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‘Everything just connected so well:’ First-year student joins band

Lead singer Jordan Mtui performs with his band Bananarchy.
Lead singer Jordan Mtui performs with his band Bananarchy.

While most students join clubs and organizations their first few weeks of school, first-year finance and business analytics major Umaansh Parashar joined a band. 

Parashar knew he wanted to be a part of Bananarchy from his first rehearsal performance with them. He showed up for the first performance at guitar club having only met the lead singer. 

“I get there on a Monday night at Kumler chapel,” Parashar said. “I meet the members for the first time. We've never played together. There's songs I've never played before. [The first song] was ‘Begging’ by Måneskin, and I know that song by heart, so I was able to get in with it, but it was right when we started playing. Everything just connected so well.”

Parashar got connected to Bananarchy through Rocktober Fest organized by High Street Records, where he learned they had an opening for a drummer.  

Bananarchy formed in the fall of 2021 when guitarist Jack Weber and bassist Cory O’Brien joined forces to create a group for Battle of the Bands, organized by the guitar club. The two had met in class, and Weber introduced O’Brien to Miami's guitar club. 

The current members consist of guitarists Weber and Luke Thorne, bassist Cory O’Brien, lead singer Jordan Mtui and drummer Parashar.

Joining a band that was established a year ago may seem daunting, but Parashar felt confident in his musical background. In addition to playing drums for the past decade, Parashar also had experience performing in front of live audiences.

“In high school, I played for this thing called the School of Rock Cincinnati,” Parashar said. “I used to take lessons there and play with their house band. We used to have gigs in all parts of Cincinnati in different venues, different bars. So that really helped me build that performance skill.”

Bananarchy received the runner-up title for best performance band and won best dressed as they dawned all yellow at the Battle of the Bands last semester. The band performs once a week for the guitar club and plays rock covers from artists like Arctic Monkeys and Jet. Although they don’t currently have any original songs, they’ve expressed interest in creating original music. 

In addition to their weekly performances at guitar club, the band is looking to book more shows at local bars. 

“There's been other bands, like I know there's one called the Thumbtack Mechanics that recently just played at Brick, so there's definitely a lot of uptake and they did sell out, so that means there's definitely an audience for us,” Parashar said. 

All the members involved have majors outside of music, so playing for them is a fun hobby that brings the group together.

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“We just had this special connection,” Parashar said. “We just clicked, and the chemistry just hit different.”