They call themselves the Prickly Pears, they rocked their first concert and Lion’s Journal just got an interview with their bassist.
If you saw the Poetry and Music Concert on the 5th of October in the coreway, chances are you heard the sounds of the new band of the Upper School, the Prickly Pears, with Thandiwe van Wesenbeeck on vocals, Aaron Beaudin on guitar and vocals, Shareef Elhadidi on bass, Benjamin Sexton on keys and Rodion Galiullin on the drums. Luckily for you, we got an interview with their bassist, Shareef Elhadidi.
Lion’s Journal: What was the inspiration for the Prickly Pears?
Shareef Elhadidi: I always wanted to be in a some kind of musical group that was higher level than the school concert band, and I wanted to do it with my friends. After seeing Mig and the Bois – they were a big inspiration to all of us I think – we wanted to do something similar, something cool like that. I didn’t know how to play anything useful (just the tuba) so I picked up the bass and Ben agreed to work with me, Rodion already knowing the drums. Then we needed a guitarist and/or a singer; we knew Aaron played the guitar. Everything kind of fell into place.
LJ: What are your next plans for the group? Are there any school events that you will participate in?
SE: We’re definitely doing Extravaghanza. For Band Stand, I believe Ms Sons will allow other groups to perform. And if the WorldFest plans on hosting some performances in the theater, we might be there as well.
LJ: Now a question that everyone wants to know the answer to: what makes a band click?
SE: Really the main drive is that we want to make good music, I find it fun, and so we just get together and make music. It’s all about that: we’re in high school, nothing is serious. It’s a hobby, it’s a passion.
LJ: How do you feel about performing in front of people?
SE: Our initial thoughts were that we have to prepare some stuff to perform as soon as possible, then we wondered why we were putting so much pressure on ourselves. It was not supposed to be a chore. But then the coreway concert was a great reality check: we needed to practice more.
LJ: What motivates all of you to play music?
SE: Each other. If one of us doesn’t practice, the music won’t sound good, so we won’t feel good playing it. I realize that it’s all very cliche.
LJ: What makes your music so unique?
SE: I think that we are still figuring out what our sound is, and what kind of music we are trying to make. So far we have done a lot of slower pieces, we want to try something more upbeat.
LJ: And finally, you have already performed three covers in the coreway, are there any plans for originals as well?
SE: We have great talented people in the band. Ben produces/composes music, so he has a lot of composition skills. Thandie, brings a lot of improv’ skills from theater. I’m not a creative mind, so I’m leaving it to them. We’re trying to write some stuff, and we’ll see how it goes.
LJ: Thank you for your sharing.
SE: Thank you.
The Prickly Pears seem to have a lot of potential and charm already! Will they rise to the popularity of last year’s band, Mig and the Bois? We can only wait for their next performance. Till then, we wish them a lot of luck.