IT was in Bangkok’s Hard Rock Cafe that the seeds of Newcastle rock outfit Patina Fender were first sown.
Guitarist Brooklyn Wilson, 14, was on a family holiday when she got the chance to jump on stage and perform lead guitar on Gun’n’Roses Sweet Child O’Mine.
“The way the crowd reacted, the lights and the sound and I just went ‘this is what I want to do for the rest of my life,’” Brooklyn said.
That was back in August 2016. She returned to Australia and quickly recruited her older sister, Cailyn Wilson, 16, on vocals, and best friend Ruby Cooke,14, on drums.
They met their bass player Leo Lannuzel, 12, at Rosie’s School of Rock.
Songwriting for Patina Fender is a very collaborative process.
“We all put our own ideas into it,” Cailyn said. “We all have input. We brainstorm.”
The four piece all attend Rosie’s School of Rock.
Each week they all have a private lesson at the same time. After the lesson they come together for an hour or two of rehearsal and songwriting time.
“We get together, write songs and practice for gigs,” Ruby said.
The current set list sees them perform a mixture of classic rock covers and originals.
“We have seven or eight originals,” Cailyn said. “But only five that we play regularly.”
The other songs are from early in their career and the band feels they no longer cut it.
And for such young talent they are already seasoned performers scoring gigs at The Foreshore, The Wickham Park Hotel, The Beach Hotel, The Cambridge, Lizotte’s and the Lass O’Gowrie Hotel.
“At Easter we played our first Sydney gig, at the Sydney Family Show,” Ruby said.
The band said playing live was ‘the best’.
“The Lass was such a great experience,” Cailyn said. “We had a mosh going and people were headbanging to our music.
“It was the most interactive. When you see the crowd getting into it, you get into it more.”
The band name came from Brooklyn’s first guitar, a Fender. The second part of the name came from the Wilson family’s old rusty Kombi van.
The band has already laid down three tracks for a five track EP they plan to have in the bag by the year’s end.
“It was a great experience,” Cailyn said. “You learn so much.”
In the immediate future the band would like to continue songwriting, finish their recording and get some “merch” on board.
They also enjoy a bit of busking, mostly on Darby Street. So, keep an eye out for them or follow them on social media.