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Local rock 'n' roll group building statewide following


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They’ve jammed at a 5K run at Maple Grove Elementary School.

The Suicidal Coconuts have played at a Greenwood guitar center and for thousands of people at an Indianapolis area raceway, too.

Runners in the Indianapolis Mini Marathon heard their classic rock covers. The band puts on shows at birthday parties of schoolmates and friends.

The Greenwood- and Martinsville-based band is making a name for themselves in the area and is the rock child of Guitarwork’s Band Builders, which gets teens together to teach them how to play in a band and sets them loose on the area.

 

The band members are pursuing their dreams and sometimes even get paid.

Home school siblings Sydney and Spencer Haggard from Martinsville play the drums and sing lead vocals. A Martinsville teen, Galen Morris plays the bass guitar.

Coleman Blake, a Center Grove Middle School Central student and Whiteland Community High School’s Allan Fowler round out the band as guitarists.

They aren’t searching for fame, but the rockers, ages 11 to 17, are having fun while pursuing a passion.

“Every band has that idea that they want to be found and famous,” Sydney Haggard said. “That normally doesn’t happen.”

Most of the band’s five members have a background in music, playing the piano as a toddler or marching in the high school band.

Because they are teens who have school and extracurricular activities, they can only meet about once a week and play about one gig a month.

In its third year, the group is averaging about 15 events a year.

They played a festival at the Indianapolis Lucas Oil Raceway and in a Center Grove area park.

“Being in front of everyone on the stage is exhilarating,” Sydney Haggard said. “It’s not something too many people get to do.”

For everyone in the band but Sydney Haggard, music has been a passion they have pursued most of their lives.

Most were in a Greenwood-based band before they formed the Suicidal Coconuts. They call themselves The Coconuts for school events.

Coleman remembers hearing Bon Jovi’s iconic hit, “Livin’ On a Prayer,” and his dad introducing him to the band KISS. Gene Simmons is an idol of his. Fowler grew up playing guitar in his school’s talent shows.

Members of the band wear the T-shirts of iconic musicians that had their top hits decades before their late 1990s and early 2000s births.

That’s how their band works, members said.

One person suggests a song they want to play, usually from a classic rock band. If the band can sing and play it, they add it to their repertoire.

“Someone has an idea, and they bring it to the others,” Smith said.

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