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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Battle of the Bands

    On a foggy Thursday night in a small practice room in the Tabler Arts Center a group of Stony Brook students in the band The Gekko State gathered together to make music. The students were practicing in preparation for the first Battle of the Bands competition, hosted by the Colleges of Science and Society and Arts, Culture and Humanities. The Gekko State, whose name they wish to keep a mystery, is comprised of Lindsay Bernard, Henry Schiller, Carlos Parreno, Eric Braen, and about five other students who where not present at the rehearsal. Parreno said The Gekko State is “not so much of a band, but a collective” of people they know who just want to make music and have a good time.

    The “collective” was formed rather randomly with no intentions of becoming an established band touring the country or making headlines. Rather, these musicians are more interested in enjoying making music together and the experience it brings.

    Carlos Parreno met Eric Braen during their freshman year, and bonded over their mutual interest in playing music. The Battle of the Bands proved to be “great catalyst to start playing again”, Parreno said.

    When asked what type of music they typically play, the group could not come up with one genre to categorize their sound, and were not comfortable confining their music to just one category. After five minutes of deliberation their answer was “we’re everything.”

    Personally, I found their answer refreshing. Too often people are consumed with labeling things such as music in order to categorize others. Music is simply music, a way for people to express themselves and share their passion with others, but I digress.

    The idea for Battle of the Bands first began last semester from the lack of activities in Douglass College in Tabler Quad and the success of Open Mic Night. Parreno worked with the ACH Council to organize an event where musicians on campus can showcase their talents, the SSO Council soon decided on join on board with the project.

    “They went full force,” said Parreno about how quickly the idea of Battle of the Bands turned into a reality.

    In order to participate in Battle of the Bands, a demo was needed as part of the audition process. The Gekko State performed a cover of Peter, Bjorn, and John’s “Young Folks” and their original song entitled “Eric Braen.”

    With their demo CD securing them a spot in the semi-finals, this group of versatile musicians is just looking to have fun performing on stage instead of battling other musicians. With no new song yet prepared for the semi-finals, The Gekko State has a lot of work to do. I wouldn’t be worried, though, as the rehearsal room was filled with a blend of chord progressions and drums — perhaps a new song was in the making.

    To see the Gekko State, as well as five other Stony Brook bands perform, check out the semi-finals, which will be held at 8 p.m. on Apr. 3 in the Tabler Arts Center. The finals will be held at 8 p.m. on Apr. 24.

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