Before I climb onto the enormo tour bus of Oklahoma modern rockers Crooked X to conduct an interview under the watchful eye of their management, I meet up with them at a Dunkin' Donuts, and witness their drummer, Boomer, ask his road manager, with a straight face, if they have Egg McMuffins here. Now, I suppose you could be rolling your eyes here at Spinal Tap excess and common-man-out-of-touch-ness and whatnot, but keep in mind that Boomer (and the rest of Crooked X) are all 14 years old -- so pardon them for their child-like naivete. Because really, what did your freshman-year high school rock band sound like? And had you done tours with Ted Nugent and Alice Cooper before you were Bar Mitzvah-age? Like I said, management (and parents) were in the room when I talked to the band, so I couldn't get the skinny on any illicit tour activity -- but honestly, these kids seem way too focused on rocking the world and making it big, in that order, to really be distracted by the high life. They've been doing this since they were 8 and 9 years old (!) -- so while other kids their age are playing Rock Band, they're recording songs that get on to Rock Band. And rocking the nation one auditorium at a time.
DB: Tell me how the band started.
FORREST (vocals, guitar): Me and Boomer knew each other since we were in the womb. We've grown up together: we played on the same football team, and we hadn't won a game all year. Both of our dads coached the team, and they were talking and they were like "Well, my son plays guitar, does your son play drums? Let's get them together and let them have some fun." So we went back to Boomer's garage and learned some Metallica and AC/DC songs.
JOSH (bass): The whole thing slowly built, and we didn't know it while it was happening. We were just having fun.
JESSE (guitar, vocals): We weren't really thinking about, you know, getting songs on the radio, when we started. We were just getting together, on the weekend, you know-- I don't know, man, we just love it, we love playing together.
DB: What was your first show like?
FORREST: Our first show was my sister's birthday party, four or five years ago, I think it was fifth or sixth grade. After the show, we thought we did awesome, we thought we were the stuff. Then we saw the video and we were like "Oh, we have a lot of work to do."
JESSE (guitar, vocals): We've definitely grown together as a band -- we practice now four, five, six days a week, three to four hours a day. The longest we've ever taken off is 10 days in the last four years.
DB: Tell me about your first single, "Rock And Roll Dream": it sounds a lot different than your other, more metallic tunes.
FORREST: That song, that's kind of our singalong song. We have a lot of heavier stuff on our album, kind of Southern metal, but we needed some song that would give us some leverage, and "Rock and Roll Dream" is kind of the song that all the little kiddies will sing along to, so that's what that song's about.
BOOMER: We wrote that song needing, like, a hook, because every big band out there needs a hook in their song to at least make it on the radio, so I guess you could say that that's our radio song.
JOSH: We're hoping that song will get our other songs out there, you know?
DB: You guys are 14 years old and you do this band full-time: what was the decision like to take the band seriously at such a young age?
FORREST: It was tough because we had to sit down and say "Is this what we really want?". We knew that there was gonna be a lot of sacrifice, and there are a lot of things that we're not able to do that most kids do, like have a social life at school! But on the upside, we're doing things that other kids may never do, so we're growing up in a different way.
JESSE: We're very fortunate to be in our position.
BOOMER: When we were first starting out, my dad and Jesse's dad told us "Alright, if you guys want to get serious, do it now and we'll book you shows and stuff; if not, you can be a garage band and make it like that." And we all agreed that this is what we want to do, this is how we want to make our living.