Steph Nicholls, an experienced musician who will be stepping on stage with Retro Rockets at Bassendean on the Green, understands the importance of good mentors and it is with this in mind that she invests time into the young guys from Altar Ego.
Altar Ego is a rock band from Wesley College, who originally came together to perform songs with a social message at the College’s Chapel services. Their repertoire includes songs by The Fray, Coldplay, John Lennon, the Proclaimers and Fleetwood Mac.
These guys may be young in age, but have an impressive combined playing experience, and are already learning what it means to ‘pour out to fill up’. They recently performed at Carson Street and Kensington School, Western Australia’s two Education Support Schools for primary and secondary students respectively. And even before they were invited to play at Bassendean on the Green, they had already volunteered to help out on the night.
Let me introduce you to Altar Ego:
Lachlan Tan - vocals
Originally a trombonist, Lachlan has overcome his natural shyness to take on vocals in Altar Ego, demonstrating what can happen when we allow our passions win out over fear. Lachlan credits his vocal teacher, Mark Underwood, for teaching him how do what he loves. Among his musical influences are Frank Ocean, Lana Del Rey, The Weeknd, Childish Gambino, Kanye West and Drake. He says:
The artists I listen to inspire me to perform.
Kris Samtani - vocals
Kris only began singing a year ago, but has always loved music. He counts the Beatles, Bob Marley and Sticky Fingers among the bands that have influenced him and is looking forward to playing with Altar Ego at Bassendean on the Green.
David Stewart – guitar
David has been playing in bands around Perth since he was 9 years old through the Rock Scholars program, and writes his own music as well as performing covers. David plays guitar, bass and sings in four bands, including Altar Ego.
David identifies his brother, who has received several WAM awards, and is currently touring with his band, as someone he looks up to and strives to be like, both musically and socially. He also credits Rock Scholars founder Emily Burrows as another significant mentor.
She was a teacher at North Kalgoorlie Primary School where my passion for music was born. She is also the founder of Rock Scholars, a company that’s taught me about the local music scene and given me the opportunity to play a variety of gigs in different bands.
James Ormesher – Bass guitar
James has been playing piano for 10 years and bass guitar for 6. He names David Martinus and Robbie Pisano as mentors and lists numerous musical influences including Nate Williams, Pete Wentz, Sting, Benny Rietveld, ABBA, Queen and Michael Jackson
Zac Chedin – drums
Zac currently plays drums for City Wide Youth in addition to Altar Ego. Like Jasper, Zac names Steph Nicholls as a mentor, along with his drum teacher and youth leaders.
Jasper Marttinen – keyboards
Jasper has been playing the piano since he was 8 years old. At first, he didn’t enjoy playing as such but puts that down to the simple pieces he initially learned. But as practice and experience has led to playing more advanced and complex music, he loves it.
Like Zac Cheddin, Jasper says he’s received a lot of support from Steph Nicholls, who is also his piano teacher, as well as Mrs Reiss, the Head of Arts as Wesley. His own father is also among those he counts as mentors: ‘He currently lives in Melbourne, but he is the most amazing person I have ever met. He tries so hard at everything and is so kind to everyone.’
About performing at Bassendean on the Green:
I’ve jumped on board Bassendean on the Green as I think it’s a great cause and I get to show everyone what I love doing, with the people I love doing it with!
We are impressed not only by Altar Ego’s youthful enthusiasm, but their willingness to ‘pour out to fill up’ so that other young people have the opportunity to reach their potential. These boys show what can happen when young people are mentored to develop their passions and strengths.
We look forward to seeing Altar Ego on stage at Bassendean on the Green.
Altar Ego performing for students at Carson Street School