Band has big dreams and bold ambitions

They haven’t had many big gigs yet, but the band that calls itself Beyond Chaotic hopes that will change soon.

In fact, the six-member band is planning to travel to Orlando next month to audition for “America’s Got Talent.”

Alex Karafilis plays violin during a rehearsal of Beyond Chaotic. She hopes the group will tour and do a record deal some day. (B.C. Manion/Staff Photos)

Alex Karafilis plays violin during a rehearsal of Beyond Chaotic. She hopes the group will tour and do a record deal some day.
(B.C. Manion/Staff Photos)

Band members say they know it’s a big stage, and they admit they’re a bit nervous, but they want to go for it.

After all, they’re trying to build their fan base.

That sounds like a lot of the acts that appear on the popular television program.

But, Beyond Chaotic is not exactly a typical band.

It’s a rock group, and its six members are all age 12 or younger.

The members are Max Karafilis and his sister, Alex; Colin Mendoza and his sister, Kayla; Devon Bilek and Dominic Fusco.

They live in Land O’ Lakes and Wesley Chapel.

Two are homeschooled, two go to Seven Oaks Elementary, one attends Lutz Preparatory School, and the other attends John Long Middle School.

All of them love music, and they’re willing to work hard to improve their musical chops.

Max is the band’s lead singer. Alex plays violin and keyboard, and sings, mostly backup, too. Devon is the bass player. Dominic plays leader guitar. Colin is the drummer, and Kayla is on keyboard.

Five of the band members met during the Bigel Music Rock Band Camp last summer.

They’ve all been playing instruments longer, and they practice together two to three times a week — in addition to their private lessons.

Dominic Fusco plays lead guitar, in the foreground, while Kayla Mendoza plays keyboard in the background. Fusco said he enjoys performing in front of crowds, once he gets past the stage fright.

Dominic Fusco plays lead guitar, in the foreground, while Kayla Mendoza plays keyboard in the background. Fusco said he enjoys performing in front of crowds, once he gets past the stage fright.

Like many bands, they’ve already had one player drop out. She had a conflict with church and Sunday school.

Colin’s sister stepped up to fill the gap, because the 8-year-old has been playing keyboard since she was around 4.

So far, their biggest crowd was during shows they played at The Shops at Wiregrass during the holidays.

They played three sets, of 40 minutes each, to hundreds of people, according to Cindy Karafilis, Max and Alex’s mom.

They have a play list of roughly 20 songs, ranging from “The Phoenix” by Fall Out Boy to “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragon to “Seven Nation Army” by White Stripes.

They’re also beginning to write their own music.

Being in a band has its demands and its rewards, they said.

“It’s hard, but it’s fun,” said Alex, who handles the vocals.

Twelve-year-old Devon put it like this: “It makes me feel accomplished that I can play music really well, when I hear the crowd getting excited when we’re playing.”

They may be young, but they have big dreams.

Alex wants to go on tour and wouldn’t mind getting a record deal.

Devon wants to build the band’s fan base.

Max wants to play a bigger venue, so more people can see them and spread the word about the band.

They have some gigs lined up.

Max Karafilis is the lead singer in a rock band called Beyond Chaotic. The kids are all 12 or younger, but they have bold ambitions and big dreams.

Max Karafilis is the lead singer in a rock band called Beyond Chaotic. The kids are all 12 or younger, but they have bold ambitions and big dreams.

They’re on the schedule for Feb. 5 at the Carrollwood Cultural Center, they’ll do a few numbers at the Valentine’s Dance at Seven Oaks Elementary School, and they’re scheduled to play April 16 at Journey for a Cure 5k at Al Lopez Park to benefit St. Joseph’s Children Hospital.

They’re also open to playing for private parties, Cindy Karafilis said.

But, they’re so new to the game that they haven’t quite figured out what to charge when they do get a paying gig, she said.

Regardless of the venue, the kids seem to love it.

“It’s hard work, of course. It’s really fun,” Colin said. “I think it’s pretty exciting.”

Dominic agreed: “It’s really fun to perform. Once you get over that little hump of being afraid to go onstage, it’s a blast.”

Some day, fame may come. But, for now, they’re just working hard — and turning up the volume.

Published January 27, 2016

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