Huntersville resident Miranda Mendez, 13, has enjoyed singing “all of my life,” she said.
A member of the Bailey Middle School chorus and honors chorus, the rising eighth-grader began looking for help to advance her singing abilities in 2015 and asked a family friend, Huntersville music instructor Karl Gunther, for guidance.
Mendez told him that “Idina Menzel is my favorite Broadway performer. She makes you believe anything can happen if you put your mind to it. Also singer Danielle Bradbery, she shows me that even at 16 you can make it big.”
Gunther, who has an eye for talent, formed a band in January by bringing together Mendez and three others with similar tastes: Payton Velligan, 15, on guitar/keyboard; Bryce Miller, 17, on drums; and Justin Tutor, 16, on bass .
The name was chosen during a brainstorming session. As names were being discussed, someone shouted, “Who Cares” and the name stuck, once they changed the last letter to z. After playing several local gigs, Tutor decided to go out on his own, which left the band looking for a replacement in June.
With Gunther’s help, the band auditioned and found a new bass player, Concord resident Junior Sturt, 16, two weeks before their next gig at the Mooresville Family Music Fest on July 9. During an interview prior to their 45-minute performance, with only two weeks of practicing together, Sturt said, “This is my first gig with them and I’m very excited to make some music with them.”
Denver resident Velligan said she likes playing guitar with the band. “It’s made me a better musician with piano and guitar because of all the different genres of music that we play.”
Cornelius resident Miller, who enjoys playing drums, said, “This is a really great experience and I really love playing with this band so far.”
The band opened their 11-song set with Bruno Mars “Runaway Baby,” then moved into a variety that included new and old songs. Modern offerings such as Miranda Lambert’s “Little Red Wagon” were covered along with classics such as Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” as the four musicians poured themselves into every note.
The show ended with the band’s unanimous pick for favorite song – Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker.” They each agreed they were grateful to Gunther for bringing them together.
Gunther, owner of a Huntersville music studio, said, “I spend more of my time acting like a matchmaker. Somebody will tell me about a musician with talent and I will try to match them up with others to make bands that have similar tastes.”
Forming 33 bands with musicians of all ages, Gunther stresses practicing and having fun. He promotes these bands to get gigs and records their music while administering sage advice on how to navigate the music industry world.
His goal is to get the bands to where they are self-sufficient and won’t need him anymore. “I want to help the kids out. A lot of them are really talented, but they aren’t organized. That is where I come in,” he said.
“If your kid is good at music and you want to create a custom music band, you need to see me,” said Gunther.
Marty Price is a freelance writer: email@example.com.
You will be able to catch a live performance of Who Carez on Aug. 20, when they will be playing at the Huntersville Grower’s Market and the Mooresville Festival of Food Trucks on the same day.
You can see more musical performances by Who Carez on their Utube channel: www.youtube.com/channel/UCxrAuZ92TbbMxWz6IntKvQQ.
Visit the Who Carez Facebook page: www.facebook.com/whocarezband/
To contact Karl Gunther visit the Karl Gunther Studios web site: www.karlguntherstudios.com/?p=1