When you hear about the accomplishments of local band The Excelsior Turtles, you might be surprised to find out the members aren’t middle aged, but middle schoolers instead. Two up-and-coming musicians—Brian Williams and Max Scholten, both 13—met three years ago through the Excelsior Rock Club at Minnetonka Music (read more about the rock club in our August 2017 issue). Brian and Max hit it off both personally and musically, and decided to start a band. With a third musician—their Rock Club instructor Cooper Alt—The Excelsior Turtles were born. Max plays guitar and sings, Brian plays the drums, and Alt plays bass. Brian came up with the name on a whim, and the rest is history. The Turtles play decidedly legitimate gigs at Excelsior Brewing Co., the Excelsior Commons, Dunn Bros. and other venues.
Brian’s mom, Monica Hanssen, says people often wonder, “Are we going to hear pots and pans playing together?” when they hear Brian and Max are barely teenagers. Nope. Instead, audience members jam out to covers of classics by Albert King, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Green Day and others. The Excelsior Turtles are songwriters, too—they’ve penned one favorite song called “Tick Tock Rock.” “One down, many more to go,” Hanssen says, smiling.
Right now, the band is focused on booking more gigs and honing their unique voice. To find out where you can hear them play, check out their Facebook page.