Living a Double Life: Amateur Musicians juggle school and music

By Justin D'Andrea
October 25, 2011

Christian Lamb, Patrick West, and David Muss, make up the band Under Eternal Skies, which was formed Fall 2010.

“Five minutes to showtime.” A phrase any musician is excited to hear as they know they are sharing the joy of their music with an audience.

Two aspiring musical talents attend Cabrini during the day and mold a band at night in West Residence Hall.

Patrick West, junior information systems majors, lead on drums and Christian Lamb, junior communication major, guitarist, are in the process of building their band, Under Eternal Skies, learning music and staying on top of their school work.

Trying to become a professional musician takes years of dedication, hard,  honest work and striving to get your name to the public.  Trying to make it through college meets the same standards. The band struggles with focusing on becoming big in the music industry and completing their school work.

Each story from the musicians are different. They all found themselves at Cabrini for different reasons but were joined together by the bond of music.

West wants to see where his music career takes him, but chose Cabrini as a security blanket. West chose not to attend Rowan University for a music degree because he didn’t know what he wanted to do with the rest of his life and wanted to broaden his horizon.

West began playing drums at age 13, and now works with Under Eternal Skies, a hard rock/metal band, and Heaven at Night, an alternative acoustic band and the campus ministry band.

“It’s hard but it’s all about managing time wisely,” West said. Although it’s hard to schedule both school and band practice, he has had very little problems with managing his time.

Lamb, the founder of Under Eternal Skies, was not as keen with pursuing music as his profession.

Lamb wanted to be like his father, Stephan Lamb, an accomplished jazz guitarist who attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, Ma.  After being introduced to music by his father at age 11, Lamb picked up a fender Stratocaster guitar to learn a few chords, and was not able to make the chords ring out harmoniously. He became discouraged and gave up music for three years.

At age 14, Lamb was rifling through his older sister’s CD collection and came across the Nirvana CD “In Utero.”  Nirvana’s lead singer, Kurt Cobain became Lamb’s role model after listening to this CD, and from that day on he self-taught himself how to play the guitar.

In Fall 2009, Lamb decided not to go Berklee College of Music and attended Cabrini because of its small class sizes and serene campus.  Lamb did not want to give up on his music career so in Fall 2010, he met other musicians and formed the band.

Lamb admitted for a while his grades were suffering from all the time spent in the band but he eventually found ways to manage his time.

“It was a Motley Crue for sure, but we are dedicated in our mission to one day get signed by a record label,” Lamb said.

Under Eternal Skies has been a band for little more than a year and has had West as their drummer since day one.

“Keeping band chemistry is the hardest becuase everyone has to have the same mindset; I have full respect toward my band mates,” West said.

Heaven At Night, West’s other band, was  formed earlier this month. The band consists of two members: West on drums and sophomore communication major Matt Juliano plays the acoustic guitar.

“I love playing drums in both bands and don’t care about using my free time away from school to try and get noticed as a musician,” West said.  The band has yet to play a show.

The musically-talented West also helps with the weekly mass at Cabrini, by playing the drums.

It takes more than having good music for a band to get noticed.  West takes time with Juliano to manage their band’s facebook page in an effort to put his music out there and get noticed.

Heaven At Night has 69 “likes” on Facebook.

“Social media is a way serious artists try to get noticed and to get their songs recorded, to sound better and be clearer,” West said.

Although Under Eternal Skies lost two vocalists, the members in the band have kept their heads high and are up for any tryouts for a lead vocalist.

“When the band gets a little more well-known by the campus, I want to start creating merchandise such as t-shirts, in hopes of promotes the band,” Lamb said.

Lamb works the Under Eternal Skies Facebook page and also their YouTube videos.

West and Lamb are both extremely passionate about music and are in favor of turning pro if they were ever signed. For now, school comes first. Music is their love but is a very close second on their priority list.

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Justin D'Andrea

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