By Sarah McNeil Melton
The band Paradox may be new to the music scene, but they are already gaining momentum and fans.
Band members Dominic Spitaliere, Michael Brennan and brothers James and Josh Wagstrom recently performed at The Bonu5 Room in Cornelius. Not only did the band get a full hour of play time, but they performed 10 songs they wrote and produced. More than 30 Paradox fans came out to support the Huntersville-based band.
"You get that adrenaline rush when you get up there (on stage) and see your fans interacting with you," Spitaliere said. "When they are doing that, you get pumped up and you go crazy. On the last song, everyone came down in front of us, moshed, went crazy and were falling on the floor. It was insane."
Facebook and You Tube have also helped Paradox reach audiences. The band is able to post pictures, videos and let people know when they will be performing. In the past few months, Paradox has jumped from 150 to almost 350 "likes" on its Facebook page. Plus, the band has sold more than 20 CDs.
For some of the band members, being noticed couldn't come soon enough.
"It would be amazing if we made it big," Spitaliere said. "There is a chance we could because there are record labels that look for bands locally. We just need to be in the right place at the right time and anything could happen."
All four teens live in Cedarfield subdivision, attend Lake Norman Charter School and take lessons at Creative Ej in Cornelius. The teens became friends, and soon discovered their shared passions for music.
Spitaliere and the Wagstroms are the original members of the band. Brennan came in after a fourth member left the band.
Josh Wagstrom, 17, is the oldest; the others are all 15. He plays drums and his brother is on bass guitar. Spitaliere is the lead guitarist and Brennan handles vocals.
Paradox works together to write and create songs, drawing from some of their own favorite bands, like Sick Puppies, Chevelle and Three Days Grace.
"That is what makes us us," Spitaliere said. "We draw music from completely different genres, mash it together and make a song."
The band members define their music as nothing "mainstream." Instead, Paradox is a blend of modern hard rock with some punk and alternative influences. But you won't find many "happy songs" coming from Paradox.
The band members write songs about what they know and feel - stress, problems, relationships, anger and even government.
"Our song, 'Use Me,' is about a relationship where the other person uses you," Spitaliere said. "You are in a relationship and the other person uses you for the wrong reasons. You know it, but you enjoy it and hate the repercussions of it."
Although Paradox may be made up of teenagers, their songs are relatable a wide audience.
"People can understand the same problems we go through," Brennan said. "A lot of older people like our music too. They are surprised we are so young because we have a different sound."
Paradox practices every Wednesday at Creative Ej or at one member's home. Creative Ej instructor Ray Tyson offers feedback at rehearsals and records their songs. Paradox has played a few times at The Bonu5 Room, but hopes to also perform at Grip Skatepark in Cornelius in February.
"We've had people come to our shows and have so much fun," Spitaliere said. "They have said, 'You guys are actually good.' So far, we proved to everyone we are really good."
Sarah Melton is a freelance writer for Lake Norman News. Have a story idea for Sarah? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.