May 11, 2005 News & Features » Cover Story


The Rising Sons 

Fighting Off Groupies

There's Michael York, 15, frontman and guitarist; his cousin, Beck York, 16, guitarist; Dean Giavos, 16, drums; and Steve Owen, 17, their recently added bassist. The Yorks and Owen come from musical families and Giavos from the restaurant biz, a built-in support system for their Rising Sons. Michael's sister Ashley, 22, herself a lounge singer, is their handler and de-facto manager, meaning she drives them around a lot.

"Theatrics and energy is essential," says frontman Michael, who's a bit of a prodigy, it seems, having taught himself the guitar in a matter of weeks. He and Ashley got their start in church, but Clapton and Led Zeppelin pointed him and the band to the stage.

In the past two-and-a-half years, he's led the foursome onto stages before an audience who called them "cute" and has led them off to an audience of converts. Their vintage look — shaggy hair, gold-buttoned sport coats and neck scarves — doesn't hurt either, upping their credibility.

And while it's natural they have many teenage fans, they also attract veteran musicians and "old hippies" praising their raw, grungy sound, plus gaggles of mid-20s women who should know better.

"And that's kind of dirty," says Jill, "but that's rock 'n' roll."

Now all they have to do is shake the "cute" label and what Beck calls the "mom scene," meaning their moms, waiting in the wings until The Rising Sons can get into clubs on their own. — Brandon Reynolds

The Rising Sons EP is available in stores. They play at Alley Katz May 14.

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