Meet Berkshire’s newest rock band, Beyond the Sons

Beyond the Sons have a summer of live shows in their sights, but they have also been making waves in the rock community already, with attention from the likes of My Chemical Romance and Shinedown

Image credit: Mikaela Wild

Ranging between the ages of 12 and 14, Jake, Hector, Ethan, Hayden and Albert make up the young Berkshire rock band, Beyond the Sons. After dealing with a stop start beginning due to line-up changes and lockdowns, there is nothing stopping the band now that they have a string of live opportunities on their horizon. Not only this, but they have even caught the attention of the likes of Shinedown and My Chemical Romance.

Speaking of his inspiration to form the band, Beyond the Sons guitarist, Jake Collingwood, said: “When I was younger I had always been into rock music, like forever, and ever since, me and my Dad started writing music and doing videos.

“He showed me all these different bands and I started watching videos of different people doing it and it just looked really fun.”

Jake’s dad, Mark Collingwood, helped with the naming of the band, using a fun play on words to help share the pride he and the other parents have for their sons in the band.

Mark said: “I tried to be a bit clever with the spelling of the word sons, it’s a play on words in that it is beyond what your sons are expected to do. It sounds like you’re going beyond the reaches but then in another way, these are our sons and they are doing amazing things.”

Alongside being inspired by his Dad’s love of music, Jake initiated the band’s grouping with the help of his guitar teacher, Leo Westby.

Mr Westby said: “I started teaching Jake, the guitarist, and he was becoming ridiculous very very quickly. And in fact, to be honest, going beyond anything I’ve ever seen before. And he said ‘I want to be in a band, I want to be in a band’.

“Once we got that line up it just worked really well. They became really good friends. They just gelled and it was great.”

Before the Covid lockdowns hit, Beyond the Sons had shows booked ready to kick start their gigging experience. Covid halted these opportunities, but it did not diminish their appetite to perform.

Jake said: “It was all a bit awkward because everyone had their own time in lockdown and we were all doing different stuff.

“But when we came back, the first band practise wasn’t as good as we usually did but over the next week, it started getting better and better and after two or three weeks we were better than we were before lockdown.”

Of their lockdown experiences, Mr Westby said: “They weren’t doing very much in lockdown to do with the band but they were growing as musicians, still doing the lessons via zoom.

“When they knew what songs they were doing, and they were back as a band after lockdown had finished, after a few rusty moments they moved forward quite fast because they’d all become much better musicians individually during that time.”

As a result of their musicianship and commitment to practice, the band were able to record a pair of covers professionally at Studio 91 in Newbury; these being Shinedown’s ‘Sound of Madness’ and My Chemical Romance’s ‘Famous Last Words’.

Jake said: “All the raw tracks before they were mixed and stuff already sounded good, we knew it was going to be good by the end and it was done by the best people so I was really looking forward to it.

“It kind of made us come out our shells and really go for it when you get to do the recording and put in your best effort.”

This effort paid off particularly when the recordings were picked up by members of the original bands themselves.

Shinedown retweeted the cover saying, “THIS IS INCREDIBLE!”, whilst My Chemical Romance’s Frank Iero gave the video glowing esteem by describing it as ‘rad’.

Jake’s dad, Mark said: “We’re massive My Chemical Romance fans so, to get Shinedown was amazing don’t get me wrong, but to get Frank Iero for us personally was a big one. Because he’s quite allusive as well I think, I don’t think he does much so it was a bit of a score to get him.

“I read the comments under that post and a lot of them were just his followers angry at him like ‘oh so you are still alive, you are still commenting on your fans’. So yeah that was a big one for us.”

This is not the first time a band that Mr Westby has been associated with has got such great attention. Over the years, Mr Westby has helped produce bands such as Jammin Dodgers, Room 4 and The Mini Band. The Mini Band played Reading Festival in 2015 and had support from the likes of Metallica.

Mr Westby said: “Getting that attention, that Shinedown tweet happened really quickly and that was really, really wow you know. It was fantastic, just like déjà vu with what happened all those years ago.

“[Beyond the Sons had] seen what had happened with The Mini Band and stuff and I don’t think they ever expected a similar thing to start happening for them.

“So yeah, the kids saw what those guys did. They never thought we’ve got to beat that or anything but it made them realise they could be really good. And that’s what we said, ‘you can be this good, these are all normal kids, this three sets of kids: Room 4, Mini Band and Jammin Dodgers, look how good these guys got because they liked doing it’.

“They were very much influenced by that and obviously seeing and being blown away by what happened to The Mini Band, in particular all the press and Metallica and all that good stuff.

“As far as I know, they’re absolutely loving what’s happening and are blown away like all of us. And they’re hugely influenced by the other kids. And that’s the great thing, they can look back and see yeah that’s possible.”

In a full circle turn of events, Beyond the Sons are now themselves inspiring a new set of kids wanting to rock.

Mr Westby said: “We’ve got some more kids that want to do a band now because of Beyond the Sons, so we’re trying to help them get started.”

So what’s next for Beyond The Sons? Recording, song writing, and most importantly, gigging.

Mr Westby said: “If we can get some gigs this summer and get out there and play, and make sure they like it, get confident doing that – that’s our real goal.

“If we can get some nice festivals as it progresses that would be brilliant. I don’t mean big festivals I mean the little small ones that are scattered around the country to a few hundred people that would be really nice, so that’s our goal really.

“And they want and are desperate to do more recordings, so by the end of the summer we’ll get them back in to do some more recordings and even writing their own songs as well.”

Mark added: “At the moment the way it’s all taking off, there’s a few quite big options being thrown about and I think they need a couple of little gigs just to get those first nerves out the way to really enjoy the bigger ones.”

When asked what his dreams would be for Beyond the Sons, Jake said: “I really want to gig all round different parts of England and if we can, go to different countries.

“I kind of just want to have the most fun out of playing live. I don’t mind if we get famous or anything like that, although that would be cool, I really just want to play in front of people and show everyone how good we are.”

Beyond the Sons are most definitely showing the world just how good they are, and with plenty of gigging experience on the horizon this summer, this success is surely just the beginning.

Image credit: Beyond the Sons on Facebook

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