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A ‘lifelong dream’ for local teenagers after US success
THREE head-banging teenagers have followed some of their idols on to the stage in America.
Luke Ashby, Ben Comley and Damon Marshall – all from Witney – formed Twisted State of Mind after practising at Damon’s home in Cherry Tree Way.
They have just returned from a string of gigs Stateside where they followed in the footsteps of bands like Nirvana, Oasis and Pearl Jam and played at The Legendary Dobbs, a venue in Philadelphia.
One of the highlights was when Iron Maiden’s drummer Nicko McBrain appeared at the event and watched the boys play.
Wood Green School pupil and guitarist Luke, 13, from Larch Lane, said: “It was absolutely amazing. A lifelong dream has been fulfilled.
“We shared the stage with our idols. It was out of this world to play with Nicko McBrain in the audience. I really enjoyed it.”
Ben, also 13, said: “Nicko watched us play and told us we were really good. My favourite part was probably meeting him.”
They played three gigs, each with an audience of between 150 to 250 people.
Drummer Damon, 14, said: “It was absolutely amazing to play there.
“I can’t put it into words. It was just unbelievable.”
Damon’s dad, Eric, said: “Luke’s dad Jim, Ben’s dad Scott and myself were blown away with the professionalism and politeness of our boys while in the US.
“They had so much to do and take in but they approached it like true professionals as if they had been touring all their lives.
“There are already talks about a return trip next year, such was the acceptance of these hard-working, polite and very talented young lads.”
The band first gained recognition earlier this year when they released their first iTunes and CD single for the mental health charity Ian’s Chain. The group flew to America on October 16 and the gigs raised $6,000 for the organisation.
They became involved in the charity after meeting Leicestershire-based local radio DJ Alan Savill.
He launched the Ian’s Chain appeal in honour of his son Ian, who took his own life after suffering depression in December 2012.
The DJ has a number of contacts with the metal scene on the east coast of America, which led to him deciding to hold a festival there. In the past few months, the band has seen their debut video for new single RISE attract more than 50,000 hits on YouTube and more than 17,000 likes on Facebook.
The band will be launching their new EP at the Red Lion in Witney on November 15. The show will start at 7pm and money raised will donated to Ian’s Chain. Tickets will be available at the door.
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