Entertainment

Born to be wild: Why Joe-Y plans to rock

HILLSBORO, Ore. (KOIN) -- The members of the all-girl rock band Why Joe-Y were, maybe, born to be wild. But even though one of them has a rock-star father, that doesn't appear to have anything to do with their burgeoning success.

The girls -- ranging in age from 11 to 16 -- are perfecting songs that were around long before they were alive. Why Joe-Y's lead singer, 11-year-old Maddie Hurst, has been around rock singers her whole life. Her dad, Ron Hurst, is the drummer for Steppenwolf.

"Going to his shows as a little girl really just sparked me and watching him play and getting the whole concert experience was just a wow factor," Maddie told KOIN 6 News.

She learned to play guitar, ukulele, keyboard, drums and harmonica. Then, much to her dad's amusement, she developed an interest in singing.

"I kid her about that," Ron said. "I say, 'So, evidently the spotlight's not quite bright enough behind the drum set."

Maddie's instructor, Joe, asked some other girls if they'd be interested in forming a rock band. That's how Why Joe-Y came together, and they often practice at MIR Music in downtown Hillsboro - which is where Ron teaches drums.

"We were looking for a band name and it was, like, wait, his name is actually Joey," said ukulele player Luna Arnett. "We always say, 'Why Joe? Why?'(That became) Why Joe-dash-Y. It works out."

They've had several gigs including one during this year's Rose Festival. They have another show set for the Clark County Fair.

Drummer Sam Fejes, 11, said her brain is busy while she's on stage.

"My head is a computer and there's a whole bunch of tabs open and then it just keeps switching every 5 seconds," she said.

Although they're young, the band members have their sights set on the future.

"It's definitely something I want to make a career out of," Maddie said. "I want to go as far as I can go."

Watch: Steppenwolf's "Born to be Wild" in "Easy Rider"


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