Generation Headstrong. They’re new. They’re young. And, they’re bold.
The rock and blues band (that plays a little metal, too) formed just months ago, but the four boys – Jameson Reese Fyfe, 9; Aiden Baird, 14; Grayson Much, 14; and Bennett Fyfe, 11 — are moving pretty fast in the music world with regular performances in the region, and their eyes on an international competition.
The SW Washington band members knew other over the last three years, thanks to the Hammersmith Rock Institute in Vancouver, where they learn about music and practice. Eventually, the the stars aligned, and in February 2019 Generation Headstrong was born.
Not long after, the band heard about the International Blues Competition, and were approached by the Cascade Blues Association to represent the Pacific Northwest at the annual event in Memphis, Tennessee next January.
And in this short amount of time, they’ve quickly learned to connect and combine their talents to create their own style.
Aiden, a Camas resident, plays guitar and does backup vocals. Grayson, of Vancouver, is lead guitar player with vocals and background vocals. Bennett, the band’s deep thinker and organizer, plays bass and is the lead vocalist, and his little brother Jameson does drums and backup vocals.
“I have to do drums,” said Jameson. “It gets the hyper out of me!”
His older brother, Bennett, just shakes his head.
“We’ve connected to the point where our playing is meaningful as we connect onstage and offstage,” said Aiden. “We know what to do to make our playing a little bit better each time. We’re playing at levels some adults don’t play yet. It’s some complex stuff. One of the songs is ‘A Cult of Personality’. We’re starting off as a cover band. It was a hard song to learn. It’s faced-paced. It came along and it’s a really, really good song. We rehearse it a lot.”
Rehearsals happen twice weekly at Bennett and Jameson’s house, and sessions typically last three hours. They’re also beginning to write their own music.
They continue to perform all over the area, including at A Beer At A Time in Downtown Camas. So, what can audiences expect when they perform?
“Usually we have two sets: one is a set of songs, then we do a second set,” said Aiden. “The first set is a little bit more low key. Sets are 45-50 minutes with 10-15 songs per set. We’re playing 2-3 hour shows right now.”
Leon Fyfe, who has his own history in music, manages the band, which has played at a lot of local youth jams.
They get paid for the gigs and each boy is a paid a little money, and the rest is being used to cover the Memphis trip.
“We have to cover all the costs to get there,” said Grayson. “It’s the last week of January. All of this brings us together and makes us feel comfortable. We want to be bigger. We play at the zoo, A Beer At A Time, Billy Blues, and we did a road trip to Enterprise, OR. We played two shows there. One place called Terminal Gravity and then the other was at Embers.”
A Rich History in Music
Grayson’s roots started with the piano, and 2.5 years ago he picked up the guitar.
“Mom found a place called Hammersmith Rock Institute at 1st and 172nd in Vancouver,” said Grayson. “Then mom asked me if I wanted to play guitar. I really liked it and learned from John Guffey. Shout out to him! He taught me for two years, I started at 11. In 2017, I met Aiden, and we started getting close.”
Aiden started out liking music because his family had a musical background.
“Mom likes singing,” said Aiden. “I would play air guitar to songs on the radio. Grandpa and mom bought me a guitar when I was 5, and I took lessons for two years, then moved onto drums for a while then I was introduced to Hammersmith. We walked in and talked to the people there and I was enrolled in drum lessons. We’d play shows with Grayson and Bennett. We did rehearsals and shows together.”
The Fyfe boys also have a rich music heritage. Their mom, Trisha Fyfe, grew up with music and played piano while her father and grandfather were both in bands.
Jameson was the last to join the budding band, and he’s glad he did.
“It’s just so much fun,” he said.
So, where did the name ‘Generation Headstrong’ come from?
“The whole band and parents discussed it,” said Aiden. “We had multiple ideas and it stuck. Generation was something we all picked out. Headstrong means we’re smart. It means we’re determined.”
Their next performance is Friday, August 2 at 6 pm at A Beer At A Time.