Scott Zoldy is constantly hit with the same comparison. Did you get the idea of Ice Breaker from Jack Black’s School Of Rock movie? His response is yes…sort of!
As a grade eight teacher at Sudbury’s Pinecrest Public School, Zoldy began mentoring some star students who performed in the school band. When Zoldy decided to form his own band, Ice Breaker, at the start of this year he thought it would be great for the kids if he could incorporate a few of them into an adult band and allow them to benefit from senior tutorage.
So Zoldy and two other teachers, brother Allan Zoldy, Andrea Therrien, who teaches at Chelmsford High School and truck driving friend Denis Chaperon recruited 12-year-old guitar whiz, Carter Morin, 16-year-old bassist Cole Szanto and 17-year-old keyboardist/vocalist Taylor Boivin-Brawley to formulate a unique lineup.
Appearing on stage Saturday August 17th as the local Battle Of The Band champions at the two-day Rock And Roar festival in Spanish Ontario, Ice Breaker opened for Coney Hatch by performing a challenging set that included Heart’s `Barracuda,’ an interesting mash-up of the Police’s` Message In A Bottle’ with Blonde’s ` One Way Or Another’, Fleetwood Mac’s `Go Your Own Way’, Bon Jovi’s “Living On A Prayer’ and solid rockers like Def Leppard’s `Animal’, Whitesnake’s `Here I Go Again’ as well as a set-closing cover of Motley Crue’s `Kickstart My Heart’.
[quote]We are on stage, working with the kids, passing on our own experience in a live setting. This experience is invaluable.[/quote]True Thierrien and Allan Zoldy handled most of the lead vocals but Boivin-Brawley got her chance in the spotlight handling Blondie’s `One Way Or Another’ and a lead on Fleetwood Mac’s `Go Your Own Way’ while guitar ace Morin, dazzled with his Eddie Van Halen prowess on `Hot For Teacher’.
“When I started this project, I had a lot of people say it would never fly,” noted Scott Zoldy who also doubles as the band’s drummer. “But as you can see, this is not a gimmick, what we did was prove we could perform together.”
“The idea of the band was for the teachers to mentor the students while performing in a real life environment. I wanted to promote youth and empower and give self-confidence to them,” continued Zoldy. “These kids are too good not to be playing on these stages. Where are you going to find an outlet for Carter to perform at the level he’s currently at. Kids his age just don’t play like him.”
Ice Breaker has evolved into a serious enough entity to command dates at festivals and even bar gigs with the CBC interviewing the band on Thursday August 22nd as well as Moose FM 99.3 interviewing the band in June. At Spanish, Icebreaker beat out four other bands; Thrill Junkies, The Nye-Nye’s, Jekyll’s Secret and Broad Daylight who all performed in sequence prior to them taking the stage before a healthy audience, there to watch Coney Hatch, Lee Aaron and Loverboy.
“The adults have all been in bands before, we’ve all had past experience but now we want to pass that experience on to the kids,” offered co-lead vocalist Therrien. “I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. We are on stage, working with the kids, passing on our own experience in a live setting. This experience is invaluable.”
Zoldy hopes that the band can now start working on writing original songs and possibly even go into the recording studio. “We have the musicianship, we are singing some pretty challenging songs so it’s not out of the question that we can take that experience and write our own songs,” concluded Zoldy. “It would be great if we could come back to this festival next year and perform our own material.”
Back in the Waterfront Complex, Icebreaker is mingling with the big stars; Coney Hatch, Lee Aaron and Loverboy. “So you’re the guitar player in the band?,” gasps Aaron incredulously as she chats with Morin, who, having taken off his rock star sunglasses, really does look like a 12-year-old kid. “Wow! Incredible.”