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Band:

The Pledge

Members: Will Blasdell, bass; Matt Diehl, guitar; Kayce McCullough, vocals; Brett Shoffner, drums; Grant Synder, guitar

Who we talked to: McCullough, 22

How did you guys meet/how long have you been performing together? I was in a previous band and so (were) two of the core members Matt and Brett. We were under the same booking agent and booking company. I was actually living in Little Rock, Ark., at the time, and they were living here in York. (In September of 2006), the booking agent started to book a tour with my previous band and Brett and Matt's previous band. We met each other. We just realized how much we had in common. About a year ago, I actually moved up and we decided to . . . make The Pledge. We all had the same music interest, but . . . the bands we were in at the time really (weren't) bringing out, you know, what we wanted to do with music.

Where did the name come from? We kind of named it The Pledge because we wanted to pledge to ourselves that we were going to finally make the music we always wanted to do rather than . . . just be in a band. We write stuff that we like, and if people like it, then that's awesome.

What was the transition like from Little Rock, Ark., to York? Up here, it's a lot different. (Laughs) Down there, everyone . . . kind of lives by the book. If you're in a band and look a little different (and) have a little different hair color or tattoos and piercings, you kind of get stared at. It's kind of cool because you come up here, and I find it to be a lot more artistic, and (there's) a lot more freedom in the arts and in music and stuff. Up here. . . things are a little bit more up to date. I like the atmosphere a lot better. Down there, there (was) a scarce variety of places you could play at. But up here . . . you have a whole different range of venues.

Who are your influences? We have fun on stage because if you're not having fun on stage, then how can you expect your crowd to have fun at your show? I know in our band we like New Found Glory, Taking Back Sunday, Flyleaf . . . We The Kings (and) I think our guitarist just went to see Jet. We kind of pick apart everything we like and blend it into what we want our music to sound like. It would be kind of cool to have a crowd where you have kids who listen to hardcore music, you have kids who listen to rock, you have kids who listen to Top 20 (and) you have kids you listen to underground/indie all coming to the same show to see us.

Where do you play in the area? We've been playing out in Lancaster (and) sometimes here in York. We actually play every second Sunday of the month at a place called The Action Church. It's actually held at Club 19. It's basically a church for people who don't like church. It's kind of open (and) free.

You . . . don't feel like you're pressured or anything. We don't play, you know, like, church music. We play our set. It's, like, a really cool atmosphere for people. In August . . . we're playing a breast cancer benefit out at the Laserdome . . . in the Lancaster area. We've been playing a couple Hot Topics. I know that we're booking some more shows as we speak.

Are you planning to release an album? Yes, definitely. We did have a recording session back in December. We've written some more songs since then. We want to put out an EP, and, at some point in time, we'd like to put out a full-length (album). We've added a couple new members to the band. We finally have our full band, which is really exciting.

What are your challenges? There (are) a lot of different things that go with it. It's (challenging to pick) the right venues for the particular crowd you're going to. We feel like it's . . . coming to a time (when) a lot of kids are going to start spreading out what they're listening to. (We want to get) to those venues that maybe haven't heard of us yet live, but (convince them) to take the chance to have us play. Right now, there (are) a lot of things going on in our lives. I'm actually getting married soon.

What is it like being the only girl in the group? Sometimes, it's like (the guys) don't even care I'm in the room. I just have to get used to it, and I've kind of already gotten used to it. If someone burps in front of me, I'm like, "whatever." All the people in my band are, like, my best friends, so . . . it's not really that I'm hanging out with a bunch of guys; it's kind of like I'm hanging out with a bunch of friends. I kind of like being the only girl. It's kind of cool. (There are) some guys who do wear girl pants in the band. We might be wearing the same jeans. (Laughs)

- ERIN McCRACKEN, FLIPSIDE STAFF

If you go

The Pledge is one of 11 local and regional bands performing at 4 p.m. Aug. 28 at the Laserdome in Manheim. The Laserdome will donate all proceeds to the Keep A Breast Foundation, which helps fund breast cancer prevention. For details about the foundation, visit www.keep-a-breast.org.

For details about The Pledge, visit www.myspace.com/thepledgepa. To listen to the interview, visit www.flipsidepa.com.

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