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Local band Sorrymom releases new single ‘Laundromat’

Logan band Sorrymom released their new single “Laundromat” recorded with local recording studio WhySound Records. 

While the single release is new, the song itself was actually written two years ago. The band first started recording the song in 2019 and has had six re-recording sessions since. 

Lead singer Daniel Burt said “Laundromat” was the song that started Sorrymom. 

“I’ve heard the song 60 million times at this point,” Burt said, “but the trade off’s not that bad because, I’ll tell you what, the first time I heard our master, which was only two weeks before we put it out, I had an emotional reaction to it as if I wasn’t even part of the song.”

Burt wrote the lyrics to the song after taking a drunk walk to a laundromat he would visit as a kid with his mother. 

“It was like a memory that — you know — there’s like those memories that you don’t remember until you see something that triggers it, and then you do remember it,” Burt said. “And then just as quickly as it comes, it goes away. Well, that was like one of those times. And like, I wasn’t talking to my mom, or really anybody in my family at this point, and kind of felt like, you know what, screw this life kind of steps. And it really like centered me back to my dreams I had as a kid which are outrageous, and I’m never gonna go in those directions, but it made me realize, I don’t know, just that the moment that I was in wasn’t permanent.”

Burt woke up the next day and wrote the song. It was the only song he had ever finished.

“The second I put down the pencil and had my final recording that I could show Shane [band drummer] and say, hey, we should start a band with this, I kind of walked out and was a different person,” Burt said. “And I cared about my life a lot more and I didn’t get drunk and go on walks. So it was a pretty big moment for me, even though I just scream laundromat on the stage.”

The band describes the lyrics as “psychedelic and dreamlike in nature, reflecting the surreal sensation of being trapped in an illusion of your own design.” 

Guitarist Morgan Fish said recording in the studio is “drastically different” from performing live. 

“I think we can all agree in the band that live is where we want to be,” Fish said. “The studio is fun, but it’s a lot harder work. But it pays off in the end.”

Burt said that while recording in the studio is hard because the energy is different, the studio is where musical growth happens.

“Honestly, up on that stage, it’s really fun, but we mess up a lot,” Burt said. “In the studio, it’s a lot different because we get to like, really creatively come together and create one painting with a bunch of different paintbrushes. It helps me connect to both the people that I get to play on stage with as well as connect with my art and my music and really understand why.”

“Laundromat” is now available to stream everywhere. 

Aggie Radio wins Spirit of College Radio Award for second year in a row

Aggie Radio, Utah State University’s student-run radio station, won the Spirit of College Radio Award last month — the station’s second consecutive year winning the award. 

Aggie Radio was one of ten stations to receive the award out of the 600 stations from 43 countries that participated in World College Radio Day.

“Stations are voted for by the team that organizes World College Radio Day, who seek to shine a spotlight on college radio stations that not only go above and beyond to celebrate the annual WCRD event but also embody the passion and mission of college radio,” said a press release from College Radio Day.

Station manager Sierra Benson credits Aggie Radio’s two consecutive awards to the station’s “entrepreneurial spirit.”

“When it comes to College Radio Day in particular, we’ve challenged ourselves to do live events,” Benson said. “With COVID this year, we couldn’t include the community as much as last year in the celebration, but we made it a party and overall success this year too. Getting approval for live events this year has been tough, but we persisted and were able to get that event through where some others may have stopped after the first obstacle came up.”

Aggie Radio hosted its World College Radio Day event on Oct. 2, with live podcasts, DJ shows and performances from local musicians. The event ran from 12 – 9 p.m. in the Taggart Student Center lounges.

Planning an award-winning event during a pandemic is not easy, and Aggie Radio event director Sydney Ho found the frequently changing approval process for the event to be frustrating. 

“We were proposing events and having them all denied but not finding out quite what we needed to do to make one happen,” Ho said. “I was so happy when we finally found out College Radio Day was going to be possible.”

Ho said that one of the most difficult aspects of planning College Radio Day was how long it took to get the event approved. 

“I spent a lot of time planning and telling bands and people that I might have an event for them to perform at, but I could lose it at almost any time,” Ho said. “It makes it difficult to get bands that are from anywhere outside of Logan because it’s asking a lot for them to keep a flexible schedule like that. The bands we had were from the valley and great to work with though.”

Performing at Aggie Radio’s College Radio Day event were local singer-songwriter Kyle Olson and indie band Guava Tree. These performances had a live audience, but were also live streamed over YouTube. 

“I think it’s really amazing that a bunch of college radios across the world plan and throw events and other special things to celebrate college radios,” Ho said. “They can be a very underappreciated organization on campuses and it’s just great to see people get excited about music and showcasing talent in our communities.”

Brandon Flowers, lead singer of The Killers, talks balancing faith and music on ‘The Foyer’

Brandon Flowers might be the most famous Mormon in the world — or tied only with Senator Mitt Romney. As the lead singer of the famous rock band The Killers, he had a lot to focus on, but there was never a time where faith wasn’t on the schedule.

On Tuesday, Dr. Patrick Mason, a professor of religious studies at Utah State University, hosted Brandon Flowers on his weekly podcast, “The Foyer.”

While most 19-year-olds went on missions, Flowers became a rock star. Inspired by the music and culture of U2, Depeche Mode, Bruce Springsteen, and David Bowie, Flowers latched onto these artists and began to write music.

Unlike many other bands, The Killers became well known quickly. There wasn’t a lot of time spent in vans chugging across the country; their first album, “Hot Fuss,” allowed the band to play stadiums in London, England.

“I developed a savior complex during the first album,” Flowers said. “I began to question my authenticity. The way these people act gives them the right to that lifestyle, so there was a bit of a tug of war happening.”

Flowers explained that he was torn between his faith and his music because the culture was often “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.” Would he become a rock and roll casualty if he didn’t latch onto these influences?

“I worried that if I didn’t attach to this lifestyle, I’d be left behind,” Flowers said.

In his early years as a musician, Flowers fell victim to the “rock and roll” lifestyle and left his faith behind. He constantly questioned the need for a higher power and explained that his journey back to the LDS lifestyle began in the lyrics of their first album. In the song “All These Things I’ve Done,” Flowers sings: “I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier.”

“I recognized that I was starting to go somewhere I was told not to and I still believed there was goodness in me. I started asking for help — you start to hear that more on the second record, ‘Sam’s Town.’” Flowers said.

In the hit song “When You Were Young,” the bridge reads, “They say the devil’s water, it ain’t so sweet. You don’t have to drink right now, but you can dip your feet in every once and awhile.” Flowers’ hope in writing this was to make it clear there would always be hope for redemption and that God would always forgive those who fell off the beaten track.

Although today Flowers is a devoted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he writes his music for all in the hope that they understand nobody is perfect and everyone can be forgiven. It must work, after all; The Killers’ most recent album,
“Imploding the Mirage,” was ranked the best rock album of 2020 in the United States on Billboard’s Top 100.

“Imploding the Mirage” has several references to the New Testament and LDS faith, including the front cover, which pictures two heavenly beings. While yes, Flowers pictured them as the Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, he also saw the two as a representation of him and his wife.

The song “Fire and Bone” is heavily influenced by the New Testament and the Father/Son dynamic. Flowers said it was one of his favorite songs on the record. “My Own Soul’s Warning” the opening track, acknowledges he did things he shouldn’t have with the line, “I just wanted to get back to where you are.”

“I’ve come to terms with my mistakes,” Flowers said, “and I know I’ve been forgiven. The sun is out and I’ve turned over a new leaf.”

“Imploding the Mirage” is available to stream on all devices. Watch the full interview below and check out our review on the album as well.

A Legend: A Tribute to Eddie Van Halen

October 6, the world of Rock and Roll received sad news when Wolf Van Halen tweeted that his father, Eddie Van Halen, had “lost his long and arduous battle with cancer.” Eddie Van Halen had been battling cancer for about two decades, and he lost his life to it at the age of 65. Van Halen was a hero to me and to many others, and he will go down in history as one of the most influential musicians of all time.

Before becoming the famous guitarist and songwriter who helped give the rock band Van Halen its name and sound, Eddie and his brother Alex were just kids from the Netherlands starting their new lives in California when their parents forced them to take piano lessons. Even though they had a love for music and were talented, they hated learning piano and wanted to try other things. Alex decided to try guitar, and Eddie the drums. However, Alex ended up playing with Eddie’s drum set more than he did due to having more free time. When Eddie figured out that Alex had become better than him at the drums, he begrudgingly decided to learn guitar instead. This was a pinnacle moment in his life. He quickly became fascinated with his guitar and began to practice heavily. He has been recorded saying that Alex would go out with friends on the weekends but he would stay behind, drink a six-pack of beers and practice his guitar all day and all night. He was a young prodigy, a legend in the making, and because of his persistence, he was able to learn the guitar quickly. In 1972 the two brothers started their band. By 1973, they had their lineup after bringing on bassist Michael Anthony and singer David Lee Roth. At this time, Rock and Roll was still shaping into the unstoppable force that it became in the mid-1970s, and Van Halen was ready to become a part of it.

By the late 1970s, Van Halen had become increasingly successful. They stood out for many reasons, but what might be the biggest reason was the way Van Halen played the guitar. Since he was a self-taught guitarist, his style of playing the guitar was a little unconventional. He would tap heavily with both hands on the neck of the guitar, which is now known as “two-hand tapping.” This style of playing created a unique sound that was both influential and hard to imitate. It was this sound that made Van Halen stand out compared to other bands.

In 1984 Van Halen released their best-selling album, 1984. This was the band’s sixth album which contained some of their most influential and chart-topping songs. Songs like “Hot for Teacher,” “Panama,” and “Jump” defined what kind of band Van Halen was, and made the release of this album a defining moment for them. Ironically, the album only reached No.2 on Billboard, just behind Michael Jackson’s album Thriller. The album contained the iconic song “Beat It,” which featured a guitar solo from Eddie Van Halen. The coolest part about that is that Van Halen did this as a favor, and asked for nothing in return. “I didn’t want anything. Maybe Michael will give me dance lessons someday.” Van Halen said.

After the release of 1984, Van Halen rotated through different singers and bassists, but Van Halen was always there. He appeared in twelve studio albums, over five decades, and sold tens of millions of albums. In 2007, Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Eddie Van Halen became one of the most successful and influential musicians in history. He grew up looking up to guitarists like Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton, and now, we all look up to him the same way he looked up to them. 

I grew up listening to Van Halen thanks to my dad, and I can recall countless memories of listening to them. Whether I was jamming out in my car, or at school or work, Van Halen has provided me with memories that I hold on to dearly. Without Eddie, I wouldn’t have any of those memories. I wouldn’t have moments of playing the air guitar while listening to “Hot for Teacher” to look back to. It might sound ridiculous that those moments were important to me, but they were! Life is so plain and boring without music, and Van Halen has provided generations of listeners with light and color in their lives through their music. For that, I, along with a world of fans are eternally grateful. We will remember and honor him through our memories and his music, and we will remember him not only as a rockstar, but as the good man, father, brother, and legend that he was. Rest in peace, Eddie.

Movie Review: Boys State

When 1,200 17-year-old boys simulate the Texas government over the course of a week, what they simulate is something that might be more functional than the actual thing. A24’s newest documentary “Boys State” focuses on the American Legions version of the great American experiment while bringing together a group of diverse and rambunctious teenage boys.

“Boys State,” winner of U.S. Documentary Competition Grand Jury Prize at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, follows along as the younger generation gives us hope for the future of democracy. It can be streamed on Apple TV+. The film follows a few subjects throughout the duration of the week, as they break off into the nationalist and federalist parties, form their platforms, build coalitions and run dirty campaigns, all leading up to the final and most important gubernatorial election.  

Steven Garza, an early favorite, is a soft-spoken first-generation American who not only captures your attention but holds a death grip on it for all 109 minutes of the film. Against all odds, smear campaigns, and formidable opponents, he becomes the front runner candidate for his party after delivering an empowering and poignant speech to his peers.

While the film at times may seem like an exaggerated caricature of the democratic system or a real-life reenactment of “Lord of the Flies,” both the filmmakers and subjects agree that the experience of following the program left them with a sense of hope. 

Filmmaker Jesse Moss was asked about what they learned from the Boys State program and the filming experience. “We found a lot that was really hopeful in the experience and program itself with how old fashioned it is. The fact it creates a space that’s sometimes hard to take in but accepting people from different political backgrounds is really hard to recreate in real life,” Moss said.

At first glance, the film and program seem to only shine a bright light on the absurdity and almost cruelty of the democratic process, but at its core “Boys State” is a testament to the simplest idea, compromise and don’t be afraid to sit down with others that you might not agree with. Steven Garza puts it best in the moments of the film. “We need to show what we can do if we talk to each other, and work with another,” Garza said. “Boys State” is the perfect amalgamation of teenage absurdity, political drama, and above all, hope for the future. 

— @GageCarling

The Kilby Girl: Utah’s Local Music Persona

“I overheard she was 19/ She’s got a fake ID and a nose ring/ Those kind of girls tend to know things better than I do.”

The lyrics to local hit song “Kilby Girl” by The Backseat Lovers paint a narrative for the lesser-known music based subculture born within the conservative landscape of Utah, a state with many reputations.

What does it really mean to be a Kilby Girl? The self-given title is often found on Instagram posts featuring Utah music fans walking the line of outward rebellion to some viewers and youthful indie energy to others. Utah Kilby Girls, Kilby Boys or any genderless title to the Utah version of ‘hipster,’ probably refers to a sublet of indie, punk and alternative fans that have dived deeper into local genres, rather than being satisfied with the world-wide hits of The 1975 and Phoebe Bridgers. They spend their energy actively supporting a surprisingly large number of local bands like Ritt Momney, Adult Prom and Cinders, all of whom are based out of Salt Lake City, Ogden, Logan and yes, even Provo, Utah. 

‘Kilby’ refers to Kilby Court; the iconic Utah venue located in the outer part of Salt Lake City. The venue is owned by the local music entrepreneurs of S&S Presents and has quite the personality of its own. 

Other venues, like The Red Rock Amphitheater, who is undoubtedly the most iconic venue in Utah’s neighboring state of Colorado, feature fantastic sound technology, large seating areas and match markets that attract the biggest artists in the industry. Kilby Court however, is simply a roughly maintained, sticker-tattered garage with a small yard area featuring large trees and a strange Styrofoam gargoyle statue. To outsiders, it is underwhelming and lack-luster compared to the usual glamour within the concert landscape. To locals however, this venue is the safe-haven of expression, subculture and backgrounds that don’t always fit within Utah’s majority. 

People go to Kilby Court to enjoy raw versions of concerts in an intimate stripped-back setting. The experience is preferred by Utah enthusiasts over the high-production concerts that the world anticipates. As Salt Lake City’s longest running all-ages venue, Kilby Court represents the roots of all Utah-based artists, like I Don’t Know How But They Found Me and The Aces. Fans have also enjoyed the likes of Death Cab for Cutie, Macklemore, St. Vincent, Walk the Moon and many others who sought Kilby as their “springboard stage for beginning local & touring artists alike.”

Utah music culture does not stop at Kilby Court. It has inspired similar venues across Utah, namely Whysound in Logan and Velour Live Music Gallery in Provo, to fulfil the needs of Kilby Girls in college towns, where music is used as an escape from world issues, angst and life in general. These venues act as common grounds for art and creativity, being the primary locations of Utah subculture formation.

The subculture of Utah matches the grungy style of these classic venues. Fans of local music in Utah don’t need much more than good music and genuine performers.

In an interview for Aggie Radio, Dallon Weekes, frontman of I Don’t Know How But They Found Me, spoke about the Utah music-scene.

“I think why it’s such a good scene here is because the people who make music here do it because they love to do it and they have to do it,” Weekes said. “There are no ulterior motives like becoming famous and a millionaire and drugs and, you know, perpetuating some lifestyle like partying and groupies and stuff. That’s less common here. People make music and they make art because they want to.”

Initially gaining his fame as the bass player of the pop-punk band Panic! At the Disco, Weekes said Kilby Court and Velour are still his favorite venues to play at, even after performing around the world. 

Another insight into the Utah music scene comes from Scott Knutson, drummer for Drusky, who is a new player amidst dozens of other Provo-based indie bands.

“Something cool going on in the scene right now is there’s this garage-rock, almost emo, punk-fueled stuff, which is what I love,” Knutson said. “One of my favorite things is people getting out there and just saying ‘Screw you, I’m gonna play loud and do my thing and go crazy.’” 

Knutson said, “I feel like people are into that now and I love that, but there’s still some people stuck in the old ways, But we’re tearing it down. Make way for the usurpers! We will ‘usurp’ you!”

These “usurpers” who say “screw you” characterize the Utah music scene and mark the attitude of its Kilby fans. Despite living in a state with many stereotypes, some true and some exaggerated, local music fans don’t wish to be defined by one stereotype, one mindset, one political-view or one religion. Music for Kilby Girls is a form of pure expression, stripped of expectations, just like its iconic venue.

— brandontellis95@gmail.com

Harpers – “By and By”

2020 will inevitably be marked as a tumultuous and pivotal time socially and politically speaking. On July 10th, Harpers, a local band from Provo, elected to release “By and By”: a whimsical little track featuring whimsical piano gimmicks and whimsical vocal harmonies that you’ve heard a thousand times, but can’t quite remember where. That is, until you find your dusty iPod and can recall a seemingly simpler time, a time where, had “By and By” come out in the mid-2010’s, would’ve been positively groundbreaking and a cheeky nod to the politically-informed folk of the early 1960s. The caveat here is that it is no longer 2008 and Harpers have let a rare and crucial opportunity to comment on something meaningful slip through the cracks of their calloused, acoustic guitar strapping fingers to instead write a love song (and a somewhat flat one).

At best, Harpers’ latest track seems to capture their impressive skills as musicians, but their execution fails to be as unique as the members of the band. While it is not always necessary to press the limits in terms of experimentation, one would at least hope that an artist would convey something fresh and substantial, even while creating within the digestible and listenable. For a brief 2 minutes and 26 seconds, the lovable, cute Provo gem, perfect for rooftop concerts and background campfire music, has forgotten to take cues from Woody Guthrie and their self-proclaimed inspiration Bob Dylan: to do and say something meaningful that even the masses can enjoy.

For more on Harpers, follow them on Instagram @/harpers.official and Facebook @/harpers.officialpage. “By and By” is available to stream on Spotify.

— riverajosie2@gmail.com


Adult Prom – “Baby, You’re A Star!”

From their layered, lo-fi informed sound to their eclectic, homemade show promotion videos, Adult Prom is the kind of band that not so much turns heads but rather tilts them. “Baby, You’re A Star!,” a new single from the Salt Lake City indie-rock outfit, further proves that their music is nothing short of entrancing

As their first release since their 2018 self-titled EP, a change in style was expected. The differences between then and now show their growth in honing their textured sound.

The song opens with distorted synth descending and ascending in scale, setting an ominous mood. The typical airy and bouncy qualities in their earlier work are nowhere to be heard, replaced by a production style of a fuller, more heavy rock feeling. 

Frontman Russ Allphin’s voice moves smoothly and cracks in just the right places, singing of a destructive desperation to fit in (“If I never think it/Then I’ll never say it/If I never say it I will surely explode”). The circling of thought in the lyrics mirrors the eerie sounding synth, tucked between fuzzed-out guitar and brooding percussion. 

With an Adult Prom album anticipated to come out by the year’s end, “Baby, You’re A Star!” is nothing short of a foreshadowing for its potential.

For more on Adult Prom, follow them on Facebook and Instagram @/adultpromband. “Baby, You’re A Star” is available to stream on Spotify.

— lydia.velazq@gmail.com


Sorrymom Releases First Single: “Pretty Girl”

Last Friday, Utah State’s indie dreamboats Sorrymom released their long-awaited first single “Pretty Girl,” produced by WhySound Records. The band consists of Daniel Shaw Burt (lead vocals, keys, guitar), Morgan Fish (lead guitar), Spencer Felix (bass), and Shane Wegner (drums).

Many Sorrymom fans have been waiting since their performance at the 2019 Big Agg Show for the band to record and release music. Felix said the decision to record “Pretty Girl” first was an easy one.

“In October, when we began recording, we had only been performing live for two months. We could probably count the shows we had played on one hand, and the crowd[s] [were] already singing along to ‘Pretty Girl,’ ” Felix said. “We were hooked on how the song felt live, so when it came to the studio discussion of our first single, the decision was easily unanimous.”

Sorrymom is one of the first artists to work with the newly established WhySound Records. All four members of the band have grown up in Logan, so it was fitting that they’d sign with the local record label. Felix explained that the opportunity to record at a venue they all love with artists central to their community — like Taylor Ross Wilson, Benton Wood, and Shua Taylor — made the process even more special.

The energy of a Sorrymom live show is not lost through the recording process. Burt’s lead vocals and keys resonate with optimism and longing and you can hear his smile while he sings. Fish’s guitar solo before the last verse is equally exciting as in any live performance.

“I think this song hits a little different for every band member,” Felix said. “As far as I can speak for the rest of the band, I can say that this song means an awful lot. It is a beautiful combination of the best of all of us.”

With so many fans used to going to Sorrymom shows monthly, if not more often than that, the release of “Pretty Girl” came just at the right time. Now listeners can hold on to a piece of Logan — the feeling of release of a Friday night at WhySound after a stressful week, the beloved chaos of Wednesday nights at The Factory, the optimism and hope of a new semester at Big Agg Show — wherever they are.

For more on Sorrymom, follow them on Facebook and Instagram @/sorrymombandofficial and on Twitter @/srymombndofish. “Pretty Girl” is available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music.

– @maggiemattinson

Utah musicians move their concerts to virtual platforms – House Arrest Fest

With recent bans on social gatherings, Utah musicians continue to perform by streaming virtual concerts and music festivals.

Utah singer-songwriter Aubree Schill, alongside fellow Utah musicians Montana Smith and Bao Ha, put on the virtual music festival House Arrest Fest on Saturday.

Schill and her band Roadie have felt the effects of cancellations, and while looking for a way to keep the band’s spirits up, Schill’s mother suggested she put on a virtual music festival.

“We wanted to make sure everyone felt safe and comfortable and still had the chance to play for an audience,” Schill said. “So many artists told us about how they’d had all of their events canceled, so it was clear that there were plenty of artists needing a platform and that was our priority.”

From 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., local artists performed live for virtual audiences on YouTube and Instagram.

“Our main goal was to make it as easy for fans to watch the fest as possible, so we limited it to two platforms and prerecorded some performances to make it enjoyable to watch and minimize the chance for technical difficulties. We also wanted to have a live element, so we asked some artists to perform acoustically so we could stream them on our live story,” Schill said. “And then to break things up a little, we asked other bands to stream their own sets from home.”

House Arrest Fest was a free event, but viewers were encouraged to make a donation. Half of the proceeds went to the Red Cross, and the other half went to the performing artists to recoup losses from cancellations.

“People were so, so generous, and we are so grateful to be able to give back to the artists and those on the frontline of this pandemic,” Schill said. 

Schill said she received many messages of gratitude following House Arrest Fest from both performers and fans. 

“We had bands tell us how grateful they were to be able to perform for people and connect with fans. And a ton of people messaged and commented to us after it ended that they’d been having a tough time with isolation, and that this really helped them feel a little joy and brightness and connection,” Schill said. “I think that was the most beautiful thing for all of us that managed the project.”

Utah band Sunfish performed on Instagram live from a member’s home for House Arrest Fest. Luke Arnold, a multi-instrumentalist for the band, said that cancellations have a large effect on them because the majority of their revenue comes from shows.

“In order to try and keep up interest and fan base growth, we’ve tried to change to virtual platforms as much as possible, relying on social media presence and live-streamed shows such as House Arrest Fest and The Rise Livestream Festival,” Arnold said. “Though naturally, such alternatives fall short in comparison to traditional live mediums.”

Arnold said that House Arrest Fest was a good experience overall, but performing over social media has its ups and downs. 

“Upside is that you can easily contact your whole audience with ease on your part and theirs,” Arnold said. “An obvious downside is the lowered quality of audio, as well as video and connection problems.”

Utah musician Michael Barrow played an acoustic set for House Arrest Fest on Instagram live. 

Barrow realized how serious COVID-19’s effect would be for musicians when his group, Michael Barrow and the Tourists, had the majority of their future live shows canceled. His group is taking the time that would have spent rehearsing and performing to create content.

“Obviously we’ve needed to change the way we’re going about things, and I think we’re still in the middle of navigating that. Many artists are streaming once or twice a day to stay connected to their fanbases,” Barrow said. “Others are putting together virtual concerts and festivals, like House Arrest Fest, as a way of sticking together and offering mutual support as a community.”

Barrow said that his experience performing virtually for House Arrest Fest was great. 

“I wish I’d had a chance to be more involved, honestly,” Barrow said. “I feel like I just showed up, played three songs, told some stupid jokes and left, but it was an honor to be a part of it. I’m amazed by so many things about the music scene here. There’s the talent, obviously, but on top of that, there’s so much love and support. The fact that Aubree, Bao and Montana went out of their way to set up House Arrest Fest is a perfect example of that.”

Schill said that she is beyond happy with the results of the festival. 

“It almost made me a little emotional seeing this little feeling of community blossom even while we’re all having to stay apart from each other. So many people seemed genuinely excited about this event and watched the whole day, and the bands all did such a good job of being present and there for their fans,” Schill said. “It really felt like this show was about supporting each other in so many different ways.”



An Interview with Drusky

Despite being newcomers to the Utah music scene, it is obvious that Provo-based band Drusky is going places. Since forming a year ago, the group has already played countless shows, released an EP, and released four singles. Their magnetic music and personalities make them irresistible and a band you want to keep track of. Give Drusky five years, and you’ll be saying “Dude, shut up. I knew them before they got big.” I had the chance to sit down with members Mia Hicken (lead vocals/guitar), Scott Knutson (drums), and Dallin Haslam (bass) prior to their recent headline show at Kilby Court.

How did you meet and, eventually, form the band?

Dallin: Scott and I know each other because he drummed for my older brother’s band Greyglass.  Then we played in a project together called Pacificana. We also tried to do a duo, drum and bass math-rock type thing. It never panned out but it was gonna be called Closet Botanists. We’re really good friends. Then Mia Hicken over there was doing some solo project stuff in the Provo music scene and she wanted to do more band type stuff.

Mia: I posted on my Instagram story [and] was like “Hey, who wants to form a band?” and Scott was like “my band [Greyglass] just broke up” –

Scott: “And I’m sad about it! Let’s start a band.”

M: – and then we started a band and he was like “here, I have a bassist too” –

S: Enter Dallin Haslam. 

M: That was all about a year ago. 

S: I think this all rolled out in February right?

You released your first EP Hush Hush Secret Stuff in June, that’s really fast!

D: Yeah, it really was!

S: We wanted to just get stuff out there so we could just go to shows and be like “Hey, listen!”

M: No time to dillydally!!

D: Mia brought in a lot of ideas that she had already formed and she was like “I wanna ‘band-ify’ this,” so we took it in and filled it out and were like “hey… this is kinda good.”

D: We played a show with the Backseat Boys…er the Backseat “Lovers”!

[Mia laughs]

S: We’re on “boys” terms with them.

D: The dude who produces their stuff, Greg Downs — who owns Pale Horse Sound in Salt Lake — he just talked to us backstage and he loved it. 

M: We just released four singles, and we’re playing new songs tonight. But now I’m out of things to write about, so I need another person to break my heart. 

During the intro of “Nothing to You” you mention a few different band name ideas you’d cycled through before landing on Drusky. What was that process like and how did you decide?

S: That took a while.

D: Choosing a band name was probably the hardest part of being in a band.

M: It’s the worst, I never will do it again! If this fails I quit.

D: I think it literally took us a month just to figure out what we were gonna call ourselves. 

S: And the thing is, we’re creative. We were thinking of ideas after ideas, we were killing it. But we wanted something short and sweet so I think Drusky kinda fit that bill. 

M: And we really like dogs. 

S: We love dogs. So drunk husky is where it came from. [Mia,] I don’t know if you were here for this but we came up with a new band name that we should probably rename Drusky to, “Veloci-rectum and the Steaming Manholes.”

photo by Maggie Mattinson

How have you evolved as individuals and as a band since you released your EP last summer?

D: This is like a college essay question!

M: Well, I’ve been doing solo music for about two years, but nothing could prepare me for how much more fun it is playing in a band. Honestly, it makes you grow as a musician more than any other thing can. Like, you can take as many lessons as you want but nothing is gonna compare to working with other musicians and playing live. 

D: I think working with people is so fun and having to actively listen to what they’re doing and not overplay. Nobody likes someone who’s in a band and just playing over everyone else. [You’re] having to come together and become something that’s greater than the sum of its parts. 

M: I’ve also gotten better at [Super Smash Bros].

D: Yeah that’s true, we play a lot of Smash. 

S: That’s a way that I’ve grown, I’ve gotten much better at Smash Bros because of Drusky. And I have a girlfriend now, which is awesome. Finally.I’m in a lot of other bands, but this band is unique because I feel like I have a greater say.

M: We’re communists.

S: Yeah, we’re pretty communist. None of us are really “My way or the highway.” 

M: When I decided I wanted to be in a band, I really wanted it to be a “band-band” and not just “Mia and a project.”

What is your favorite song to perform?

D: SUCC! [“Succulents”]

S: Yeah, that’s my favorite one. 

M: I like the new ones. I like “Holy Ghosting” and I also like “Garden Slugs” because I get to play a fast guitar thing

S: I like “Alimony.” There’s a couple cool fills in there they just… taste good!

Do you remember a favorite show you’ve played together?

S: Wow, we’ve played a lot of shows together for being a band for only a year. Holy crap. 

D: Rexburg was sick.

M: I still really loved that one Backseat Lovers show [at The Velour].

S: Like one of our first shows? That was sick because it was a full house. And we didn’t do anything. 

M: I don’t know, I feel like each show we get a little better and I loosen up a bit more and we read each other a bit more. 

D: At the end of last summer we organized this thing in Provo called Couchella. It was a two day thing, we got like 35 couches and put them in a backyard and invited all our friends’ bands.

S: That was one of the best shows, period. 

D: It blew us out of the water, exceeded all our expectations. We had about 1200 people come over the 2 nights. That was super super fun.

S: I’m putting Couchella too.

Where do you draw inspiration during your writing process?

M: All of my songs are generally based on my own experiences. There’s a lot of breakup songs. A lot of inspiration comes from the culture I’m surrounded by. “Alimony” is about people getting married at 19. Provo dating culture.

S: Mutual and Tinder inspired “Tuck Finder.”

M: Also, just like faith crises. “Heliocentric” is centered around beliefs and struggles with that. I guess everything is just about conflicts with self, conflicts with other people. So now everyone knows me too well.

What’s been the most surprising thing on your journey of being a band?

D: I was surprised at how well we fit with each other. From the beginning we had very good synergy and chemistry and our growth has been really exponential. 

S: Something that surprised me is that we never have to book our own shows, the venues book us. I’m comparing to my other experiences where you gotta fight tooth and nail to get in. But we have to say no to shows! People really dig us.

Do you have any advice for people that want to start a band?

D: Just do it. Find friends start playing music together.

M: Come with an idea, throw some meat on it. 

S: House shows! Play lots of house shows. 

D: And talk to people, don’t be intimidated. Just get information from them! Everybody wants to talk.

What’s your take on the Salt Lake and Provo music scenes?

S: I’m gonna say the good stuff, then Dallin is gonna tear it down. But I agree with him. I think it’s really cool there’s so many bands and the music is evolving. When I first entered it was more like indie synth, Mumford and Sons-type vibe, but its evolving to be a lot more like indie bands, rock, garage rock. I think there’s a lot of music and its getting better and better and there’s some cool venues so its great! That being said –

D: So I think inherently in any establishment or system there’s nepotism for the older groups, like the grandfathers of the scene. And obviously we gotta pay our respects, but some people try and hold on to that. Something that’s cool going on in the scene right now is there’s this garage-rock, almost emo, punk-fueled stuff, which is what I love. One of my favorite things is people getting out there and just saying “Screw you, I’m gonna play loud and do my thing and go crazy.” I feel like people are into that now and I love that, but there’s still some people stuck in the old ways, and every generation thinks that. But we’re tearing it down. Sometimes, I see people out there who have overstayed their welcome, and its, like, clearly isn’t what’s happening right now. They’re just holding on to it. It’s like get out, make way for the usurpers! We will “usurp” you!

photo by Maggie Mattinson

What does the future hold for Drusky?

S: I would say that, we hold the future…

M: You make us sound so cocky!

S: But the future is bright. I mean, we’re already booked for Kilby Court Block Party, lots of shows at The Velour, the opportunities haven’t stopped knocking.

D: In reality, it might be kinda turbulent. Scott has got some opportunities and some girlfriends elsewhere, and I’m graduating college this semester. 

M: We’re gonna overstay our welcome!

For more on Drusky, they can be found on Spotify as well as on social media @/druskyband.

Treefort Music Festival’s Return

With Treefort Music Festival’s 10th run only a month away, we’re reminiscing on Treefort 2020 2021, held this past September.

Having never been to a music festival and having only gone to one concert since the spring of 2020, my expectations for Treefort were not high.

They were none existent. 

I went with a shortlist of artists and a very simple goal of just wanting to see what the multi-day Boise music festival had to offer. 

The 2020 Treefort Music Festival was postponed and rescheduled from its typically March dates to September 2021. This forced time to sit on their hands resulted in the planners wanting the festival’s return to truly reflect what a return to live music should be: big, joyful, and highly anticipated. 

My ringing ears, tired feet, and sore cheeks can confirm that Treefort hit the mark. 

Wednesday was my grace day. I wanted to get a good feel of the street that was closed off to house the main stage, food trucks, and rows of table vendors. I did catch Lake Street Dive’s main stage set and was struck by lead singer Rachael Price’s sheer vocal power and the band’s ability to get the entire crowd moving. 

Thursday was the day I looked forward to most. Having very little knowledge of their discography, I attended hometown heroes Built to Spill’s main stage set. Founding member Doug Martsch was joined by Melanie Radford on bass and Teresa Esguerra on drums and, despite this relatively new rotation of members, their set was like listening to a recording. At some point, an audience member blew up a few small beach balls, other attendees complied in volleying them through the playing of “I Would Hurt a Fly” and “Goin’ Against Your Mind.” A slice of sky that peaked from around the stage exposed shades of peach pink and periwinkle blue. Everyone bounced in that energetic way that is all in the balls of your feet and it couldn’t have been over 70º outside. It was the kind of set that outdoor concerts dream to be. 

After a period of moving equipment, Japanese Breakfast took the stage. If I had to pick, they were the artist I went to Treefort for. And I was not let down. They opened with Jubilee album opener “Paprika.” Lead singer and guitarist Michelle Zauner moved around in a pale pink dress so poofy that it fluttered with her as she rhythmically hit a gong, a nice live instrumental addition. Zauner also took a moment to express not only her gratitude to be playing Treefort, but to be playing after Built to Spill, crediting Martsch for being the reason she learned guitar. The majority of their set comprised of songs from Jubilee, which came out in June, with the sweet treat of “Glider,” a track from the new video game “Sable” that Zauner composed and produced the soundtrack for. The crowd moved from bouncing to full-on jumping when they closed out with well-known and well-loved “Everybody Wants to Love You.” After some chanting of “encore,” Zauner returned to the stage to play “Posing for Cars,” her bandmates slowly joining in. 

Once the stage was cleared and the intermission-between-bands music returned, the first song heard over the speakers was “Body” by Megan Thee Stallion. I don’t think a single person left the crowd until the song was over and everyone was a little sweatier.  

After a brief interlude that included a Redbull and a walk, it was now after midnight and I sat on the balcony of The Shredder looking at arcade games and waiting for Vundabar. 

Though I like to think of myself as a tough person, I have to admit my defeat of moving to side stage three songs into the set. Hats off to all the young people in the audience and I pity anyone who wore soft-toed shoes that night. The indie-rock Boston three-piece met the audience’s energy with ease from song to song. Frontman Brandon Hagen kindly taught everyone how to do “The Queen wave,” instructing that it is like cupping an imaginary egg. After covering Portishead’s “The Rip” and playing Gawk track “Oulala,” band and audience members exchanged waves. 

Friday I returned to the main stage, front and center, as Canadian singer-songwriter Andy Shauf took his place alongside his band. He played a mix of songs from Neon Skyline and The Party, tossing in choice tracks from Wilds. The latter of the three was released that day, garnering a “happy release day!” from an audience member. Shauf reacted by glancing at his bandmates and saying “hey, I think the album comes out today.” Though I’m sure hearing a solo set from Andy Shauf would’ve been transcending, I feel lucky to have heard the songs in their fullness, with the inclusion of live clarinet and saxophone. For the better half of that hour, I rested my chin in my palms and swayed along to the Saskatchewanian’s breezy storytelling. 

After my third food truck dinner of the festival, I headed to party venue Mardi Gras Ballroom for L.A.-by-way-of-Provo band Sego’s set. The small crowd that stuck close to the stage bobbed and nodded along to the four-piece’s distorted guitar, steady drum beats, and socially conscious lyrics. 

Saturday came with a need to slow down, so I prioritized one and only one set: Haley Heynderickx’s. She and her band played El Korah Shrine, so I can check “attending a show at a brotherhood lodge” off my list of life to-dos. The Portland singer-songwriter was soft-spoken in between songs, making the audience lean in with reverence and admiration. Having those feelings towards Heynderickx isn’t difficult, as her lyrics are gentle and reflective and her band contributed to the warm, cocoon-like feeling in the venue. 

Keyboardist Lily Breshears introduced the set’s closing song, jokingly, as “a bop” and that “it slaps,” likely given it is the most upbeat instrumentally of Heynderickx’s songs. The audience hummed along to “Oom Sha La La,” the second-to-last track on Heynderickx’s 2018 album I Need to Start a Garden

Getting to yell alongside a crowd of people to a song that a year ago I would sing quietly to myself in my kitchen almost daily felt like the perfect “full circle” moment to end my first Treefort experience.

2022 USUSA Candidate Interviews: Niyonta Chowdhury-Magaña – President

An interview with Niyonta Chowdhury-Magaña who is a candidate for President in the 2022 USUSA elections.

This interview is part of an ongoing series to inform USU students in the USUSA elections. Other interviews and candidate information can be found at aggieradio.com, usustatesman.com or elections.usu.edu.

2022 USUSA Candidate Interviews: Mikey Henderson – President

An interview with Mikey Henderson who is a candidate for President in the 2022 USUSA elections.

This interview is part of an ongoing series to inform USU students in the USUSA elections. Other interviews and candidate information can be found at usustatesman.com or elections.usu.edu.

2022 USUSA Candidate Interviews: Noah Evaga – Logan Campus Diversity & Organizations Executive Director

An interview with Noah Evaga who is a candidate for Logan Campus Diversity & Organizations Executive Director in the 2022 USUSA elections.

This interview is part of an ongoing series to inform USU students in the USUSA elections. Other interviews and candidate information can be found at usustatesman.com or elections.usu.edu.

The Statesman Sports Desk – Name, Image and Likeness and the state of USU Football

On this episode, Parker Ballantyne and Jacob Nielson talk shop on the current state of the Aggie football team. They also discuss the new name, image and likeness policy, and its impact on college athletics. Week of July 4-10. Thanks for listening!