Frontman de Bernard and his classic rock outfit Old Scool aim to prove their skills are as sharp as any youthful band.
When it comes to fashion, Lionel "Ageless" de Bernard recognizes that retro is king. In particular, the revival of leggings and mohawks have been keeping the throne of popularity pretty toasty the last few years.
Since retro is accepted in fashion, surely the same could be said about a trio of veteran musicians looking to keep classic rock music alive through their offering of covers and original tunes? Yes?
Frontman de Bernard, of Dover, certainly thinks so. He and his classic rock outfit Old Scool aim to prove their skills are as sharp as any youthful band, during their free debut concert at The Young Coffee Shop on Friday. The concert, which will be unplugged, will also mark the band's first acoustic show.
Old Scool is currently recording a new album, slated to be released in December. The project is currently untitled.
Not a fan of giving out his age because he's, well, "Ageless," de Bernard (a man who's been playing guitar for more than 20 years) opened up about his band's upcoming gig.
Q How would you describe Old Scool?
A If you notice the way our name is spelled, it's without an "h". It's O-l-d and then you have S-c-o-o-l. Basically what we're saying with that name is that "old is cool," you follow me? In our society we have an abundance of young groups and people who think youth is what's important in our lives — whether it's fashion, music or entertainment; Hollywood is so preoccupied with youth so much that people want to have surgery to maintain that youth, since it's a matter of survival to get the casting that you want if you're an actor. If you're a musician and you want a recording contract and you're not in your 20s or 30s, you're not going to get it. What we've decided to do is kind of use that and say, "Look, we old farts have music, too. We can contribute something significant."
Q How does your acoustic set differ from your electronic set?
A What we do is we go in and do half and half: half covers and half originals. What differentiates the unplugged set is we're going to add a different flavor to it: often times it could be the tempo; we might simply play a song slower than we normally would with an electric guitar; or it might be something where we do a completely different beat.
Q What covers and original songs does the band have in its repertoire?
A We could do Tom Petty ("The Apartment Song"), some Travis Tritt ("Help Me Hold On") and we may end up doing Bobby Fueller Four's "I Fought the Law". It's a sort of mixed bag and we're keeping with the theme of classic rock. With our original songs, I like to keep things simple. So a lot of times our songs are very simple. "Thank You for Loving Me" is about thanking a person, your loved ones, just for who they are and believing in who you are.
Q You started Old Scool in 2005 but have had different roster changes throughout the years. How does the current roster compare to previous incarnations of the band?
A I'm taking advantage of the fact that these guys are seasoned players. And that makes a huge difference. Previously I had to communicate with the musicians exactly what I wanted, because maybe we came from different backgrounds. It was a lot of work on my part to try to communicate how to do the originals. But with these guys [drummer Chris Foltz and bassist Art Wessell], because they have that old school framework in their mindset to begin with, it makes it so much easier.
IF YOU GO
WHAT Old Scool in concert
WHEN 6:30-9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 19
WHERE The Young Bean Coffee Shop, 314 Main Street, Clayton
INFO theyoungbean.com or 653-3674