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The North Bend Eagle

North Bend rock band Collosus
Collasus plays during an NBC basketball game this past winter. Pictured are
Drew Dolezal, left, and Kyle Krula.

Collasus wants to rock the Bend

by Nathan Arneal
Published 6/15/11

It all started because of a broken ankle.

With senior Eli Vosler missing the original Homecoming dance because of a football injury, some of his classmates decided to put on an unofficial second dance at the Morse Bluff Legion Hall.

Three of Vosler’s classmates, Eric Kloke, Drew Dolezal and Kyle Krula, as well as freshman Luke Dolezal, provided the music that night.

With Drew Dolezal on lead guitar and vocals, Kloke on drums, Krula on bass and Luke Dolezal on the keyboard, the quartet rocked the night away as their schoolmates danced along and parents looked on.

The “Homecoming 2” event last November was just what the band needed to get kick started. The idea of forming a rock band wasn’t a new one. The three senior classmates had tried to start a band in junior high, but effort quickly fizzled due to their inability to drive.

CollasusCollasus is Drew Dolezal, lead guitar and vocals; Kyle Krula, bass; Luke Dolezal, keyboard; and Eric Kloke, drums.

Drew Dolezal started playing the guitar in sixth grade, taking lessons from then-band teacher John Cooper. With Dolezal on lead guitar, Krula decided to take up bass. Kloke, who had been playing percussion since fifth grade, took up the trap set in junior high.

Once the group could drive, they trio began meeting before school in the band room to jam together. NBC band director Ray Kirkpatrick let Krula and Dolezal break out the guitars for several songs during pep band performance at Tiger games including “Killing in the Name Of” and “Bulls on Parade” by Rage Against the Machine and “Frankenstein” by the Edgar Winter Band.

Kirkpatrick also encouraged the group to start playing outside of the school’s pep band.

“He suggested it to me when I was his teacher’s aide,” Krula said. “He says, ‘Maybe you guys should get together and start playing some stuff.’ I didn’t think much of it at first, then Eli broke his ankle and we lined that up. It kind of went from there.”

The band’s first true public performance came in a January gig at Dodger Bowl where they played in front of a packed house.

“I think it went really well,” Drew Dolezal said. “It was our first live performance and we were full of energy. I was anyways. We were there playing music we like.”

The band, which eventually settled on the name Collasus, also played at halftime of an NBC basketball game and at NBC’s Snowball dance, and even during a church service at the United Presbyterian Church. While the small performance are helping them get their legs under them, the band is hoping its breakout performance comes during Old Settlers. Collasus will be playing in the Dodger Bowl beer garden Saturday night of Old Settlers in front of what will likely be it’s biggest audience yet. Dolezal said the band is ready for the opportunity.

“I’m not nervous because I’m comfortable with what I’m doing,” he said. “I got all the stuff down. If I didn’t know what I was doing up there then I’d be nervous, but I’m actually really excited about it.”

All four members said they are excited for the opportunity to play Old Settlers and hoped it would lead to further bookings. The band also plans to debut a few original songs it has been working on.

Collasus’s set list, which included just 12 songs at that first gig in November, is now up to about three hours worth of material. The band draws heavily from ‘90s alternative rock, including bands such as Rage Against the Machine and Nirvana.

“I grew up on a lot of that,” Dolezal said. “I started getting into music when I was 10 and a lot of that stuff had been out a while. I learned how to play with Nirvana.”
The band also likes to mix in some older and newer stuff. One of the crowd favorites has been Dolezal’s performance of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” from 1973.

“A hard rock sound is what we’re looking for in the songs,” Dolezal said. “Stuff that people like too, some recognizable stuff. We try to go for the younger audience, but sometimes you have to throw some older stuff in there because there’s some older people in the audience and they like to hear the stuff they listened too.”

As the three recent graduates head off to college - Dolezal and Krula to Northeast Community College in Norfolk and Kloke to Wayne State - they hope to continue playing and booking bigger and bigger performances. Dolezal said he hopes Collasus will have staying power as the members go their separate ways this fall. After all, everyone in the band had bought new equipment in the past six months.

“Hopefully that’s a sign that we’ll be into it for a while,” Dolezal said with a laugh. “It’s a little bit of an investment.”

The band realizes small town Nebraska, where the scene leans more towards country music bands, can be a rough place to start a rock band. However, it is once such country music band that gives them hope. Dolezal said Collasus hopes to follow in the footsteps of Dylan & the Dirt Road Detour, another North Bend band that has started to getting radio play (featured in last week’s Eagle).

“You hear about all the big bands and they’re from California, Los Angeles, all the big places,” Dolezal. “To hear about someone coming out of a small town and getting some radio pub and radio play, that is pretty inspiring. If (Dylan Bloom) can do it, hopefully we’ll have a chance to do it, too.”

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