BBHHS teens jam in Tri-C High School Rock OffPosted: April 19, 2017
by Laura Straub
From the bright lights and blaring bass to the roar of the crowd, members of Man Cried Wolf had a taste of the rock star experience at the 2017 Tri-C High School Rock Off.
The band, made up of Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School seniors Anthony Ross and Peter Wilson and sophomore Stephen Pilat, won its semifinal round on Feb. 11, and advanced to the final performance with 11 other bands on Feb. 25 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
“It was the greatest feeling ever to be able to play at the Rock Off and feel like, and be treated like, real rock stars,” said Pilat. “… And to be playing at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, ‘wow’ is all I can say.”
The band has been together just over a year. It all began with Ross and Pilat jamming in the BBHHS band room.
Initially, they formed the band with some other students as a fun outlet to perform unique takes on popular songs. The band has assumed an assortment of monikers as its musical direction evolved, from Emu, which included keyboard and horn players, to Gift Shop, which excluded the keys.
In early 2016, Ross and Pilat drastically changed the band’s sound and style, taking on an alternative vibe and transforming into Man Cried Wolf.
Ross invited Wilson to play bass, so Wilson bought a guitar, learned how to play and jumped on board.
“It could be described as pop punk or emo or alternative, but it’s hard for me to put a specific genre on our music, because there’s really nothing to my knowledge that sounds like it,” said Pilat.
With the new style, the band took on the challenge of playing only original songs written by band members.
From the Police and Metallica to Blink-182 and Phil Elverum, each member credits different artists as muses. The blend of inspiration helped create Man Cried Wolf’s unique sound.
As for the members’ own musical experience, Ross joined the school band in seventh grade as a percussionist and began playing the drums as a freshman. He’s a member of the high school marching band and drum line.
Wilson took piano lessons from ages 6-10. In fifth grade, he joined the school band, playing the alto sax and then transitioned to tenor sax in middle school. By eighth grade, he was also playing baritone sax in the school and jazz bands. In high school, Wilson was named to the wind ensemble. He also plays acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo and ukulele.
Pilat has played guitar since he was 9, learning the drums and bass not long after. At ages 13 and 14, Pilat spent summers playing drums and bass at local festivals and concerts through Royalton Music Center’s Rock City group. He also participated in the center’s songwriting sessions, where he joined two teens in writing six songs that they performed live and recorded. At BBHHS, Pilat has played in the marching and pep bands, wind ensemble and jazz ensemble.
Although the trio does not perform locally often (they performed at Paint the City in 2016 and occasionally appear at school parties), their music is available on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon Music. It is also streaming on Spotify, YouTube and Pandora, and their song “Ruins” was included on the Rock Off CD.
The members of Man Cried Wolf have experienced success in their year together; however, the band’s immediate future is uncertain. Ross will attend college in California in the fall, and Wilson will study at Case Western Reserve or Ohio State University. Pilat will be a junior at BBHHS. For now, Wilson and Pilat plan to play together with another drummer, while Ross pursues other musical opportunities.