Local band wins Alice Cooper’s Christmas Pudding contest

By: 
CHRISTINA FUOCO-KARASINSKI, Managing Editor Entertainer Magazine

Photo courtesy Undecided Youth

Undecided Youth
 

Undecided Youth, led by singer Summer Welsh of Peoria, has tried to win Alice Cooper’s Proof is in the Pudding Musical Talent Search four times. Its dream finally came true.
Undecided Youth won Alice Cooper’s Proof is in the Pudding Musical Talent Search leading to a spot at the 17th annual Christmas Pudding on Dec. 8 at Phoenix’s Celebrity Theatre.
“I started crying immediately,” said Welsh, 17, who attends Sunrise Mountain High School.
“I was so excited. I wanted it for four years. It was such a cool experience. I saw comments Alice made about me and the band. He said I was born with charisma. You just have it or you don’t. It was surreal to hear such rock royalty talking about me. It’s such a cool compliment.”
This year’s Christmas Pudding, the proceeds of which go to Alice Cooper’s The Rock Teen Center, also features performances by Larry the Cable Guy, Sebastian Bach, Buck Dharma and Eric Bloom of Blue Oyster Cult and Beasto Blanco, with Cooper’s daughter, Calico, and his touring bassist, Chuck Garric, on vocals. The Hollywood Vampires, with Cooper, actor/musician Johnny Depp and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, are the headliners.
Welsh said she’s been on “cloud nine” since her band won the contest.
Founded in October 2015, Undecided Youth mixes a modern sound with a classic rock vibe. Its members range in age from 14 to 18 and have performed professionally in more than 250 shows and more than 50 venues, including the Whisky A Go-Go in Hollywood. Available on all music platforms, Undecided Youth’s self-titled EP was produced by Casey Weaver at Steampunk Audio Labs in Glendale.
“I know they’re a young band, but they definitely have a level of maturity and professionalism that you don’t see in a lot of other bands, regardless of their age,” Weaver said.
“They came to me with a lot of raw talent and I shaped their sound. It was a fantastic pairing. The results we got were expected but surprised everybody. When we were finished, we knew it was an excellent, excellent product.”
Welsh said the band is considering re-entering the studio when it’s not performing throughout the Valley.
Undecided Youth at the time of the Christmas Pudding contest also included guitarist Connor Kelly of Waddell, bassist Cole Gascon of Peoria and drummer Will Hanson, who attends Estrella Foothills High School. Gascon has since left the band, which is looking for a replacement.
“I am so proud to be able to have these guys in my band,” Welsh said. “They are amazing. They are so good at what they do. I’m in awe of what they have to offer.”
The musicians have their own stories about why they decided to pursue this career. Welsh recalls listening to the radio with her parents.
“The moment when I decided I really liked music was when I was driving around with my parents, listening to the radio and ‘Wish You Were Here’ by Pink Floyd came on. I was so struck by it. I realized then that’s what I wanted to do.”
Hansen, 15, is inspired by Jason Bonham, Keith Moon and Buddy Rich. He describes his band as having a “classic rock background living in a modern world.”
“I started playing when I was 8 and I started out on (the game) Rock Band,” he said. “I received a drum kit and I just kept going and going. It’s just been a lot of fun. One day I decided I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.”
Kelly can’t remember wanting to do anything else.
“I have never felt so passionate about something before,” he said. “I could do this forever.”

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Peoria Times

Peoria Times
7122 N. 59th Ave
Glendale, AZ 85301-2436
Ph: (623) 842-6000
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