* History of Cougar Bait *
Copyright © 2011 by Cougar Bait Music
Lead Vocals, Guitars, Keys
What’s in a name?
In late 2005, a young high school musician named Chest Rockwell, joked with a friend about
being attractive to hot older women. His friend’s reply included a reference to “jailbait”, to which
Chest replied, “No, cougar bait.” Following the incident, Chest tucked that inglorious name away
for future possibilities. So when he got together with what would become the core of the band,
including Buck Strokem on bass, and Thor Manly on drums in the fall of 2008, “Cougar Bait”
was resurrected, along with “Fat Oprah and the Muffin Top Girls”, and “Steve the Cat” as
potential band names. A decidedly unscientific on-line poll was conducted and “Cougar Bait” was
a slim victor over its two rivals. Says Chest, “The name was everything we wanted; it was just the
right combination of stupid and sleazy.”
After a few impromptu jam sessions, the trio recognized
the instant chemistry, and that there was serious potential.
Nashoba Valley was also home to another guitarist of growing
legend in high school circles. Rod “the bod” Hamilton was
almost as admired for his speed and flashy guitar leads as he
was for his cool hair. “I didn’t even care if he could play; I just
wanted his hair on my album cover. The fact that he
was really good was a bonus”, remembers Rockwell. This
completed the line-up; only the band didn’t quite know it.
Cougar Bait still believed that they needed a lead singer
for an eventual five piece band. Cougar Bait used two different
singers before finally discovering Alex DelaCruz, who became
the band’s lead vocalist for the remainder of their successful 2009 tour. The Bait played a series
of local festival dates beginning their set with Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”, and included
other covers. In addition to select rock covers, Rockwell and Hamilton showed off their
songwriting talents by penning “Come Home with Me Tonight” and “Runnin’ for My Life”
respectively. The 2009 tour ended in November of that year and the band took a 4 month hiatus.
Manly, Strokem, and Hamilton returned to their respective college campuses and Rockwell
assumed his position as center for the Westfield State College Basketball team.
When Cougar Bait reconvened in late February of 2010, it was decided that the band would
move ahead as a four piece band with Rockwell assuming the lead singer / front-man role. Alex
Dela Cruz remains close friends with the band. The band immediately began writing and
rehearsing material for the 2010 Tour, which included numerous club dates throughout New
England. To date, Cougar Bait has booked headlining gigs in several noteworthy venues
including Ralph’s Rock Diner, The Raven, and The Lucky Dog Music Hall in Worcester, All Asia in
Cambridge, and McGann’s Irish Pub across from the TD Garden in Boston. The bait has also
been a guest on several radio stations and inside rock magazines in the Boston area including
The Boston Local Music Show, and Pulse Magazine. However, mid-summer, in an internet press
release, it was announced that drummer Thor Manly would soon leave the band due to creative
differences. The group immediately held countless tryouts trying to find the perfect drummer for
the job, and they did in CT Luscious (formerly of Sound Czech fame). Armed with new, exciting
original material, Cougar Bait will turn to the studio to record their historic first EP in January.
Stand-out CB tracks include the melodic Hamilton penned “My Love” and Rockwell’s outlaw
rocker “Wanted”, the epic, emotional “Hanging On”, and the Jagger-Richards-esque “Soul to
Tame”. All of these potential hits are being previewed during the band’s current club tour. So, be
sure to catch this hard rocking, hip thrusting band when they come to your city! Daughters… lock
up your mothers. This is Cougar Bait!
Hamilton, Strokem, and Rockwell jamming
during school one afternoon in 2009
Lead Guitar, Vocals