The music started at their sixth-grade talent show. That was when Max Bittner, Devon Gates, Chris Robinson and Micah MacLane came together to form their blues and rock band No Solution at Sutton Middle School.
“We did the talent show, and after that we were like, ‘Let’s keep doing this,’” Devon said.
Fast forward six years, and these four high school seniors —Max attends The Weber School, the others attend North Atlanta High School — have made a name for themselves performing all across Atlanta and the entire Southeast. They have competed in and won numerous competitions, most recently the Atlanta Blues Society’s Atlanta Blues Challenge. The band will represent Atlanta at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis this January.
Each band member has brought their unique backgrounds and skill sets to the table.
Max’s farther, David Bittner, manages the band, and Max plays the guitar, an instrument he picked up at 6 years old. Chris, who grew up playing on a drum set at his church, remembers first meeting Max at Sutton Middle School.
“I had moved here and I wanted to play drums, so I walked into the band room at Sutton Middle School, which had a jazz band,” he said “I hear this kid playing crazy riffs on the guitar, and I’m like, ‘Who is this? I need to be his friend.’”
Devon Gates balances the band’s performances and practices with her numerous extracurricular activities, once competing in a Quiz Bowl state championship before performing later that day.
Devon has been singing for as long as she can remember, but she added bass guitar when the group suddenly needed a bass player for the talent show.
The other band members are certain that she will end up as a lawyer and they will one day be sleeping on her couch.
“This is a really unique thing we have gotten to do,” Devon said. “These guys are great and we are like a big family.”
Micah MacLane began taking piano lessons when he was five years old, and now plays the keyboard for No Solution.
The members attribute their success to putting in hours and hours of practice, both as a group and individually. They also gave thanks to David Bittner for managing the band for all these years. “None of this would happen without David,” Chris said.
All four band members are looking to study music in college, and hope to play together when they can.
“The luxury of today’s world is even if we are in different places, we can still do things together,” Chris said.
This article was written and reported by Max Goldstein, a student at Atlanta Jewish Academy.