Woodbury band shares 'ViewPoint' about musicWoodbury-based band ViewPoint will be featured in the Woodbury Parks and Recreation Department-sponsored Sunburst Festival July 20 at Ojibway Park.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
When Math and Science Academy junior Jonathan Veracka first picked up a guitar it wasn’t what some would expect.
“My guitar experience pretty much started with Guitar Hero,” he said of the popular video game. “I was really good at Guitar Hero and then I picked up the real thing and it was a lot different.”
Veracka eventually became used to the “real thing” over time and now he is one third of the band ViewPoint.
ViewPoint – made up of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Veracka, drummer Kyle Christianson, a senior at Woodbury High School, and lead guitarist Trevor Wolfe, who is a junior at MSA – is a punk rock band that will be performing at the Woodbury Parks and Recreation Department-sponsored Sunburst Festival July 20 at Ojibway Park.
ViewPoint came together about two years ago when Veracka and Christianson kept running into each other at Woodbury’s Music Go Round retail store where the two of them were taking lessons.
“Our dads actually started exchanging numbers for us,” Veracka said. “So we jammed a few times and we really liked it so we kind of just stayed together as a group.”
Wolfe joined the group about six months later.
“We were looking for a bassist for a while, but then we decided to add another guitarist to have a little bit more variety,” Veracka said.
The band is still looking for a bassist, but recently it has started dabbling with keyboards and string instruments.
Once the three Woodbury teenagers came together as a group they landed on the name ViewPoint because music is a great way to express your opinions, Veracka said.
“Everyone has an opinion and you throw your own opinion out there,” he said, “so we’re taking our own viewpoint onto the world.”
Veracka and Wolfe said ViewPoint was drawn to the punk rock style of music because of the “energy and attitude”
“There’s just something about it,” Veracka said.
Veracka and Wolfe said ViewPoint looks to bands like Green Day, Blink 182 and Sum 41 for inspiration.
When ViewPoint first formed it performed primarily covers of popular songs, but the band has since started writing its own songs.
Both Veracka and Wolfe agree that music, specifically writing, is a great way to express themselves.
“I find music to be a really good stress reliever and a way to get yourself out there,” Veracka said.
“Music is good for stress, it’s good for saying anything you want to say,” Wolfe said. “If you have something to say, you can put it in a song – you can express yourself to a lot of people being in a band.”
The band said a song can take anywhere from 24 hours to six months to develop.
“It’s a lot easier to write a song when you’re happy,” Veracka said.
ViewPoint hit the stage for the first time last summer during the Washington County Fair talent show.
The band has since played shows throughout the Twin Cities including such venues at Station 4 in St. Paul and the Garage in Burnsville.
The Sunburst Festival
ViewPoint will be one of nine artists performing at this year’s Sunburst Festival on July 20 at Ojibway Park.
The Sunburst Festival, started last year by Woodbury resident and local DJ Tim Dao, is an outdoor event showcasing young local talent.
“Our goal is to give our young artists the opportunity to perform in a comfortable local environment,” said Elizabeth Owens, Recreation technician for Woodbury. “It’s just the opportunity to get out there and show off their skills.
“Plus, it gives the community the opportunity to support these local artists.”
This year’s performers are: ViewPoint, Derek Wilkstrom, Exit Pursued By Bear, Whistle Kid, Rob Olson, TyM, This is Breathing, DJ Vicious and Ravepulse.
The free concert is geared toward ages 15 to 26.
Residents are encouraged to picnic at the event, Owens said.
“No matter how many people show up,” Owens said, “it’s still a great opportunity for our youth.”
ViewPoint members said they are excited to perform at the Sunburst Festival.
“We thought it was a good opportunity because it’s local and it’s free,” Wolfe said. “I’m looking forward to getting on stage again.”
ViewPoint will perform a 30-minute set starting at 2:35 p.m.
Band members said they are even hoping to bring back something they did at a previous show – switch instruments.
At a recent show, Veracka took on the drums while Wolfe took on lead vocals and Christianson played guitar.
ViewPoint members said they are hoping to release an album or an EP in the near future.
“It started out as a side hobby to see how jamming would go but it’s kind of exploded into that all of us would love to have this as our careers,”
The Woodbury Parks and Recreation Department-sponsored Sunburst Festival will be July 20 from 2-9 p.m. at Ojibway Park. Admission is free.
For more information on ViewPoint or to hear some of their music visit their Facebook page at http://www.facebook. com/pages/ViewPoint/261299363909180.