Student band records in unconventional settings

Jameson Filston, Campus Carrier Arts & Living Editor

Cannon Rogers (left), Alex Hodges and Lewis Denver play at Cevian Design on Saturday. CannonandtheBoxes plans to play many more gigs this summer.

Many students at Berry perform music, but there is a band that has been performing together since they were in school.

Freshman Alex Hodges is bass player for CannonandtheBoxes. The original duo of the band was Cannon Rogers, a senior at Rome High School. The two have known each other for their whole lives because their parents met at Berry. 

They have been playing together for years, but really began to get serious in 2016. Rogers said that he began to get into lo-fi music and bedroom recording and enlisted Hodges to record an album with him. They did not have a full band, but they had a drum machine and a 4 track cassette recorder. These were the “boxes” that ended up in the band name. They released their first EP that year, recorded on the cassette recorder in Rogers’ bedroom. They both went to Rome High School at the time.

The first EP was distributed on tapes, but they later loaded it on SoundCloud, then started to utilize iTunes and Spotify. They spread the word of their releases by word-of-mouth and social media.

The dynamic of the band has changed since Hodges came to Berry. They have found it more difficult to get together and practice, but things have also changed in positive ways. Hodges is a music major and has been able to become better as a musician. He thinks that Rogers has also developed as a lyric writer on his own.

“When we come together it’s even better than high school,” Hodges said. “In high school you are still trying to figure things out.”

Rogers has also enjoyed seeing the band develop as they have played. He likes how people with different tastes in music came together to create music and grow together. 

“It’s always fun to play other people as opposed to weird robot machines,” Rogers said.

The bande also gained new members in the last year. Freshman Lewis Denver is a recent addition to the band and lead guitarist. He came in contact with Alex’s roommate and was invited to join the band after jamming with Alex. He said that he had been part of bands in high school that were not very motivated. Denver is from Birmingham, Ala., and said that the bands there got more exposure, but many didn’t put much effort into getting better. He said that he appreciates how driven the other members of CannonandtheBoxs are, especially Rogers.

“I was in a band in Birmingham and the lead singer wouldn’t show up to practice,” Denver said. “Cannon seems to get things moving.”

Both Hodges and Denver said that Rogers was independent and motivated. He writes lyrics and gets gigs at a fast pace. 

The Band looks for gigs around Rome, and play in places like Schroeder’s and at release parties. They get more gigs in the summer but try to play together and apart throughout the year. The last gig that the band did together was at Cevian Design Lab last Thursday. They are hoping to do a mini-tour this summer in Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia. They plan to visit places where they have friends.

The future of the band is uncertain. The members may split as they go their separate ways. However, Rogers is confident they will be able to continue to make music together because of digital connections. Even if that doesn’t work out, members have other things they can do if they cannot play together.

“There are always places to play if you know people,” Hodges said.

The Band recorded a session on Saturday in Denver’s room in the style of Tiny Desk sessions. Both Denver and Hodges like the recording process, but Hodges’ favorite part of his experience with the band is playing in front of a crowd. 

“Any time I stand playing bass on a stage really loud is an experience I find a lot of joy in,” Hodges said.

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