Arts, Arts Features

So Much Jam!: Jamsexual Releases its First Album

As Boston College students prepared for the daunting finals week before the end of the 2023 fall semester, student band Jamsexual made a brief trip to Acton, Mass. to accomplish the band’s long-time goal: recording and releasing an album. 

Three months later, JAMSEXUAL, produced, engineered and mixed by Vince Baur and Dean Foster and mastered by Ryan Sierakowski, is finally out on all streaming platforms.

About two years ago, the band gathered in a closet at Conte Forum that Mike Castellano, drummer and MCAS ’25, found during his time in BC’s marching band and decided to transform into a rehearsal room. 

The rest of the band, Gabe Biagi, lead singer and MCAS ’25, Michael McKane, bassist and MCAS ’25, Patrick Kelly, guitarist and MCAS ’24, John Regis, guitarist and MCAS ’24, and Ryan Barcy, keyboard player and MCAS ’25, would sneak into the minimally spacious yet functional room where the six members connected and brought to life the concept of being in a student band. Its first house show in February 2022 was organized after the band paid the house owners $100 to perform. 

From Jamsexual’s humble beginnings to becoming the winners of the annual BC’s Best competition that led them to share a stage with Aminé for Modstock and release a professionally recorded album, its journey shines a light toward their sincere passion for music and having fun.

And if there is one important thing about Jamsexual, it’s that they take having fun seriously. 

“We’re like a middle school boys’ basketball team,” Barcy said. 

The 11 tracks making up its first album, JAMSEXUAL, reflect this playful spirit. 

“We don’t worry about conforming to a formula to make a song,” Castellano said. “We do this for fun. We’re not trying to make a living out of it. We’re just trying to put our art out there and just make it unique to us.”

On Dec. 2, 2023, the members spent a frantic yet rewarding 24 hours at Wellspring Sound Studio recording the entire album. Despite having been musicians for most of their lives, Barcy, Castellano, McKane, and Regis described it as an incredible experience they didn’t think they’d have coming into college. 

“It was just like, one heck of an experience you know, being able to do it with these guys and have a chance to show the world what we’ve been working on the last couple of years,” McKane said.  

The band’s mental and physical transformation is a narrative that anchors the album. 

According to Castellano, Barcy, and Regis, JAMSEXUAL depicts themes of change and growth. Starting off with the concept of exploration, the first track, “RALEIGH TO BALI,” sets the overall upbeat tone of the album. 

“RALEIGH TO BALI” is an escape from the mundanity of life and work. The feel was created with a diversity of rhythms, percussions, and keys, that accompany the lyrics about the adventurous places and situations the band would rather be having. 

After this explorative state, Castellano found that the next tracks, including “PHEAR THE PHISHMAN,” “NOWHERE TO GO,” and “ROCKSTAR SONG” represent the state of losing yourself, followed by a stage of resurfacing and finding the answers within yourself that the second to last track, “LEARNING TO LIVE,” points toward. 

“ROCKSTAR SONG,” written in 2022, showcases the band’s desire to achieve its artistic dreams. 

“‘ROCKSTAR SONG’ is about, ‘I’m trying to be an artist, I’m trying to find my way through this world, but I don’t know how to do it, and I don’t know how to do it, right,’” Castellano said. “But then it turns out we were doing it right the whole time. We’re just being ourselves. That’s kind of what the album is about.”

According to Castellano, improv is a core part of Jamsexual, which is why the album’s interludes are snippets from the band’s 40-minute instrumental jam session at 4 a.m. Ironically, the three interludes throughout the album are titled after classical music sonata form: exposition, development, and recapitulation. 

“We are no Mozart,” Regis said. 

The great detail put into the grand finale—for which Barcy taught himself how to play the accordion in under five minutes, and members hit two shoes against each other to add a range of auditory layers—might suggest otherwise. 

All in all, the recording and production of JAMSEXUAL was an intensive challenge and dream come true for all members. The band’s hard work in and out of the studio and its focus on authenticity is evident throughout the tracks. 

“It would be impossible, without the help of student involvement and the Music Guild,” said Castellano. “We gave them a hard time. They believed in us, they let us practice, and put all of this together and hopefully they’ll enjoy the product.” 

March 15, 2024