several bands, but with this solo act, I started acoustic because it’s easier to practice anytime and sound the same live as on record. Now I play with the Chosen Ones, Adam and Marc Kozlow, and our sound is very different from what I have recorded in the past. I play electric guitar now.”

What was your inspiration to choose this style of music?

“I just let the song dictate the sound. For instance, “Pistol Full of Pain” sounds rockabilly, but we are not a rockabilly band.”

The lyrics to your songs are pretty straight forward. They are easy to understand yet continue to keep an artsy perspective. Who comes up with the lyrics, does one of you write the songs, or is it a group effort?

“I have written all the lyrics thus far, but I am open to collaboration with the Kozlows, who write their own instrumental parts. On my first album, Steven Shea wrote the lyrics to “Lover’s Lane,” but he is not in the band anymore.”

Music Video of Sterling Schroder’s song “Bedhead” Directed by David Bermejo:

The band name is Sterling Shroeder, which happens to be the name of the lead vocalist and guitarist. How did you as a band decide on the name, or did it just happen to turn out that way?

“It started out as just me on acoustic, so I used my name. Then, it grew into a band. We now call ourselves Sterling Schroeder and the Chosen Ones.”

Adam: “Marc and I decided on The Chosen Ones because we are both members of the Jewish Tribe. The name also has other meanings, for example, that we were “Chosen” to play with each other by some divine deity, possibly Zeus or Dyonesius .”

In your biography, it says Sterling Schroeder played guitar and keyboards for several bands. Could you please elaborate on that?

“I’ve had the solo act for two years. Steven Shea played conga drums and xylophone with me the first year and a half before quitting the band to focus on his film career. Mariel Olcoz has sung backup with me for over a year and still does at certain shows. Rawko Sawkolawskee played harmonica on my album and has played many shows, however he is now very busy with welding school. That leaves Marc, Adam, and me. Marc’s other band, Rogue-Fi, and I played at the Florida Music Festival in 2008. I had also been on Adam’s radio show, A/B Lo-Fi, a couple times. When I played with Yogurt Smoothness at a Denny’s in Orlando, the Kozlows were in the audience and asked me if I wanted to play together, and I said yes. We have since done several shows with such acts as Neva Dinova, McCarthy Trenching, Alias Punch, The Great Deceivers and Int’l Aux. We are recording together for the first time within a couple weeks.” I also had a band called The Rockets in High School in the Florida Keys. I then moved to Virginia, where I played keyboards in a jam band called Ozone Patch, and keyboards and guitar in a rap-rock band called Sound Doctrine. I then formed the band The Torch Monkeys in the Keys. I did guitar and some vocals. Sound Doctrine and The Torch Monkeys each released an E.P. and a studio album.

Adam: The last band I played in was called, Decapitation Station, a zombie-rock band in which I played drums. Prior to this, I played guitar in an Elvis Presley cover band, The Elvis Presley Experience. In High School, Marc and I played in a band together called Class Act. I performed guitar and vocals while Marc played bass and also did vocals. Besides The Chosen Ones, I currently have two side projects. One is a comedy crunk rap ensemble, Frolove, and the other consists of children’s songs. I am not making any of this up.

Marc: For the past two years I’ve been playing bass with Rogue-Fi. We are in the process of recording a full-length album within the next few weeks. I do currently perform with Sterling and Rogue-Fi at the same time. Since 7th grade I’ve played with four bands including Class Act and Frolove.

A friend of the band drew a comic book of you for a contest. Did this comic happen to pull any publicity toward you? If so, was it good or bad publicity?

“I wrote a comic book story for the Students of the Unusual make your own comic contest. Krystal Diaz drew it, and we got second place. It wasn’t about me, it took place in the Students of the Unusual Universe and featured a character I made up called Flask, who is a hot woman bartender who’s mixed drinks have magic effects, such as turning into zombies and erasing memories. I also got third in a songwriting contest held by the same comic, and as a result I played music at Megacon, a big comic convention in Orlando, and Supercon, which is in Ft. Lauderdale.”

You’re currently playing in Orlando. Any large gigs in the near future, or are they all just small coffee shop open mic nights?

“Most of our shows lately have had a hundred people or more in attendance. We are in a guild of musician’s called Sound Vine, and we are playing with all the bands at Backbooth in Orlando on February 12, and at the Plaza Theatre on March 15. I played the Florida Music Festival in 2007 and 2008, and the Mission Creek Music Festival in Iowa City, Iowa 2008.”

You performed at Megacon in 2008, what was that like?

“It was very nice. I played all three days at the Students of the Unusual booth. Terry Cronin, the publisher, his best friend Pat, and his three sons are all characters in the comic, and I got to hang out with them all weekend.”

More for on Sterling Schroeder, visit MySpace.com/SterlingSchroeder - 12:51 Music Blog


Discography

Ballads & Bloodshed - Full Length (Abyssmal Records)

Tracks getting airplay on WPRK 91.5 and Knightcast.com: "Little Lady" and "Bomb in my Brain"

Photos

Bio

Sterling Schroeder and The Chosen Ones are Sterling Schroeder, Adam Kozlow, Marc Kozlow, & Mariel Olcoz. The group has been together in its current incarnation for over six months, however, their roots go deeper than that.

Sterling launched his solo career over two years ago. Playing acoustic guitar, he was backed by Stevan Shea on conga drums and xylophone, and Mariel Olcoz on backing vocals. Together, they recorded his first album, “Ballads & Bloodshed.” After a year playing with Sterling, Shea left the group to focus on his film career. Schroeder continued playing shows without Shea following his departure.

The Kozlow brothers approached Schroeder after a Denny’s gig, and asked him if he would like to play together. Schroeder agreed and The Chosen Ones were born. Trading in his acoustic guitar for an electric guitar, a new sound was born as The Chosen Ones began to radically reinterpret Schroeder’s catalog.

Together, the group has toured extensively around the greater Orlando area, playing with such acts as Neva Dinova, McCarthy Trenching, Alias Punch, Peter Baldwin, and The Great Deceivers. As a solo act, Schroeder has played countless shows, including The Florida Music Festival in both 2007 and 2008. The group is currently busy recording new material.