A group of three Tau Kappa Epsilon [TKE] brothers banded together in a brotherhood of their own in the form of the rock band Grey Haven this past year, and have since been shredding together, both on the Keene State College campus and in basements around town.
According to guitarist Ricky Pelchar, joining the TKE fraternity brought the three of them together. Pelchar said, “Joe and [I] met first semester freshman year through mutual friends, started playing shows together as a bass and guitar duo, joining TKE at the same time. Sophomore year, Mike [Holahan]came into the picture, after joining TKE himself we started playing shows the second half of the year and we’ve just grown as a band since then.”
Consisting of Pelchar on guitar and vocals, Joe Sansone on bass guitar and vocals and Mike Holahan on drums, all three are juniors at KSC. The band formed after Pelchar filled in on vocals with another local band Mabel Brown Room [MBR] in Holloway Hall. Sansone said he was a member of MBR at the time and knew him through living in the same dorm, according to Pelchar.
“Shortly after that Joe and I went our own way and formed a proto Gray Haven band. After a few months we met Mike and heard he was a kick-a** drummer, so we asked him to join and finalized our lineup,” Pelchar said, “We all really wanted to be in a band, and it turns out that we’re all really good friends, and we’ve just been trying to make music and have a good time doing it.”
Sansone said that all three started playing in middle school, though it wasn’t a perfect fit at first.
Holahan said, “I started playing snare drum in middle school. I originally didn’t take to drums immediately, I gave it up for a couple years until I picked it back up in highschool and got my own drumset.”
Grey Haven’s most recent show this past Saturday at a local show house showed them in top form. Playing a set consisting of a mixture of covers and originals, they eagerly powered through their half hour set.
Holahan said, “I feel that to limit [our] influences to a particular genre, or category or bands, would in turn limit our sound and make it less unique and personal.”
Though playing covers from bands like the White Stripes, Nirvana and The Clash, Pelchar cited Green Day, Black Sabbath, Dinosaur Jr. and Madonna and Sansone cited The Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The FrontBottoms, Four Year Strong, A Great Big Pile of Leaves as some of their influences.
Senior Joseph Geis, who saw them play this past Saturday, said, “I feel like they were really able to incorporate a lot of different genres into the covers they performed…they didn’t sound like an exact copy, but more their own.”
This mixture of influence, and reluctance to constrain their sound is clear in their original music, which they plan the record and release as an EP before the school’s semester ends.
The EP is tentatively titled, “Tripping at the Petting Zoo.”
Pelchar concluded with “keep your eyes peeled…we’re working on playing some house [shows]…and we’re always on the lookout for on campus events.”
Matt Bacon can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org