By Pamela Cyran 3-14-2013
They come from Buffalo, the land of unpredictable weather and chicken wings. They pride themselves on being “Buffalo boys,” but they couldn’t wait to play in new territories.
For the first time, the rock band Breckenwood has ventured into New England for their first northeast tour. Tonight was their first stop at Club Bohemia, the downstairs to Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, MA.
The name Breckenwood comes from two street names in Buffalo, New York, Elmwood and Breckenridge.
The four-man band consists of guitarist and lead singer Garrett Shea, lead guitarist and back-up vocalist Nick Bonaventura, bassist William Folkemer, and drummer Cameron Kukla.
Though they are all in their early 20s, their music roots stem from school choruses and concert bands.
Shea is the only member from the original Breckenwood. The current lineup started to form via Craigslist. Folkemer said that’s not uncommon method for musicians.
Folkemer answered an ad for a bassist posted by Shea. Kukla joined the group after he received a call from Shea saying Breckenwood needed a new drummer. It was convenient for Kukla because his band had just split up as well.
“So he came in, we jammed, and we meshed really well together,” Shea told WEBN Boston. “We played a couple gigs together….”
“Both of which Nick was at,” added Folkemer, cutting Shea off.
“I came to watch,” said Bonaventura, laughing at the coincidence. Bonaventura had played with Folkemer in a previous band.
“We decided we really needed a lead guitar player…because I’m not that good of a guitar player,” said Shea laughing.
It’s been two years since Bonaventura joined Breckenwood. The group’s first show was a battle of the bands at Villa Maria College, an arts and music school in Buffalo.
Did they win? No, but they learned an important lesson that night…never play the new song.
“The last thing people heard of us was a new song so it wasn’t as tight or cohesive,” said Folkemer.
Since then band has evolved, both personally and musically.
Last year Breckenwood signed with the label Buzz Records. In November, the band’s first album titled “Take Me There was released.” The album includes the group’s first single, “Loser of the Year,” which was previously released on iTunes.
Breckenwood’s members admit they do get in small squabbles with one another, but “It’s nothing ever personal. It’s all music,” said Kukla.
“I think it’s good that we do that though,” said Bonaventura. “That’s how you improve songs, how you come to agreements.”
“We only argue when we practice,” said Kukla. “Outside we all hang out, we have a good time.”
The band members said they play a lot of old school N64 video games, and go out for food and drinks. Dollar burger nights are a band favorite.
“If we couldn’t do that, I don’t think we’d be here right now,” said Kukla.
To finish up this mini tour, Breckenwood will play at GroundZZZero in Allenstown, New Hampshire and at Bottle Bar East in New York City.