South students find inspiration, relief through garage bands

Dana Sim, staff writer

Guitar Hero was a source of influence for many young kids in middle school, according to senior Chris Neuhaus. Once the game came out, everyone wanted to play in a band. Now, in high school, students form unofficial bands and practice at their homes. The need for space meant practicing in the garage, hence the term “garage bands.”

At South, several garage bands exist. Neuhaus plays in a currently unnamed band with junior Ellie Britton and seniors Cole Hamilton and Paul Tisch.

“I loved playing with [my band],” Neuhaus said. “We were absolutely awful, but it didn’t matter. Everything revolved around the vibe we gave off each other, and it was good, so we just kept playing.”

The band formed last September and has been practicing weekly since, according to Hamilton. Their garage band has helped improve their musical skills.

“Writing the songs has improved my guitar playing skills,” Hamilton said. “There’s just something about closing the door to my room and sitting down and being like, ‘All right, I’m going to write a song in the next like two hours,’ and it may be terrible or it may be really good, but I’m going to write one. Even if you only get like ten seconds of something good, those two hours were worth it.”

Garage bands provide a different outlet from regular forms of music, according to Britton.

“I really love singing, and in choir and Solace we aren’t really allowed a lot of freedom when it comes to singing what we want to sing, so it’s a good way for me to be able to express myself with something I love to do,” Britton said.

Music can also serve as an outlet for emotion, according to Neuhaus.

“It seems like playing music is the greatest form of relief from all the pointless emotions you have,” Neuhaus said. “When I’m sad, I play. When I’m happy, I play. When I’m mad, I play. If music were a sport, it would be illegal because there are no rules or guidelines you have to follow.”

Junior Peter Isaac is part of the band Bad Reputation along with junior Riche Coleman and sophomore Joey Seawall. The band first formed in eighth grade but didn’t get serious until their participation in Battle of the Bands at South. Bad Reputation bases itself off of the punk genre.

Isaac views garage bands as a way to be different from others.

“You shouldn’t have the schedule that everyone has,” Isaac said. “You should do something [on] your own and have an exciting life not just go to school, go home, and do your homework…There’s so much more out [there] to do. It’s really exciting being in a band, too. You [never] know what’s coming next.”