By Ariana Albarella
Music plays a large role in the life of junior history major Nick Santangelo. Since he was young, he was been surrounding himself with the art form.
“Since I can remember, music has been in my life,” Santangelo said. “I have been listening to a plethora of different artists trying to incorporate as much of it into my style.”
Santangelo took his influences and passion for music and formed a band with his friends in 2005.
Stonehaven consists of Santangelo on drums, lead singer and guitarist Mat Hause, and lead guitarist Alec Sye. The band has gone through several transitioning periods, gaining and losing various members, before finally becoming what it is today.
“By 2012, we had found our musical writing style, settled on the name Stonehaven, and looked to play as many shows as time allotted us for,” he said. “My band was quintessentially formed by a group of friends who wanted to be in a band or learn music.”
The band members write their own music, each contributing a different part to the process. Sye, according to Santangelo, writes “a good 85 percent” of the music while Hause focuses on additional riffs and vocals. Santangelo writes his own drum parts for the songs.
“The most group work we do is when we jam out the songs and find if we like the skeleton of the song,” Santangelo said. “It can be difficult, but the end product is so worth it.”
Though Stonehaven still plays live as much as possible, Santangelo said that, as of right now, performances are not frequent.
“The band has not been the most active in the live New Jersey/Pennsylvania circuit as we have no bassist,” he said. “That is a main goal of ours, to find a bassist, so if anyone knows somebody, get in contact with us.”
Santangelo considers playing in a band with his friends and expressing himself via performing all while connecting with an audience to be among his favorite parts of the experience.
“It’s a lot of positivity and creativity all at once,” Santangelo said. “It’s the greatest feeling in the world.”
Those interested can see Stonehaven perform on Dec. 27 at the 5th annual Elephant Talk Indie Music Awards at the Le Grand Fromage in Atlantic City. The band is up for best local performance of the year, best hard-rock act, and best live act. Sye is nominated for best local guitar. Hause is nominated for best local guitar and best local musician of the year. Santangelo is nominated for best local drums.
A major way to convince their audience to listen is to let the band’s music do the talking, Santangelo said.
“Take a risk and come out and watch us play,” Santangelo said. “If you don’t dig it, no sweat, but if you do, be on the lookout as much more music is on the way.”
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