Band “Honch” discusses the balance of music and school

Max Bickley – General Assignment Reporter

Creating music has been an age-old expression of individuality, and a passion which many follow in today’s world. However, with life plans taking the path of the scholastic and collegiate, how does it come about that a student can embrace music and school at the same time?

There are actually many bands on campus comprised of Southern students who are balancing both their school and band life. One band in particular, Honch, has half of its four members attending Southern, bassist Owen Bigler and singer Mattie Lea.

The band formed in May of last year, with blues and rock as their main genres.

“We were originally a three man band with a drummer, guitarist and me as the singer. It wasn’t until I heard of Owen through our friends in the ‘Oddbodies’ band,” said Lea. “Since then we’ve had our band and have been playing since.”

When it came to Bigler’s side of the story, and his history in music, it was a series of experiments.

“I have always wanted to play music. For a while I played guitar, but I wasn’t the best at it,” he said. “Eventually, I picked up the bass and I’ve been playing since.”

After knowing a bit of their history, they were asked whether or not they thought maintaining both an academic and band life was difficult.

“It sometimes is at points. One of the hardest things is finding time to practice,” said Lea. “Now we have Fridays as practice day, but it’s hard since Owen and I are here, but our other two members are in Berlin.”

However, even though this issue of time gets in their way, both Bigler and Lea enjoy what they do with their band.

“It makes it worth it. There is nothing better than that high when you get up on stage,” said Lea. “It is one of the best stress relievers I know of. Just letting everything out on the stage and seeing the crowd eating it up.”

There was a visible joy on their faces as they spoke about playing, and Bigler continued: “I remember one of my first times playing with everyone was at UCONN. It was so intense and crazy. I loved it. I’ve enjoyed every gig since then.”

Bigler played during the open mic night hosted by the Crescent Players, and noted that one of the big ways to find out about bands is through connections on campus.

“I don’t think I would have met Owen if not for friends I made my freshman year,” said Lea. “Really for anyone working on getting into a band or finding someone in one to talk to, we all talk to each other so it’s not like you won’t find someone.”

In closing out their time as a band, and also college students, both Lea and Bigler shared the same views.

“It’s a little tricky at times, but honestly it’s one of the best decisions I have made,” Lea said. Finally, they gave advice to Southern students who are wanting to get into a band of their own or pursue music.

“Do it. Just go for it. You will need to learn to take criticism, but use it for the fire. Really you need the motivation to do it,” said Lea. “There are resources here at Southern, you just need to use them. So go for it.”

Photo Credit: Justin Domejczyk


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