Written by Christina Bowman. Media by Momoka Murata.
SideQuest is an on-campus DIY punk band. They have been going strong for two years now. Jairin Schad, a junior from Missouri (guitar/vocals), Jesse Taylor, a junior from Michigan (drums/vocals), Jacob Kersh a junior from Illinois (bass), and Ben Casey a junior from Illinois (synth) started their journey back in the fall of 2015.
After being inspired by another on-campus hard rock band, they began doing covers of post-hardcore pop songs, but their style took a turn once they started writing their own music. Even though they are considered punk, they also have some alternative rock influences and individually bring their own. Some band influences include Relient K, Bad Suns, The Wonder Years, Pinegrove, and Two Door Cinema Club. They also say they sound similar to bands like Switchfoot (an alternative rock band from CA), Hippocampus (an indie rock band from MN), and Moose Blood (an emo band from the UK).
“I normally will come up with the bulk of the lyrical content, and the bare bones of the song,” said Schad, “Then when the band meets up we mess around with the song until we land in a spot that feels genuinely SideQuest.” Most of their performances are originals, but they do throw in a few covers here and there for crowd participation.
Aside from performing at the Blackroom and at Midnight Breakfast, they have played about five shows on Greenville’s campus and have plans to broaden their horizons in November when they play a gig in the St. Louis area. When asked about their performance strengths as a band Schad said, “We try to be as relatable as possible, and focus in on that. We want our shows to be a good hang out space. A place you can come and relate with the songs as well as the community there.” In order to keep their school schedules from clashing, SideQuest has stayed in lab band. This gives them specific times that they can play together throughout the week.
They have yet to sign onto a label on-campus yet (Playground or EntCo), but they have tossed the idea around. “We have given some thought to auditioning for the Playground label,” Schad explained, “simply because that’s the one that we have been more informed and involved with leading up to it. We’re sure both do great work.”
Future plans for SideQuest include recording a full-length album in hopes of releasing it next semester. Schad said, “We, as a team, are all open to taking this band out and touring around a bit. We’re proud of the work, and have plans to continue indefinitely.”
If you want to learn more or follow them, check out their Facebook page, SideQuest, and/or Instagram, @SideQuestMusic, to stay updated.