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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Student bands swag out Stony Brook

Nick Rigas, above, and ex-guitarist Phil Gigante opened their biggest show yet at "The Loft" in Poughkeepsie, New York for Ontario-based band "The Flatliners." PHOTO CREDIT: RICHARD DIFRISCO
Nick Rigas, above, and ex-guitarist Phil Gigante opened their biggest show yet at “The Loft” in Poughkeepsie, New York for Ontario-based band “The Flatliners.” PHOTO CREDIT: RICHARD DIFRISCO 

The hidden gem that is Stony Brook’s music scene is unifying the voice of the students, and pulling together artists and fans alike.  

Local bands are making waves on and off campus. The organization Rock Yo Face runs and directs undergraduate shows held in the University Café, located in the Student Union. The group’s mission is to highlight local, on-campus bands. Rock Yo Face is forming a community for music lovers and gives students a comfortable on-campus listening experience.

Beginning in 2009, Rock Yo Face has grown to host popular bands like Ra Ra Riot and The Front Bottoms while staying true to their local band roots. 

“Local bands bring a crowd, keeping the culture alive,” Mary Garvey, one of the original organizers of Rock Yo Face, said. “We get to see things you don’t see anywhere else.”

The Yonkers-based band, Sawmill, is making noise and breaking limits in a good way. You may have seen them at the annual Tablerstock.

These four dude’s “New York- style punk” is not your average radio fluff. The band’s drummer, senior environmental humanities major Dillan Incantalupo of Glendale, New York, described their music.

“We speak about social issues, wanting to see change, its [the music] is really a venue to speak about things that bother us,” Incantalupo said.

Beginning in early 2013, Sawmill has gone from playing in basements to joining touring bands throughout New Jersey, Philadelphia, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Senior biology major and guitarist James MacDonald of Yonkers said, “Although the rush of a bigger venue is great, the intimacy of a basement setting is an experience unlike any other.”

The passion of punk is a united force.

“The punk scene really cares what you’re doing, they are just as pissed off or into something as you are,” MacDonald said. “When someone knows your music, when they sing along to your songs, you really appreciate that a lot.”

According to MacDonald, the band will be laying low for now until their demo release, planned for mid-spring.

“We are trying to keep the band going and the local music scene,” Incantalupo said.

The Great American is another local band comprised of three long time friends, guitarist Adam Sue, bassist Barry Huang and drummer Alan Thomas.

They have performed covers of “Daylight,” “Just Hold On We’re Going Home,” “Shake It Off” and “Hey Ya.”

The Great American agrees that dopeness is their key to life. With Kanye West as their main influence, their presence on and off the stage certainly emulates this motto.

Guitarist Bryan Joy has since moved to Texas, so the band is looking for a new member to complete their
unique sound.

“We’re looking for someone who’s not just a skilled musician but is also dope as a person,” Huang said. “Committed to the lifestyle of turning up and overall positive vibes.”

As for new music, Huang said the band will be focusing on producing original music aside from their covers.

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