After playing numerous house shows throughout State College since November 2021, members of local band No Thanks have stood out from other bands in the area because they’re “very improvisational,” bassist Ryan “Weastie” said. West.
“Every time we play, we play the same songs, but they’re different every time. For most of our songs, [guitarist] Eamonn [Powers] doesn’t write any lead guitar parts,” said Weastie (senior IT).
Weastie said Powers plays “how he feels in the moment”.
“We have the games planned out in advance, but the way we play them live is really based on the feel and that little synergy that we’ve built between ourselves,” he said.
Each of the members describes their music slightly differently, singer Alex Lewis said.
“I always called it psychedelic country punk,” Lewis said.
The band plays in a unique way that’s hard to label, Weastie said.
“There certainly isn’t a single word that describes our gender,” he said. “Our songs all sound similar, but from song to song, it’s obviously not the same band.”
Additionally, none of the No Thanks members listen to the same kind of music, Weastie said.
“Our styles are all very different,” Weastie said. “If I list my 10 favorite songs, I don’t think Eamonn knows a single one. We all have very different influences, but somehow when we came together, our sounds kind of worked. i don’t know how to describe [it]; they just do.
Weastie said that while the members could eventually record their music, they would rather focus on writing more music and streaming live shows.
“Something the magnitude of which non-musicians don’t understand is that we can play a song live 12 times, but recording it makes it a lot harder,” he said. “Recording a song just isn’t that easy, and it’s hard enough for us to find the time to practice together. We realized that we prefer to spend whatever time we have practicing our songs and writing new songs.
No Thanks prefers playing originals over playing covers and has only ever played two covers, said drummer Eric Folmar.
“There is no kind of pressure to play [an original] correctly because there is no definition of correct. That’s what you define as being in this song,” said Folmar (senior mechanical engineering). “You can be much more spontaneous, organic [and] natural when you’re actually playing…the only good thing about playing covers is that people know about them. So you just have to get people to know your songs.
Lewis said the members decided on the group’s name after Weastie sent a list of names to their group chat.
” A lot of [names] were just ridiculous,” Lewis said. “My favorite – I’ll never let the fact that we didn’t use that name go down – is ‘Wait, I’m eating mustard’. No thanks was just one of the ones on the list, and we were all like, ‘Well, this one’s understated, the least ridiculous but also still a good name.’ It’s also really funny when people are like, ‘What’s your band called?’ and you answer “No thanks”.
Guitarist Brody Weiss said that although the band was always intended to be short-lived, each of the members had fun growing from their experiences.
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“Although the group was temporary from the start, it’s always great to look back at how we’ve all progressed since our first practice together,” Weiss (junior-biobehavioral health) said. “Our styles have all changed, but they haven’t. We just added more elements to the things we were already doing on our own. When we were able to find ways to bring all of these confusing elements together, we ended up with something that was uniquely ours. »
Lewis said their favorite part of playing music was being with their friends.
“Personally, I really like having the energy of a group of friends, but also that they’re incredibly talented and creative people and being able to pull something together to the point where the audience is fully into it,” they said. they stated. “We haven’t recorded anything, but people are still learning the lyrics because they’re always in the front row. It’s so fun to watch others enjoy what you do while you have fun with your frequent good friends.
Weiss said one of his favorite memories of concerts was the energy emanating from the audience, especially when people were chanting the band members’ names.
“I remember before our first set at [one house], I was really nervous about playing,” Weiss said. “As I was walking down the stairs I just heard the chants getting really loud. I don’t know how they started so many of them. It was amazing.”
Although the members are no longer playing shows as No Thanks, they are still likely to form a different group in the future, Weastie said.
“We formed on such a whim. All of our songs are made up and random all the time. [It was] just pure chaotic energy from us. But we had a great time, and as far as we knew, people liked us,” Weastie said. “Brody and I will definitely both be here next year, even though I’m graduating…so there’s no way we won’t be in a band next year.”
Folmar said he always wanted to play with others.
“I never want to stop playing music with people,” Folmar said. “One of the things that makes music so unique is the connection you have with others while you play. So I’m always going to look for people to play with… maybe instead of No thanks, we’ll be Yes please.
A performance of No Thanks can be viewed here.
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