The Future of Rock


Rika Yahashiri

Evren Sasamazer ’20 and Ana Koch ’21 perform

Rika Yahashiri, Reporter

The drummer hit the cymbal, the guitar pounded out of the amp and the audience went wild. Five kids with wild styles and crazier sets really know how to give the a crowd a good time.

From City High, West High and West Liberty High School, Ana Koch ‘21, Tobey Epstein ‘21, Sean Harken ‘21, Zach Piker ‘21 and Evren Sasamazer ‘20 come together to  play rock

“I don’t really know when or why we started this band. I thought we were playing jazz at first,” Koch said. “Tobey texted me and said ‘hey come over, we are gonna jam out’ so I brought all my stuff and I walked in and saw two guys there [Sean and Evren] and it kinda freaked me out.”

Tobey Epstein started this band last year bringing all of his friends together. One day Epstein realized that two of his best friends, Harken and Sasamazer could play their instruments well. Later on they invited Koch and Piker to join them.

“I called them up and I was like ‘yo we should start a band’ and one thing led to another and we decided to be a Beatles cover band but that quickly deteriorated,” Epstein said we decided that we don’t have a strict genre that we play. But we are generally a rock band though.”

From Car Seat Headrest to Lake Street Dive to Radiohead, the five of them love different genres and come from different sides of the music world. Which makes coming up with a band name harder than it seems.

“We are not very good at agreeing on things and it’s complicated. It’s TBD.” Koch said.

“We don’t really have a name that determines us as a band yet.” Harken said.

With all five of them involved in many extra curricular activities it’s difficult to find times to practice altogether.

“All of us except for Sean are in regular concert band and jazz band and that’s happening,” Sasamazer said. “Ana and I also do the backing band for show choir and that’s something we have to balance around. Tobey and Sean are both in show choir. And Tobey, Sean, and I are all in theater. There is just a lot of things.”

The band strives for one practice a week ranging from four to six hours. They spend their precious practice time playing covers, writing songs or, figuring out what the band name is.

So far, the band has played at three smaller gigs playing cover songs for friends and family. Playing at gigs and performing has given all of them experience and more confidence in their performance while still having fun.

“I like watching all my bandmates on how they react, how they play and how they are playing the music.” Epstein said. “It’s also fun to to see other people watch what we’ve been working on for a while. And I like see all my bandmates performing and just having a good time.”

“It’s just fun ya know, to make people go crazy and give people a good time with our music.” Harken said.

Playing as a band has created opportunities to learn from each other and expand their knowledge in music. From finding new up and coming artists and exploring new genres, being in a band has so far had a positive outcome for all of them.

“I’m not a very outgoing person so it’s really fun because I’m really confident on my instrument it’s like fun to get up there and show everybody what you can do.” Koch said. “I kind of freak out before I perform but once I get there it’s fun. It’s all a learning experience. This band has really let me be free and be who I want and I’ve learned a lot about that and music after joining this band.”

Of course like any student performing in front of an audience is not easy. Stagefright is common for the band members.

“I get incredibly stagefright. The thing is I perform a lot without having anything serious but no matter how big or small it is I freak out a day prior to it I just start freaking out and I can’t eat and I feel like I’m going to vomit but it’s fun.” Koch said. “I’m never over it. You just kinda gotta go like ‘hey you can do this, it’s gonna happen!’ ”

As all of their musical careers progress through highschool, none of the band members really know what the future has to come for them. But they all plan to keep music somehow throughout their life.

“I think we all plan on keeping on playing our instruments and staying as a band throughout high school,” Piker said. “We all benefit and learn each other and it has helped me a lot.”