By Christian Zerbel, Herald Writer
Q: Your principal referred to you as “the epitome of thoughtfulness.” Why would he say that?
A: I don’t really know. I’m just the typical American teenager. But I try to stay positive and keep a smile on my face every day.
Q: Well, what are your hobbies?
A: I like to work on my El Camino, hunt, fish and play baseball. I’m the president of the Jam Club, and I’m in the Jazz Band at school. My friends and I also started a band called “Where the Sidewalks End.”
Q: Let’s break that up. First off, what’s the Jam Club?
A: The Jam Club was started by the school librarian, Mr. Volkersz. It’s really just a bunch of us, jamming out with drums, bass and guitars in a relaxed environment. We’ve played at the Evergreen State Fair and other charitable events.
Q: You’re the president of the club?
A: Yeah, I was elected president freshman year. A bunch of my friends were in the class and we had a vote.
Q: The Jazz Band is a part of the school. How do you like it?
A: It’s a great way to wake up in the morning. I show up three times per week at 6:30 a.m. Sometimes I’ll have some coffee or doughnuts in the morning to get going. The Jazz Band is a great way to start the day and build up some energy.
Q: What’s your favorite type of music?
A: Is there such a thing? I suppose, there isn’t a time when I’m not in the mood for Jack Johnson. My musical taste ranges ’30s music that nobody listens to, to new stuff. It just depends on what mood I’m in.
Q: What about your other band, “Where the Sidewalks End.”
A: The name came from the Shel Silverstein poem. It’s a few of my friends. I play the guitar. We played at “Battle of the Bands” at Glacier Peak last year.
Q: How’d you guys do?
A: We got third place.
Q: You’re in choir at school. Do you sing for your band?
A: No, not really. We just like to mess around. Sometimes, we go play on a street corner. When passersby give us change, we take the money and go buy food. Then we donate the food to the Snohomish Community Food Bank.
Q: Why does your band do that?
A: Well, we play anyway. Why not help people while we’re at it?
Q: Tell me about some of your other hobbies.
A: As I said, I like to hunt and fish. At school, I dress like everyone else, but when I get home I’m a true hick. Though, usually when I’m not playing music I’m working on my car.
Q: You enjoy mechanics?
A: Yeah, I’m really into old cars and trucks. Shop class at school is one of my favorites because I like to work with my hands.
Q: What else do you do for fun?
A: I didn’t really do anything for my birthday this year. So a few days after Christmas, my friends and I went to the mall dressed in $5 Santa suits. We had our pictures taken with kids.
We yelled, “Seasons Greetings,” and one parent brought their toddler dressed as an elf to get his picture taken. It was tons of fun.
Q: Owen, you seem like a very motivated individual. Do you have an inspiration?
A: I come from a very musical family. One of my grandpas, “Big Arn,” passed away in 2007. He always pushed to motivate me.
He was a mechanic and played guitar, sort of like what I’m doing now. But he played with some big bands in his day, Merle Haggard, Charlie Pride, Conway Twitty and others. He was an awesome guy, always smiling and friendly.
My other grandpa, we call him Grandpa Herrmann, helps me through my musical journey. He played with big names, too. He played drums for Ray Charles and Quincy Jones Jr.
Q: What are your plans for after high school?
A: Well I’m split between mechanics and my music. I’ve heard WyoTech in Wyoming has a great automotive program. But I love music. It’s a tough choice.