Dylan and Maverick, a three-piece band made up of high school seniors, are accomplishing something that not every high schooler gets to. They will release their first album, "Swingsets," and will celebrate with a release party beginning at 8 p.m., Saturday, at the Pig's Ear Pub, 939 Westminster Drive.
What started as childhood friendship, evolved into Maverick Vicars and Dylan Rockoff, both of Williamsport, starting a band and eventually adding Tommy James, of Watsontown.
The Sun-Gazette recently caught up with the band to talk about Dylan and Maverick and where the future might take them.
Dylan and Maverick, a band featuring Dylan Rockoff, Maverick Vicars and Tommy James, will hold an album-release party for the group’s first CD, “Swingsets,” at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Pig’s Ear Pub, 939 Westminster Drive.
BETHANY WIEGAND: So Dylan and Maverick are only two names, but you're a three-piece band. Who is involved in the band and how did you meet?
MAVERICK VICARS: Dylan and I actually met while playing baseball against each other. Ironically, music ended up taking the spot of sports in our lives. Dylan played "Stairway to Heaven" on his guitar at a pool party at my house and I instantly fell in love with the instrument. I enrolled at the Uptown Music Collective, where Dylan was also taking lessons and the rest is history. We noticed how similar our tastes in music were and started playing together as a duo. We remained a duo for about two years, but upon recording the album, we invited the incredible Tommy James to join the band on drums and be on the record with us. We had been in a few different bands with Tommy before and also played with him at the Collective. Since this summer, we've been the three-piece, which has come to define our sound. Adding Tommy on drums added an enormous dynamic to our band.
DYLAN ROCKOFF: Tommy James was a childhood acquaintance of mine and we reconnected when he rejoined the Uptown Music Collective. This summer, when Maverick and I began recording "Swingsets," we decided a drummer would fill out the sound of the music. Tommy was the clear choice. We've always dug his playing.
BW: With a debut album coming out, you've been performing a lot. What kind of reception have you gotten to the new material? What are fans saying?
MV: I kind of feel like we're just another facet to Williamsport's thriving music scene. The people at our shows really seem drawn to our upbeat, energetic performances. We cover a lot of different sounds, but we keep an original style even when we're not playing our own songs. People are always gettin' down at our gigs. We see a lot of dancing and movin' and groovin' going on.
DR: I think the most important thing that our fans and critics have expressed to us is the fact that they "love our sound." That's up to interpretation, but to me, that means that our music transcends what each individual instrument is doing and the focus is more on the way all of the parts work together. That tells me that we meld well together as musicians and songwriters and the fact that people feel we've achieved that on our first album is exciting to me.
BW: How would you describe your music? Are your musical tastes a big influence in the music you play?
TOMMY JAMES: I would describe Dylan and Maverick's music as blended elements of rock, folk and psychedelic music. All three of us are influenced by similar, but also different music and artists, so the sound of this band is original, and hopefully, unique. Regarding my musical taste, and how it relates to my playing in this group, I intend to play for the music's quality and not for my own amusement. My primary goal is to complement the music that I am helping make.
MV: I get this question every day and I can never find the words to answer (laughs). We use a lot of vocal harmony and we use primarily acoustic instruments. I don't want to limit our sound to a genre. We like to let everybody have their own say. And, absolutely, we draw from a myriad of different influences. The whole band is crazy about jazz music. Dylan and I love just about every kind of music there is. We listen to rap and hip-hop as much if not more than more rock-oriented stuff. The Clouds Make Sounds album is one of my personal favorites and they're from Williamsport too! But Tommy Tommy is a complete jazz freak.
DR: Our music is tough to throw into a genre. I think that it is mainly due to the fact that our musical tastes are in fact a huge influence in the music that we play. But we draw on so many different influences that the music includes elements of the wide array of music we each have individual tastes for and that makes for interesting content and song structure.
BW: Where do you see yourself as a band a year from now? What are your expectations for the release of the album and the upcoming year?
MV: That's a pretty gray, scary area. Next year, we'll all be going off to college. It looks like Dylan is headed to Boston, and Tommy is looking to get into Juilliard in New York. So after summer is over we just don't know. We're hoping the album is a boost for the remainder of our time in Williamsport. These last few weeks have shown us that we've got what it takes to be a real force in the music scene here in Williamsport.
DR: Right now we are planning to play a string of shows through the spring and into the early summer to promote and sell the album. Unfortunately, with each of us hopeful to go off to colleges separated by great distances, it will be difficult to stick together and play. But if an opportunity arises for us to play together at any point, I certainly believe we'll take advantage of it.
TJ: Although all three members of the band have plans to attend, most likely, different colleges after graduating this year, I hope after the album releases that listeners enjoy our work and it is possible the three of us could continue to connect periodically after graduation.
BW: Where can people find more information about Dylan and Maverick? And where can they buy your album?
MV: They can find us on Facebook by searching "Dylan and Maverick." Everything is there. Two tracks from the album are also on our YouTube channel at "DylanAnd Maverick." We post a lot of silly stuff on our Twitter account too, @DylandMav. The album will be released at The Pig's Ear Pub in Loyalsock on Dec. 15 starting at 8 p.m., and will be sold at all performances following. We're going to go digital on iTunes and CD Baby a few weeks after the physical copies start selling.