Local band to play before its biggest crowd ever at NCYC
by Kara Hansen
Special to The Leaven
When the National Catholic Youth Conference convenes next month in Kansas City, Mo., teens from across the country will be treated to some homegrown talent.
With an estimated 20,000 teens attending the convention, the local band Armageddon Theory will undoubtedly be performing for the largest audience they have ever seen.
“We’ve never been in front of that many people for anything,” said Patrick Scahill, a member of St. Joseph Parish in Shawnee who plays lead guitar in the band. “”I think it will be incredible.”
Fellow band member Jack McCabe agreed.
“When Patrick told me we were going to be playing at NCYC, I didn’t believe it at first,” said McCabe, bass player for Armageddon Theory. “The opportunity to play at the Sprint Center doesn’t come to teen bands very often.”
Scahill formed the band a year and a half ago with fellow Rockhurst High School juniors Gabe Mateski, Grant LaTerza, Kevin Oyler, and sophomore Jack McCabe.
“I started playing guitar in seventh grade and thought it was fun to play with other guys, so I was interested in g e t – ting a band together,” said Scahill.
The teens get together for practice at least weekly — more, if their schedules allow — which is no small feat between the conflicting schedules of four teen boys active with homework, different sports, and other extracurriculars.
“It doesn’t leave me a lot of free time but I enjoy all the things I do, so it’s not a burden,” said Scahill.
The band’s musical style ranges from alternative to hard rock, following the lead of bands like Green Day, Nickelback, and Seether. Oyler writes the lyrics for all their songs.
“Once I write about three lines for a song, the rest of it comes pretty easily after that,” he said. “Song topics usually have to do with pain in the world when we don’t need it, and coming together to fight against the wrong things we do.”
The name “Armageddon Theory” was suggested by LaTerza, and the band members agreed the name seemed to fit with their style of music.
Though the band is not labeled as a Christian group, the teens see their faith playing out in some of their songs as well as in the choices they make together.
“We’re not necessarily a Christian band, but we all have the basis of faith, and that comes out in our music,” said Scahill.
“I think we can express faith in a way kids understand more,” said Oyler, a member of Our Lady of the Presentation Parish in Lee’s Summit, Mo., and lead vocalist for the band. “Music is a medium kids get and it’s a way for them to understand faith in their own way.”
Armageddon Theory will have a 20-minute set at NCYC on Nov. 21 at 3:30 p.m.
“We’re hoping after NCYC to have more of a following and to book some other places,” said Scahill. “My hope is for our band to become bigger.”
For now, the five teens are just enjoying the ride. When the guys get together to practice at Scahill’s house once a week, mom Ann Marie Scahill says it’s easy to see they are having a good time playing music together.
“I have the privilege of opening my home to these guys once a week and it’s just great to hear them downstairs — laughing, joking and having a great time,” she said.
Scahill’s dad, Mike, said he could see the positive benefits of the band, too.
“So much of Catholicism is about getting together and praising God, and I can see the guys growing in that,” he said.