It’s a Monday afternoon; school’s out, but instead of running out of the gates screaming, a large congregation of schoolgirls have gathered in the school hall. Why? The answer is simple- to see Fool Proof, one of the up-and-coming bands that star on MTV’s new “Breaking Point” show. The atmosphere is a mixture of nerves and excitement; both for the crowd and the band, who have just taken to the school’s stage. “Ok girls I think we’re gonna play something now. I think we’re gonna rock n’ roll together!” says Fool Proof’s singer Jake Dixon. (This, by the way, is their first all girl show). From here on in the L.A five some throw everything they’ve got into this one-off show, which, as Scott Leyva (guitar) will later describe as being “strange, but we had a great time doing it”.

They kick off at a fast and furious pace, launching themselves into the music. With these guys it’s like bring on a roller coaster! Unfortunately the crowd’s response wasn’t up to the music, and you could see this starting to reflect in the bands reaction; but like all great showmen, they plough bravely through a set that boasts heavy songs with tight bass lines, skilled drumming and good axe work; to gentle rockers, in which you can see drummer Ben Shaw singing his heart out, whilst Jake and Scott sit on the edge of the stage in a world of their own. It’s a pity that the band reflects the crowd’s reaction, as they have a great sound. This maybe where the “greats” are sorted out from the “goods”. And one of these is definitely their single “Paper House”- a cascade of guitars and vocals that provide a perfect assault upon your ears. This is really the only point where the kids become involved, as they put their hands together during a tense build up, before Jake explodes on stage. Afterwards, they all promise that if the girls buy the single and put it up on their site, they’ll come back, (much to their audience’s amusement!). Fool Proof finish the set with a good closer that’s got a mean bass line from George Karalexis (bass), and an even meaner riff from Scott and Joel Stentz (guitar). And as soon as its over and the band have said their thank you’s, the stage is flooded with the girls, all crowding to meet the guys and get anything from flyers to school shirts signed; and its obvious that even though the girls were relatively quiet during the gig, the guys are lapping up the attention that’s now being lavished upon them!

This goes on for an age and trying to interview Fool Proof means you just have to grab the nearest member and drag them off to a quiet corner [*cough* -Ed]. This, you can imagine was not easy, but eventually Room Thirteen managed to grab Ben, Scott and Jake, and have a few words with them.

Most of the guys met in High school, starting with Scott and Joel who “started playing around, so we’d play guitar, and I (Scott) used to play bass. And Jake came into the school a couple of years later, and after we became friends we all decided to form a band, and we had three different other members- different singers, different drummers and all that, and then we got rid of our old singer, and yeah…”. Scott, Jake, Joel and Ben have been together for 6 years, whereas George they “picked up like 5 months ago”. When asked what they would be doing if it weren’t music, Ben reckoned that he would “probably being yelled at by my parents to get a job, or working in a warehouse, or in College. Most likely not in College!

One of their core influences is Guns N’ Roses, but at the moment, Scott reckons “the Foo Fighters, The Used and I think those two acts are like current influences, but as far as our root core influences, it goes back to Guns N’ Roses, and we really enjoy what the Foo Fighters are doing right now”.

But each of the guys have their own individual influences too, Jake likes some country music and punk rock, like NOFX; where as Ben’s influences range from “Old School to New School guys, but obviously good ones! From Buddy Rich to John Bonham to anybody, anybody whose made an impact on drumming basically, and if I like their particular song, because I’m kinda picky. But music wise in general, anything my ears tend to agree to, but once again really picky! Certainly not Fool Proof! But anybody really, I know that sounds really cliché, but it’s the truth, and the truth hurts sometimes! “And they just “jumble it all together”. And as far as inspiration for song writing goes, Jake’s lyrics are “based just upon my life, people in my life and events I’ve seen and experiences; my outlet is through writing”. But they’re not a political band as he quickly points out.

There has been controversy over MTV’s show; some feel it’s a sell out, others don’t. The band were also “a bit sceptical at first because of all the “Bands On The Run” and “Pop Idol” and all that, but in the end we decided that it would be a good idea to do the show”. But, as Room Thirteen asked, there must be a lot of pressure to succeed because of the show. Scott: “ At first everything was all like for fun and there’s still nothing wrong with having a blast, but now you kinda feel like your always under constant criticism and a watchful eye it can run you down a little bit.” Rm13: “Does that affect your playing at all?” Scott: “No, no, not at all, like last night, we played a gig in Manchester and the first time we played for like 800 kids, and the second time we played there was probably about 15, and you know its like when your standing on stage it all feels the same”. Rm13: “But this has got to be the weirdest gig you’ve ever done…” Scott: “This was strange! We had a great time doing it, but this was just intimate, as though we were playing for a group of friends and everyone out there was our friends and doing it was just like telling a story or something”. Rm13: “Not many bands can say they’ve played just for a load of girls!” Scott: “Oh yeah! We had a blast doing it!” Jake: “Yeah it was fun though!” Rm13: “What do you think of the other bands on MTV? Scott: “I don’t know much about Tokyo Dragons or Portobella, but we get along best with The Holiday Plan. I think that all of them have strong singles, and all of them will do well as singles.

As well as getting on with other bands, Fool Proof seem to get along with the crowds too, as Scott mentioned. “People said the crowds were gonna be really bad in London, but I think that everyone’s really nice to us. We kinda found here that if somebody knows you, then they give you a fair chance, but in Los Angles, if they don’t know you, they probably wouldn’t care, and just sip on their drink and talk to their friends whilst you’re playing”. Rm13: “So it must be pretty hard to try and make a name for yourself out there”. Scott: “Yeah, you have to start out with the people you grew up with trying to support you and your parents, and then you start to branch out.”

Fool Proof are certainly “branching out”; the guys are doing an XFm live session soon, but that’s not all. They were booked to do the Sugarcult tour, but as Jake’s brother is getting married, the singer is flying home, while the rest of the guys hang out here and “do a bit more promotion on the single”, and Scott hopes that if the single goes well they’ll be going home to do an album. Rm13: “So even if this MTV deal doesn’t work out, you’re gonna go on anyway?” Scott: “Oh yeah we’re still gonna go on, right now things look on the “up and on” for us, but in this business you gotta take things from one day to the next. We have our core fan base just in Orange County, in Los Angles, we have a really good fan base there, but if we were to go anywhere outside of that, ‘cause we’ve done everything ourselves, we don’t have the power or the money to promote ourselves outside of that. So we’re hoping that when we go home that we can try and get some backing and do a US tour”.

Speaking of tours… Rm13: “What keeps you going when you’re on the road?” Jake: “Playing. Playing live, and playing music, the people, and certainly the opportunity to do that”. They won’t be on tour here for much longer, as they are going to be leaving in a week, and they are looking forward to going home as Scott said “’cause we’ve been gone for so long, but we’re sad to leave ‘cause we’ve started to accumulate friends and all that.”

But the question on everyone’s minds is “are they going to sell the most singles this week Ben: “I don’t know. I hope so… the shows not over yet”.

Fool Proof’s debut single “Paper House” is out this week through Island Records. And what ever the out come of MTV’s show, Fool Proof are gonna keep on going; like Ben said, “The shows not over yet”- and it most certainly isn’t.