Making the Band: SHU Edition

By: Megan Beauchamp
Sophomore and PR major Mike Gallucci knows all about starting over.
Sat in a blue chair, in the crowded Living Room, the only indicator of his musical interest is on the back of his iPhone. It has a black holder with the ‘WSOU’ logo. Working at the station as the assistant social media manager is not only his way of learning PR skills but it’s valuable experience for the band he’s trying to form.
About a year ago and a half ago, Gallucci was the third member of a band called Chase the Chariot in Charlotte, North Carolina, his hometown. The group had released an EP of four songs in the summer of 2017 to a relatively good audience reception, however, due to creative differences over ownership and half-hazard song creation, Gallucci and his two other bandmates, Alex Nicholson and Levi Stuart decided the best future of the band was to have none.

Chase the Chariot EP album cover 

“As we spent more time working together, Levi and I were very much of the idea that we are a band, we make things as a band, we create things as a band, we perform things as a band,” said Gallucci.
Working together artistically is the way Gallucci and Stuart blended musically. It’s why they wanted to continue working together despite the fallout of Chase the Chariot. It’s also the foundation of how they collaborate on songwriting, composing, and producing music.
The next step for the two-some is finding members to be on board with the creative process, according to Gallucci. They’ve decided to go forth and embrace the idea of every band member creating together from start to finish.
 “It would feel weird for the two of us to get together and have this organic collaborative relationship, then bring it to a third band member for rehearsal who wasn’t in on that,” said Gallucci.
Mike isn’t the only one who works this way. Guitarist for the band The Individuals and student at Seton Hall, Hugh Flynn relayed that working as a unit is a must.
“It will normally begin with one of us bringing in a riff or chord progression,” said Flynn. “From there we’ll jam on it a bit and try out different ideas on our respective instruments, to put some sort of a twist on it and completely change it.”
Though the collaborative feel is what the two have come to embody, they still live in two completely different states. For now, Gallucci attends SHU here in South Orange, and Stuart is in Charlotte. Even still, so much of their artistic process still relies on finding that third band member, specifically, a drummer. Temporarily, they’ve been using a machine to simulate the drum patterns, something that pales in comparison to live drums according to Gallucci.

Photo courtesy of Caroline Craig

Rehearsal space is also a top priority. Again, it’s a matter of geography.
“Beggars can’t be choosers,” said Gallucci. “If we found a bandmate who gelled with us well up here, we’d do everything to make it work, if it’s down in Charlotte, vice versa.”
Gallucci is optimistic, however. He relayed that sometimes when you have a connection, musically there’s an understanding that everyone involved would try to make it work, no matter where anyone ends up.
The short-term goal? At least two songs released by this summer. The long-term goal? A full-length album.
In the meantime, Gallucci spends his time racking up knowledge and experience from working at WSOU. Glancing down at his monogrammed holder, he talks about how much he’s learned about the music industry. Like how not to get your song played on the radio, and the diverse music scene in New Jersey. He’s already mapped out how his experience working at the station can possibly help the band link with other venues and artists, because to Gallucci the band is more than just a hobby.
“My first real concert was the summer of 2016,” he said. “When the confetti’s falling at the end of the last song I don’t think I’d ever felt more electrified and more alive at any point in my life.”
That electric feeling is the reason Gallucci fell in love with live music. It is the reason he’s determined to keep doing it after college.
“Even if I never get quite famous, it’s worth reaching for,” said Gallucci. “There’s no reason not to.”

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