October 25, 2004

Seniors love their Two-Car Garage
By Canyon Cody
Published in The Heights

A few guys from different parts of the country meet each other during their freshman year at college. At first, some play instruments, some don't. They become friends and eventually form a band. They move in together off campus and turn their basement into practice space. They perform for their friends at local bars. This is how real bands get started.

Local band Two-Car Garage is part of a college tradition as old as cold pizza for breakfast, but unfortunately it is a tradition largely unpracticed here at Boston College. After forming at the end of their sophomore year, the members of Two-Car Garage moved off campus, where they evolved from a bunch of friends who jammed together into a band.

Drummer and song-writer T.J. Gordon, BC '05, says it was the band's time living off campus together that offered all of them the chance to improve as individual musicians and come together as a group. "We had a constant practice schedule, which was great for me, because I had become the band's drummer by default since we didn't have anyone else," says Gordon.

Last year, the band started playing at different BC events, including a benefit concert for the Emerging Leader Program and the Another Choice on Campus talent show, where it won third place. It was last year's undergraduate government-sponsored Battle of the Bands where the band first caught BC music fans' attention, winning first prize.

The band features dueling guitarists and vocalists Anthony Camilleri, BC '05, and Ethan Schuler, BC '05, who both reference local bands Dispatch and Guster as musical influences. Schuler sings in the University Chorale but had never played guitar before coming to BC. Camilleri, on the other hand, has played since he was 14 years old and spent an entire summer assembling pipe hangers in a factory to earn enough money to buy his first guitar. Bassist Justin Virojanapa, BC'05, might have also ended up as a guitarist if it wasn't for his older brother, who already played guitar and needed a bassist for his high school band.

Two-Car Garage's most ear-catching member is violinist Dave Samikkannu, BC '05. His bandmates describe him as the most musically talented in the group, having played classical violin since he was 4 years old. "There are a lot of songs that don't have a part for the violin, but he's so amazing that he can just listen to it a couple of times and fiddle around, no pun intended, until he finds a good place for the violin in the song," explained Gordon. Sometimes, the band even transcribes the lead guitar part into something that Samikkannu can play instead.

Two-Car Garage branched out from campus this year and began playing local college bars, such as Kinvara, where the band played Oct. 5. "It's hard to get started as a band while you're in college because you basically need to bring the crowd with you, but most of your friends can't come out to see you at a bar until your senior year," said Gordon.

The Kinvara show gave the band a chance to play a few fun covers along with the band's 13 originals. "With the violin, everybody expects some Dave Mathews Band, and we give them what they want. We'll do 'Ants Marching' because of the great violin solo, but also 'The Devil Went Down to Georgia,'" said Gordon. "Just for fun though, we'll also throw the Spice Girls' 'Wannabe' in there, too."

Now that Two-Car Garage has managed to bring crowds to its concerts, the group's members have started looking into the future, especially considering that they are all seniors. At least of few of the band members will remain in Boston, but for now they are focusing on performing and recording during the rest of this year.

Two-Car Garage will perform at Great Scott's on Nov. 8 and then return to Kinvara on the last day of classes, Dec. 10.