By: Niki Fritz
Why does anyone start a band? Fame? Fortune? A sweet tour bus? Or in the case of Josh Sites and his band – to just get a little creative space outside of academia’s mind grind and have some fun.
For Josh, he was sick of playing by himself.
“It feels so heavy handed to know every nook and cranny of my own music. I’m always in my own head and playing music is an opportunity to get out of it. When it is just me, I feel like I can’t get out of my head,” Josh explains. “I was just looking for a music collaborator and that turned into a whole band.”
Josh first recruited Patrick, with whom he had previously collaborated. Patrick usually plays the drums but this time he wanted to shake it up and play bass. Luckily, Josh knew MacKenzie, a Telecom lab monitor who is also a killer drums player. Josh recruited her to his budding band. Josh also had a former student Karl, who was a rockstar lead guitarist. He agreed to play with the new band. Finally, Josh convinced his wife, Alicia, to play keys and back-up vocals. Alicia had earlier played only played classical piano but decided she to challenge herself and try her hand at the keyboard.
“I have never been in a band outside of marching band and a high school band. Music nerd alert!,” Alicia says. “I was pretty nervous about joining and still get nervous from time to time, but Josh and the other members are really good at supporting others with trying something new or even how we have grown as a band in such a short time.”
As the band started coming together, they began to toss around ideas for its name. Mackenzie came up with the idea of colors since Alicia is an artist and two of the Telecom students are in visual arts. Mackenzie thought primary colors might sound too presumptuous, so they went with secondary colors. The band is currently designing a logo and has just produced its first demo, which you can listen to here!
Despite the demands of school and work, the band members say the band has become an essential part of their lives.
“I enjoy producing something creative regularly,” MacKenzie says. “It really helps school and work seem more tolerable during the week when I know I can do something like make music at least once a week.”
For Josh the band is a creative venture but also a chance to get out of his own comfort zone and learn something new about himself.
“Different artists have different strengths and I’m still learning what mine might be,” Josh explains. “I’m not a great lyrist; I’m not an amazing singer. I’m afraid if I stay in my comfort zone I may never find my strength. Unrealized potential is the scariest thing to me.”
Josh explains that writing and performing music helps him process not only his creative impulses but also his deep-seeded feelings that he is not comfortable talking about normally. He explains how music allows him to lie in order to tell the truth.
“In music I can create a character that is me, shares my name, looks and dresses like me, but he is the musician; there is no expectation of truthfulness,” Josh explains. “The stories [of his songs] are drawn from so many different places and twisted around so much that they are not accurate accounts of anything but the emotional content is honest.”
As for the future of this fledging band, they hope to just keep creating music and inspiring each other.
“It’s a lot of fun to play music with a group of people and not take it too seriously. We don’t have aspirations to be outrageous rock stars touring the world, but we also wouldn’t entirely be opposed to it if the opportunity came about,” Alicia says. “I would say we’re looking forward to putting on a show someday!”
And that day may be someday soon. The band is currently in talks with the manager of the Root Cellar to have a show sometime in early March. Check back with Josh or keep your eye on the Facebook Beer Serv for an update.