"When I was in seventh grade, I distinctively remember taking a survey about my favorite music, and I had no idea what to say! I really wasn't that into music at that time, so I just put down what my older brothers listened to.
In eighth grade, I met a kid named Shannon. He gave me a CD full of Led Zeppelin, ACDC, Guns N Roses, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, and many more, and introduced me into real rock and roll. He also put a guitar in my hands and taught me how to play a few simple songs. For the next year and a half we obsessed over music and especially classic Rock N Roll.
One year later, Shannon died. The music that he gave to me before he left, was the exact gift that I relied on after his passing. The music helped get me out of my head for a little while when I was struggling. I found songs singing about loss that really connected with me and I would listen to them on repeat. The shared emotion I felt with the songs was cathartic, and it allowed me to really feel and embrace what I was going through.
Playing guitar was a huge emotional outlet for me. I could pluck away on the guitar for hours, playing the same things over and over again. It would keep my mind entertained and it would make me feel better.
I recently started writing songs, which became another major outlet.
Last year, one of my friends, Jesse Wild, started playing drums and we started playing some real rock and roll. A huge motivation for him as a drummer has been his friend, Dietsch, who passed away when they were younger. Dietsch was a pretty rad drummer as well and certainly influences Jesse as he plays.
When we get on stage and I pick up my guitar and Jesse gets behind his kit, our friends are right there with us. Music is our chance to share our story and share the energy of our friends who have died.
~Sam Noertker, The Stratmores, Vocals + Guitar