Waukee High School ● Online Newspaper

I’m with the Band

‘I want to be in a rock band’ is a common answer from young children when asked the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” This dream often loses its luster once a person realizes that they do not want to put in the effort to learn a new instrument or put hours into practicing. A handful of students at Waukee High School, however, have managed to hold on to that dream and make their hopes of being in a rock band become a reality.

Juniors Max Wiltse and Rohan Brahmarouthu, the drummer and guitarist from After the Break

Two Waukee Juniors, Max Wiltse and Rohan Brahmarouthu, are half of a band called After the Break. Though they are not as active as they once were, they have been together for four years and still enjoy making music together. Wiltse plays the drum set in the band and was inspired by his mom to pursue music. “When she was in high school, she was a drummer as well, and it just runs in the blood now. I actually use her snare drum that she had when she played in high school,” stated Wiltse.

Brahmarouthu, who plays electric guitar, also started when he was young and has been shredding ever since. He recalled,“I got started playing guitar when I was 11 because a couple of my friends were doing it and I thought it was super cool.” Brahmarouthu elaborated on what he enjoys most about the band,“My favorite part about playing in a band [is] getting to spend time with my friends and make music.” Wiltse agreed, and stated, “I know it’s super cliche, but it’s true. There is nothing that compares to playing music with others.” After the Break plays for fun and has been featured at events such as the Des Moines Marathon and Waukee’s After Prom. Both Wiltse and Brahmarouthu enjoy being in a band, but say there are factors they wish more people knew. “It’s honestly a lot of hard work. It’s harder than people think to be able to play well together with other people,” Wiltse stated. Brahmarouthu felt the same and added that it at times can get overwhelming. “Being in a band is fun, but it can be so stressful and can really test your friendships.”

Say it ain't so

This is us at Dangerfest playing a cover of Weezer's Say it ain't so

Posted by After the Break on Monday, August 10, 2015

Other members: Sean Gabrielson (Guitar and Vocals) & Liam Roush (Bass)

Dylan Smith, a Waukee Senior, is the bass player of a newer band called Free the Animals (a working title). This band has five members including Sophomore,Chris Yates, on drums. Smith is no stranger to being in a band, as he has played in others, but says that this new one is focusing on a different genre of music. “We are focusing mainly on pop punk music and playing covers.” Unlike Wiltse and Brahmarouthu, Smith did not start playing until later in life. “I wanted to play guitar for a long time, but didn’t start until four years ago. I was inspired to play guitar through bands like Nirvana and Green Day. About a year ago, I decided to start playing bass because of the similarities between the guitar and bass.”

Sophomore Chris Yates, drummer from Free the Animals

Yates, however, claims this is something he’s wanted to do for a while. “I like playing in [a band] because it’s really laid back. We’re just playing music.” Yates also added that, similar to Wilste, he got his passions from a parent. “I can’t really remember when I started playing but it’s been a long time. My dad has played forever and he taught me basic stuff when I was in like third grade.” Although Free the Animals currently plays for fun, they hope to start playing gigs in the near future. Smith wishes that others knew how hard it is to actually start a band. “Before starting to practice, everyone needs to be on the same page with what the band is going to be. Everyone needs to work together and learn their parts. It can be really difficult to jam with others, but in the end, it’s really fun.” Yates, on the other hand, wishes people knew how talented they are as a group. “I guess I’d want people to know that we’re pretty good.”

Other members: Ethan Adato (rhythm guitar), Cameron Wolff (lead guitar), and Gabe Gammell(vocals).

Being in a band is a difficult feat that not many can claim. It takes a lot of work outside of school to make a band become something successful, but the end result can be something incredible. It is no doubt that these band members–whether guitarists, drummers, bassists, or singers– are passionate about what they do and have a lot of fun doing it.


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