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Maroon Focus: Madrid Kids Make New Sound For Local Nightlife

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Staff WriterMadrid Kids is a local band composed of four RC students. MK recorded their first 6-track studio EP at Music Lab in the Jefferson Center downtown Roanoke, this past May. The band was in the studio 4 days and the EP was released in June 2010.

The band started with Brooks Allison ’10 on guitar and vocals, Tyler Booth ’11 on drums, Sean Driscoll ’11 on bass and Jon Marc Winchester on guitar and vocals. After the release of their EP, Winchester left the band. In place of Winchester, Allison and Booth’s friend- Cole Conrad ’12- filled the spot on rhythm guitar.

As for the name of the band, there’s a story behind it.

“[Driscoll]’s Uncle Jesse was from Madrid. He apparently used to call Sean and his sister ‘Madrid Kids’ when he would go visit. Thought it was pretty catchy,” said Allison ‘10

Allison said that the band is not taking a different direction from where they were but dynamic has changed. The way that the band plays now is different than before. The band was used to playing a short set before another band said Allison. Now, MK plays for around three hours at local restaurants.

Booth and Allison met on RC campus their freshman year. They shared a similar taste in music but it was not until their sophomore year until they played together for the first time. Allison had been practicing with Winchester and Booth joined up.

Booth and Allison have both been in bands previous to MK. Booth said that his influences have been bands such as Kings of Leon and more recently, sounds stemming from the bands like Minus the Bear.

“Elvis Costello, The 6 Noble Gentlemen, Minus the Bear, My Sister’s Heart [Conrad’s former band] and the Madrid Kids have all played very separate but equal roles in my music,” said Conrad ’12. Similarly, Allison said his influences stem from classic rock to Alternative bands like The Black Keys.

The mix of influences that are being pulled from the members creates a unique sound. Booth and Allison agree that although they have influences from other musicians, they have created something original with MK.

Apart from their musicianship, there is a definite a lighter side to their entertainment. “One of our biggest influences would have to be Creed,” Booth said. Completing a multi-faceted night of entertainment like stories of Allison singing “Arms Wide Open,” while the rest of the band was tuning.

As of now, MK is active in the local night life playing in restaurants in Salem and downtown Roanoke. MK recently played this Friday at RC After Dark.

To date, MK have played 20 shows. This Thursday night MK will be at Mac & Bob’s and Friday downtown at Corned Beef & Co.