Barrington teen band White Shadow builds strong reputation
Even for a teen band, the three members of White Shadow are very young.
But the two Barrington High School freshmen and Barrington Middle School eighth-grader have been plugging away at their musicianship and songwriting for the last seven years.
The band consists of 15-year-old Ryan Woodlock of Deer Park on guitar, 14-year-old Andrew Cielak of Barrington on bass, and Andrew's brother, 13-year-old Daniel Cielak, on drums and lead vocals.
They've won approximately 75 percent of the Battle of the Bands competitions they've entered and are currently transitioning into professional recordings and bookings.
The boys' musical ambitions were launched when the Cielaks' father introduced Andrew and Ryan to the heavy metal band Black Sabbath while the young musicians were still in second grade at Lines Elementary School in Barrington.
The ambition that drove their songwriting skills almost immediately afterward was born from a simple, youthful misunderstanding -- they didn't know that playing other artists' songs was allowed.
Since then, they've written approximately 50 songs -- which have gotten better and better as the members have matured, Ryan said.
Daniel has become the chief lyricist as well as the one who named the band -- though the name doesn't refer to anything in particular.
While all three boys started with the same hard rock influences, Andrew's tastes have remained more or less consistent while Daniel and Ryan's have changed a bit to bring in a more alternative rock sound in the style of current bands like Green Day.
The members say a career in music is their goal, even if it includes majoring in it in college along the way.
They're also quite satisfied with their current lineup.
"We're just going to have three members because four is a crowd," Andrew said.