The Spectrum

Student Band Breaks Pattern

New group of sophomores rejuvenates old traditions of rock bands

Will Rosenblum, Staff Writer

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In the summer of 2017, John Erlandson ‘21, Tyler May ‘21, and Will McDonald’21 formed a small, currently unnamed rock band. According to May, the start of the band formed because “[Will] plays drums,[John] can sing, I play guitar and we are all friends.” To get a jump start, the band started going to McDonald’s guitar teacher, but have since stopped and become more independent.

Despite listening to primarily rap music before the band, Erlandson says that “The band has made rock music kind of grow on me.” The band even had a concert for family and friends in August where they played 9 songs for 45 minutes for an audience of 40 people.  The band says that some of their highlights include “Holiday” and “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day, and “Under the Bridge” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They have also started to write their own songs but haven’t finished any yet and say that instrumentals will always be their first priority. They hope to one day move away from only doing covers and write full-time.

For their own music, Erlandson remarks “I need to invest myself [in my writing]” and tends to compose his lyrics about his weaknesses and struggles in life.  Subsequently, the band’s songs reflect not only their own life, but the internal feelings and weak points. The band has grown since its beginnings and McDonald says that “We have definitely improved”.

Brian Olson, Blake band and orchestra teacher, says that to get better you need to “Play as often as you can”.  He is the father of Mike Olson ‘01, a member of the indie pop band Lake Street Dive.  Olson has lately seen a decline in student-led bands, “I have seen fewer of them lately”, and reflects “Music has become less participatory…being engaged in music is more an act of choosing a playlist rather than actually making music yourself”.

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Student Band Breaks Pattern