Every garage band has an origin story. These stories start with a small group of teenagers interested in making music in the garage and expecting no audience. Yet dreaming of the sounds of the crowds who line up for hours to hear them, chant their name, and enjoy their music.
There is a local garage band that is just setting out on the journey. No name has been chosen. The music style is still undecided. To understand this band’s music is to understand the bandmates and how their different personalities bringing forth their own talents and skills to create a new form of music and perhaps style.
Jakob, Louis, Myles, and Josh, friends since middle school, recently decided to form a band in their junior year of high school. All of them have their own particular story behind the music that they create and how they came to love the art. The essence of their music is derived from both the sense of self-love and the love for their loved ones, making powerful sounds. This compels me to tell their story.
Jakob describes music as “just [a] kind of an escape as emo.” To him the most awesome part of the music is “how you can put these certain sounds together and it hits a chord in you”. He started playing the guitar when he was in sixth grade due to seeing his older brother play it.
Soon, his older brother started teaching Jakob which sparked his love for creating art. He also loves a variety of music but more specifically “jazz like Jaco Pastorius, Bill Evans, Rick James and Sly and the Family Stone to black metal like Darkthrone, Meshuggah, and Terrorizer”. He carries on this list to inspirations such as Animals as Leaders, Acid Bath, MF Doom, Thundercat, Minor Threat, Bad Brains, the Prodigy, and Death Grips which are artists that Jakob loves “…it’s hard to pick a certain one I like more than the other”.
His MP3 holds both the music his family liked and the music he liked, setting the foundation of his individual sound- “There was a period of time I completely forgot I had that MP3 player, so I got a lot more into rap and hip hop then rock and s--- like that but then around like 7th grade. I discovered it again and just jumped right back into all that stuff.” The band that they are forming, he describes more as “just a couple friends who like music getting together and messing around”, making music for fun. As Jakob expresses in his laid-back way, “Music’s pretty cool”. And creating it makes it even better.
Starting 3 years ago with his own instruments, Louis finds that music is fun to play with and loves to see how it “communicates” with those around him. He learned to play guitar, electric guitar, and piano as well as editing the music to make it fit together.
He enjoys any type of music, but punk rock is his favorite- “Just those bands who are for the music and playing for the fans”, he says as I asked for his favorite. Above all, he loves Vansire because of “his very surreal style”.
Surreal, meaning that it revolutionizes the human experience and perhaps even brings in the power of the unconscious mind and invokes beauty from the uncanny. This is a recurring theme for the band itself that Louis helps provide. For Louis, creating this band served the purpose of not just making music but having one day of the entire hard week from school and relaxing with his friends.
Myles enjoys music because it is a way for people to express themselves- “Regardless of whether or not that what I write has some significant and deep meaning, each piece of writing sets the framework for who I am. Anything I couldn’t formulate to others, I could articulate within music”, he says.
Myles has been writing songs his whole life, but it was at 13 years old where he discovered music production and his own love for music saying, “ I gravitated towards it due to the comfort I felt in knowing there’s others who have the same feelings as I did. It was that feeling that I wanted to capture myself, resulting in me being more serious about songwriting”.
As he began to learn how, the passion for music grew so much that he had finally convinced his mom (through a lot of late-night singing) to let him get singing lessons in order to improve his voice. It was since then that singing had been all he did.
Enjoying every kind of music, he explains, “I believe every genre holds importance in its own respect. I view music as human nature. Each artist and band has music full of human expression exercised in various ways. There’s not a genre I don’t listen to”. Also adding that he is not exactly fond of the music that feels “unauthentic or industrially fabricated for the sake of attention only”.
Myles expresses his gratitude in joining the band, to which he had no hesitation of saying ‘yes’ when asked to join. He is, “happy in deciding to join due to the wider diversity of ideas thrown about to create something personal to all of us” and is heavily inspired by David Bowie and others.
Lastly, Josh explains that his own love for music comes from the fact that it is able to bring people together and that he enjoys it more that way rather than just listening to it. While he had been enjoying music and had learned lots about it, he also just began to play the ukulele this past summer out of boredom and because of it “collecting dust”.
He enjoys a lot of classic rock, hip hop, and “a little bit of modern/lofi? Like metamodernity type stuff”. All of this is thanks to his older brother who introduced him to most of what he listens to today.
For him the band was both a way to share what he had learned and is a “nice excuse to hang out”. And while he doesn’t have many inspirations for music, Josh does say “I admire the story and backgrounds of certain artists like Capital STEEZ or Nujabes… maybe not inspired but definitely piqued my interest” and adds, “my favorite artist is producer Nujabes. he's very influential and I admire his ability to produce and produce well. He was on a lot of the soundtrack to one of my favorite shows, Samurai Champloo. And also, the fact he used to sample with physical records and collected them- s---- was cool to me, very traditional. Shame he died so early.”
While they don’t think the world is quite ready for them yet, the question remains: are there any original songs? The answer is yes.
Louis says the music they make is called “stressitself”- all spelled into one word. What began as a sort of joke and a way for them to mess around with their music has now grown deeper. As Louis explains “stressitself” as a“joke song that kinda weirds out the listener. It purposely weirds them out for a unique experience”.
The sound they want to create is always changing, but there is one thing that Louis knows for certain- “I think we’re definitely gonna be heavy hitting with emotional segments as a band.” With all of them undergoing through their own personal hardships, it has given way for new inspiration and the purpose of their band. However, they still want to spread messages through their music and inspire other bands and songwriters to “love yourself and put it into your craft no matter what it is.”
I wish this band all the best of luck to keep moving forward, especially in their hard times and hopefully someday we can all see them perform. My message to them is that those struggles are the best inspiration for making art. Whatever type of art they are doing, it is in the hard times that wonderful masterpieces can be created.