We sat down with Dylan Hilliker to learn 10 things about his music career. Here’s what he had to say:
1. Music background
Dylan Hilliker is a self-taught guitarist who started playing music at age 6. A year later, he began taking drum lessons. Now 17, he plays both drums and guitar in his band, Dystonia.
2. Workaday life
He attends John Marshall High School and works at Hy-Vee. After graduation, he will be attending Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., to earn a degree in music business.
3. You’ve got to start somewhere
His first band, Nicklaus Drive, was formed while he was in middle school. Their first gig was in his backyard.
4. What’s in a name?
Dystonia is a medical condition that causes involuntary painful muscle contractions. Dylan has Dystonia in his right hand.
“There are some severe cases of Dystonia where people cannot even walk. I am grateful I have a mild form of it because it makes me want to work even harder. I want to get to the same playing level as people with two good hands.”
“Music has such a powerful effect on people. I want to make that one perfect song that speaks to someone like other songs have spoken to me.”
Rockchester is a teen arts and musical festival that Dylan has developed and organized. “The goal is to unify the teen arts community,” he said. “Plus, there are not a lot of opportunities for teen bands to get paid to play.” Rockchester will take place at the Wicked Moose from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. May 1. Tickets are $20.
“I loved, loved, loved playing Thursdays on First. I could hit my drums hard. In a coffee shop, I have to play very quietly.”
8. Rochester music scene
“The community is very welcoming, and as I’ve gotten more involved, I have found a lot of hidden gems. All the artists here are starting from scratch. It’s not a town like Nashville where there is a blueprint to become successful.”
9. Musical style
Dystonia is categorized as alternative rock/indie music. “We want to make music that feels good regardless of style labels,” Dylan said.
10. Where to find Dylan
Look for Dystonia’s full album, “I Can’t Help But Change,” due for release this spring, and be sure to attend the Rockchester event at the Wicked Moose on May 1.
Kim Zabel is a Plainview freelance writer and photographer. Ten measures is a weekly column spotlighting a local musician. Send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org