By Jessica Marshall
After the ‘thanks for coming, we’ll be in touch’ concluded, Jake Filasky and Ben Ciucci emerged from the audition room in 2007 with a new thought in mind, starting their own group called Centuries in the Sky.

Centuries in the Sky is a pop-rock band consisting of five friends: Jake Filasky, vocals; Ben Ciucci, bass; Andrew Cain, drums, Benny Davidson, guitar; and Andrew Parks, guitar.

All bands, no matter what the circumstances, begin somewhere. For Centuries in the Sky, friendship was an essential key in their formation.

“My band came from my best friend, Ben, and I meeting each other after auditioning for a band when we were in 10th grade,” Filasky said. “We knew what we wanted to do but couldn’t find the right people. Then eventually 3 years later we found the people that truly meshed well with our goals and friendship.”

A key factor in being involved in a band is a love for music. All five members of this group share a passion for music.

“To me, music is a lot of different things. But for the band I was in, music was about our friendship and the fun we shared,” Filasky said. “But I think music, in some shape or form, is always from a place that is either dissatisfied and tells how the artist would like the world to be.”

After numerous band practices and playing in each other’s garages, Centuries in the Sky hit local stages such as The Canal Club and Alley Catz. Mixed feelings and experiences came with the first time in front of an audience.

“Being on stage takes some getting used to. But I always said once you’re used to the first row, it’s a lot less stressful,” Filasky said.

Being in a band with a group of friends can lead to unlimited memories, some good and some bad. Often, one in particular will stand out. For Filasky, one memory that stands out the most is accompanied by the loss of a loved one.

“My best memory would probably be my band’s first real show with our solid line up. It was just two days after my brother died but my brother played such an influence on showing me music that it helped me connect with his passing,” Filasky said. “Also in June we opened for Cartel, who is one of the biggest influences on us. It was such a great time and gave us great exposure. And it really showed us that hard work pays off.”

Careers in the music industry are deemed hard to come by. For Centuries in the Sky, they are perfectly fine playing local shows and hope that it continues that way.

“I used to consider it to be a career but now it’s just a hobby. I think everyone should completely love what they do especially if it’s a career. I think people that want to make music their lives should take the time to study music theory and always want to progress as a musician,” Filasky said. “I was more into the poetic side, and the music industry over time just turned me off because of the lack of integrity of music itself. It’s all become an industry of cool, which I don’t stand for and I know my band couldn’t change that.”

Although Centuries in the Sky is well established, they are not alone. No Signal is a local metal/post-hardcore/rock band consists of sophomore Mark Roberts, bass; Patrick Burley, guitar, senior Richard Bailey; guitar; 2010 graduate Johnny O’Donnell, vocals; and freshman Connor Livesay, drums.

For No Signal, their formation differed from Centuries in the Sky. This band came together by friendship and luck.

“Well it started out as our drummer, bass player and two friends, and the lineup changed after our drummer called two of his friends from Chester,” Roberts said. “After they came, right from the start we knew it was meant to be. After a while, we decided to part ways with our original vocalist, and brought in our current one, and from then, it’s been chemistry all the way.”

To No Signal, music also means a great deal.

“Music is everything to me. Music is my thing. I don’t go to sports for practice, I go to band practice. Music is constantly in my mind, and it is there when I’m mad, sad, happy or just content,” Burley said.

When hitting local venues in such as the Canal Club, Alley Catz, The ROC, and even the Crosspoint Church in Lynchburg, Burley says that being on the stage compares to no other.

“It’s just amazing, there’s no other feeling in the world, and no money can buy the feeling of playing the music you wrote on stage,” Burley said.

Ideas and feelings about a big career in music has No Signal divided. While some members want a big career, others just enjoy it as a hobby.

“Not in the least bit would I consider it a career. It’s a fun thing to do and something to keep me occupied, if we hit it big, well then I’m happy for us,” Roberts said.

As local bands, Centuries in the Sky and No Signal both have their fair share of fans. The two groups greatly appreciate their audience and support.

“To me anyone that takes the time to listen to us whether they like what they heard or not are awesome,” Filasky said. “People that make it to shows are really great. And I especially like a fan that isn’t afraid to give us constructive criticism. It helps us keep an eye for what to work on.”

As a fan of local bands, junior Amanda Crawford believes that fan support is vital to a band’s success.

“Bands have to start somewhere. And local bands always have the support of their friends and fans if nothing else,” Crawford said. “I give all my support and heart to the bands that are doing what they are doing.”

Being in a band comes with many ups and downs. But with a love of music, best friends, and fan support, Filasky cherishes every moment of it.

“Being in a band feels great. It’s you and your best friends creating a soundtrack for your friendship and showing everyone how much fun you’re having in the process,” Filasky said.

13 COMMENTS

  1. I think this is a pretty good article. It shows the passion people have for music, and I think it’s a great way to get people to read the newspaper and learn about something that might interest them. It is also a great way to get the bands known with students so they could possibly gain more fans. It might have been more relevant to PG if the main band focused on was No Signal instead.

  2. I’m impressed by the members of these two bands. It takes alot of courage to and talent to write songs that people will enjoy hearing and that the band will enjoy playing infront of an audience. I like how this article tells us a little about the band, becasue not alot of people know how “their favorite band” started so having a little back story makes it seem like they are people like you and I, not an inaminate object that projects sound into a microphone.

  3. I have great respect for anyone who is brave enough to go on stage and play something that he/she/they wrote, despite the fact that they could be completely rejected by everyone there. I play guitar occasionally in my spare time, but I would never play it on stage because I am no where near good enough. It takes much dedication and time to become good at playing an instrument, and that much more to create chemistry with a band. No matter what genre, I support any band with members from PG.

  4. I give a lot of credit to members of each band. Their dedication, hard work, and love shows that dreams can be accomplished just have to take it one step at a time. I’m pretty sure PG will support No Signal more now because they have been exposed by this article. I support them for wanting to do something beyond the county and anyone who wants to do that is good in my book.

  5. I think it’s great that our school newspaper is taking the initiative to bring attention to some of the local bands in the PG area. Every band has to start somewhere, and now we can all say we knew them before they got famous.

  6. I agree with Tessa. I like that our school is making an effort to involve bands. I feel ilke you always see on TV that highschool has a these cool bands, but that’s not reality. I think our school is really making an effort to have them known.

  7. I’m really impressed by the dedication of members in bands. It’s really admirable how someone can love music so much and practice every day and never grow tired of it. It’s great that they have found a passion, and that they can express it while hanging out with their friends.

  8. Both of these bands seem to have a lot of passion for what they do. Just having the guts to get up on stage is enough to impress me. I like that the school paper included this article because I, like many of my peers, enjoy local shows and like to learn about new bands in the area.

  9. One of the best feelings is the anticipation right before walking out on stage. Everyone is excited and ready to play as hard as they can. Then they walk out and look over the audience as they start cheering, and it is just a euphoric experience. Good luck to our local bands and have a great time playing music.

  10. Its great that they know what they want and they are willing to work for it. What is even better is that they stand on the basis of integrity and he isnt willing to compromise that.

  11. Friendship establishes a lot of things and a band is just one example out of countless others. It takes a lot of courage to go up on a stage and perform music especially if you have great anxiety and think and know that there are greater people out there. I applaud that kind of courage.

  12. I really like that you talked to two different bands and some fans. Its definitely interesting to hear about these people that are working hard to do what they love. It would be cool to see where they are i few years from now and if they still play.

  13. I think this was an interesting article. I had not heard of Centuries in the Sky before, but I do know of No Signal. I remember when they first got together and they really have come along way since then.

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