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.