Interview with the Musicians of Rock Of Ages
Bobby Keller of Meka Nism in Rock Of Ages
By: Coren E. McLeod of UnRated Magazine
Photos By: Barry Nadler
Broadway’s Awesome “Bad Boy” 80s Musical Sensation is set to Rock Orlando
Sept 28, 2016!
TheatreWorks Florida is extremely proud to present the Central FL regional premiere of Rock Of Ages, opening at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts (Alexis and Jim Pugh Theater) Sept 28 – Oct 9, 2016 for 15 sizzling performances. Rock Of Ages is sponsored in part by the National Endowment for The Arts and is TheatreWorks Florida’s fourth Central Florida regional premiere production.
Rock Of Ages is directed by Scott A. Cook, the artistic producer of TheatreWorks Florida. Says Cook of Rock Of Ages, “I grew up as a teenager with the music of the real 80s rock stars featured in Rock Of Ages. Back then, the music shaped me, moved me and rocked my soul everywhere I went. It was a time of pure freedom and discovery where music was my guide. Now, I get to relive all the heart-pounding guitar anthems of Journey, Foreigner, Styx, Pat Benatar, Bon Jovi, Night Ranger and more that infuse the high-energy experience of Rock Of Ages from start to finish. Bringing this “arena rock” homage to our community as a live musical theatre experience is the answer to our age of “digital overload.”
“Rock Of Ages” is jammed pack with a ton of in your face, loud and rocking hair metal music that will bring the Florida audience to its feet. Like it has been stated, this is going to be one “Hell of a Party…” And to help with the “party”, Scott Cook has recruited some very bad ass musicians to make many men wish they could play some sort of instrument and to make the women swoon.
The “Rock Of Ages” band has one hell of a bad ass in it. Meka Nism’s own lead guitarist, Bobby Keller, joins the cast with his very gut wrenching, high energy magical guitar skills. Now, let me just say, I have seen Mr. Kellar play a few times, and this guy kills it every time while melting faces on stage with Meka Nism. I know this is a very exciting time for Bobby and I do have to say I am just as excited as well.
What is really cool is that I was able to ask Bobby some questions on a different level. I am literally counting down the days until I get down to Orlando and see Bobby perform in “Rock Of Ages…”
So, here we go my friends… Here is the Stellar Bobby Kellar:
UnRated Coren: How did you find out about the production of “Rock Of Ages?”
Bobby: Honestly, I had only heard of the Broadway play and the movie. I had never seen either prior to rehearsal, but I definitely am looking forward to it and the challenge of replicating some of the most iconic music of all time! I heard about Rock of Ages through my manager, Jessica, and she recommended me to the producer. It just seemed to fall into place and has worked out awesomely. I couldn’t be happier and more excited.
UnRated Coren: How long have you been playing your particular instrument?
Bobby: I have been trying to play guitar since about 2008. Everyone in my family is some sort of musician or guitar player, and I have always had an infatuation with it. I finally picked one up and figured it was time to learn how to play, and it kind of came naturally. It just felt right.
UnRated Coren: I grew up with an older sister that loved 80’s Hair Metal…. What bands are your favorites? (White Snake and Journey are my favorites fyi…)
Bobby: I am a huge hair metal / 80s metal fan and know all the bands pretty much. I grew up listening to all of them and consider this a childhood dream almost. My favorites of course are Poison, Quiet Riot, Twisted Sister, and Whitesnake. I still to this day jam out to all of them.
Unrated Coren: What songs are your favorite to play for “Rock of Ages?”
Bobby: I’d have to say either the opening song from David Lee Roth or Journey. The opening song starts with a solo by me and it kind of sets the mood for the whole show. Which I like to do. Journey is probably the world’s most recognizable band and everyone knows their songs. So, to be able to play that and conclude the show is just a different type of feeling. I love it!
Unrated Coren: How do you feel about the look in the 80’s especially the wardrobe?
Bobby: I love every bit of it. I love everything 80s and wish I could sometimes go back in time. I think the 80s is one of the most important eras in music ever. It was such an explosion of talent and a lot of the music today has evolved or been influenced off of the music of that time, so go 80s! The wardrobe reflects the music, I think. It’s loud, in your face, and people are able to express themselves the way they want.
UnRated Coren: What are some of the pieces of wardrobe are you looking forward to wearing?
Bobby: Spandex, definitely the spandex!
UnRated Coren: What should audiences expect from the “band” during “Rock of Ages?”
Bobby: I know for a fact, the audience can expect one hell of a party and show! There have been months and months of planning, and the whole ROA team has been busting their butts to make sure that Orlando is going to get an epic time night in and night out. Expect heavy guitars, loud drums, and a story that will make you laugh, cry, and want to rock out every night! It’s not a show for the faint of heart!
UnRated Coren: There is a lot of talent within the band. How was it playing together for the 1st time?
Bobby: I have met all of the band pretty much and everyone is killer! Such professionals and talent. So it makes my job a lot easier and allows us all to really take it to the next level.
UnRated Coren: How do you think the audience will react?
Bobby: If they aren’t blown away, then they don’t need to be there. Plain and simple. This show is not for the faint of heart. It’s going to be a huge party and a show for the whole city of Orlando to enjoy. We are bringing the 80s back and it’ll be like going into a time machine and coming out in the golden era of Hollywood. Who wouldn’t want to go there?
UnRated Coren: Any last words? How excited are you about Opening Night?
Bobby: I’m excited about getting it over with, ha-ha. I like to think that the first show is the ice breaker and all of the issues that need to happen can happen and not affect the rest of the production dates. Plus, I know I am going to be a nervous wreck, ha-ha. So getting one out of the way is always nice.
So, if you want to have one hell of a good time especially seeing Mr. Von Ripper on his killer Flying V guitar…. Get yourself down to TheatreWorks Floridia September 28th –October 9, 2016. Again, I will be there with my new Journey shirt on and just ready to head bang.
Thanks again to Bobby for this amazing opportunity!!!! I am so stoked to see “Rock Of Ages” and how you will destroy it (in a good way…) on stage…