Batavia’s music scene is growing quickly; five groups comprised entirely of BHS students have surfaced over the past six months. These Batavian artists have collectively changed the face of the city’s music scene, one that was long overdue said Kyle Wenzel, lead guitarist of Mount Bungalow, a four-piece rock group of Batavia seniors.
“There really haven’t been any shows worth going to around here when you think about it” said Wenzel.
While only being together for a few short months, Wenzel’s band has established a name for itself by playing Chicago’s historic House of Blues. With an upcoming CD-release show at Kiss the Sky in Batavia on April 25, Mount Bungalow will set out to end Batavia’s concert drought.
Behind the Mt. Bungalow’s drums sits Calvin Chapman, and while his beat-laying is a relatively new occupation, Chapman has been contributing to Batavia’s musical output all by himself for some time.
“I just felt like I had these ideas in my head that I wanted to carry out by myself, so I thought… what the heck, right?” Chapman said.
Using a self-built basement studio, Chapman recorded, mixed, and released his debut solo album entitled Wild Lies this past winter. The album showcases his vocal and instrumental talents on self-produced tracks that are free of any drums beats, a bold and ironic characteristic of an artist that now finds himself regularly behind a drum kit.
Chapman isn’t the only one taking the one-man-band approach in the studio. Set to release their debut album later this month, Fourth, a progressive rock band made up of four BHS juniors, delegate all of their recording to a single member, Aaron Viland.
“It’s kind of like a Tame Impala situation for us right now” says guitarist Aidan Cada. “Aaron lays all the stuff down and mixes it, then we breathe the full band energy into the songs when we play live.”
While their current method is allowing them a product to market to fans, Fourth hope to capture that energy in future recordings.
“We’re talking right now about a little more of a live recording process, getting the full band into the studio together,” Cada said.
Perhaps the most compelling terms that Batavia’s recent musical outburst has been put into are those of Matt Guido, drummer of bedroom trip-hop group The Stoop Kids.
“When you watch interviews of artists that came out of great scenes, like 90s LA hip-hop, 2000s New York indie, those types of scenes, what you see is the artists are just ecstatic about the quantity and quality of the creativity around them.” Guido said. “That’s where we’re all at right now, we’re ecstatic.”