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Arts & Entertainment The Prom Knights: Hattiesburg band offstage

The Prom Knights: Hattiesburg band offstage

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Working typical jobs by day and delivering high-energy, pop punk cover songs by nights, The Prom Knights is a band that was created within three weeks in 2014 and is now performing all across the South. The band performed at their home bar Brewsky’s on Friday, Sept. 21.

Each of the band members are from the Pine Belt area and met each other through high school and other bands. Guitarist and iTech employee Lee Chambliss attended Southern Miss.

Lead vocalist Scott Wallace works at Ashley HomeStore. Guitarist and vocalist Evan Williams works at Brewsky’s. Bassist Chase Eaton builds golf carts, and drummer, vocalist and Lee’s brother Zack Chambliss is a graphic designer.

The Prom Knights came to be after Lee was told he could no longer disc jockey, but that he could do whatever else he desired musically if he could get it ready in three weeks. He contacted friends on Facebook and soon the band was formed.

“I just put feelers out, and I had three weeks to cover the gig,” Lee said. “We made that show in three weeks and it just progressed from there.”

One thing The Prom Knights are not sure of is their name’s origin. Whether the name came from the music used in coming-of-age films like “American Pie” or a bad horror movie is unclear.

“There’s a guy at work that calls us The Prom Queens,” Wallace said, causing his band mates to laugh.

The Prom Knights never imagined that the band would be as successful as it is, especially considering they had each been in failed bands previously. Nearly everyone’s hand in the crowded bar shot up when the band asked the audience who all had seen one of their shows before. Their popularity has taken them to Destin, Starkville and Panama City Beach, and they plan to keep traveling.

“Five guys will be on the way to Florida singing an entire Fall Out Boy record,” Chase Eaton said.

Their setlist has changed over the years as the audience and bar managers have told them what they like. Seeing people leave during their performances of songs like “Fever for the Flava” by Hot Action Cop has led to numerous setlist alterations.

“We’d all be out, and we’d look down the rail and see these other bands playing these 80s songs. And I’m looking at them like nobody knows this music anymore,” Lee said.

Apart from 80s cover bands losing relevance, The Prom Knights are really just big fans of bands like Fall Out Boy. One of their favorite songs to play is “Sugar We’re Going Down” because of how excited the crowd gets.

When asked why “Mr. Brightside” and “Sugar We’re Going Down” are his favorite songs to perform, Wallace cited the crowds involvement as the main reason.

 

I can just step back and everybody knows all the words,” Wallace said.

However, pop punk is not all you get from The Prom Knights. Along with pop punk classics, they perform 3OH!3’s “Don’t Trust Me,” Toto’s “Africa” and The Chainsmokers’ “Closer,” adding their own spin to each song.

They also are writing in hopes of releasing original music at some point.

“We really do want to write some original music,” Lee said. “Evan and I, even Zack has written some stuff. CJ had a band where he wrote predominately the whole record.”

The growing popularity of the band has them releasing their own merchandise like T-shirts designed by vocalist Wallace.

Their fan base has largely grown thanks to Instagram, which is also how they have found their success in Greek life circles as they get messaged through the app to perform at events. The Prom Knights’ greatest success is in college towns, and that is best seen at venues like Brewsky’s.

“I’m a really big fan, and this is the best they’ve done,” fan and friend of the band Tank Williams said. “The audience is always trying to match their energy, and they’re just getting started.”

Along with hopes of creating original music, The Prom Knights are hoping to continue growing, and there could be cover videos in the future. While they stated they have goal cities and venues, they hope to just keep enjoying themselves.

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