By Channing LauEngler
If you love Riot Grrrl or 90’s rock, this local band is perfect to keep on your radar. A Baltimore School for the Arts junior from the film department, Georgie Restauro, is the drummer in a band called Karate Picnic.
The band performs in shows in and around Baltimore City. Audience members of Karate Picnic’s shows have said they have a “great stage presence,” and that their timing is sharp, but the most popular feedback from fans has been that they have a “cool vibe.”
Karate Picnic’s members are all high school students in Baltimore. There is Georgie (drummer), Sophi Bender (singer), Maya Bride (guitarist and bassist), and Jack Mashaw (guitarist).
This group of four met at the School of Rock, a music school in Towson. While they enjoyed playing music at School of Rock, they wanted to do more outside of it, so they formed Karate Picnic which gave them more freedom to “do their own thing.”
The style of their music is inspired by alternative rock/indie bands like The Breeders and That Dog. The members of Karate Picnic have regular rehearsals about every weekend, varying from 1-3 hours each depending on if they’re songwriting or if they have a gig coming up.
Karate Picnic performs a combination of both covers and original songs. The band follows a very collaborative songwriting process.
That process typically starts with Georgie and Sophi writing lyrics, then Jack and Maya coming up with guitar melodies, then Georgie and Jack figuring out a drum part together.
So far, Karate Picnic has performed in two gigs, one of which was at The Ottobar, a well-known venue in Baltimore. This opportunity allowed Karate Picnic to gain a larger audience and make connections in the local music scene.
Georgie Restauro said that meeting other bands has been one of their most positive highlights of the gigging experience.
Other local bands have shown their support and given Karate Picnic lots of positive feedback. Another band of young musicians, Crocodile Tears, played in the same show as Karate Picnic, and has since supported the band by going to their Ottobar show.
The band was very excited about their first fan interaction with a guy named Seth who saw them at the Ottobar. The majority of Karate Picnic’s fan base currently consists of friends, families, and peers of the members.
Since Georgie Restauro is in the film department, they have said that people at BSA can be a little confused when they bring up their pursuit of music outside of school.
Restauro says that at BSA, since people are a lot more knowledgeable about music they tend to be more critical.
“When you’re just playing shows, it’s just kinda like everyone’s having fun, like it doesn’t really matter what you sound like sometimes,” says Restauro.
Restauro is fond of the idea of BSA giving artists a space to share their work from outside of school. He said “Yeah, I think that would be really cool. Honestly, I’ve been thinking about something like that for a while – I feel like we should have a way to show off our art that is outside of our department. I know some visual artists who are really good at music, and I know some film kids who play music and things like that. We need a day to show off our other arts. Like a talent show or something.”
“I feel like our art doesn’t always have to be for the grade, we should definitely still do it just to do it. We lose that sometimes I think for sure,” Restauro stated.
Restauro also had some very insightful advice for aspiring musical artists in or out of the music department.
“Talk to people,” Restauro advised, “because that’s the hardest part: finding other people who want to play music. Especially being at an art school, you have so many resources because there’s literally a whole music department that you could pull from even if you’re not in the music department. Be open to talking to other artists and finding out what genre you want to play.”
They also suggested talking to bands who you might already know are at BSA, as they will be very helpful with music and performing advice.
Restauro stated: “the way I had the confidence to go into the scene playing music is because of my friend, Sam, who already had a band.” So big shoutout to junior instrumentalist Sam Wylie.
If you want to look out for future Karate Picnic shows, videos, or just want to support a local band check them out on instagram @karatepicnic !
To contact this writer, email Muse Newspaper at email@example.com.
Featured photo of Georgie Restauro behind the drums, by Piper Cooke for the BSA Muse