“The Shouting Rustlers:” A student-made band


Credit: Keri Schouten

Seniors Austin Russell and Katie Schouten, along with their freshmen siblings, Eliza Russell and Ben Schouten, recently created a band together. They call themselves, “The Shouting Rustlers” and hope to perform gigs in the area.

Sierra Dale

Sharing years of friendship and a love for music, senior singer Katie Schouten and guitarist Austin Russell decided to turn those interests into their very own band.

Schouten’s inspiration for creating the band came from Wayland High School Theater Ensemble’s (WHSTE) fall musical production of “Godspell,” where she played the role of God. After her successful performance, she was asked to sing at The Carriage House, which is a senior residence home in Wayland.

“She got asked to sing there for like 45 mins to an hour,” A. Russell said. “She knew she couldn’t sing there for that long, so she asked me if I would like to come perform with her.”

Seeing this first performance as an opportunity to grow, the duo thought they could turn their group into something bigger. A. Russell asked his freshman sister Eliza Russell, who sings, and Schouten asked her freshman brother Ben Schouten, who plays several instruments, if they wanted to make a band together.

Soon after the musicians created their band, they had one dilemma: what would their band name be?

“We were kinda just spitballing ideas, and I think it was Ben who came up with the idea of the Shouting Rustlers,” A. Russell said. “It’s almost like Fleetwood Mac in a sense.”

After a few practices, “The Shouting Rustlers” had their first gig together at The Carriage House in early January. For the first performance, they decided on a semi-formal attire and a setlist of 70s and 80s songs suited to the elders’ tastes.

“They liked a lot of the songs because they were old songs, so they knew a lot of them,” E. Russell said. “They sang along with a lot of them, which was fun.”

Each band member also has a background of music, and they all participate in the WHS a capella program. For the majority of their first performance, K. Schouten and E. Russell harmonized vocals while A. Russell played the guitar and B. Schouten played the trombone and piano.

“Our music is based around our instruments,” A. Russell said. “We don’t have a drummer, we don’t have a bassist, but we get the job done.”

Following its first gig, the band established a practice regimen of one three hour rehearsal each week, which is typically held on Saturdays. During these practices, the band spends time brainstorming song ideas for future performances and practices current pieces.

“I really enjoy the whole rehearsal process,” B. Schouten said. “We rearrange the songs we perform, and it’s fun to try new things and harmonies.”

The band rehearses at either family’s home, where they have parents eager to support.

“I think it’s amazing that two pairs of siblings have come together to create great music and provide community service,” the Russells’ mom Nicole Russell said. “It lifts the spirits of the people in the community.”

Sporting a versatile group of avid instrumentalists, “The Shouting Rustlers” aim to perform at other venues in the area.

“We’re really excited to see where this goes and what the future holds for us.” E. Russell said.