State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Category - Music

An interview with Bright and Early

bright and early interview


We decided to interview another independent band from the Pennsylvania area called Bright and Early. The band has been out since December of 2009 and has been turning heads in the underground rock scene ever since. They have played across the States and even played at Casa Blanca.  Brian Walker of Stateinthereal interviews JB of Bright and Early. Check it out.

Brian: So what inspired the name, Bright and Early?

Bright and Early: We don’t really feel that band names matter that much. The band makes the name with good songs and promotion. Whatever it is, it’s just gotta be something memorable or catchy to the eye. We were driving home from one of our first practices, and we passed a daycare center called, Bright and Early School. It looked good on the sign, so we went with it. Nothing too deep with that one. Haha. We might have to make up a better story if people keep asking us this question.

Brian: What are your biggest influences?

Bright and Early: Elvis Costello, Butch Walker, Muse, The NJ music scene, Queens of the Stone Age/Dave Grohl, Bright Eyes, and Queen. I’m pretty common in my musical influences. I just really like well though-out pop/rock music. I’m personally influenced more by life than any band out there. I’m usually more inspired to write when things happen to me, or people close to me.

Brian: What would you say is your biggest accomplishments thus far with B and E?

Bright and Early: Being in a band with dudes that I love and can count on to have my back. That’s a really hard thing to find. I love playing with dudes who have drive and ambition, but are also really talented. That’s an accomplishment in itself. We played our hometown Warped Tour last year, if that counts. We’ve been in some magazines, interviewed/reviewed on various websites, but I think I’m the most stoked on how people reacted to our first song.

Pop-punk (for a little while), became way too fake and trendy. Every band in pop-punk became a process. The sound, the look, the drum beats, the break downs… Group vocals. Camo Shorts. Etc. Etc. Even with this massive “2010 pop punk comeback,” it’s still all trendy fake bullshit. We just wanted to carve out a place for ourselves in that scene without sounding like everyone else, and I think we accomplished that.

We aren’t a hardcore punk/happy hardcore/punk rock/ or even really a pop-punk band. We’re just a rock band, and I had some shit on my mind that I felt was worthy to write about. Everything else that has come our way has been a blessing or luck.


Brian:  Thank you that is awesome that you guys are so genuine. Currently you guys are to go on a tour with I Call Fives? What venue do you guys look forward to playing?

Bright and Early: I’m most excited for either our hometown show in South Jersey, or maybe Boston. I love stoked kids singing my words to me, and I love great beer. It’s a tough choice.

Brian: What do you see as the future of B&E for 2011? Any Splits, Singles, EPS, etc?

Bright and Early: We’re putting out a 4 song EP in May. Can’t say too much about it yet. It’ll be on a label but I can’t say who yet either. We really just want to be able to record a real full length this year. Hopefully some good labels hear it, and want to get behind us. We are broke bunch of fools. Haha.

Brian: What is your advice to any amateur/underground musician out there?

Bright and Early: My only advice to other musicians is pretty simple and plain. Just be yourself. Don’t wear that “gameface,” because it only makes you fake. Eventually you’ll rethink your life, and you’ll have trouble finding people who really know you.

An interview with Transit, Handguns, & Forever Came Calling

Last week, State in the Real Journalist Brian Walker went to speak with Transit, Handguns, and Forever Came Calling. The indie punk bands came to La Casa Blanca to play while on tour. Here are the details of what Walker spoke about with each of the bands.

Transit Band Penn State Music


Brian: What is the meaning of the name Transit and how did it start?

Transit: Transit started off as two bands, half of the band was known as a project called This Time Around and the other band was known as Transit. As the bands collaborated they picked the name Transit. In regards to the other question we hope to always be in motion with our music and constantly reinvent ourselves.

Brian: Are you guys going on any big tours for 2011?

Transit: Yes, we will be touring later this Spring with Senses Fail, Man Overboard, and The Ghost Inside. We are really excited for this tour and we are happy to know that Senses Fail got us on this tour and is appreciative of what we are doing.

Brian: What would you say is the craziest thing you’ve seen on the road?

Transit: There have been many things that we’ve seen; including seeing cars on fire in the Autobahn, playing in a wrestling ring, roller rink and even a barn. We have even seen truckers playing flip cup.

Brian: What would you say is the future of transit?

Transit: Writing different sounding songs, having support tours, and hoping for the best of our music.

Brian: If you had any real advice for any amateur musician what would it be?

Transit: Don’t try to sound like anyone else, figure yourself out and remember every day is unpredictable. There will be long drives on the road and you must fight for what you want.

handguns band penn state


Brian: How do you feel about House Shows and tonight’s House Show?

Handguns: Awesome, House shows are fun as shit and absolutely intimate.

Brian: What is the meaning of Handguns?

Handguns: It was really random, but Jake thought it would be cool to think of a name where we could stack letters.

Brian: What is the craziest thing you’ve seen on tour?

Handguns: Once we were at Bourbon Street by a strip club after a show and a guy with a bicycle comes up to me screaming in my face if I want drugs, it was really weird. Also we once went to McDonald’s and saw a guy run out screaming the words spies and freaks as if he were tripping on something.

Brian: What lies in the future for Handguns?

Handguns: We’ve got an upcoming tour with Man Overboard, Wonder Years, Hawthorne Heights and Veara. Also we have a new EP coming up on the 22nd and are currently working on a full length. I definitely hope all of you check that out.

Brian: What is your advice to any amateur musician out there trying to get their name out there?

Handguns: Do the damn thing, sell your shit , and don’t give a fuck.


Forever came calling Band Penn State Music

Forever Came Calling

Brian: What is the meaning of Forever Came Calling?

Forever Came Calling: A poem I wrote when I was 17 , if we were to have another name for the band I guess it would be something really random or weird sounding like Ghetto Blasting.

Brian : (Laughs) What are some of the accomplishments of Forever Came Calling ?

Forever Came Calling : Well we have effectively been able to complete two independent tours going on from January to April . We try to be as DIY as possible.

Brian: What are some of your DIY ethics and what struggles have you come across with that?

Forever Came Calling : Sometimes you find that your morals will be bent when you need to survive. You can see this on the road and as a musician, sometimes that can affect you or you will see many people sacrifice their beliefs for music .

Brian : What do you see for the future of Forever Came Calling?

Forever Came Calling: Playing Music, Touring, and striving to play for what we care about .

Brian: What is your advice to any musician?

Forever Came Calling: Don’t make excuses , read Roll the Dice by Bukowski .



…and that is stating the real by StateInTheReal! Our next review will be by a band named Bright and Early and an album review by I Am Alaska.

An interview with the Penn State Creative Arts Council

penn state creative arts council

Typically, State in the Real interviews bands and other artists. Today we decided to interview Mike Palmer who has started the Creative Arts Council. The Creative Arts Council is a new Penn State Arts Organization that is dedicated to the overall mission of making this place a more artistic environment. Brian Walker of State in the Real interviewed him a few days ago, here are some words from Palmer.


Brian: How did the Creative Arts Council Start?

Palmer: The Creative Arts Council started more so last semester, when I began talking to Presidents of other art related clubs. We all expressed the same desire to collaborate more with each other. A few of us even realized we were facing similar issues and I believe Dan Miller from Full Ammo Improv joked about having a “meeting of the presidents”. I thought it was a great idea, and I started sending out emails to see if other clubs were interested. Everyone seemed excited about putting this together so we scheduled the first meeting and now we are an official Penn State organization.

Brian: What is the purpose of the Creative Arts Council?

Palmer: The purpose of the Creative Arts Council is to strengthen the artistic community. We are very diverse and in some cases very specialized. With new students coming every year it’s hard to maintain relations among clubs that can foster more creativity and joint efforts. This club will be a meeting point for other organizations to get stuff done together.

Brian: What future do you see for the PSU University as a campus as a result of this organization?


Palmer: I see a future where the artistic community becomes strengthened. Hopefully, we will see more joint events with more participation, more talking amongst groups, and a more prominent voice in the Penn State community. I want there to be something entertaining and inspiring in every corner of campus, all the time. But for now I think you will see at least more cross club communication and there will be more awareness of what student groups are doing.

Brian: We notice that as a founder or leader of this organization you are a senior correct? How do you plan to continue this happening?


Palmer: This was one of our biggest concerns. We will be focusing on transitioning new leaders later in the semester. We want to have an involvement opportunity where we can answer questions and invite new leaders to become involved. Making sure new members learn how to run things is important for the stability of any club, this one especially. So that will be a top priority in April.

Brian: What events do you have coming as an organization? And do you plan on creating a large or small scale event to kick off the start of this club to encompass various aspects of the arts?
Palmer : We have one event so far in the works. It will be a showcasing of all the CAC members. An “arts bazaar” of sorts. Hopefully sometime late March. Stay tuned for that, there will be music for sure.


If you have any more questions about the CAC feel free to check them out on Facebook or email for more information.

Movin' On – Battle of the Bands!

movin on penn state

Winners Announced!

Battle of the Bands Adds Four Student Acts To Movin’ On Lineup

The Movin’ On CORE Committee hosted their annual Battle of the Bands competition in Alumni Hall Saturday night for student bands. The bands competed for the opportunity to open for this year’s headliners at the Movin’ On festival.

The twelve bands selected by the CORE committee performed in front of over 600 students Saturday night to win the chance to open for headliners Little Big Town, Lupe Fiasco, and O.A.R. Among the twelve bands, four were selected by special guests judges to play at this year’s Movin’ On Festival, scheduled for Friday, April 29th.

The top four bands selected by judges were So Long, Pluto in fourth, Atlas Soundtrack in third, The Zak Sobel Band in second, and 5 Cherry Lewis in first.  The bands were judged based on originality, musicality, audience response, and overall stage presence. The judges for Battle were Blue Band Drum Major Ian Kenney, Glide Magazine music journalist Nick Gunther, B94.5 interns, and one student judge.

The set lineup for Movin’ On 2011 will open with So Long, Pluto, Atlas Soundtrack, The Zak Sobel Band, 5 Cherry Lewis, a fourth paid act still TBD, Little Big Town, Lupe Fiasco, and O.A.R. The fourth paid act will be determined over the next few days by the Movin’ On Executive Committee.

This year’s Movin’ On music festival will begin at 3:30 pm to 11:30 pm at IM Field West by Beaver Stadium and is free admission for both Penn State students and the general public. The final itinerary for the day’s performances and events will be available at

March 3, 2011
Movin’ On Announces Battle of the Bands Contestants

After a long night of listening and deliberating, the Movin’ On CORE committee voted on twelve bands for this year’s “Battle of the Bands.” The committee met for three and a half hours and listened to two songs from each of the 41 applicants. Selection was based off of scores on a 5-point rating scale. The official release of the contestants was announced at 9:10 am on Thursday, March 3 on B94.5 fm, a sponsor of the event.

Movin’ On- Penn State’s Annual Music Festival now includes a collaboration of five Movin’ On directors, a CORE committee of thirty students, and a liaison from each of the following organizations: ARHS, GSA, SPA, The Lion 90.7fm, and UPUA.

Battle of the Bands applications were released online and the deadline for submissions was on March 1, 2011. Applicants were asked to submit songs electronically, give a brief description, and explain why they should play at this year’s battle.

Battle of the Bands, a free event, gives student bands the opportunity to open for a major headliner at one of the largest student run music festivals in the country. While the 2011 headliner has not yet been announced, the Movin’ On executive committee trusts that the student bands will be excited.

This year’s applicant pool was composed of forty-one original artists with styles ranging from rap to folk Americana to reggae. At least one member of each band must be a Penn State student. Twelve contestants were selected to play a fifteen minute set on Saturday, March 19 at 9pm in Alumni Hall. The battle will yield four winners who will each play a half hour set at this year’s festival. The Movin’ On Music Festival is scheduled for Friday, April 29 with a tentative start time of 3:30pm. The executive committee hopes to announce the headliner shortly after the students return from spring break.

This year’s contestants include:

So Long, Pluto



5 Cherry Lewis



No Slip Condition



Atlas Soundtrack






The Good News



Chris Good



Zak Sobel Band






Jordan Graves






The Had Knots




Movin On’s Battle of the Bands

Sat, March 19 at 9pm

Alumni Hall

No press passes are needed for this event, but must present photo id at the door.




Executive Committee Contact Info:


Tim Haynes

Overall Director


Katharine Steward

Director of Marketing



Jen Leydig

Director of Finance


Bryn Gelaro

Director of Events


Laura Krumholtz

Director of Operations

Eminem should come too?

Eminem Penn State

Yes, we all know this spring semester has been blessed with a wide range of amazing artists.  Have we scooped the ice-cream too high on the cone already… or would Eminem be the cherry on top?!  Let’s get Eminem… “we are” Penn State University, who can denie us of what we want? NOBODY. If he doesn’t come, then I’m inviting Kimberly Anne Scott to sleepover, no exceptions.!/event.php?eid=194018367284102