The rock band is comprised of three local students
There’s a young band from Northern Virginia that is making some big noise in the music industry. In a short time, Trio 111 has performed at Jammin Java, the summer concert series at Lee District Park and even played a charity gig for Speaker of the House Eileen Filler-Horn.
Comprised of 18-year-old Jake Sizemore (guitar/vocals) from Burke, 17-year-old Kevin Bull, Jr. (bass/vocals) from Woodbridge and 17-year-old Shane Woldow (drums/vocals) from Vienna, the bandmates met while students at The School of Rock in Vienna.
“We were in an afterschool music program and they put a bunch of kids together in a room that covered a bunch of songs that set a certain theme,” Woldow said. “We did a couple of shows together there and we decided to take it out of the school and form our own band."
The name Trio 111 derives from the fact there are three of them in the band, and the address of School of Rock was 111 Center Street, so it’s a little homage to where it all began.
This summer, Trio 111 released its first single, “No Surprise,” which is available on Apple Music, Spotify and other music sites.
“This was the first song we ever wrote so it’s always been our staple song, and we open with it for the majority of our shows,” Woldow said. “It’s always been our favorite to play and it’s some of our best work.”
The band saved up the money to record by playing gigs around the area last summer—parties, wineries and other venues, performing long hours on grueling hot days, but knowing it was going towards their ultimate goal.
Then, Trio 111 went into the studio to record seven originals and when they got the masters back, Bull noted it wasn’t exactly the way they wanted, but they didn’t have the funds to add the missing pieces.
Bull took it upon himself to make the changes, adding on top of the incredible work the engineers had already done.
“They did some wonderful work on the production, but I was just trying to take it to the next step,” he said. “I’m proud of it and we’re super happy that people like it.”
The band promotes diversity and all types of abilities, believing everyone should be seen for what they can accomplish, and not judged by what they can’t do. That especially hits close to home for Trio 111 as Sizemore has autism, but his talent and love of music proves he can rock with the best of them on stage.
Sizemore won the national Council for Exceptional Children’s “Yes I Can Award,” the first-ever winner from Fairfax County; he’s performed on the National Mall for the Autism Speaks Walk; and was also a semi-finalist in the 2017 Vienna Idol competition.
Woldow is a member of the John Marshall High School Drumline and was part of the 2018 state champion JMHS Marching Band, while Bull is an All-Virginia Orchestra upright bass player and has performed at Carnegie Hall.
While “No Surprise” leans more towards the alternative rock genre, Trio 111’s music runs the gamut from hard rock to pop.
“We have vastly different tastes in music and it shows in our catalogue of originals,” Woldow said. “There are some songs that we have written alone that are very different from the rest of our stuff. ‘No Surprise’ was one of our true collaborative songs. We all put something into the song.”
Bull is more a fan of rock with heavy riffs, Woldow is a bigger fan of the more alternative side of things, not afraid to experiment with time signatures or make something more challenging to play (and he occasionally adds in some funk riffs), and Sizemore likes singer-songwriter-types like the music of John Mayer.
“I like songs with feeling,” Sizemore said. “We all like to rock out together.
Currently, the three rising seniors are taking part in a 12-week musical summer camp with the Berklee College of Music, and hopes for the future include continuing to play together in college, releasing a full album and someday going on tour.
Fortunately, the band has figured out a way to rehearse this summer in the midst of the pandemic, playing outside, socially distancing themselves around a big lawn.
“We’re staying safe and keeping things rockin’ and getting some work done until it’s hopefully safe to do some shows again,” Bull said. “We’re working in some new tunes and tightening up some old stuff and just getting ready for when we can play regularly again.”