While it’s probably a safe bet that there aren’t too many garage bands in Ankeny, we can happily report there is at least one – Played Out. The band, comprised of four high school students, includes (drumroll, please) Josh Melvin (rhythm guitarist), Cory Stark (bass guitarist and vocalist), Ethan Hopkey (electrical and acoustical guitarist) and Braxton Michael (percussionist).
During the warmer months, the teens practice most Sunday afternoons in Josh’s garage.
“It gets pretty loud,” states Gina Melvin, Josh’s mom. “Before they started, I talked to the neighbors, and they were all fine with it. Sometimes, the kids in the neighborhood come out and dance.”
Played Out formed over a year ago. Stark and Josh previously played in other garage bands, but it’s a new experience for Hopkey and Michael.
Michael says, “Corey and Josh played together with a few people, and then they started playing with Ethan. I met Cory at pep band. We got to know each other, and he asked me if I wanted to be in this band. I’m also in jazz band, marching band and participate in show band. Band dictates my life, but I enjoy it.”
While the band covers a few songs, they also collaboratively write their own music.
“We mostly play punk rock, I guess,” states Hopkey. “At practice, we usually warm up with a cover or two. I think we’ve now written a total of seven or eight songs together.”
Last summer, Played Out drew a nice crowd at a neighborhood block party. They’ve also entertained at area bonfires and at Open Mic’ Night at Centennial High School.
“One hundred percent, I want to keep doing music,” says Josh. “My goal is to perform, but if that doesn’t work out, I might be a music teacher and open a guitar store.”
Michael plans to major in music at college, and Hopkey’s goal is to become an engineer. Both intend to remain in the band.
For now, Played Out plans to keep on practicing.
Josh states, “Practice is always fun. It makes any day better. Every performance feels great. It’s stressful getting ready, but every performance is like a dream come true.”