Ben started playing guitar at the age of 9 but it wasn’t until he was 11 and started lessons with Realistic Rock founder Robin Henderson (and later with Geroid Grant & Adam Hooton) that his real passion for music began.
Formed and managed by Richard & Robin Henderson, Ben became lead guitarist with The Flaming Monkeys in 2004. Just over a year later TFM won Xfm’s Rock School competition and went on to support the Kaiser Chiefs, Editors and Hard-Fi at Xfm’s Winter Wonderland at the Brixton Academy. This opened doors to TV & radio (including Blue Peter), a feature in the Daily Telegraph magazine and other national publications. Ben became the band’s lead singer at the end of 2007.
Other credits include playing to Jimmy Page at Gibson Guitars London HQ, a tour of Scotland where they played to over 60,000 people, O2 wireless Festival (2006), Reading (2007), the Birmingham NEC, filming for itv.com’s ‘Web Lives’, winning the Kerrang! Award for Best Live Unsigned Act at the Vodafone Live Music Awards 2007 and the Kerrang! Kerrademy Award for the Best Unsigned Act 2007.
Ben is a keen songwriter and has collaborated with Richard & Robin, Chris Leonard (Son Of Dork), Dougal Donnelly, Cliff Jones (Gay Dad) & The Collective (A). All of this by the age of 15!
Ben left TFM in 2008 and now focuses on writing & recording his own music as well as teaching at Realistic Rock.
Rich first started playing guitar at the age of 9 after watching his father play for several years. He was self taught up until the age of 18, having spent a lot of time learning rock and blues playing (in particular Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Led Zeppelin) before attending the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford, Surrey when he was 18.
At the A.C.M, Rich studied for 4 years gaining a National Diploma (Distinction Merit), a Higher Diploma (Merit) and B.A Hons Degree in Music Performance (2:1) graduating in 2009. As well as gaining several academic achievements, he met many talented musicians there who he still collaborates with regularly to this day.
Since leaving A.C.M, Rich has been teaching privately to students across the Surrey area. He has also gained extensive live and studio work experience since leaving A.C.M, having worked for several local bands and played many varying function gigs, the most notable being playing for Vodafone’s Executive Fundraising Ball in the 5* Grange Hotel in St.Paul’s, London. Rich’s current band ‘Strobe Circus’ have also gigged extensively, playing numerous venues and festivals nationwide.
Ollie started studying music in early childhood, after achieving a place at the acclaimed ‘Salisbury Cathedral School’. His music studies continued for two decades, ending with a Diploma, Higher Diploma and Degree BA (Hons) in Guitar Performance at the ‘Academy of Contemporary Music’.
He has performed in many bands and has sold out shows in some of the UK’s top venues and festivals. He has also played live sessions on many radio stations including BBC Radio.
Ollie’s career as a session guitarist has seen him play for artists signed to Columbia Records and EMI. Also being a songwriter, and having had many years of studio experience, Ollie has earned the opportunity of working with such well-respected producers as Jake Gosling (Ed Sheeran, One Direction, Paloma Faith, Wiley) and Ben Hampson (Noel Gallagher, Noisettes).
Scott started music lessons at Realistic Rock Academy at the age of 10. After receiving guitar tuition from Realistic Rock founder Robin Henderson and bass tuition from gig veteran Robbie Grant, Scott took an active role playing live concerts and showcases through the Academy.
As a result of his vast experience at a young age, Scott was chosen to play as part of the TMI House Band on Saturday mornings on BBC1. Through Realistic Rock, Scott soon met new band members and formed his own band, The Theory of 6 Degrees where he co-wrote and performed songs that achieved many credits. T6d signed a contract with Freedom management and were the youngest band ever to play the Glastonbury festival. Scott’s other live credits include the Indigo 2,Trafalgar Square, Guilfest and Redfest. On the radio, Scott was featured as part of the popular Radio 1 programme – ‘Switch’ with Annie Mack and Nick Grimshaw.
Lloyd first picked up an electric guitar at the age of 10 and through forming a band with his primary school classmates, took the first step to becoming a musician.
His interest and passion for guitar meant that he soon took lessons and by the time he was 15 he had achieved Grade 8 in electric guitar from Thames Valley University. Lloyd also obtained and A* grade in music GCSE and went on to study music at A-Level.
At the age of 16, Lloyd enrolled on Realistic Rock’s first ‘Get in a Band and Play’ course, providing further live experience in the Epsom & Ewell area.
Lloyd completed his degree at Exeter University and has become a certified teacher. Alongside his studies he has spent 4 years relentlessly gigging at local venues around the south-west, honing his songwriting and performance skills. During this time he has also broadened his musical horizons and become an accomplished singer and song writer.
Now back in Epsom, Lloyd is concentrating on writing and performing his own material as well as teaching guitar and live performance at Realistic Rock Academy.