By Mike PescaroMusic plays a part in the lives of most students. But it plays much louder in some ears than in others.
With the time and effort that go into making music, many musicians feel a sense of companionship with their fellow artists on campus and beyond. This is especially significant in forming bands.
“When you play music, you tend to appreciate the work that goes into it more than people who don’t play,” said Fitchburg State College junior Chris McKenney, who sings and plays guitar. His band, Threat Level Burgundy, is a ska-punk group that has played shows in many New England bars and clubs. “Other musicians realize how hard it is to write and perform songs.”
Those who write, play, and record music share a common interest, especially when they lean toward similar musical styles. “We’re good friends, so we get along well,” McKenney said of his bandmates. “One of us will come up with a concept and the rest of us will expand upon it.”
The comfort the members feel with each other is crucial to the integrity of any band.
“I didn’t know anyone in my band at first,” said Pete Skerry, a Clark University junior and drummer for the Worcester band Lamp Attack. “But I’ve been getting to know them for about a year now. We’ve gotten pretty close and I have a lot of fun with them.” Skerry plays for Threat Level Burgundy as well.
The sense of community between some musicians stems naturally from their mutual fascination with music. This level of communication is also useful for networking.
“I’m usually pretty shy,” said Skerry. “But I try my best to be outgoing when I’m talking to musicians in other bands. It’s good to put yourself out there as someone who’s willing to share music with people and make connections.”
Talking to the right people doesn’t hurt. As artists, many musicians are willing and able discuss their own work and the work of others.
“When you meet a good musician, they’ll talk to you about music instead of talking about being in a band,” said McKenney.