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Local band grooves to alternative rock success

After receiving fifth place in a talent show at their high school in Norwalk, Ohio more than seven years ago, vocalist and rhythm guitarist Kevin Stoll and lead guitarist Chris Kirk decided it was time to pursue music.

They are now known as the alternative rock band Lesson 22.

“The top five qualifiers were able to play at a coffee shop, and after the set, people came up to us and said they liked our sound,” Stoll said. “If it wasn’t for those comments, I wouldn’t have thought twice about going on with [the band].”

Kirk said the meaning behind Lesson 22 is based off self-reflection and a personal epiphany.

“Everybody has that one thing that may put them in a different course in life or gives them a different understanding of their surroundings,” Kirk said.

Stoll said the band tries to keep energy between the band and the crowd during a show by playing with powerful emotion and writing about serious issues.

“We’re gearing towards writing more about the world instead of us,” Stoll said. “There’s a few songs that I’ve written about how I fit into this world and it’s tough trying to mesh into society when you don’t agree with it.”

Stoll graduated from Norwalk in 2005 and Kirk graduated the following year. Kirk went on to attend college in Akron and Stoll moved to California and sold magazines. This didn’t keep the two from staying in touch, though. Stoll moved back to Columbus, then to Norwalk because of a construction job.

Drummer Travis Richards lived next door to Stoll and the two became friends one summer while Kirk was home from school. The friends met bassist Matt Patrick and started playing songs in his basement.

Lesson 22 was officially created and played its first show on October 22, 2010 at a benefit in Norwalk and then went on to buy a house in Bowling Green shortly after.

Tyler Simon, lead guitarist and vocalist for the Bowling Green band Sinful Desire said his band has played with Lesson 22 seven times and they put on a energetic show.

“They have such a groove going on and it’s so nice to listen to and so easy to get lost in,” Simon said. “We’re always trying to support each other. They’re my go-to band when I need another band on a show.”

Lesson 22’s music can be listened to online at ReverbNation and its Facebook page. The band will play its next show on March 2 at Mickey Finn’s Pub in Toledo.

“The reason I wanted to start a band was because I wanted to share that emotional process with someone,” Stoll said. “I wanted to plug in and go wild.”

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