Hardcore Love of Music: Students Form Local Bands

Junior Kienan Willard plays drums with his band, True Worth, at a show last Halloween.

Junior Kienan Willard plays drums with his band, True Worth, at a show last Halloween.

There are students roaming campus who play in bands of many different genres.

Caleb Hinga, a Junior math and computer science double major, plays in the band Black Out with other EMU students: Juniors Phil Yoder and Ben Stern, Senior Jesse Parker, and Sophomore Gee Paeger. Sophomore Alicia Ygarza has done some singing for the band.

Black Out has been around since the spring of 2012, when Hinga and Yoder started jamming together. Their band plays a mix of genres, including reggae, hip-hop, and some rock.

Hinga is on drums, but from time to time, he finds himself messing around with the acoustics, electric and bass guitars. Hinga said the coolest experience he has had with the band was when they went to JMU to jam with friends, and the practice session turned into a party.

Hinga started playing the flute in fourth grade. He has learned the piano, drums, guitar and bass guitar, but he explains, “It doesn’t mean I can [completely] play all of them.” He says he loves playing, “because with the music comes so many ideas and feelings that cannot be told in words.”

Another EMU Junior, Kienan Willard, plays in a local hardcore punk band called True Worth. Willard is an environmental sustainability major who transferred from Bridgewater College and is the only EMU student in the band.

True Worth has been around since 2011 and he explains the band’s sound as “a mixture of punk and metal” but that the band “can have very diverse styles within the genre.”

“I always grew up with music,” Willard explained. Willard’s mom is a music teacher and he grew up listening to classic rock with his dad, “which just evolved over time.”

Willard started to play drums when he was 11 years old and is completely self-taught. When he was in high school, he took a break from drums to focus on playing guitar, then got back into playing drums when he joined True Worth.

Willard explains, “Hardcore has a great community. There are a lot of kids from diverse backgrounds all coming together in a place and the one thing they have in common is music. You get hot, sweaty, and there’s people moshing and stage diving everywhere, but still everyone leaves with a smile on their face. It’s just a great experience to share.”

He shared a show experience where they played a house show with Agitator, a Philadelphia Hardcore band, in Winchester, Va.

“A lot of our friends were there and it was absolutely nuts. Kids were climbing on top of each other, throwing trash cans around and just going crazy.

At one point during Agitator’s set, someone began shooting off fireworks in the basement. It was insane, but so much fun.”

Willard is excited to share that the band has just been signed to Party Foul Records, and they are releasing their new EP titled “Fleeting Lives” sometime in the winter on vinyl.

They are also releasing a digital download for the EP on October eleventh, which is available on the band’s bandcamp page (trueworth.bandcamp. com). True Worth also has a Facebook and Twitter where you are able to follow them for upcoming shows and events.

Caleb Hinga’s band, Black Out, has uploaded videos of themselves onto Youtube. If you search for Black Out, you can find clips of them playing at the ISO festival with another band called Arené.

Hinga and Willard offer short playlists of their favorite songs at the moment. Hinga shares “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin, “Pass Me By” by J. Cole (ft. B.O.B.), and “Power” by Kanye West. If you are looking for more of a playlist that will pump you up, Willard offers “Dirty South” by Down To Nothing, “Feed Your Disease” by Twitching Tongues, and “This is Not a Trend” by Trial.

-Alicia Calkins, Arts Editor; photo credit, Britany Miller

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