High school band takes big steps towards future music career


Published with permission by Sam Petri

Riding Atlas performs at the Redstone Room.

Naomi Walker, Reporter

Riding Atlas is an alternative rock band that consists of sophomore and drummer Sam Petri, senior and singer and guitarist Nicholas Dicklin, and sophomore and bass guitarist Joseph Dicklin.

Riding Atlas started about a year and a half ago when they met at the RME (River Music Experience) rock camp. The Dicklins are brothers that live in Galesburg. The band writes and plays their own songs and practices about two times a week.

“We got the name ‘Riding Atlas’ because atlas in some languages means mountains and we all love skiing and mountain biking in the mountains,” Petri said.

Petri has been playing drums since he was in third grade. He was first inspired by Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham when he saw him do a drum solo with his bare hands. Petri plans to continue his career in music after high school as well.

“I think Sam is going to be a professional musician. I cannot see him doing anything else honestly,” sophomore Sam Burken said.

Petri says the band will do shows at almost any place that will have them. Currently, Riding Atlas is performing around two to three shows a month.

“They are excited and they work hard. As a musician if you are willing to work for not a lot of money,  sometimes you will meet the right person and I think they are on track for that,” band director Maggie Oates said.

Riding Atlas was sponsored by Crossroads Blues Society to go to Memphis. They also have had a single out on iTunes called “Through the Eyes of Another”.

“It’s so fun. I get to meet a lot of new people, famous drummers, and musicians. I actually got to do a jam with Steve Smith the drummer for Journey and also the drummer for Styx, Todd Sucherman,” Petri said.

Riding Atlas has recorded an album and it should be out around the middle or end of May. The album will have 11 songs on it.

“I thought their single on iTunes had a really cool feel and it was like an older feel to it. It was refreshing,” Oates said.