Bands Searching For An Audience

For local bands, making music has never been easier. The tough part is getting noticed online

Chandler Roberts, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Anyone can make music, or at least share them easily. Websites such as SoundCloud and YouTube allow anyone to upload their tunes online.

Apps such as Spotify and Apple Music also are making music much more accessible to the public (Spotify’s founder says 40,000 songs are uploaded to Spotify every day). With millions of songs to compete with every day, it’s hard to stay above the din.

Senior Jack Swartz is a member of several bands. He is the bassist in Like Minded Youth, a band he formed with three other Branham students, seniors Scott Tucker, Chester Albano and Russell Steese-Bradley, in a guitar class on campus.

Swartz is also the vocalist in Polyerius, which he formed with junior Nick Lebowski and Del Mar senior Richard Arenas, and creates his own music under the name AntiZero.

With all of his experience making music, he says that it is very difficult to get known.

“Because everyone can put out art, the market is completely oversaturated,” Swartz said. “You have a million new songs every day. People with different styles, different genres, different artists, you know, different everything.” Despite this, he is still thankful for the ability to release music, as there is no corporate in-between from artist to fan.

“We live in a time where you are your own label and what’s really cool is that I can put out music without having to go through studio heads and representatives,” Swartz said. “I can just be like ‘Oh I like this song,’ post it on my story on Instagram like ‘hey I’m releasing a song on Friday’ and then release it having recorded it three days prior.”

The writing process can be different for every band. Polyerius, for example, improvises a lot with each member being responsible for their specific components

“It’s a very collaborative effort, each member has a say,” said Nick Lebowski, the drummer. “Sometimes it’s just the other members trying to come up with parts but i also have input on the general structure of the song.”

Other bands like LMY, who have recorded and released a five-song EP already, have a similar process, where one member brings lyrics and they all work on putting it to music. Where they differ is that they have taken the step to record, which is a different process entirely.

The recording process often takes several hours of setting up instruments, playing, and eventually working on the
production in the studio.

“You take an hour to really set up and make sure that everything is ready to go,” said lead singer Scott Tucker. “And then on from that first hour, it’s mostly recording, and then whenever you’re done recording, you take the time to work to make the song sound good.”

After recording their songs, many use word of mouth and social media to spread the news, developing small fanbases in and outside of their schools.

“For AntiZero, a lot of my ‘fans’ are people that I know, but LMY is a lot different,” Swartz said. “When we released our first EP, we would get people messaging us being like ‘Hey I like your music,’ like random people who we’ve never met before.”

They were also invited play gigs at schools, with their most recent show in mid-October at a tailgate for a football game at Del Mar, which was thrown by students in celebration of the school’s 60th anniversary. On top of that, they often host house shows, in which several local bands cram into one house’s living room and play for friends and fans

“There’s a big explosion in music,” Swartz said. “Because we live in an age where it’s so easy to put art out into the world that anyone can.”