Rockin' Talent Part 7 - 3@4

Rockin' Talent Part 7 - 3@4

Here at Teeny Rockers we like to share talent whenever we find it. In that spirit, we've decided to do a series of interviews called Rockin' Talent where we talk to talented young people from around the world.

It's lucky number 7! For this week's edition we're talking to not 1, not 2, but 3@4!

Hi Everyone, we are 3@4, a teen rock band from North Texas. Izzy Wilson (13), our lead vocalist/bassist, has been playing piano and singing since age 4 and performing since she was 7 years old. In addition to bass, Izzy plays ukulele and loves writing songs. Will McDonald (14), our drummer, has been playing drums since third grade. In addition to drums, Will is a skilled percussionist with a talent for marimba. When Izzy and Will are not playing music, you can find them on stage acting in youth theatre productions that are among the most acclaimed in North Texas. Drex Rowe (16), our guitarist started playing at age 10 and has a natural ear for music. He has recently been expanding his musical journey with the study of more progressive rock sounds such as Plini. Drex was recently awarded the prestigious Eagle Scout rank from Boy Scouts of America! 

3@4 Jumping
How was the band formed? Did you know each other before forming the band or were you specifically looking for people to rock out with?

Drex and Izzy have taken lessons at the same music school, Neighborhood Arts and Music School, for years and that’s how they met. Izzy and Will do theatre together so when 3@4’s original drummer moved on, it made sense to bring Will onboard. Coincidentally, a few years before Will joined the band, all 3 kids were cast members in the North Texas premiere of “School of Rock the Musical”. Izzy played “Katie” the bass player as well as the lead singer of No Vacancy (Jack Black’s band). Will played “Freddy”, the drummer and Drex played the guitarist from No Vacancy. There was instant chemistry between us. This bond still exists today and makes playing together so much fun!

Drex Izzy Will
Drex Izzy Will

We see an original song is on the way. Has it been difficult to move from covers to your own material?

We love writing our own songs but it is time consuming. This past year we've focused on building our repertoire of covers from 45 minutes to over two hours. Now that we have a solid base of covers we intend to go back to song writing. Performing and studying different styles of music has played a huge part in helping us find our unique sound. Of course we are all still growing and changing so it is a process!  We love challenging ourselves to tackle difficult songs.


How did you come across Plini? Have any of you been to Australia before?

We all listen to a variety of old and new artists in various genres and often introduce each other to “new to us” musicians. That’s what happened with Plini. Drex really loved their sound and shared it with the rest of us. We all jumped on board to start working on one of their songs. The sweeps and time signature changes are difficult but we love a challenge. After all, Rush is one of our biggest influences. BTW, none of us have been to Australia, but Izzy’s uncle lives there!

Do you all have pretty similar tastes? Do you ever have times where one of you really wants to cover a song but the others don't like it?

We focus on the classic rock crowd and add in a few songs outside our sweet spot at each gig to add some variety. We definitely try to cater our set lists to the venue. We recently played a 13 year old’s birthday party. Izzy knew her favorite  band, Panic! At the Disco, so she played a solo set of their songs on keyboard.  We also played New Year’s Eve themed songs at a private house party earlier this year. We played “Auld Lang Syne" and U2’s “New Year’s Day”. 

Izzy Plays Keyboard
What are your short-term goals as a band? Go on a small tour? Maybe get an original song on the radio or on Spotify or something similar?

We would like to continue writing original music and build our reputation as a cover band locally here in Dallas so that we are invited to play larger venues. Our original song, “Sulkin’ in the Rain” is getting mixed and mastered right now. We plan to release it to Spotify, Bandcamp and other platforms very soon. We are excited about it because it has been a long time coming. It would be VERY cool to hear it on a local radio station!

Do your parents all like the same music you do or do they wish you were playing something else?

All of our parents appreciate classic rock and we often use them as a sounding board as we make decisions about song choices. They all enjoy our music and are glad we appreciate rock! They are also very involved with the band. Our moms handle booking and publicity and our dads handle the sound and equipment. We are all like family because we spend so much time together!

3@4 Playing Together

Has it been challenging to find venues to play in? We're not sure what the laws are in Texas but guessing you can't play in bars until you're older?

Surprisingly, we’ve been pretty lucky and have had the opportunity to play some fantastic restaurant/bar venues. We get our gigs through word of mouth or referral but we also will show up at an open mic and ROCK THE HOUSE so that the bar owners get the opportunity to hear directly why we should be invited back for a paid gig.

Your favourite band is coming to Texas and they ask you to open for them. Which band is it and what song do you play first in your set?

That’s easy!  Foo Fighters!  It’s the one band we all just LOVE.  We had a blast seeing them together last month to celebrate Izzy’s birthday!  We would open with our original song, “Sulkin’ in the Rain” because we were influenced by their sound on this one.

Do you ever swap instruments or do you pretty much just stick to what you're best at?

We don’t swap but some of us play more than one instrument. We’ve been talking about having a guest artist join us to play bass so Izzy can play keyboards on a couple of songs. There are lots of other tunes we would like to cover that call for keys. We could do the same with Will switching from drums to marimba.

What's your favourite part about being in a band?

Our audiences!  We love an appreciative audience. We try to play difficult music like Limelight or Temple of Syrinx by RUSH.  When audiences notice it and go bonkers because we are “just kids” it’s a great feeling.  This past weekend the audience started chanting “one more song” and we played our first encore. It was such a cool feeling to deliver a ripping version of “Sweet Child of Mine” by Guns N Roses at their request!  We could not hold back the smiles at that moment.  Watching people have a good time and escape for a little while is really our goal.

And last but not least;
What's your favourite video or photo you've posted on Instagram or YouTube?

Our favorite photo is our traditional pre-show huddle photo.  Our talented guest back up singer, Sophie Wall, is included in this one.  We think this picture says it all.  We hope to be an positive influence to everyone as we continue our musical journey!  And we are very thankful that we get to do what we love with each other!

3@4 Pre Show Huddle

To cap it off, here's a series of great shots from School Of Rock The Musical:

School Of Rock School Of Rock
School Of Rock School Of Rock

Make sure you get behind them and follow their success on Instagram and Facebook and check out their website.

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