It’s not uncommon for university campuses to be the breeding grounds for young musicians to meet and build their sounds. In the ‘60s, Roger Waters and Nick Mason studied architecture together at London Polytechnic and recognized one another’s affinity and talent for music. A few years later, Pink Floyd was born.
So on NC State’s campus of 34,000 students, it’s no surprise that our population is riddled with student bands. And Soccer Tees happens to be one of them.
The emo-indie-punk-rock group initially came together in 2015. Over the course of three years, the band has morphed into the current four-person group, with Ciera Cipriani on drums, Lucas McBride on bass and vocals, Zach Rimmer on guitar and vocals and Natalie King on guitar and vocals. All of the members share the responsibility of composing their new, edgy music with their own niche in the creative process, according to Rimmer.
“It's usually me who has the idea for a riff,” said Rimmer, a fourth-year studying civil engineering. “The way I view it is: I have this weird idea and then I take it to Lucas to make it because Lucas is really good at simmering it down. Lucas makes it a song, and then we take it to Ciera and make it actual music. I bring this giant mess, and [they] are what make this actual music.”
This collaborative workshopping amongst the group has helped it develop its sound, which is, as a fan once told the band, dynamic.
“We have a lot of dynamic variation — so like volume changes,” said Cipriani, a fourth-year studying polymer and color chemistry. “But, I think that it was more implied that the feeling changes as well, and they said it was kind of hard to find bands to play soft and loud, smoothly and aggressively.”
This young Raleigh band formed during a time of growth in the Oak City’s music scene with more venues, more concerts and more musicians than ever before. The group has played at house venues around campus, like the Radio Shack and Kosher Hut, and occasionally at downtown venues, such as Slims, Imurj and Ruby Deluxe. So, when tucked into the corner of a small living room or bar, the rich music and deep vocals pouring from Soccer Tees creates a medley of an experience.
Balancing school, music and work is no easy feat, but there is an advantage to rocking out as students: the resources. Cipriani and Rimmer have worked for NCSU Libraries for a few years, which is where Soccer Tees found its drummer and admits to taking advantage of the library’s musical resources for recording its first two EPs, “Glitter On My” and self-titled album "Soccer Tees," and drafting the sounds for the album it is soon releasing.
“We kind of relied on our connections with the libraries on campus because we work for the libraries, and they have so many cool music resources,” Cipriani said. “I got to record my drums in Hunt Auditorium one time for the last EP. Drum recording isn't something they have, but Zach used the music rooms in Hunt to mix and master the whole last EP. The hardest part was probably getting my drums into the library, because you're carrying drums into a library and everybody looks at you, and there's no parking before five and it was raining.”
Soccer Tees’ music can be listened to and downloaded from its profile on BandCamp, and the band has several shows coming up, which can be found on its Facebook page.