Editor's note: Everyone's favorite band came from somewhere. That's why supporting regional music is so important. Welcome to the Sound Lab, where we will be showcasing a regional artist or band once a month in the Lebanon Daily News and on FlipSidePA.com. The bands will be performing an acoustic-like set at Lebanon Valley College thanks to Vale Music Group. Up first is "November Lounge." Here's a little bit about the band, and be sure to check out their music on Wednesday on FlipSidePA.com. Cheers - Michael Waterloo.
Not many college students can say they’ve formed a band that already has a short album coming out after four months of existence. For one young, newly-formed band at Lebanon Valley College, that’s exactly the case. Now the band is looking to grow from this experience.
The band “November Lounge” consists of Aaron Abercrombie (vocals/guitar), Alex Rubin (drums) and Zach Washko (bass) has an Extended Play (EP), which is a short album of four to six songs, coming out April 23, after forming the band only four months ago.
The album opportunity came after the band signed a one-year contract with VALE Records, which is a student-run branch of VALE Music Group, LLC, located within LVC.
“We submitted a video and they selected three artists to play a showcase. And in the showcase they, had a Twitter poll to see what bands they liked, and we got picked. We then were offered a contract, and we read and signed it,” Abercrombie said. “It’s been really awesome to learn how to deal with the label and things to look for when signing because there are a few things we wish we could’ve changed, without having the risks of a real-life scenario because it’s a student label. Their production team was absolutely fantastic, and it gave us a label we’re absolutely happy with.”
The roots of the band first started with a simple jam session, like most bands are typically formed.
“It started off as Alex and I. We were jamming for a while, and we met Zach and just asked him to play with us,” Abercrombie said. “Then we played at open mic, and it felt like a pretty good fit so we just kept it going.”
All three musicians do bring previous band experience. Washko, who started playing bass when he was 13 and saxophone when he was eight, is also in the band, “Pecan Sandies,” while Abercrombie, who’s been playing guitar since he was 16, and only started singing seriously about a year ago, and Rubin, who’s been playing drums since he was 13, were involved in the band, “The No Wheres” for about a year before things broke off.
“We still wanted to play which is when we went looking for Zach,” Abercrombie said.
All three band members are music recording technology students at LVC – Abercrombie and Rubin are juniors and Washko is a sophomore.
But the way they formed their jazz/rock genre is truly unique – applying what they learned from their school’s music program.
“The only thing to really study besides classical music is jazz, so we’ve been using that,” Abercrombie said. “We started writing music geared toward our location. We just wrote really soft, easy listening kind of music. We like the kind of music where you can play it anywhere at any venue and have it be appropriate.”
And the message “November Lounge” looks to spread every time they hit the stage is also rather simple.
“I think we kind of have a feel good kind of sound. We just like making people happy. It’s one of our biggest goals,” Abercrombie said. “People comment on how it seems like we’re connected. We’re not just playing a show. That ends up being transparent in a lot of our shows.”
But before they know it, Abercrombie, Rubin and Washko will be split up once graduation comes around for Abercrombie and Rubin. However, they’ll still look to continue to stay together and progress as a band.
“We like to set goals kind of short term because it’s almost impossible to set long-term goals in the music industry first of all,” Abercrombie said. “We really don’t know where we’ll end up after graduation. Alex (Rubin) and I are trying to find internships so we can play together so we can continue to progress. But the goal is try and make things work and continue to play together because the most fun I’ve had playing music is with these guys.”
In the meantime, you could be seeing “November Lounge” playing gigs more often, and maybe not just only in Pennsylvania.
“I want to get the EP out and get that concrete music out-we want to show people what we’re capable of, and that will come with getting more shows,” Abercrombie said. “We’re also hoping to take a week or two to play along the Jersey shore and play at some of the beach restaurants.”
The next opportunity to see “November Lounge” is Saturday, April 23 in the Arnold Sports Center, as part of LVC’s “Valley Fest”. Along with the band, artists Aaron Carter and Jon Bellion will also perform. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show begins at 8 p.m.
You can also find more information about the band and what they have coming up on their Facebook page.