Rowan biomedical engineering senior Andy Kapetanakis (left) and Avery Stoker perform bass and guitar and their new self-titled release. - Photo courtesy of Olivia Brand

On Saturday, Sept. 8, the band Androcles released their latest self-titled album due largely to the efforts of Rowan senior biomedical engineering major Andy Kapetanakis, as well as contributions from his friend Avery Stoker. The project, which contains thirteen original tracks, was started in June of 2017 and has been over a year in the making. Tracks were also produced collaboratively with Annika Gustafsson and Rowan senior chemical engineering major CJ Gauthier.

“It’s kind of pop-rock,” Kapetanakis said of the album’s musical stylings. “We have a few ballads, a couple that might be a little more punky, but in general it’s a little more alternative. A couple of our songs go after Panic, Maroon Five, The 1975, and Coldplay.”

Inspiration for the songs’ lyricism ranged from feelings about grandparents to support of friends personally affected by assault as described by the #MeToo movement. A portion of all proceeds generated by the latter song, titled “Exposure,” will help fund charities benefitting victims of sexual violence. However, this is not the only song that Kapetanakis finds especially notable.

Kapetankis felt three tracks in particular best exemplified the band’s sound and vision

“Those are ‘Rumors,’ ‘Plan B,’ and ‘In Too Deep,’” Kapetanakis said, adding that those are just “more his style” than others on the album. “Those are three that we put a lot of effort into.”

Kapetanakis cites the long-term friendship between himself and Stoker as a major impetus for the album’s DIY creation. Recorded in basements, this was a learning experience for everyone involved to gain valuable experience in the technicality of music production.

“We figured we had both been doing music for so long, let’s write some stuff, put it out there for the world to see,” Kapetanakis remembered. “I mainly do bass, he mainly does guitars. We split keys. Whatever really is needed, we can do most of it.”

Despite his apparent talent, Kapetanakis’s formal music education has been sparse, only having taken piano lessons for a short time when he was five years old. His wide breadth of proficiency in other instruments – among which include ukulele, mandolin guitar, bass, trumpet, French horn, clarinet and saxophone – has been the result of dedicated self teaching.

As a part of the Bantivoglio Honors Concentration, Kapetanakis has made the most of the program’s diverse selection of performance groups. Over his last three years, he has led and performed in the Honors jazz band, choir, cabaret and murder mystery dinner events. According to Kapetanakis, the welcoming environment of these groups has been integral in helping him develop on both a musical and personal level.

“It’s really helped me grow, not only as a musician but as person,” he said of his involvement with Honors. “Now I know I’ve been able to experience new things with new people and do my thing. It’s just been a very fun experience.”

The Honors college is also where Kapetanakis met Gauthier, who performs drums on every track on the album and who recalls his experience on this project positively.

“We sat down in one day,” Gauthier recalls of the recording process. “It was about four, five, maybe six hours, and we just recorded drums after drums after drums all day… Andy really likes me as a drummer, which I really like, and he gave me pretty much full freedom to do whatever I wanted with the drum tracks and with the album.”

The two have been working together musically since their freshman year, when both were involved in the Honors jazz band. Knowing each others’ musical styles and abilities has made their collaborative process even smoother.

“In terms of the creative process,” Gauthier said, “it always really fell into place.”

The physical CD copy of the album comes with a bonus track, “Now That You’re Gone,” which is unable to be found on other platforms. CDs can be ordered for $10 by emailing androcles.music@gmail.com. Find the full album without the bonus track on Spotify.

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