Music: Battle of the Bands Winners

By Sophie Nikitas

The best adjective to describe Word on the Street’s reaction to winning Battle of the Bands would be…. “surprise.” “It was our first show ever!” Geoff Willis ‘15 exclaims. “We weren’t even expecting to make it to the final round.” “Everyone kind of thought we were a joke. I think they may have only let us in because we represented the freshmen class.” Rob Granfelt ‘15 speculates. “We spent a lot of time on Facebook and handing out fliers, asking our class to come support our freshmen band.” Charlie Stanton says. And it worked: the band, who came into BOTB as the underdogs, emerged as winners. The group has only existed since the beginning of this semester, and was created out of several different groups of musicians. Charlie Stanton ‘15, Perry Campbell ‘15, and Willis all live on Turck 3, where they began occasionally playing together. Sherif Tawfik ‘14 played in Jazz Combos with Nick Mirza ‘15 and Stanton. And then there’s Rob. “We found him in a dumpster.” Campbell says, before Charlie corrects him. “We heard him playing drums before practice one day, and invited him to join us.” Since then, the group of six has become Word on the Street– a name which is still a source of contention. “The band name is the worst part of being in a band,” Granfelt says, and the rest of the band nods in agreement. Some names that were thrown around: Study A Broad, Red Tape, and Pedofire. They also considered naming the band after the RA that often yells at them for how loud they practice. Their final decision came from exhaustion. “After a while, we just said, ‘OK, fine.’” Mirza admits. But despite any disagreements the band might have, they get along famously. “It’s great to go to practice with people you like,” Mirza remarks. Their positive attitude extends beyond their own relationship; they are quick to praise the other bands they competed against in BOTB. “We are by no means superior,” Willis asserts, “because every band there f*cking killed it. We were on home base, playing in Dupre.” Their attitude is not surprising, considering the band’s style is based not in individual glory, but in collaboration. As a self-described “musical collective”, they emphasize that their musical goal is to become a “platform for other people to showcase their skills.” So far, the band has experimented with sampling other artists’ work and intertwining it with their own. They also hope to collaborate more with other artists on campus. This may include inviting poets and rappers at Mac to perform their poetry over the band’s music. The band is even considering becoming a backing band for performance art. Looking toward Spring Fest, they even hope to collaborate with Biz Markie during the show. “We are trying to somehow incorporate him into our performance,” they say, “maybe we could get him to freestyle over our music!” Biz Markie collaboration or not, their set will be exactly the kind of high-energy performance that Mac needs at SpringFest. They were incredibly moved by the crowd’s response at Battle of the Bands, and want to deliver. “We’ll get the crowd excited and moving,” Granfelt promises, “our music is pretty danceable, and everyone loves to dance.”