The origin of The Hemlock
End can be told by many personal points of view, according to
each members musical experiences. Drummer, Maunee George
II, and bassist, Bob Hartle, both from similar backgrounds,
began jamming together at the beginning of their freshman year
at Duquesne University. At the same time guitarist, Derek Gianola,
who also enrolled in Duquesne, had visions in creating a super
group. He already had much experience for a musician of his
age, having been in a recent group known as Nemo. What he needed
was a fine selection of other experienced and talented musicians
that could fulfill his ambition. Derek worked hard trying to
find these missing pieces. Rather it was because of musical
differences or lack of commitment, he was dissatisfied with
the other musicians he tried out. Finally on one lonely fall
night, the paths intertwined. Bob and Derek found themselves
outside talking with one another about their past band experiences.
They decided to jam and share musical ideas. As the night wore
on and the clock counted one, the two of them could not believe
what they were hearing. Bob called up Maunee to have him listen
to the chemistry that was being created. The two of them were
currently signed up to participate in the annual Duquesne Ballroom
talent show. They invited Derek to join them. So he accepted.
Maunee and Derek, having not even played with one other, went
on stage two nights later for the talent show. The three of
them went up there with only a little idea of what to perform;
scales in the key of E. Bob and Derek plugged their instruments
in and Maunee manned his position. As Bob began thumping the
first notes, Maunee supplied the fury, then Derek began to wail.
From then on it was all smiles. Derek knew he had crossed between
two extraordinary musicians that resembled perfection. The trio
won second place, only to a crowd favorite dance group, and
received $75. The Hemlock End was born.
Soon they began rehearsing
and building up archives of original material. And the advantage
of the material? Everyone writes. And the advantage of the experience?
Everyone is a leader. At the time Derek was handling vocals.
Unlike guitar, he was very new to singing and could not feel
much comfort doing it. They found themselves playing one show
in December at the Penn Kenn Battle of the Bands. They won.
Brought back $40. This achievement boosted their confidence
because they were competing against bands that had been together
for a couple of years. Some of those bands even participated
in the same event before. The Hemlock End had only five practices
before the show. They were labeled as a super trio by the judges.
The group was more than
well-rounded in every direction, except singing. Along came
Mike Gornick. Like the rest, Mike also attends Duquesne. Having
gone to the same high school, he and Maunee knew each other
for years but never seemed to discover each others talents.
Usually, bands make mistakes by half willingly excepting the
first musician they try out, but Mike was an exception. As he
grasped from his stomach, his notes carried throughout the practice
room. Lights opened and eyes lit. He was not just invited into
the group, but automatically assumed that he would join.
Now The Hemlock End is ready.
What lies ahead of them is unknown but looks bright. What ever
it is, they must not show weakness in any aspect. They must
So maybe if you lay back
for a moment, it will come to you. What you are trying to accomplish
is not enough. It is what you will accomplish. It may be everyones
dream to flourish in the rock business, but only those that
believe it, pursue it, seize to see signs of defeat, and love
it will succeed.