ByPolar is a band formed with some lofty ambitions. The first such clue that this band was built out of pure tenacity was booking its first live date without so much as a stable lineup, finalized setlist, or heavy woodshedding behind its sound. According to ByPolar founder George Houseknecht, there were never any doubts his band would rise to the challenge.
‚??Once I set my mind to something, I never quit,‚?Ě Houseknecht says of his musical aspirations.
He knows what he‚??s talking about. As the founder of the mega-successful Twelve Twenty-Four, Houseknecht set that band on a path that other local bands would kill to be treading. He‚??s equally confident that ByPolar will echo that drive and sense of showmanship that Twelve Twenty-Four delivers to audiences.
ByPolar will play their inaugural show on Dec. 31at the Golden Cue Lounge (967 N. Locust St., Hazleton). If Housknecht has anything to say about it, the New Year‚??s Eve show will be a memorable springboard for the band.
‚??I not only think we can be the area‚??s biggest party band,‚?Ě Houseknecht unapologetically begins, ‚??but I also want to take what Twelve Twenty-Four is doing to the next level.‚?Ě
He is speaking within the context of the holiday theme, proposing ByPolar will have full sets prepared for gigs on Halloween, St. Patrick‚??s Day, and, of course, Christmas.
‚??You see a local band around the holidays and I think, ‚??They‚??re not even going to play a single Christmas song?‚??‚?Ě Houseknecht adds. ‚??We‚??re going to be year-round. There‚??s no crowd we won‚??t be able to please.‚?Ě
ByPolar, which launched a mere five months ago, consists of Houseknecht as lead vocalist, CJ Marsicano and Tad DeLong on guitars, bassist Bryan Todd, and Chad Stauffer on drums. The members of the Hazleton-based band have had long histories within the local music community, with names like Fallacy, Bigg Trouble, and Foxfire surfacing on their resumes.
‚??Everybody in this band really knows what they‚??re doing,‚?Ě Houseknecht said.
‚??CJ, he‚??s our musical director ‚?? he can play just about any instrument. If somebody makes a mistake, he‚??ll stop and say, ‚??No, this is how it goes.‚?? We want this thing to be perfect.‚?Ě
True to the band‚??s name, the setlist for ByPolar‚??s New Year‚??s Eve gig is looking to induce some wild musical mood swings. A quick glance through the band‚??s song selection reveals material by Poison, Flock of Seagulls, John Mellencamp, and The Ramones.
‚??We‚??re actually going to do Stryper‚??s version of ‚??Winter Wonderland‚?? since it will still be the Christmas season,‚?Ě Houseknecht said.
‚??We‚??re looking to add a keyboard player, so in the future, we‚??re going to add some more technical stuff by Rush, Savatage ‚?? it‚??s going to be a pretty impressive thing.‚?Ě
Houseknecht insists that ByPolar will be all about having a great time.
‚??When people show up, I want them to say when we start a song, ‚??Oh my god, they‚??re playing this!‚?? I don‚??t want to give too much away, but people should not only be shocked, but surprised by what we‚??re going to do.
‚??You‚??re not going to see the same show twice. We want this thing to be as big as possible, and we‚??re working towards that. People are going to love it.‚?Ě
ByPolar: Dec. 31, 10 p.m., Golden Cue Lounge (967 N. Locust St., Hazleton). $5.