January 25, 2012 - Who said rock-and-roll isn't popular among today's youth?
2009 Oxford High School graduate John Bivens, along with 2010 OHS graduates Christian Brendel and Kyle Marker, are proudly bringing back the classic rock-and-roll hits everytime they take the stage as "The Deals."
"We play a lot of classic and oldies because that is what our influences come from. It's uncommon for kids our age," Bivens said.
"We can play about four hours worth of classic rock music, as well as original music that is based off of some of the classics we listen to," Brendel added.
"The Deals" features Marker on the electric guitar, Brendel on the bass guitar and Bivens playing the drums.
Bivens said he had been playing the drums for 10 years while Brendel picked up the bass guitar three years ago.
"I remember he (Brendel) was playing drums and he said one day I am going to play bass, and he just learned and got really good really quick," Bivens said. "It was an amazing thing to watch."
Brendel added he had been playing the guitar for six years.
"When we started, I was going to play rhythm guitar. We had another kid playing bass, and he didn't really work out, so we kind of kicked him out, and I just started playing bass," Brendel said.
Bivens added most kids who form bands usually want to play punk or modern Green Day.
Brendel agreed, saying a good rock-and-roll band was a dying breed.
"We played up at Emerald Theatre, New York New York in Chesterfield, Hay Loft, the Ritz, some of those places and we just have a hard time playing with some of these other bands because right now, it seems like metal is a bigger scene at some of these music venues," he said. "When we do play rock shows, we will be the only ones under 40 playing in the show."
Rock-and-roll is nothing new for Bivens and Brendel.
"It's something I always loved as a kid," Bivens said. "Growing up and listening to the Moody Blues and Paul Simon...(were) kind of my big influence as a kid."
The same could be said for Brendel, who grew up listening to his parent's rock-and-roll.
"Kids listened to pop or hip-hip in school, but I never really got into it," he explained. "I listened to Led Zeppelin...when I was in elementary school, and then I get to middle school and people start wearing Led Zeppelin t-shirts."
When asked how they came up with the band name "The Deals," Brendel said it basically boiled down to one thing - nobody could spell their original band name "The Tyrannasydes."
"They just thought it was a dinosaur name or something like that, so we figured "The Deals" was a pretty cool, easy name," Brendel explained.
Their musical talents extend beyond rock-and-roll.
During their high school career, Bivens was a section leader in the OHS drumline in 2009 while Brendel served as a section leader for the snare line in 2010.
Once Marker was added to the band, the trio started out as a blues band, but quickly evolved as they began branching out.
"All of us playing together, it has worked out and has been great," Bivens said. "We like to play and it's fun and it's a good way to possible make some money and see where it goes. All of us are great musicians, and our friend Kyle, he is actually studying music at Oakland University as a classic guitarist...he is probably one of the greatest guitar players I've heard."
Now they are hoping to keep branching out and playing at some local venues in Oxford and the surrounding areas.
"People that are looking to hire entertainment. We have been playing these other shows, now we are looking for entertainment," Bivens said.
They can be reached by calling (248) 464-2452 or (248) 978-4285.
Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.