Local 'Driveway Band' Rocks Out

Four whiz kids make a band full of talent.

Glen Ellyn’s own Driveway Band is something to hear. 

This local band of talented youngsters started when added the 'Garage Band Jam' to its' yearly Musical Mayhem event. 

George Mugnani and his pals began the search for other musically inclined peers to add to their group. After a lot of lobbying, he formed a group with Eric Shanahan, Geo Smith, another guitarist, and that boy’s sister as the vocals. They played the Garage Band show and shortly after the second guitarist and his sister left the band. That's when Kyler Kotsakis was brought in on vocals. The name 'Driveway' came after realizing they spent a lot of time out on Mugnani's driveway every day after school, so the name seemed to fit. 

The band plays mostly alternative music with a mix of progressive and punk rock. The boys get their inspiration from area bands like Muse and Flipside, which is a junior band at . George says the band Flipside has even helped them improve.

The band has played numerous block parties, events at Hadley Junior High, American Legion Underground in Carol Stream, St. Marks in Glen Ellyn, St. Petronille, and Genghis Grill in Wheaton.

When George is not playing with the band he enjoys most sports. His favorite part of playing with the band is getting into the music and having a great time. He is not sure what he will do when he grows up.

Kyler is the lead singer of the group and started singing with The Christian Youth Theater when he was 10-years-old. When he is not singing with the group he enjoys basketball, acting, volleyball, speech team, orchestra and youth group. Kyler says the hardest part about being in the band is not going to a friend’s house to hang out but to work. He also plays the upright bass, bass guitar and piano.  When he grows up he hopes to be a veterinarian.

Geo plays the drums for the group. He explains that there is nothing hard about being in the band but sometimes he gets sick of practicing the same songs over and over. He loves to play in front of friends so they can see what he likes to do outside of school and sports. When he is not with the band, he plays a lot of baseball, plays the trombone in the school band, and likes to be outside doing anything. 

Eric plays the bass guitar and never took lessons but taught himself how to play. He explains that the hardest part of being in the band is getting everyone to play well and to sound good together. His favorite thing is showing off his talent and what he has learned to others. Eric also plays the upright bass in the Hadley Orchestra. When he is not playing in the band he plays baseball, runs, is a black belt in Taekwondo, is in the orchestra and Boy Scouts. When he grows up he plans to keep playing the bass and plans to go to medical school.

The boys hope the future will provide opportunities for them to play at venues such as Taste of Glen Ellyn, the 4th of July Parade, downtown Chicago, DuPage County Fair, Walter Payton’s Roundhouse, and in any football stadium. The band is well known locally and things can only get better for this wonderfully talented group of boys. Their next show is Saturday, May 7, at Ballydoyle’s Irish Pub in Bloomingdale where they will open for another well known local band 'The Joy Riders.' If you can make it, this is a great opportunity to see two amazing musical groups. 

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story said the Muse was a local band however, the Muse is not from Glen Ellyn. 

Julie Farrell May 04, 2011 at 02:37 PM
That's fantastic! Hang in there, guys. It can get rough sticking together when you start to pick up more shows, but it's worth it in the end!


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