Small band, small college, big success

Anna Veltkamp- Staff Writer

“Hey Henry, wanna start a band?”

A simple question, but the answer “Yeah” has resulted in an unexpected amount of success. The members of The Aircraft—freshman Joseph Bartels, sophomore Kyle Gaines and freshman Henry Rynders—say they did not expect to receive such a warm welcome at their debut performance on Tuesday night, Nov. 21.

When asked why The Aircraft was started, Bartels answered, “We wanted to have a three-piece rock band,” to which Rynders added, “[that] made something new.” They had decided to take a step back from the Yetis and get in touch with a purer sound—something that was easier done with fewer members.

“If we did have two guitarists, and a bassist, and a synth player, then you kinda feel like you need to include them in the songs or else it’s like they’re not really in the band. [We] just thought it’d be good to start with three and if we need additional stuff, we can take on more help,” Bartels said. They made use of collaborations early on in the performance when Ray Badudu and Brett Randolph joined The Aircraft on stage Tuesday night to perform their song “Lydia”.

“About starting a band…I think you kinda meet people, and then you realize you have similar creative ideas, and then you…you just go for it,” says Rynders. All three agreed that the most difficult part for them was, simply, the process of discovering their band name. Finding people with similar interests is also key—The Aircraft explained that their love of music was what initially brought them together, rather than a desire to just start a band. “It’s just easy to meet people here, and there’s lots of musically talented people,” says Rynders, with Bartels’ agreement. “That is true; we have a higher percentage of people here.”

In regards to showcasing their style at a college like Dordt, The Aircraft says it can be a difficult, but good, opportunity. Gaines said, “I think it’s a good change of pace,” and Rynders explaining that he “think[s] people aren’t doing what we’re doing, so it’s a good change.”

The guys say that on a relatively small campus like Dordt, a typical audience is comprised of people who are genuinely curious and interested in what musicians have to offer, as well as people who are simply there for the live music. Gaines, speaking for the band, believes that the different style in their music helps draw a crowd: “[it] intrigues people not used to hearing it.”

Still, The Aircraft says that being a small band on a small campus is a lot of added pressure. They might be all there is to see as far as live music goes, but along with that is the pressure to do well. They seemed to have succeeded, having sold out of the CDs of their album on their Tuesday night performance. Music is in the making, and another Aircraft album is on the way, with future performances very likely to occur.

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