By: Ainsley Northrop
Striving to reach new heights, Rockin Nuns — a local pop-punk band — continues to impress countless Los Gatos residents with their music. Created about a year ago, Rockin Nuns consists of three brothers: Los Gatos High School (LGHS) junior Porter Zilka, LGHS sophomore Ryland Zilka, and St. Mary’s seventh grader Culley Zilka.
Recently, the band played their first solo concert, performing live at The Cats on Aug. 19. When asked how they secured this opportunity, P. Zilka detailed, “It’s a very local place…so all of my family and friends could come. I’d had my eye on it for a while…[and] we’ve driven by it a couple of times.” He continued, saying “After a couple of tries emailing [The Cats] they said, ‘Sure, you can do your show here.’”
Once they secured the venue, Rockin Nuns got to work perfecting the eleven songs on their set list, nine of which were completely new. P. Zilka, who writes the lyrics for the band’s music, explained his creative process, saying, “There are multiple different ways that I write songs. First one is…each person plays a riff…and we kind of all combine it and figure out the song structure…The other way I do it is I have all of the riffs inside of my head and I write it all by myself…I bring it to band practice and ramble on like a madman and try to get everyone to play what I want in my head.”
When the night of the concert finally arrived, the entire Zilka family worked together, setting up the band equipment, maintaining the livestream, and supporting the band from the audience. LGHS junior Azure Zilka explained how her family’s teamwork helps the band: “In the beginning it was hard to get some of them on board to do band practice every other day or whatever, so my dad printed them a schedule and organized that for [them]…and for the talent show last year he definitely drove them everywhere.” She continued, adding that last year she drew the album cover for Rockin Nuns’ first EP, Wasting Away.
During the concert, guests enjoyed their meals while watching the show, which the band performed on The Cats’ built-in stage. Rockin Nuns broke the songs into segments, allowing people short breaks to engage with each other between each one. This brought people together and helped curate an extremely supportive environment.
After a successful show by Rockin Nuns, fans at the concert got to witness an impromptu performance by another Zilka band, Famine. Created by P. Zilka, C. Zilka, junior Lliam Pitt, and Bellarmine junior Jacob Szilagi, Famine made its debut at The Cats due to a spur of the moment decision. P. Zilka elaborated: “It was all gonna be Rockin Nuns songs…but Jacob came to the show too and was like ‘let’s just play the songs.’” He continued, adding “fun fact: I was just making up gibberish on stage over the songs because I haven’t written lyrics for them yet…It was a little improv work, but I thought it sounded pretty good.”
In the coming months, fans of both Rockin Nuns and Famine should keep posted for the upcoming music video of Rockin Nuns’ Wasting Away, as well as the releases of various new songs. Furthermore, both bands plan to play at more live concerts. Be sure to check out both instagram pages: @rockin_nuns and @faminehc.