COLUMBIA — Alec Stanley has been stereotyped for much of his life. His long hair and metal band T-shirts have made him an outsider among certain groups. He is an insider, however, in “Sons of Northern Darkness,” a group created and joined by members of his band, Creaturezoid.
"I think the misconception is that we are just a bunch of kids who bash on guitars and get stoned, and actually we are neither of those things," Stanley, vocalist and guitarist for Creaturezoid, said. "I don't drink. I don't smoke. I go to school. I have a job. I'm not some wasted kid."
Creaturezoid was created during happenstance meetings while Stanley was a student at Rock Bridge High School, where he met bassist Dan Peck, guitarist Isaac Stickann, drummer Zach Stone and former guitarist Chris Geringer. After several incarnations of the band, they settled on Creaturezoid.
"I think that music made by poor young artists speaks to other poor young artists no matter where they’re coming from, because there’s more in common being poor and young and no one liking you than there is to any particular class (of music)," Stanley said.
As well as making music, Stanley also attends Moberly Area Community College where he is studying secondary education. To support himself, he works shifts at Break Time gas station.
The band practices at least three times a week, records in a studio in Ashland with producer Robert Wiggin, constantly writes songs and plays three shows a month on average. And while making time for it all can be overwhelming, Stanley's love of music and performing keeps him going.
"The only transcendence I've ever had is playing and being in front of people and being completely in the moment and everything else sort of melts away," Stanley said.
While the members of Creaturezoid play thrash metal, they also enjoy music from a variety of genres. Their record collection spans genres from rap to punk to ska and they try to draw from these influences.
"We don't play music that other people want us to play. We don't play stuff to get on the radio. It's five best friends doing what they love and having a good time," Stanley said.
The band's love of music transfers over to their aspirations for their future. Stanley doesn't play music to become a rock star or make money.
"I'd love to be able to take it out on the road and have enough people like us that we could travel and see the world," he said. "We just want to travel and play music until we're either too old or die doing it."