Twist of fate
The members of Fate Awaits really want you to know that they are not a “kid band.” Although their ages range from 12 to 15, they can rock with the best of them, and they take their musical journey seriously.
Fate Awaits is an alternative rock band comprised of brothers Landon McErquiaga-Gray, 15, and Manning Gray, 12, who play bass and guitar; drummer Scott Courts, 13; and vocalist Miyah Walker, 14. They found each other at Reno Rock Camp, a summer music camp that helps youth learn and improve their musical talents. They won the Forte Award for best rock band. By the time Fate Awaits formed in November of last year, the members already had several years of musical practice under their belts.
Landon said the band’s name came easy to them.
“We were in the car, and Manning was just talking about it, and thought of it,” he said, jokingly adding, “It was fate.”
The band has recorded more than three hours of cover songs, plays regularly at local establishments and events, and has opened for bands such as Famous Last Words. The artists these young musicians have covered run the gamut of classic and modern rock, from Jimi Hendrix, Pat Benatar and Nirvana to Pierce the Veil, Halestorm and We the Kings.
They’ve performed at bars like Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor, and Walker said that sometimes their age does come into play when they have to convince a bar employee that they are there to perform. She said her own teachers are sometimes in disbelief over her concert venues.
“At a lot of our gigs, a lot of people are surprised at how old we are,” she said.
Fate Awaits is currently working on a still-untitled LP, writing their own music. They practice at the Musician Rehearsal Center in Sparks and take music lessons outside of band practice. As a sophomore, Landon will soon be taking AP Music Theory. All of the band members are eager to learn what they can about their craft. They study the music of classical artists, including Beethoven, whose quote they feature on some of their merchandise: “I will seize fate by the throat; it shall certainly never wholly overcome me.”
“Beethoven’s lit,” said Landon.
Writing their own music adds a new dimension to the band, and they try to be encouraging of one another’s creativity.
“We do argue, but it’s like we’re siblings,” said Walker.
“It’s good knowing we’re all here for each other,” said Manning. They all agree that no one else quite understands what it’s like to be in a band and sacrifice normal “teen” things, like slumber parties or high school events. Even so, they don’t seem bothered by this. They celebrate their birthdays together and are often in one another’s company outside of band practice. Lately, they’ve started to be recognized out in public, and they’re developing an avid following on social media.
It’s all part of the bigger picture. When asked what their dreams are, they speak excitedly at once:
“To be famous,” said Court.
“To get better and improve,” said Walker. “Going on tours and having this be a stable career.”
“My dream is to write music that helps people,” said Manning. “Like when people tell bands, ’This song saved my life.’ I want to be someone else’s inspiration.”
“I like that,” Landon said to his bandmates. “We do want to make a career out of this. I love what we do and hope it lasts forever.”