Latimore Sky… Good Ol’ Rock N’ Roll
Cover Story and Photos By: Rachel Rocks
Latimore Sky is a good ole’ rock n’ roll band from the Gettysburg area. They are an original and cover band that plays music the way it should be, filled with passion and emotion. They’ve only been playing together for almost exactly two years, but you can easily see how well they all jive together on and off the stage.
PJ Groft and Rhyan Hoover actually went to high school together and after years of playing in different bands, one day they got together and started talking, and they decided they were ready to start an original band. They put an ad out on Craigslist and they quickly got responses from many different bass and guitar players. Luckily for them Sid Snyder and Jeff Zepp showed up to audition on the same day. Both guys showed up with instruments, which was already a step in the right direction, and when they started playing, they knew they found the guys they needed, and Latimore Sky was complete.
PJ Groft has been playing music for almost as long as he can remember. He started playing piano at 6 years old, and he played various instruments all the way up to his days at Lebanon Valley College where his friend Dustin taught him how to play the guitar. His Dad bought him his first acoustic, and he’s been working on his skill ever since. Not long after learning how to play the basic chords, PJ started writing originals. PJ’s musical influences span all genres of music, but enjoys songs with great guitar solos and meaningful lyrics the most. Some of his favorite bands are Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam, Shooter Jennings, Foo Fighters and Jason Isbell.
Rhyan Hoover has been playing drums and percussion instruments since his early childhood. Even in the school band he wanted to play drums, but the band director said there were too many drummers, so he had to play the trumpet. Drumming was his passion, so he started mowing grass til he could buy his own kit. He worked hard to get that kit, and then worked even harder to learn how to play it properly. Rhyan played in a few different garage bands learning his style and craft. After high school, Rhyan joined the military and became a M1A1 Tanker. There he continued to master his craft by blowing things up and protecting our freedom. When he went in the army he was only able to bring his cymbal, bass, and snare, it wasn’t much, but it was enough to keep the rust off of his sticks. After his military career, Rhyan played in a few heavy metal bands, he slowed down, got married, and sold most of his equipment, but luckily he kept his one kit, and trust me, that’s all he needs.
Sid Snyder is a man of very few words. I learned quickly that when Sid speaks, the rest of the band listens. Sid has been surrounded by musicians his entire life. His parents met one night when his Dad’s lead singer of his band didn’t show up, luckily Sid’s Mom was at the show and she could sing, so she took the stage and the rest is history, you could say love at first note. Sid was influenced by his older brother’s musical taste with bands such as Alice Cooper, Beatles, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Neil Young, Uriah Heep and many more. As he grew up, Sid enjoyed late 80’s and early 90’s rock and metal from Docken, Iron Maiden, Queensrych & Rush. He has been in numerous bands doing both covers and originals. Not only does Sid bring a tremendous amount of musical talent and knowledge to Latimore Sky, he also contributes with writing and singing. Sid is currently playing in three different projects which sometimes makes scheduling a little tricky, but they make it work.
Jeff Zepp has a very classic musician’s history, he started playing bass because a girl wanted him to, her name was Judy, in his 9th grade Chemistry class. Unfortunately things didn’t progress with Judy, but they obviously did with his bass playing, I guess she was too in love with Nikki Sixx. Jeff has been playing guitar and bass for quite some time. He has been in numerous cover bands, and this is his first gig with an original band. He loves the freedom and ability to be expressive through his playing. He provides the steady drive that a rhythm section needs and the finesse that any rock band would love. Jeff has many different types of influences but being a 90’s child, some of his greatest influences are Nirvana, STP and Sound Garden.
PJ is the main song writer of the group, but Sid has also written a couple of songs too. They bring the basics of the song to the band and they all add in their own creative flair. They’ve come up with some of their songs just by starting practice with a jam, and before they know it, it becomes and original song. No matter what song anyone writes there are only 12 notes, it’s up to the band to make those 12 notes sound as good as they possibly can, and that’s exactly what they do. I personally love their song “Rain”. Every time I’ve seen them play it you can just feel their emotion pouring off the stage. It almost feels like a ballad, but then there is this crazy emotional explosion in the middle that puts it in a category all by itself. It is an amazing song that hits you in your core. All of their originals have their own uniqueness to them. They also cover all different genres of music from everything to rock to country to blues, and some of their songs even have a jam band feel to it. So far they’ve recorded all of their songs on their own in their garage, but they really hope to record a full album soon. Three of their songs “Tranquility”, “Modern Jesse James”, and “Rain” are already available in digital format on your favorite music sites, iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, etc.. They also have a few videos of them playing on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/latimoresky. Even though their main focus is on original music, they still play plenty of covers to help pay the bills. They can easily play a whole night of music all by themselves. They cover everything from classic rock to country and a little bit of everything else in between! They know how to keep people on the dance floor and having fun all night long.
As with any band, the guys know they would not be here without all of the support they get from their friends and family. They wanted to send out a big, giant thank you from the bottom of their hearts. PJ wanted to definitely thank his wife and kids for all of their sacrifice, his Dad, and his brother Lee for teaching him all about what good music really sounds like, and of course to Dustin for teaching him how to play guitar. Rhyan wants to thank his amazing wife for encouraging him to get out there and play again. Sid simply said all of his family and friends all the way back through the generations that started playing music before he ever could. Jeff wants to thank his daughter for the inspiration and the strength to keep doing what he loves to do. They all thrive from the participation and interaction with the crowd, so another special thanks goes out to everyone who’s ever gotten up on the dance floor and danced along, or even those who just showed up and listened, obviously you can’t be much of a band without a crowd to hear you play.
You can come hear them play for yourself on November 26th at the Tourist Inn Back Room with Agents of Lewton and Nothingmen. They will also be at Double K on December 9th. To see their full schedule you can check out their facebook page at facebook.com/latimoresky or simply check out their ad in this issue. If you’d like to get them booked at your venue, you can e-mail them at LatimoreSky@gmail.com.