The band Still Eighteen is made up of, left to right, Joey Ciotti, Karen Ciotti and Samantha Ciotti. (SUPPLIED PHOTO)
The members of Still Eighteen – who lived for years near Owen Sound – say their upcoming performance at Roxodus Music Fest will be the biggest gig of their music career so far.The alt-rock band, composed of Joey and Karen Ciotti and their 23-year-old daughter Samantha, was one of eight acts chosen to perform as “Roxodus Rising Rockstars” at the four-day event near Barrie.Still Eighteen’s 50-minute set is scheduled for Day 2, ahead of performances by internationally known bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blondie, Billy Idol and Cheap Trick.“It’s really quite an honour to be selected and they’re calling us their fave up-and-coming next-generation rock stars that you’ll get to see live at Roxodus. So it’s a big deal. We’re very excited and it would be our biggest venue to date,” Karen said in an interview.The performance, along with a recently inked distribution deal with a Michigan-based record label and the viral success of their music video for You Hit Me Like a Drug are all indications that this is a breakout time for the band, she said.“It definitely feels like things are moving upwards and we’re going to the next level,” she said.Joey, who once fronted Platinum Blonde and Trixie Goes Hollywood, lived north of Owen Sound in Georgian Bluffs with Karen from 1989 to 2002. In that time, Samantha was born at the Owen Sound hospital.The family moved to the Dominican Republic 17 years ago, but they still have family and friends in this area. They also spend a lot of time in Toronto and regularly visit Owen Sound.Samantha caught the musical bug at age eight, after seeing the 2003 film School of Rock. She formed an all-girl band called Crush, which opened for her father’s band on the island. In her preteens, she began playing bass and writing her own songs.Karen started playing drums as a fill-in for Crush when the band’s permanent member wasn’t available.Soon, the family was jamming together and later formed the band Culture Shock, which performed at Hard Rock Cafes on the island and once opened for Grammy Award-winning artist Lauryn Hill.The Ciottis began playing seriously as Still Eighteen in 2015.Joey is the lead singer and guitarist, while Samantha is the vocalist/bassist and Karen is the drummer. Joey and Samantha are also so-writers.The band released in December 2016 their debut album, Bullets to Dust, which has spawned singles like Carnivore and The Sun.Their humourous music video, featuring banana peel performers, for You Hit Me Like a Drug has been shared thousands of times on Facebook and amassed more than a million views.The band performed this winter in Europe, with stops in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy. In March, they were signed to a distribution deal with RL Records, which is partnered with Universal Music Group.At Roxodus, set for July 11 to 14 at the Edenvale Airport, Still Eighteen will be opening up the Friday lineup.The inaugural festival will also feature Aerosmith, Kid Rock, Nickelback, Alice Cooper and Collective Soul.“We’re playing a set of our originals. Six of them are released and the rest of them are not released yet,” Karen said.Their set list will include their upcoming single Hear Their Cries, which the band is releasing July 5.Samantha said Still Eighteen is a band that appeals to all ages.“You’ve got people that love classic rock who are maybe more middle aged. They love our style of music because it is really classic rock,” she said.“But then I come in – I’m a music lover myself – and I’ll put more of a youthful spin on a song.”Joey said he would love for Still Eighteen to perform in Owen Sound.“We’re currently with a label in Detroit and they’re going to be putting us into a number of festivals, so hopefully something in Canada soon. If not this summer then certainly soon. We love playing in Ontario,” he said.More information on Still Eighteen can be found at stilleighteen.com, while Roxodus info is available at roxodus.com.