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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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Left Turn 25

Indie-rock band fosters bonding, self-expression
Maya Scahill
Jam Session: From left to right, seniors Borna Movaffaghi, Matthew Zelkowitz, Wyatt Anderson, and Isaac Bernstein practice an original song in Zelkowtiz’s basement. Left Turn 25 practices weekly for various performances.

The band Left Turn 25 started with a violin and a drum kit, senior Matthew Zelkowitz, drummer and songwriter for Left Turn 25, explained. Six years ago, deep in Zelkowitz’s basement, the band began to form. Today, it is composed of two electric guitarists, seniors Wyatt Anderson and Borna Movaffaghi, one bass player, senior Isaac Bernstein, and Zelkowitz, each of them taking turns singing and writing their own music.

Playing in Left Turn 25 is about more than just finding the right configuration of notes and chords, Zelkowitz said. It is about finding different ways he and his bandmates can express themselves while spending time doing something they really enjoy, he said.

“When you’re creating music, it’s a lot different than the self-expression you’re given during writing class,” Zelkowitz said. “[Music] is fun because I get to do it with my friends and people that I really like.”

Anderson emphasized the importance of Left Turn 25’s original pieces, instead of covers.

“If you play a good cover, most people have heard the original [song], but if you play an original [piece], you are creating a new experience for everyone in the room,” Anderson said. “It feels good to create that experience for people [and] yourself.”

Anderson writes and sings for the band, which are roles he shares with the other members. At rehearsals, it is important that everyone has the opportunity to bring their own ideas, he explained.

“[It is important to] give everyone their shot to show their unique view on the world,” Anderson said.

Bernstein was the most recent addition to Left Turn 25. Although hesitant to join, the band has become an invaluable part of his life. One of his favorite memories was participating in the recent Battle of the Bands, he explained.

“We thought we were going to do terrible [at Battle of the Bands], but the [performance] was actually insane,” Bernstein said. “We did a great set, and people loved it.”

Performing is also an important part of Anderson’s experience in Left Turn 25. When he first began performing with the band, he would get nervous before his gigs, but he has come to enjoy the experience as he’s gotten more practice with it, Anderson said.

“[During your daily] life, no one is looking at you, but [when] you are on stage, everyone is,” Anderson said.

As for the future of the band, the members remain uncertain, Zelkwoitz said.

“Not everybody in our band is going to have a music career,” Zelkwoitz said. “Some of us are more inclined to it and some of us are less inclined to it.”

The band finds inspiration from bands like Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, and Nothing, even pulling jazz and blues influences at times, Zelkowitz said.

Each individual member processes their own unique style and their own original ideas, Movaffaghi said. One of his favorite parts about songwriting is embedding his personal style into the band’s original pieces.
“Sometimes someone will have a song fully formed; other times, we have improv jam sessions where [we] come up with something really nice,” Movaffaghi explained. “We add sections, ideas, reconfigure, and we’re always in the process of adding new things.”

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