Interview // Word on the Street

By Phineas Rueckert

Word on the Street, a five-person student band consisting of Charlie Stanton ‘15 (saxophone), Perry Campbell ‘15 (trombone), Rob Granfelt ‘15 (drums), Geoff Willis ‘15 (bass) and ‘14 Sherif Tawfik (guitar), broke into the Macalester music scene in a big way last year—winning Battle of the Bands and playing with Biz Markie at Springfest. This year, with some gig experience under their belts, Word on the Street hope to keep the momentum going with several exciting shows and a new arsenal of original songs. Their high-energy music incorporates a variety of genres including jazz, rock, funk, and even rap—performed by rappers Isaac Mathieson-Bowie and Samuel Faulkner. The Mac Weekly interviewed Word on the Street members Charlie Stanton, Rob Granfelt and Perry Campbell about their group and its future: The Mac Weekly: How did you guys get started? Word on the Street: Charlie [Stanton] recruited us after hearing some of us play. We found Rob in a nearby dumpster with a five foot beard. Did you expect to win Battle of the Bands last year despite not being together for too long and facing tough competition? How did that feel? We were told we got a spot in the Battle of the Bands because we were the only freshmen band, thus we had a draw to bring some people out to the show. We were hoping to not suck, let alone make the finals, and then winning? It wasn’t on the radar. Where did the name Word on the Street come from? It was…the least sucky choice on our table. Choosing a band name is a miserable experience. Who started the Word on the Street cheer? Soccer players stand up! How do you guys get ready for a show? We just spend time together before, hang out. What bands/types of music have most influenced your style of music? We come from all around the country and have been influenced by different stuff. We all come from extremely different musical backgrounds. We all have a common ground with jazz. Charlie: Kids These Days has been a big inspiration for me. They are a group of my friends from Chicago and they have taken off. Trombone Shorty and Roy Hargrove have also influenced me personally. Rob: I was raised on classic and punk rock, so that’s where I’m coming from for the most part. I also really love some hip-hop, which makes WOTS a fun and unique experience to experiment with hip-hop/funk drumming. Perry: Jazz and Hip Hop music have influenced me in my rapping and playing the trombone. I’ve tried to incorporate both in my playing. What’s the best part about being on stage? Feeding off the crowd. Seeing people dancing and having a good time. That is what makes the practice worth it. What are your thoughts on the new music building? It is a beautiful building…Having a quality space designated for music really enables musicians to feel valued and feel like they can grow while on campus. Also, the concert hall is just ridiculous. In a good way. What are your goals for this year? Upcoming shows? We have a lot of stuff coming up. We are currently getting a show in the works at First Ave. We are also looking for anyone who might let us play a house show at their place. Make sure to “Like” Word on the Street on Facebook! refresh –>