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Middle school 80s cover band promotes anti-bullying message

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They may just be seventh-graders, but they carry an important message.

“Be original. Be bold. Be you.”

It’s an anti-bullying message the three boys are trying to get across to all of their classmates, and they’re using their 80s cover band as the platform to spread the word.

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The Forestview Middle School students call themselves “SOLO.”

Jayce Schroeder plays drums, Danny Olson is on guitar and Carter Sobania is on bass and vocals.

They’re playing their second gig May 1, with part of the proceeds going to the school’s anti-bullying program.

Although none of the three have been bullied, they say it’s a very serious problem at their school. It’s something that drives some of their peers to tears, they say.

SOLO formed late last year out of pure luck. Olson was looking to start a band just about the same time Sobania was learning to play bass. The pair met Schroeder soon after and held the first band practice in October.

“It just clicked,” Olson said of the trio.

Schroeder said as they got to know each other more, they grew more comfortable playing together.

Now on the average week, the boys get together to practice two or three times, for three hours at a time.

But each wanted to do more than just play music.

“We wanted to do something different than other 80s cover bands that do the same old stuff,” Olson said.

The members of SOLO wanted to spread a message — use their position as band members for a greater good.

With bullying such a prevalent issue at school, the boys said it was the clear choice to target.

“If a teacher says something about bullying, kids don’t listen,” Sobania said. “The message sticks out if we say it.”

The group’s saying, “Be original. Be bold. Be you.” has already gotten some attention around the school.

“A lot of people are talking about it. They like the idea,” Olson said.

The boys hope it will help prevent future bullying.

Schroeder, Sobania and Olson say they’ve seen the bad effects of bullying. They’ve seen the low place some kids reach when being knocked down by a bully.

“A lot of kids get really down,” Olson said. “You try to bring them up, but it’s really hard. Some have thoughts of suicide.”

Schroeder wants classmates in those situations to be happy, to be able to “reach new limits” and not have to worry about bullying.

“If you’re being bullied, you’re scared to be yourself,” he said.

Olson added that the band’s message might give that helping hand to someone who needs it.

JESSIE PERRINE may be reached at jessie.perrine@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5859. Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/brainerdnews.

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