The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


Circle drive: rocking the rhythms

Junior Brody Bates finds his passion on the drums and starts his teenage band, Circle Drive
Rachel King
Sophomore Brody Bates plays the drums for Circle Drive at a performance at Smoking n’ Waldo.

In the rhythm of life, junior Brody Bates finds his beat on the drums.

“I never knew what I wanted to do. But I’d always be the kid that was tapping or hitting pots and pans and things like that. Once I realized, ‘Oh, this is what I want to do, it was something my brain was already familiar with,” Brody said. 

However, finding something to entertain Brody at an early age became somewhat difficult, according to Brody’s father, Bart Bates, a social studies teacher at BVNW.

“My wife and I are very athlete-type people in competitive sports. So we tried him in karate, soccer and baseball,” Bart said.

Despite all the attempts, Bart expressed that Brody wasn’t finding any success in the sports category.

“We tried for a minute and probably [when he was] about 8 years old, I started getting frustrated, and I was like ‘you got to do something,’” Bart said.

In a turn of events, however, his passion for music came alive when Brody went to a talent show in the third grade.

“I remembered one time I saw a kid play drums in the talent show, and I was like, I might as well try that,” Brody said.

According to Brody, his start in the life of rock ‘n’ roll and being a drummer had officially become his newest interest. He intended to pursue this by attending the music school, School of Rock.

“I went to School of Rock the summer going into third grade, and then I just stuck with it ever since,” Brody said. “It became clear that it was my thing to do. And it just made sense in my brain.”

Although he had found his calling, he said coming from a sports-heavy family made it difficult for him to be introduced to the rock ‘n’ roll world. 

“My parents just listened to country music in the car. I didn’t have the background knowledge so I was just on a clean slate,” Brody said.  

The lack of knowledge was challenging, as finding his path in the School of Rock proved difficult, according to Brody.

“Everyone else had a general idea going into it like how the instruments worked and how a band works, and I was learning from scratch,” Brody said.

As he was mentored and continued to learn in his newfound environment, Brody found himself slowly outgrowing the School of Rock.

Brody went on to form his band, Circle Drive. The band started off with Brody and two other musicans. Senior Lucas Nguyen from Maranatha high school as the guitar player, and 8th grader Olivia Todd from Oxford middle school as the bass player.

The missing piece of the band was the singer. Going through several different trials, their collaboration with another band, The Conundrums, led Circle Drive to their newest addition, Nora Harris.

“We just became best friends. She is the perfect fit and it’s worked out really well,” Brody said. 

Harris works as a barista as well as singing for Circle Drive. Harris described how happy she was that she found a band that she immediately connected with, especially since she had been dreaming of being a member for a long time.

“I would have thought that this would not be possible now. But now that I’m here and doing [the band], it doesn’t feel real and it’s the best thing. Honestly, it has been life-changing,” Harris said.

Despite the group’s quick connection, the band is made up of members wiht varying ages, ranging from 13-19 years old. .

“You have different ages, you have different vibes, and they’re just trying to figure out what their sound is gonna be,” Bart said. 

According to Bart, rehearsals can be heard throughout the neighborhood.

“Part of our strategy when we bought our house was to buy one where we could have the band room. We bought a PA system and have everything you need to have a rock band. His drum kits are down there and the band practices at our house,” Bart said.

The support shown has had a positive impact on Brody, as his parents became motivators for him.

“Most parents when you’re beating on drums in your house are probably thinking ‘This is annoying, stop it,’” Brody said. “My parents were always like, ‘No, play more.’”

Not only are his parents supporters at home, but Bart is also able to help Circle Drive book gigs. Having parental help allows the band to get venues, especially at places that do not allow anyone under 21 years old to enter. 

“It helps him to have me call, and I can say, ‘Hey, look, I’m an adult and I can vouch for them,’” Bart said.

The band’s next performance is scheduled for Oct. 15 and the dress code is any Halloween costume. It is from 4 to 7 p.m. at 7300D West 119th Street and is open to all ages.

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About the Contributors
Harper Latta, Writer
Harper is a senior and a writer for the “The Express.” This is her second year on staff. Outside of newspaper, Harper runs track, plays high school soccer, and manages the football and basketball teams. In her free time, Harper enjoys watching horror movies, going to Quiktrip, and late-night car rides. Harper is excited to spend her final year writing for “The  Express” along with her best friends. 
Madison Kraft, Writer
Madison is a first-year writer for “The Express” and a sophomore. Along with being a proud member of the paper, Madison is involved in cross country, varsity track and field, KAY Club, Rise, and Team Up for St. Jude’s. In her valued free time, Madison enjoys watching movies, reading, cooking, and spending time with friends. She is so happy to be part of “The Express” family and is excited to meet new people and develop her journalistic writing skills.
Rachel King, Photographer
Rachel is a junior and a photographer for “The Express”. This year is her second year on staff. Outside of the newspaper Rachel plays soccer for the school. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with friends, listening to music, and playing soccer. Rachel is excited to be a part of “The Express” and looks forward to the year.
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