On Friday, Jan. 20 and Saturday, Jan. 21, New Canaan's ’s Women Who Rock group performed at the Lucky Break Bar and Grill in Stamford. To get the inside scoop on the music and kids of School of Rock, I interviewed the musical director, Byl Cote.
Z: How did you get into music?
Byl: When I was about five, my Dad started playing records for me. When I was a kid, I started playing trumpet. And then I got pretty good on trumpet and I did that through middle school. Around high school, I wanted to play punk rock because my friends were starting a punk rock band, so I decided I would play drums. But then we moved to Florida when I was about 16, and my parents wouldn’t bring the drum set, so I got them to buy me a guitar instead, so I started playing guitar.
Z: Do you think playing the trumpet inspired you with rock music, or the Women Who Rock set list?
Byl: Other than “These Boots are Made for Walkin” there isn’t that much trumpet (laughs). It inspired me to explore music, and I learned a lot playing in symphonies and orchestras.
Z: What’s your favorite type of rock music?
Byl: I like all types of rock music, but really like original rock, like something I haven’t heard before. So if I think I’ve heard fifty-million people do something before, then I tend not to like it as much, and if it sounds like something a band hasn’t added before, I like that. But I like a lot of late ‘60s-‘70s stuff.
Z: So what types of bands would that be?
Byl: Pink Floyd, Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, Ramones, T. Rex, David Bowie
Z: Is the music that you like different than what you play?
Z: So what type of music do you like to play?
Byl: I usually write the stuff that I play, so it tends to be stuff I like because I wrote it. I don’t play any cover bands right now, but I may start one. I might play some cover songs, but I usually play original music.
Z: What kind of cover band do you want to be in?
Byl: One that plays songs that I like, which aren’t the ones that make money, unfortunately. If I wanted to be in a cover band that makes money, I would not be playing music that I like (laughs).
Z: So what is the hardest part about directing the Women Who Rock group?
Byl: When people don’t practice. When people come in unprepared, generally is the hardest part to deal with. If people come in prepared it makes my life a lot easier, so I don’t have to get mad at people.
Z: So what do you think makes a good student?
Byl: Someone who wants to learn.
Z: What do you think is the easiest thing about directing the Women Who Rock group?
Byl: They’re all good kids, and that makes it easy. It makes them fun to work with.
Z: So the final question... can women rock as hard as men?
Note: Also, the School of Rock performances are still
coming! The Billy Joel vs. Elton John group is going to perform on January 27
and January 28 at the Lucky Break Bar and Grill in Stamford. The School of Rock
new bands are forming, which includes Punk Rock, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and
The Doors. The adult class is playing David Bowie. You can learn more by going