By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
This is a big night out for the boys of Rue-Lynx, as so many of their nights are these days, as they await their band's 11:30 p.m. showtime at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. It's a slow evening at the old rock club, with barely 50 people on the floor and a scattered few up in the balconies, but it might as well be the Fabulous Forum to these hard-rocking teens who are ready to fire up 35 minutes of riffs, hooks and heavy drumbeats.
9081 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Category: Bars and Clubs
Region: West Hollywood
All but one of them are still in high school.
As soon as the night's previous band closes with a final tune, the five Rue-Lynx dudes grab their gear and head downstairs to the stage, ready to plug in and prepared to rock, but they don't get far beyond the bottom step. The other band is still packing up, and their singer looks over his shoulder and snarls, "Get the fuck off the stage!"
The man's black curls are fully lubricated and he looks maybe three times the age of most of the Rue-Lynx boys, and mutters something about "kids" and "proper etiquette," as the younger musicians in his face back off.
But the scolding is soon forgotten: This band of adolescents has already played gigs at the Whisky, the (late) Knitting Factory, the Canyon Club and El Rey, with more coming up at the Roxy and Key Club, and they have few worries beyond school the next morning. Tonight is their 15th show as a band.
"We're young guys putting everything we've got into our music," says drummer David Hiller, a breathless, self-assured 17-year-old who rode in from Van Nuys with his mom. "I put everything I have into it because it's what you want to do."
The others came from Simi Valley, including the youngest, bassist Ashton Pace, who's a few days away from turning 15. His big brother is Colby Pace, 18, fronting Rue-Lynx in a sleeveless Guns N' Roses T-shirt and an amber shag of ringlets cut in a style somewhere between Robert Plant and Kenny G.
At the Troubadour, they're just another young band chasing the rock-star dream, maybe a little ahead of the usual schedule and operating so far without much notice but working hard at it. Rue-Lynx is doing it under a band name literally resurrected from the early-'80s metal scene, and many of their rock heroes are from decades past: Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Pantera, Yngwie Malmsteen, etc.
As they move anxiously around the stage, Colby leans forward to sing for a small crowd of strangers and parents, the neighborhood handyman with tears in his eyes, the guy from the car wash, watching with his whole family, and the teenage girls who live next door to guitarist Trevor Klaiman, 16. But Colby wails as if facing a roaring crowd of thousands, singing a tightly wound rock tune called "Temperature's Rising":
"There will be a sound and fury
With a truth to tell
This might be the time to worry
'Cause now it's hot as hell!"
There are dueling, overlapping guitar leads from Klaiman and Brandon Sherwood, 17, shredding sparks at each other, barely raising their heads. Hiller pounds a Zeppelinesque beat. All of them are still learning stagecraft, experimenting with moves and audience interaction as fresh young rockers growing up in public.
"So many sexy people in the audience, so many!" shouts Colby to a smattering of applause.
There are more songs, and many more solos, and Hiller steps out from behind the kit to beat his sticks against the guitars as they shred through the originals "Overload," "Breakaway" and "Taking Over the World." In the crowd, one woman in a glittery blue top is dancing nonstop.
When the set is done, Mike the floor manager erupts with a rare show of enthusiasm and climbs the stage. The man has been at the club for years, checking IDs at the door and monitoring the load-ins; he has seen acts from Radiohead and Johnny Cash to Lily Allen and Queens of the Stone Age pass through. This is the first time I've ever seen him cheering onstage. "Come on! Where my dogs at?" he shouts happily to the milling crowd. "Woof, woof, woof, woof ... !"The Pace brothers live with their parents in a ranch house out in Simi Valley, with a small corral filled with goats, and a professional studio in a converted garage. The band is here a few times a week, practicing, recording, writing, planning. The studio was built by their father, Robert Pace, 11 years ago, and is equipped with a vintage analog tape machine and digital Pro Tools gear, with amps and instruments stacked high on the hardwood floor.
For their father, this is his profession, hiring out the room and his engineering/producing services to mostly local artists from L.A. to Ventura County. "We were around a lot of bands when we were little," says Colby. "We would follow them around and irritate them. Me and Ashton would fight and wrestle."
At 46, Pace still occasionally plays himself, most recently as guitarist in an industrial hard-rock band called Bleed.
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