Long Island Locals


Long Island Locals

Kayla Tezcan, Staff Writer

Dive bars, restaurants, and other small music venues inhabit your local music scene. If you are uninterested in metal, rock, or anything acoustic this will not be of interest to you, but supporting local bands is completely worth your time. It is an ever-growing scene. One is able to experience and view the artists’ growth as a musician and a performer. One can see them gain popularity or miserably fail. In other words, you can directly observe the musicians’ struggles and support them when, or if, their music gains traction.

However, listening and supporting local music should not be seen as an act of charity, rather it should be seen as participating in a sort of experiment. Our primary question and motivation for the study: Will this band make it big? We, the audience, patiently stand aside waiting for the conclusion. Stonehenge, a metal band who have been together for a year, have given permission to allow me to ask them a couple of questions. Some are rather intimate about their growth as a band and their individual growth as performers and artists. I have personally been familiar with some of them for a while, going to their shows and such. I can see they have taken on a more professional aspect, so to say. To backtrack to my previous statement, I have been their audience, and am personally watching the experiment unfold. I just wish more people could see it.

While more famous performers can charge anywhere from 64 to 900 dollars, these bands usually charge 5 to 10 dollars. These artists provide a more inexpensive and casual experience. The only unfortunate downfall to supporting local musicians is that they might not have music to stream, and they could be lacking the money needed to record. That’s why it’s so important to see them in person.

Riley James Clare, the singer and guitarist of Stonehenge said, “In terms of seriousness, this is my job. Although we don’t make much right now, this is my main focus and all the money I make from it has gone back into the band to help grow it.”

Obviously these bands need feedback, but not just online, in person. The way they indirectly gather feedback from their band is simply by having consistent, familiar faces in the crowd.

The band knows they are valued and appreciated, maybe even admired, because someone has taken the time to come back and pay money to listen to their music. View it as this: everyone in the room is trying something new, whether it be going to a new venue, diversifying their music taste, or meeting new people from their community. Not only that, but it provides the band with less pressure. Since everyone is open to the experience, and they aren’t sure what to expect, the band can experiment with new sounds, tunes, and various other approaches.

Another band, Carve A Path, is a little different from the one I mentioned; they are a punk/rock band and, surprisingly, the band was created by the lead singer and guitarist, James

Hennessy, he considers this to be a “solo project with a live band.”

“I love connecting to people through music. I want the music and the shows to be an outlet for anyone that’s going through something,” he said.

Clare from Stonehenge feels similarly.

He said, “It’s the greatest feeling in the world to know someone else is truly listening to you in the form of communication that is able to release yourself of your issues.”

Some of the bands I spoke to were relatively new to the scene, but already have gained an impressive following.

Misguided youth, for instance, a heavy metal/hard rock band that has only been formed roughly for 5 or 6 months, has already gained a strong and dedicated following. It’s entirely unbelievable, some of these members of these bands have only been playing for a couple of years, and already they are so talented and admired.

Ayden Kelly, drummer of Misguided Youth, said, “It wasn’t till a year and a few months ago when I got my first real drum kit and started playing…I really got into it only a year ago, and I’ve been playing every day ever since.”

Marilyn Manson once said that “Music is the strongest form of magic.” When I interviewed these musicians, I could feel that was true, all of them don’t know where they would be without music. It truly transcended their lives. People judge them, say they took a bad path, this is due to their path being the one less followed.

“Music helps me like it helps a lot of people, it’s therapeutic. And without music and my drums, I don’t know where I’d be today. Probably dead, to be honest,” Kelly said.

The non-traditional path and the non-traditional life is the one these people seek. All of them agreed music would be a part of their lives forever, even if it’s a side hobby, or they get lucky and people realize their talent and become famously known. Isn’t that anyone’s ultimate goal?

To be successful at what they are doing? People may say it’s unrealistic, but look at people who came from nothing and now have everything they ever dreamed of. Who says that can’t be them?