Members: Ben Myers, bass; Stephen Sites, guitar; Shadow Ronemus, vocals; Jeff Stough, drums
Who we talked to: Myers, 45
How did you guys meet/ How long have you been performing together? It started with a guy I work with. His name is Jeff Stough. He had a 40th birthday coming up. He was in a band in the '80s. I was in a band in the '80s. He was trying to get his old band guys back together to do, like, a little reunion show for his 40th. He was able to contact certain (members), and other ones he couldn't find, so he needed a bass player, (and bass) is the instrument that I play. He needed a guitarist, (and guitar) is what Stephen Sites plays. We agreed to join in for the party. We had so much fun . . . that we decided to . . . see what happens. It's not like we're looking to sign a record deal at our age.
What groups did you like in the '80s? It might have varied a little bit. My band was more modeled after Poison, or, let's say, Mötley Crüe. Some of the other guys (liked) stuff a little heavier. They might have been modeled after Metallica (and) some of those hair bands. Together, we like all the same music.
What current bands do you like? We (play) a mix of classic rock to modern. We mix some of the older stuff we used to do (like) Aerosmith and AC/DC . . . with newer stuff today like Buckcherry, Papa Roach and bands like that.
Where do you play in the area? The biggest thing . . . that we have coming up is the York chili cookoff at Sovereign Bank Stadium. We play The Glad Crab in Dallastown. We've played Tourist Inn a couple times. We also played Fat Daddy's. We play at a place in Frederick, Md. We've got a new (gig) at Blue Sky Bar and Grill in New Market, Md. We're kind of spreading out.
Do some of the band members live in Maryland? Jeff and I . . . are from York County. I grew up in Hanover. He grew up in York and lives in Abbottstown. Steve lives in Gettysburg. Shadow . . . got that name from his dad. He was his (dad's) shadow. He's from New Cumberland.
Describe your sound: We primarily play cover tunes because that's what (people are) familiar with when they go (to) see a band. We don't do too many originals. We're trying to incorporate some of the older ones we used to do in our other bands.
Have any of your '80s fans found you again? Most definitely. We've recruited some new fans. We've got some old fans (who) have seen us in the past who always try to get out and see us. It's a nice mix of new fans and old fans (who) come out.
Have you seen changes in the local scene? The biggest thing that sticks out in my mind is that in . . . the '80s, you would book a Friday and Saturday night. Sometimes, a band would play three or four nights in a row in the same place. Now, it's more that you come in and you do one night (and) three sets and that's it. They want more variety . . . to keep (the crowd's) interest. Another thing that I think is a little different with the club scene (is that) people used to stay out (and) party longer. It's hard for bands today. With new technology . . . a DJ comes in and can download instantly a song someone wants to hear. They can (play) what's being requested.
Have you guys become friendly with any local bands? As you're going out to look at a club, you see other bands. You get to know guys. You play together to help each other get into a new club. I think it's a very good, friendly comradery. The genres of music kind of dictates who kind of runs with who. We're good friends with (Head Case). Another band would be Big Jack, they're an AC/DC tribute band. You definitely get to meet other musicians and there are side projects that might even form from that.
Is this something you mainly do on the weekends? We all work full time. We all have families. It's hard to find time to rehearse, but we get it in. Once you have your songs in place, you're only learning a few new songs every so often. Primarily, we play on Saturday night. We work all week. On the weekends, we're doing this as a stress reliever.
Shoutouts: Get out to the clubs or get out to the festival and events and support the local music scene. The musicians appreciate it. Enjoy the entertainment. Support the musicians.
- Erin McCracken, FlipSide staff
The York Jaycees' 23rd Annual Chili Cookoff will be Saturday on Brooks Robinson Plaza at Sovereign Bank Stadium, 5 Brooks Robinson Way, York. Gates open at noon. The awards ceremony is 4 p.m. The live music lasts until 5 p.m.
Bands, including Se7en, will take the stage at the event.
Online tickets are $8 through 6 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $10 at the gate and free for children 10 and younger. Admission includes all-you-can eat chili and salsa samples. Other foods, water, soda and beer will be available at the rain-or-shine event.
For details, call 586-3002 or visit yorkchilicookoff.com.
For details about Se7en, visit www.se7enrocks.com.
Listen to the interview at www.flipsidepa.com.
Read more meet-the-artist interviews at www.flipsidepa.com/musicdirectory.