Galvanized Souls is a rock band whose core members are comprised of four young Southern California musicians, whose music is influenced by decades of rock music. While a relatively new band, they have played many shows at high profile venues, fairs, fundraisers and music festivals throughout Southern California.
Having endured bullying themselves, the band members bring awareness and advocate against bullying. They were inspired to write their upcoming original song, “Carry On,” when they heard about an 11-year-old boy named Colin who faced bullying in an extraordinary way. Colin is even featured in the music video.
The music video for “Carry On” will premiere on June 17. Check out our blog next Tuesday to watch.
Galvanized Souls is comprised of 16-year-old Zakk, 19-year-old Chris Traylor, 15-year-old Matt and 19-year-old Kevin Cogen.
Tell us about how you got together as a band.
Chris, Zakk, and Matt started jamming together in the middle of 2011, but before that, Zakk and Matt had met at a music studio where they took lessons. Then the three of us wanted to get more serious and create original music. In late 2012 we formed Galvanized Souls and found our drummer, Kevin, soon after.
What inspired you to incorporate anti-bullying work into your music?
We were bullied as a band and decided to write an original song about the experience of being bullied, which we named “Shut You Down.” In school we have seen other kids get bullied and have been bullied ourselves. We like to bring awareness to a lot of teen issues, bullying being one of them. Even though we were incorporating anti-bullying awareness into our music and music videos in 2013, we became more aware of the greater anti-bullying causes after being invited to perform in the first annual NO BULL Music Showcase which was organized by the anti-bullying advocate Hayley Gripp in early 2014.
"Our lyrics call on the person to stay strong through the struggle and CARRY ON."
Tell us about your song, "Carry On," and the work you’ve done around it.
We wrote “Carry On” in late 2013 to be an anthem for our fans facing struggles in their lives at any age. Since nowadays we are able to peek into the lives of our fans using social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, we were shocked to see how many people were hurting or cutting themselves, going through a lot of tough times from losing someone close to them or a pet or something or just wanting to get out of their current situation.
Our lyrics call on the person to stay strong through the struggle and CARRY ON. We heard about Colin, who had no friends and saw no need to have an 11th birthday party. So his mom, as a surprise, set up a Facebook page to show him that people cared about him. The page went viral and when we learned about what Colin was all about, how he went to school everyday even though no one liked him and he had no friends and was teased for being different, we saw that he was a kid that carried on during a struggle.
So, we invited him and his family to be in our official music video for “Carry On,” which shows what it is like being an outcast at school and being bullied. Colin loved the song and the message and wanted to be a part of it and his family wanted to as well. The song really can be applied to many things but we were really inspired by Colin’s story and how great a kid he is.
What are your goals as a band? Where do you see yourselves in five years?
As a band, our goals are to play as many shows as we can, work with as many people as we can, and write as much new original rock music as we can. We hope to go on tour around the United States and hopefully worldwide someday.
What/who are your musical inspirations?
Our main musical inspirations are rock through the ages but mainly from 1990’s grunge music. We add a modern sound to our music and call our sound “alternative rock - modern grunge." We are inspired mainly by the bands Nirvana and the Foo Fighters.
What do you see as challenges to anti-bullying work among young people?
Colin told us during the music video shoot that people would come to school all the time for school assemblies about why it is wrong to bully and nothing ever changes. That is why Colin said he wants to be an anti-bullying advocate as well, because he wants to help put an end to this problem. The people who bully other people are usually very insecure or do not have a lot of power at home and they may think that they feel better about themselves if they bully others. So maybe the bullies and the bullied should try to understand each other more. Also the internet makes bullying much easier than ever and we see this as one of the biggest challenges since people can bully without even facing the person they are bullying.
What are you most proud of, individually and as a band?
We all are proud that, together, we put our minds and hearts in our band. We are proud that at a young age we are able to work together on being better musicians and live performers. As a band we are really stoked that our fans have told us that our music and some of our videos have helped them get through tough times. Music is a universal language and we are proud to be involved in touching lives around the world through the power of music.
What advice would you give to other young people or young musicians?
For young people we know how hard it is for some of you to get through the stress of school, a hard home life, or other struggles. Art and music are great outlets to express yourself and it is too bad that they keep on taking these subjects out of public school programs.
Also, there is always someone out there who will accept you for who you are and will share the same interests that you do. One thing that we noticed is that the fans that like our music have become good friends with each other just because they share the same taste in music.
For young musicians, we think you should keep doing what you are doing and if you put your mind to it and stay focused, it is a great way to express yourself and a really fun activity to be involved with.
For more info on the band Galvanized Souls, visit their official website: www.galvanizedsouls.com.
To start a Not In Our School campaign on your campus, download the Quick Start Guide here.