M897 Artist Spotlight: April 2015
American WiFi has a high speed rock conectivity
Story by LCC Radio Staff Reporter Sarah Spohn
because the members of American WiFi aren’t even of legal drinking age, doesn’t
mean they can’t rock and roll with the best of ‘em.
Self-described as alternative pop rock with a twist of lemon, Greyson Bos, Sam Starkie, Levi Lilly and Cohen Parker are on the road to rock royalty via 212 Union Street in Grand Rapids.
Bos (vocals/guitar) spoke about the band’s fan base in their hometown. “We’ve put a lot of effort into winning over Grand Rapids,” Bos said. “We’re finally to a place where we have a legitimate buzz, and where we even get recognized on the street every once in a while, which is really exciting for us.”
American WiFi is becoming known across the state for its spot-on vocals, bouncy guitar riffs and steady percussion section.
Having released their second EP in December of 2014, Starkie (guitar/vocals) spoke about the reception-which has been anything but spotty.
“People seem to really enjoy it, which is what we were hoping for,” Starkie said. “2.0 was the continuation for our first EP, Hotspot, so it was nice to give our fans some fresh material to jam to. We’re very pleased with how accepted it was in the WiFi community.”
The EP was mainly recorded in the band’s home studio. Keeping their eyes and ears focused on the music is something really important to the foursome.
“We’re really hands-on as far as recording goes; we like to have a lot of control over the finished product,” Bos said. “Hotspot and Hotspot 2.0 were recorded with the help of engineer Alex Hamel.”
“Alex is a great dude who brings a lot to the table and it was great working with him on those projects. As far as mastering goes, both of our EP’s were mastered by Richard Dodd, who has worked with artists such as Tom Petty, Sheryl Crow and Kings of Leon.”
Inspired by big names like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nirvana, these underage rockers continue to follow their dreams, day by day.
“Things are starting to really take off for us,” Bos said. “I can’t give too much away, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we were doing this full-time within six months. As musicians, that’s all we could ever want: to be able to create our art and express ourselves and do what we love for a living. It’s humbling.”
And many humble lessons are learned along the way of a rock star life: many late nights and life on the road.
“Well, it’s definitely taught us that hard work does indeed make the dream work,” Lilly(drums/vocals) said. “It’s also taught us that you can’t live off fast food every night. Water and vegetables - that’s the secret.”
There’s no real secret ingredient, however, behind the success that this up and coming band has seen across the region.
Having won the pop/electronic category in St. Cecilia Music Center’s 2014 ArtPrize song competition with their tune “Spin My Record,” the band’s continued to see steady support.
Lyricist Bos spoke about the inspiration behind the award-winning song.
“I’ve dated a good handful of women and all of them have songs attached to them,” Bos said. ‘Spin My Record’ was the first song I wrote for my current girlfriend, and reflects the kind of innocent infatuation that defined the first few months of our relationship.”
And the band has written plenty more adolescent rock anthems and hosted raucous live shows including their recent gig at WO-Stock Music Festival.
According to the band, the experience was insane.
“When we got on stage the crowd was ready to rock out and we could feel it,” Bos said. “While the sound-man was getting the levels dialed in, I went down to the barrier and started high-fiving all the people in the front row and getting them pumped for our set. By the time we started playing, the place was going absolutely mental.”
“At certain points during our performance, I saw kids who I didn’t know and who had never seen us play singing along to our songs, which kind of blew my mind. Definitely one of my fondest memories. I’d like to give a shout-out to the kids who made that such a great night for us,” Bos said.
Looking back on fond memories, this band of best friends can do nothing but smile. But there’s plenty more American WiFi where that came from. The band is currently working hard on recording their full length album.
“We are going to keep on writing, keep on playing, and keep on living,” Padilla (bass/vocals) said. “There’s a long road ahead of us, but hey, that’s what we’re in this for anyways. We love to make music, and we love to make people happy.”