You Got the Message is a band consisting of the students Brady Ketarkus, Bennett Harper, Mary Jane Bauer, John Pope, Isaac Levinstien, Griff Johnson, Gena Dockry, Batool Nafid, and Eddie Z. They recently released their first album, Kids, and I got the opportunity to interview two of their members; Brady Ketarkus, the lead singer, and Bennett Harper, who plays multiple instruments for their band.
Q: What was your inspiration for starting?
A: In middle school, their band teacher would let them jam in the band room during lunch, and the group came together from there.
Q: What’s your favorite part of the band, and which of your released songs do you like best?
Bennett: “I really like just listening to the band play, and my favorite song is probably T-Minus.”
Brady: “Performing is a lot of fun. My favorite song is definitely Marceline.”
Q: What is your songwriting process?
Bennett: “I don’t really write lyrics much. But I’ll sit down at the piano and come up with a general melody, typically through chords (Brady: He’s great at chords). Then, I’ll think about and expand on one line.”
Brady: “I never turn poetry into songs. I just think it’s odd to do that. I’ll usually have a vibe that I base the song on and make some lyrics following that. I also rarely hide the meaning of the song; it’s pretty easy to tell what it’s about.”
Q: As an example; what is the meaning of your song, Kids?
Brady: “I was reflecting on how I felt when I was a kid, and just thinking about how I can’t wait to feel that way again.”
Q: Do you have any advice for other people hoping to start a band?
Brady: “The main thing is knowing what you’re going to be doing. Looking for and understanding what type of music you’re interested in playing is a big part of it. Compare yourself to what you want to sound like, and if you know you can’t do something, work on it.”
Bennett: “Know what you want to do. If you want to release, research that. If you want to perform, then focus on that. Do something that you’re confident in and know that you’re good at.”
By Grace Runo