Arts, Music, On Campus, Arts Features

Collaboration Reigns King for Little Saturday

Little Saturday, a student band at Boston College, has no problem defying any sort of classification. The group, made up of Zachary Pugliares, MCAS ’19; Alexander Eichler, MCAS ’20; Peter Toronto, MCAS ’20; Isaiah Rawlinson, MCAS ’18; Andrew Hammond, MCAS ’2018; and Zachary Moelchert, CSOM ’21, is not confined by any walls whatsoever: The six members consider the band’s genre a mix of many, but eventually agreed on pop fusion.

“I always say we’re a bit of rock, pop, funk, jazz, fusion…” Eicher said.

“We transcend categorization,” Pugliares responded, resulting in the eruption of laughs from his bandmates.

From spending just a few minutes with the group, you can tell that its camaraderie is utterly unavoidable—even the way they met and formed a band was lighthearted.

Little Saturday formed as a result of a class they all took—in a rather unconventional way. It wasn’t for a Core requirement or to fulfill a major—it was a zero-credit class taught by Erik Kniffin called “Pop Styles Ensemble.” Rawlinson was the first to start playing in the ensemble, and around that time it needed a bass player—Hammond was the solution. Some members left and needed to be replaced. Slowly but surely, the other band members trickled into the ensemble and eventually formed a cohesive group that would prove to be insanely collaborative in an unprecedented way. Toronto spoke about Little Saturday’s rapport.

“We just work really well together,” Toronto said. “It’s good energy.”

Collaboration is key for Little Saturday—in terms of songwriting, everyone usually writes their own parts. After they have worked individually, the group members bring them together at another time. Often, they adapt to an improvisation, working piece-by-piece with a song—many times the chord progression comes first and the group works around it. An idea turns into a riff, and then they experiment with it until they get it right. The group agreed that they like to leave the creative process to the individual, but incorporate everyone’s ideas into the final product.

It truly is a team effort, but not without some experimentation. Usually, Pugliares plays rhythm guitar, Eichler plays the drums and sometimes trombone, Toronto does lead guitar and vocals, Rawlinson plays the saxophone, Hammond does both bass guitar and vocals, and Moelchert is on the keyboard and also plays the keytar and trumpet. They were quick to add, though, that it is not uncommon for them to switch around.

The group agreed that the one thing it argues most over is what songs to cover.

“I have so many covers that I want to do that nobody else is down for,” Eichler said. “I always say, ‘We should do this song,’ and everyone says ‘maybe,’ but then it never happens.”

Little Saturday has covered all sorts of music, from Bruno Mars to Earth, Wind & Fire to Herbie Hancock, but they could all agree on their best and favorite cover: Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love.” They debuted this cover last weekend at Music Guild’s Winter Showcase and said it would surely be played again.

“It was just really fun to play,” Rawlinson said. “We had a blast. It was a dynamic piece.”

Each individual brings something diverse to Little Saturday. They all have unique tastes in music and draw inspiration from different artists and genres, which gives the band the unique and particularly uncategorizable sound it has. While Pugliares’s favorite musician is John Mayer, Hammond fills his playlists with electronic music such as Daft Punk. Toronto listens to a lot of Red Hot Chili Peppers, but Rawlinson prefers the jazz-like sound of Snarky Puppy. Moelchert is into Cory Henry and The Funk Apostles, while Eichler is a huge fan of Coldplay. Sure, it is easily noted that all of these artists reside in either the worlds of rock or jazz, but each has their own flair. This diversity in taste and influence brings the band together and helps vary its own style.

Being a part of Little Saturday has permeated each member’s experience at BC in profound ways. Eichler, for example, joined during his freshman year.

“I think for me at least, it was the biggest thing going on,” Eichler said. “Definitely the most exciting thing happening.”

It really picked up the pace in the spring, as it had many successive shows that led to high amounts of built-up energy. Between Battle of the Bands rounds one and two, Music Guild Winter Showcase, Break the Bubble, and other shows played during the spring semester, the group unified greatly as a band during the progression of the year.

Little Saturday rehearses once a week on Monday nights, and it adds in rehearsals if needed before shows. It also meets in Rawlinson’s dorm room sometimes to talk about the technical aspects of the band and songwriting. Before shows, it’s not uncommon for the members to have band dinners, which they all proclaimed should definitely happen more often.

So far, their favorite shows have been Modstock and last weekend’s Music Guild Winter Showcase. They agreed that the sound was really good, they had great energy, and much to their excitement, “Crazy in Love” went great. Especially excited about the showcase was Moelchert, as it was his first big show with Little Saturday.

“It was the first full, non-acoustic gig I did with everyone there,” Moelchert said. “It’d been awhile since I’ve played live.”

They were excited because so many people in the crowd were singing along to “Crazy in Love” word for word.

“Now we need to get them to do that with our songs,” Little Saturday said.

When asked if they have any methods to hype up the crowd, the band members looked at each other rather blankly.

“I tried jumping with a guitar in my hand at Modstock,” Pugliares said. “I was jumping with the beat, and the guitar started flying.”

Little Saturday doesn’t need to do anything additional to get the crowd excited—its music naturally does. The six all agreed that as long as they are into the music, the audience will usually reciprocate.

In terms of Little Saturday’s future, the group doesn’t have any concrete plans. Each band member muttered something to the degree of “I don’t want to think about that.” It grew quiet—usually the group was lively with spirit and excitement, but it was evident they weren’t sure what the future holds for them. They all graduate at different times (some have already graduated—they were quick to note Little Saturday alum Sunny Luo, BC ’17, who now lives in L.A.). What matters now is making music with who and what they have.

“Best case scenario is that we’re all in Boston next year,” Rawlinson said. He paused a moment to think. “It’s possible.”

So far, Little Saturday just performs at BC. It is hoping to venture out and play gigs in Boston, but it’s difficult to do. Between transportation and managing the busy schedules of six individuals, booking shows outside of BC has proved to be tricky.

Perhaps the band’s sole freshman, Moelchert, can help finding management so they can branch out more—he frequently stepped in to announce, in a borderline comedic manner, his various connections in the music industry (including his high school advisor and English teacher, who apparently owns a recording studio in Virginia Beach, Va.).

“As long as the cost of getting to Virginia doesn’t negate this guy’s discount,” Pugliares joked, to which the others responded, “No, it’ll be a vacation!”

So far, the group has released two singles, “Running” and “Sunny Nights,” available on any major streaming service or Youtube. The group described “Running” as alternative pop, while “Sunny Nights” has a jazzy, weird, James Bond-esque sound. Fans can also find their live videos on Facebook and YouTube, and “Sunny Nights,” has a music video available on YouTube as well.

The music video for “Sunny Nights” is of Little Saturday—and was all filmed in or around familiar BC spots. The song itself is unconventional and funky, in a good way. It has a mysterious aura to it that makes it an intriguing listen and watch. The background music is suspenseful, the vocals invoke catharsis—overall, the band’s unique flair shines through in “Sunny Nights.”

Each piece of Little Saturday is an important one. Every member’s ideas, style, talents, and general presence add up to the unified whole of the band. It’s easy to see why they’re successful as a band—each person truly enjoys being in it. They bounce off each other with lighthearted ease, and obviously get along as friends, probably even more than they do as bandmates.

Within a short amount of time, they referenced a countless amount of inside jokes, and the conversation often got so off-topic that it seemed hopeless to try and bring it back to the original question. It was all in good nature, though. Without this sense of bonding and teamwork, it would be hard to get anything done as a band.

Little Saturday is clearly establishing themselves as one of BC’s best, and with good reason. Their set at last weekend’s Winter Showcase drew a lot of attention and generated a great deal of positive feedback, and they undoubtedly had a blast performing. They have proved themselves to be among the hardest-working and most unique groups on campus. Little Saturday is headed to the top, and Moelchert doesn’t even need a connection to expedite the process.

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Senior Staff

Correction: This article originally stated that Zachary Moelchert is a student in the Morissey College of Arts and Sciences. Moelchert is actually a student in the Carroll School of Management. 

February 28, 2018

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