Students navigate the music industry

HILLARY HETRICK, @hillarymhetrick

A crucial and often difficult part of student life is figuring out how to balance coursework (and for many, career) with hobbies. For Los Medanos College music and recording arts students, the task is often extra challenging as music represents all three for them. 

LMC student Mikael Ja’Hon Moore, from the band 3am Tomorrow, spoke about his experience being in a band while juggling a busy college schedule.

“We usually perform within the Bay Area [in] San Francisco and Oakland,” said Moore. “We throw our own house shows as a… way to keep performing often.”

Though Moore enjoys making and performing music, he’s found it hard to balance school with his passion. He and his bandmates were supposed to put out an album recently, but ran into scheduling conflicts.

“[The] semester kicks in and schedules changed, so we settled on an E.P. that we recorded but never released,” said Moore. The E.P. is titled “Hiatus.”

Before Moore formed 3am Tomorrow, he played in other bands and at home with his family. For him, playing music is a comfort zone. 3am Tomorrow, he said, “gives [me] that like-family feeling again.”

For those seeking to form a band, Moore encourages them to find people who are equally as passionate.

“Several bands break apart because of lack of passion,” said Moore.  

He and his fellow bandmates, drummer Victor Slagle, guitarist Abraham Quecan and bassist Darren Meyers have all found passion in playing what they call “funk rock” according to Slagle.

“Initially… it was a fun way to socialize and build relationships with the members,” said Slagle. “More recently I’ve viewed it as a way to gain valuable experience… A crucial part of being a good musician is being able to play with others.”

The band had the opportunity to perform at LMC’s End of Summer Bash, organized by Recording Arts major Julia Steele, earlier this semester. Steele herself used to be in a band, but has since moved on as a solo artist.

“A lot of people are independent music makers such as myself,” said Steele. “You don’t have to be in a band to publish an album.”

Steele plans to release an album at the end of the year.

“It’s a lot easier for people to record albums in their own homes, but a lot of people don’t have the knowledge to mix radio-ready recordings,” said Steele.

However, the solo artist has gained great insight through LMC’s very own recording arts program. Steele advises those wanting to record their own album to take at least one recording arts course.

“I finished the recording arts program at LMC and it’s the best decision I have ever made,” said Steele.