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Shooting Park: Making music for the masses

Shooting Park
Shooting Park

LASALLE/PERU — The Shooting Park band is here to make its mark on not just the LaSalle and Bureau counties area — but on the world.

Based in Peru, Shooting Park is five members strong — Zach Buckley, Ethan Smith, Mike Znaniecki, Cazden Lash and Shelby Wroczynski.

The band has been together for about a year and will perform tonight, Thursday, at the Paramont Club in LaSalle, in a release party for the band’s first EP (extended play) record. Also performing tonight will be three other acts, Curb 11, Ahymnsa and Taxi. Tickets are $10 per person.

Preparing for tonight’s release party, Shooting Park band members talked about their music, their style, their goals.

As lead singer and primary songwriter for the band, Buckley said the band’s music style is definitely varied, a new wave and jazz-inflected strain of indie rock with their hands also steeped in funk and reggae as well.

Actually, the band’s style of music is hard to describe, according to Znaniecki.

“Varieties of funk, rap and bluesy/jazz chords give us a unique original sound that you wouldn’t expect from any other band,” Znaniecki said. “As a band, I think our main goal is to impress. We want the audience to have a great time and enjoy listening to us and always leave amazed.”

With the absence of foul language and behavior, Lash said he thinks the band’s target audience could be all ages, but primarily between the ages of 13-30.

“I want our music to take us places. I want people to be inspired by our music, as it is a reflection of ourselves,” he said.

Wroczynski agreed, saying she likes to think the band challenges its audience to think. And just who would comprise the audience? Anyone with ears, she said.

As the sole Bureau County resident, Ethan Smith of Malden said he wants the band’s songs to be personal and able to relate to the lives of its audience members. People can get different messages from the same song, but in the end, he just wants to see the audience have a good time.

“Music has always been a sort of healing tool for me. It’s brought friendships together, helped me with depression, and made me more determined in little things I do everyday. I’ve always taken pride in being a musician, even when I am not as good as I want to be. Its like a badge of honor, something I can be proud to be and do with the people I love,” Smith said.

In writing music for the band, Buckley said he thinks there are certain themes in everyone’s lives that run deep within them, whether they are from tragedies or moments of distrust, depression, fear, anger or loneliness.

“I often write about those occurrences from my own life,” Buckley said. “However, I intentionally write my words ambiguously, so whoever is listening can place themselves in the music. At that point, the song is no longer about my life or experiences, but about theirs,” Buckley said. “And, hopefully they realize they aren’t alone in their emotions and experiences. You could say the focus (of our music) is to connect people.”

Looking ahead, Buckley said Shooting Park band has its sights set on some big goals. Within the next year, the band will have released its first full-length album and have a multi-state tour in the works, if not under its belt. In five years? The world, he said.

“Is that audacious to say? Probably, but goals are goals nonetheless, and I will not lie about my intentions,” Buckley said. “We are nothing without our dreams.”

For now, Shooting Park band is excited and ready to sing its songs and meet its audience at tonight’s concert.

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