These kids rock – literally.
Will Graham, 17, Dylan Smyth, 14, and Nicolas Fiocco, 10, arethe trio of young musicians behind Rebelfish, a rock band formedand based in Bay Ridge that has been performing original music atlocal venues since 2010.
Their music – all original compositions written by Graham, whoalso plays the guitar and is lead singer – is influenced by theboys’ combined love of such bands as Green Day, Foo Fighters, RedHot Chili Peppers, Sum 41, Less Than Jake and The Beatles.
The band formed a year and a half ago after Fiocco began playingthe drums and the three, who are cousins, decided it would be funto perform together at another relative’s graduation party. It wasthere that they realized they sounded good.
I like having fun and drums are fun to me, said Fiocco, whosemop of dark hair gives him what friends have told him is the lookof a young Paul McCartney. I like performing in front of people.It entertains me.
After their first show, and with the help of a four-day RockBoot Camp organized last summer by their unofficial manager,Christopher Fiocco – Nic’s dad – during which they ate band-themedmeals, watched rock-related movies and saw the Green Day-basedBroadway musical American Idiot, we got used to playing togetheras a band, said Graham.
Rebelfish has played gigs at St. Patrick’s Teen Club andPippin’s Pub on Third Avenue, as well as at block parties here inBay Ridge and in Long Island, where Graham lives. This September,they performed at their biggest gig yet – in Queens at the SilverGull Club – but this weekend’s show will undoubtedly top that.
That’s because the three have snagged the 2:30 p.m. slot on thecenter stage at this year’s Third Avenue Festival, which is beingheld on Sunday, October 2, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.. The stage,located between 81st and 82nd Streets, has a full day’s worth oflive entertainment scheduled.
It’s just another show to play, to show people our music, butwe’re hoping to get more exposure, said Graham of the upcomingshow. I hope people hear my music and see what we can do.
They all agree that their biggest challenge is nervousness, butthe feeling of accomplishment when we nail the song makes itworth it, said Smyth, who plays the bass.
Interestingly enough, the two older cousins point to Fiocco asbeing the least nervous of the group, a trait that the fifth graderattributes to his ability to calm himself down with this reminder:It’s not that bad; there’s just a few people.
Another thing that puts them at ease is joking around andtalking with one another. Their genuine affinity for one another,as well as all forms of rock and roll, shines through in theirmusic, such as No Connection and Not Pretend, fan favoriteswhich are upbeat, yet thoughtful and observational.
When not performing, the three do typical teen stuff likehanging out with friends and playing sports. Graham and Smythtackle wrestling at school, while Fiocco is trying his hand andfeet at soccer, baseball, basketball and, when it’s raining,watching TV. Their favorite band food? Chicken and buffalo wings,French fries, pizza and spaghetti.
I’m most proud about when they struggle in the basement, arguelike cousins would, and then work through it, said the seniorFiocco of his son and nephews. The boys benefit beyond music whenthey learn to function as a team and, more specifically, when theycreatively solve problems. It’s a useful life skill, Ibelieve.
So check out the trio’s talents while you can, at this Sunday’sThird Avenue Festival, or at the Pipin’s Pub-sponsored 97th StreetBlock Party on Sunday, October 9. You can also listen to theirmusic on YouTube or visit their Facebookpage, Rebelfish Band.