By Sarah Carlson, Arts Editor
While some only dream of being in a band and performing across the country, a few students actually are living out their goals and are gaining a large following.
Concert series such as JamFest, Jam for Justice and performances through the ACU Band Network showcase student bands such as Homer Hiccolm & the Rocketboys and Clad in Scarlett.
“This is something I’ve wanted to do my whole life,” said Brandon Kinder, lead vocals and guitar in Homer Hiccolm and senior history major from Memphis, Tenn. “We all feel that way.”
Kinder said the band has gone through several phases and members but has been touring in its current form of six members since January. Band members include Josh Campbell, junior marketing major from Van; Mitch Holt, junior journalism major from Memphis, Tenn.; Phillip Ellis, sophomore theatre major from Van; Scott Delony, senior electronic media major from Humble; and Daniel Wheeler, senior English major from Van.
Kinder estimates the band has performed about eight shows on campus and has toured several cities in Texas and Tennessee. Homer Hiccolm will embark on at least a 10-city tour this Christmas, promoting its new CD, the South Plains EP, which sells for $5.
Kinder said he enjoys playing on campus and in Abilene, and that the band has seen a good turnout at their latest shows this semester. Music has always been an important part of his life, Kinder said, and performing is a long-term goal for his future.
“There’s always tons of people that come out and support us and sing along with our songs,” Kinder said. “That’s the best feeling in the world.”
Homer Hiccolm & the Rocketboys will perform next on Oct. 1 at Play Faire Park along with another student band, Clad in Scarlett.
Carlos Macias, class of 2005 and lead vocals for Clad in Scarlett, is one of the four band members who have known each other for three years and have been playing together for almost as long.
“It was always more like a hobby at first,” Macias said. “We just got together and jammed because we could.”
However, over time the band members realized what they had and began playing shows on campus and around town, though it was hard to fit in practice time with everyone’s school schedules. Rodrigo Macias, bass player and senior biology major from Durango, Mexico; Luis Rietti, electric guitar player and senior finance major from Tegucicalpa, Honduras; and Dave Ruiz, drummer, class of 2005, make up the rest of the band. Now that half of the band has graduated, practicing and performing comes a little easier, Macias said.
The band members have spent much of their time fine-tuning their sound and are waiting until they think their songs are solid until they record an album. Now that he’s out of school and applying for a job in town, Macias is spending a lot of time working on and continuing to improve the music.
“Last semester was pivotal for the band’s future,” Macias said. “We’re all happy with our sound and have fun. We want to wait until we get the resources to make a product we’re proud of.”
Macias said he likes to play for diverse audiences, and the band wants their music to appeal to everybody. They enjoy playing on campus and the support that comes from students who follow their music, he said. Before they play Oct. 1, Clad in Scarlett will peform in the Bean Sprout on Friday.
No matter what happens with the band, though, Macias and his fellow bandmates are in it for the long run.
“All the members decided we wanted to do this regardless of the outcome,” Macias said. “We’re committed to it.”