After finally getting a hold of the elusive band Stronghold, drummer David Sholter decided to give me the lowdown on the band, its dreams of fame and fortune, and a sum being bigger than its parts.
    Give me a Stronghold history lesson — how did you guys get started?
    “It’s the usual fairy-tale-garage-band-get-together. Late in 2004, bassist David West was playing with a popular local band that was beginning to lose steam. West’s in-law, Dave Sholter, had played drums with a few local rock bands ‘back in the day’ and suggested inviting friends, enemies, anybody to ‘the garage’ for jam sessions. The scraped-together sessions were fun, but sparse and going nowhere until West overheard coworker Danny Brock singing along to country radio tunes. Brock soon produced Simmy Sibbet, a guitarist then playing with pop band Clear Conscience, and a jam session ensued. The group found an immediate musical chemistry and lived happily ever after.”
    If you only had two words to describe your band, what would they be, and why?
    “How about: ‘Who gave those idiots instruments…’ wait, too many words… maybe: ‘Unlikely stepbrothers.’ When you see us together, you’ll know why.”{mosimage}
    Who came up with the name and why do you think it fits your band?
    “Bassist West singled out the word from the lyrics to ‘Addiction,’ one of our early original tunes. At the time, the name was pick-of-the-litter from a pretty uninspired short list of possibilities. Some of the runners-up are probably not fit to print.”
    Who does Stronghold look to for inspiration — who do you think did it better before you?
    “Tough one. In common, we all like rock but after that, influences start to pile up pretty randomly. One guy stands out to all of us, though: Jimmie’s Chicken Shack front man Jimi HaHa. That guy has both feet on the ground, with enough creativity and tenacity to fill a large crater. Aside from that, everybody did, and continues to do it better than us. We just hope to be walking upright by the end of the year.”
    What are your expectations for Stronghold?
    “The usual fame and fortune would be nice. Essential, actually. Short-term, we’d like to play out more, beyond our familiar turf.  We’re also looking forward to recording our first full-length CD which is waaaay overdue.”
    What compels you (collectively or individually) to play music?
    “It’s fun, period. Well, it’s mildly amazing to try something that seems beyond you, and then actually pull it off, and then find that it has metamorphosed into some unexpected state of gestalt.”
    What makes your band better then the rest of them?
    “See previous answer. OK, nobody is better or worse, just different. Hey, that’s very PC. We do what we do and a lot of people like it; we’ve never figured out why.”
    Most important music lesson? (Whether it relates directly to music or perhaps the industry.)
    “Rule No. 1 is to HAVE FUN. When you enjoy what you’re doing, it’s infectious. The whole point is to entertain. Rule No. 2: You can never learn enough.”
    Why should people get off their butts and check out Stronghold?
    “What, you gotta wash your hair or something? Besides, we’ve seen you all rubberneck at a lousy fender-bender. What would you pay to see a full-blown train wreck?”
    Coming off of playing at the Special Forces Festival it seems Stronghold is the next thing in town. See if you have as hard of a time getting “a hold” of them as I did. More info and dates are available on their Myspace: www.myspace.com/strongholdrocks.

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