Classic act

Knox Paisley isn’t too young to rock ‘n’ roll

The members of Knox Paisley were a good 20-plus years from being born when their musical heroes were in their heyday. Steppenwolf, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, The Doors, Van Halen. And yet, that’s the music that speaks to these 17- and 18-year-olds, and that’s mostly what they play.

Lead singer and guitarist Max Manktelow says it likely began with his dad, Paul, who’s played classic rock in his own band for as long as Max can remember. Then there was an introduction to the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, and eventually, Max picked up a bass guitar to emulate what he could. Later, he switched to lead guitar. Some friends at North Valleys High School were similarly influenced, and together, they formed Knox Paisley in 2004.

The band has gone through some transformations during the past four years. Most recently, lead singer Eden Larson left the scene in November, handing the mic over to Max. The group is now a trio, with Nick Tapia on drums and Jimi Matthews on bass.

Their music features lots of crashing cymbals and long guitar solos that offset Max’s vocals. While they still cover classic rock songs, they’re also writing originals. And with Larson’s departure, the group is now leaning toward a sound more in line with their own generation—for both artistic and practical reasons: “We’re becoming more modern; less Zeppelin because I can’t sing that,” says Manktelow. “We’re a dedicated, young band, and we really just enjoy playing.”