GEORGE—A group of George-area teens are paying homage to the roots of rock music with their band The Noobers.
The Noobers are made up of a group of longtime friends that attend George-Little Rock High School in George.
The band’s name comes from an inside joke among the group members who also play computer games together.
“As a joke we called each other ‘noobers,’ like a noob,” said rhythm guitarist Martin Macias. “It just stuck, The Noobers.”
The Noobers are:
- Myles Master, 17, lead guitar.
- Austin Dixon, 18, piano and vocals.
- Martin Macias, 17, rhythm guitar and vocals.
- Solomon Johnson, 18, drums and vocals.
- Noah Wessels, 15, bass guitar.
Although they have only been playing together for about a year, the band mates have gained musical experience through the school band and jazz band.
“We all wanted to do something musically. We’re just like, why not do it together?” Johnson said.
The group is influenced by rock bands from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. They play an assortment of tunes from the rock genre, such as Sublime’s “Santeria” and Tom Petty’s “Breakdown.”
The Noobers advanced in the Iowa Rocks Talent youth competition after performing in a qualifying event on March 21.
The competition highlights young bands, singers and instrumentalists — 21 years old or younger — from across the state.
“We kind of got close to the deadline and we didn’t really have anything ready, so we were just not going to do it. In the last two weeks we really thought, ‘Why not just try it?’” Master said. “This next one is going to be the real deal. We’re going to have to practice a lot and refine the songs we’re playing.”
They played one original song at the qualifier but plan to have more ready for the upcoming Iowa Rocks Talent Finals, which will be held Aug. 31 at Arnolds Park.
“They encourage originals over cover music. They want to keep the rock genre alive and try to encourage young people to get into it,” Master added.
It was not until the day of the qualifier that the full band was able to get in a complete rehearsal. They practiced for five hours that day before leaving for the show.
“Most of the nerves were because we were unprepared. Once we’re actually performing we know what we’re doing; it’s more fun than nervous,” Master said. “When we were up there, I think we all said it felt like it was over in 10 seconds. I didn’t even remember it when I got back down.”
Wessels was not with the band for its qualifying performance, but according Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association program coordinator Patricia Donovan, Wessels will be eligible to play in the finals.
The first-place prize for winning the Iowa Rocks Talent Finals on Labor Day weekend is a free recording session at Catamount Recording in Cedar Falls and a chance to perform at the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame Induction Concert the following evening.
The Noobers are hoping to tune up with a couple of gigs this summer, starting with a summer kickoff at George-Little Rock High School. Discussions about if and when this performance will take place are ongoing. Keep an eye on nwestiowa.com for updates.
“By the end of the summer, we’re going to try and come up with a small album or something — try to get a few songs done so we can show people that want to hear what we sound like,” Johnson said.
“Nobody buys CDs anymore. We kind of want to make a record and have it on CD and have original album designs and have all the songs on the back, kind of like you would get back in the day,” Master added. “I appreciate stuff like that; a lot of people do.”