Thought, a Whitefish Bay-based boy band, recently starred in a
commercial on the Cartoon Network.
If you think these five boys are too
young to have some serious talent — you may want to take a second
For Isaac Young, Braden Bjella, Anders
Bjella, Riley Gasiorowski and Brendan Demet, ages 12-15 and all of
Whitefish Bay, adulthood may be a few years off, but success has come
"It’s a double-edged sword,
being so young," says Braden, 12, base guitar player and vocalist
for 2nd Thought. "The appeal is, ‘Oh my goodness, they’re so
young and make such great music!’ But it’s also like, ‘Oh, they’re
young. They’re probably not that good. Let’s just skip it and move
But skipping over 2nd Thought would be
a mistake. While its members are indeed young, this classic rock group
has earned props that would make older bands green with envy.
"It’s pretty cool," says
Brendan, 14, guitarist and vocalist. "We’re just lucky to have
all the opportunities that we have."
Having just finished recording a demo
CD, the group is fresh off a year of highlights — playing Summerfest
in 2007, opening and closing at a Milwaukee Admirals game featuring
the Goo Goo Dolls, taking part in a nationally telecast AT&T ad,
and — oh yes — starring in a commercial on Cartoon Network for a
contest featuring talented kids.
With so much talent up their sleeves,
band members sometimes say it’s a thrill to play and see surprise
replace the skepticism on people’s faces. Because whatever
"it" is, these kids have it.
"Right when you open a set, when
you’re playing for a bunch of people — the look on their faces is
the best," says Anders, 14, drummer for 2nd Thought. "I don’t
think they really expect what they’re going to hear."
When lead singer and guitarist Isaac
was contacted to do the vocals in an AT&T ad with singer Meat
Loaf, which aired during this year’s NCAA championship game, group
members got a further boost to their self-esteem.
"Yeah, that was really fun,"
Isaac says. "I was just blown away."
The band members credit their parents
as a major source of support.
"We have a bunch of people on our
team-o-parents," Anders says. "Everyone really helps get
gigs and get connections — all that stuff."
The group is currently one of 20
contestants in Cartoon Network’s "Props!" contest, which
seeks to showcase America’s most talented kids. The band has a
segment that regularly airs on the station; voting will take place
once all 20 contestants are announced at www.cartoonnetworkprops.com.
"Whenever our little 30-second
segment comes on, my mom screams and gets really excited about
it," says keyboardist Riley, 15.
While success has been great, group
members say they hope to continue having fun doing what they love.
"I’d love to continue playing
music," Braden says. "I think it’s fun and if I can make a
career out of it — hey, that’s a good thing."