(click the picture above for the high definition video - but also click YouTube for me!)
YouTube link added 8.23.08
11:27 PM, Thursday, April 26th, 2007:
I knew they were good. I watched their submission several times. They were head and shoulders over any teenage band I'd seen and 2 of these kids were 12. So when Jim (producer) told me we were gonna check 'em out at acollege gig they were playing just to hang with 'em a bit before we start taping the package - I knew what to expect...
...like hell I did. They would have been amazing at 20. If these were a bunch of college kids I would've easily made the comment: "Wow, they're incredibly tight. You can tell they've been playing together for years." They're 13 guys. The lead singer's voice is spot-on. Their technical chops screamed hours of practice, and it was clear that these guys were beyond their years in every facet. I expected to talk to men when they got done with their set. I fully expected them to be "too cool", and every bit aware of how good they are. I was shocked to find a bunch of... well 13 year olds. Talkin' about grades, teachers, videogames, and if you brought it up - they'd talk about this whole "huge opportunity/national television exposure" thing. It was easily the most refreshing thing I've ever experienced.
On top of that, they're manager clearly cares about the kids like his own, their parents are at every gig helping tear down...they are surrounded by people whose biggest interest is protecting them. They're luckier than they'll ever know in that respect. Add in the fact that they practice every day after school, play at least 2 times a week, write their own material - actually have been playing together for years... this is the easiest success story to predict ever. The lead singer's charisma onstage and his persona off? It's like someone went to 1972 and created the perfect manchild with 70's "make 12 year old girls scream their brains out" androgynous looks and plopped him 35 years in the future. And all of them completely unassuming. They have no idea how much their lives are going to change in a year.
Man, ramble, ramble, ramble. I didn't even think I'd write tonight - but they impressed me that much. Everything else is as expected... a plane is a plane, a hotel room is a hotel room. As far as my own "performance" tomorrow... meh - nothin' to think about. I actually love these guys and it'll ooze out of me on camera whether I want it to or not. Both Jim and I feel very honored to be a part of this and I just can't express how cool it is to be part of this at such an early stage in their career...
---ooh - the Guitar Hero 2 commercial just came on. I'm so gonna beat their butts at that tomorrow. LOL. It was so funny - as I was watching them play tonight I actually thought to myself:  "Oh man, I'm gonna get CRUSHED by them in Guitar Hero." Ha. I find it so funny that these kids can rock so friggin' hard and because I'm beat so badly in that respect I'm gonna bring out a TOY GUITAR and get all competitive.
Alright - must get some sleep... just remember "Crooked X" - you won't make it out of 2007 without hearing their name again.
PS - Forrest (lead singer) wanted it to be known that the guitar wasn't his and the strap was way too low (thus it falling off) but he's such a badass it didn't matter. Oh and the compression kills his voice in the clip - but watcha gonna do. Ya gotta see 'em live man...