‘A grand design’ for your listening pleasure

Gabe Gott

From left to right, Kent State students Brittany Friesen, Mike Notte, Nick Kozono, Matt Staveski, Jeremy Langham and Stow High School student Bob Willoughby make up the band A Grand Design. The group plays its first show tonight at the ECC. PHOTO COURTESY

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

Five current Kent State students and a future Kent State student make up the band A Grand Design.

A Grand Design – a self-described post-hardcore metal band with progressive undertones – will be playing its first show on Tuesday at the Electric Caf‚ Co.

A Grand Design

Playing with Heisley Amore and Dead End Radio

Where? The Electric Cafe Co.

When? Tuesday, March 21 at 8 p.m.

How much? Free

The band has begun recording demos of songs at guitarist Mike Notte’s house, but members are not yet happy with what they have recorded.

“We’re just trying to, basically, still find our sound,” singer Jeremy Langham said, “and I think when we do that … we’ll have something solid and concrete out.”

“We’ve got enough material kicking around for two full albums, probably,” Notte added.

Langham came up with the idea for the name A Grand Design from a culmination of several things that happened in his life and other people’s lives, and to him the name means everything happens for a reason.

The idea to form A Grand Design came last summer, but the band formed just five months ago.

“Mike (Notte) and I met like a while ago,” Langham said. “2003, I think, we met. We were both in separate bands, and we started playing together and both our bands just kinda fizzled out and we were, like, ‘Man, this sucks’ so we started writing together.”

Guitarist Matt Staveski and bassist Nick Kozono were the next to join. Staveski came into the band around October, and Kozono came into the band around the same time.

“I just kind of came in mistakenly,” Staveski said. “Jeremy (Langham) messaged me online asking me if I was a drummer in some band because he thought I met him at the rec (Student Wellness and Recreation Center). And I was like, ‘No, I actually play guitar,’ and he’s like, ‘Oh, we’re actually looking for a guitarist too,’ and I was like ‘okay.'”

Violinist and keyboardist Brittany Friesen came into the band three months ago, after Langham – her orientation teacher – talked to her in class.

“I was an orientation teacher,” Langham said. “I taught one of the music sections – and Brittany (Friesen) was actually a student – and we just started talking one day. I was like, ‘Hey, we’re looking for a female vocalist or keyboardist.’ She played violin too – which was awesome.”

Drummer Bob Willoughby came into the band two months ago. Willoughby is the only member of the band who is not a Kent State student – he is currently a student at Stow High School and will be attending Kent State next year.

“I met Bob (Willoughby) on MySpace,” Langham said. “I know it’s kinda creepy, but it worked out well.”

Each member of the band came from different bands of varying genres – including screamo, punk, hard rock, metal and garage rock bands. A Grand Design is a collaboration of ideas, with each member participating in all aspects of the music.

Every member of A Grand Design has different influences, but all of them – except for Friesen – are influenced by Coheed and Cambria. Other influences include Iron Maiden and Thrice.

In spite of band members having diverse influences, they feel their individual styles have melded together well.

Contact ALL reporter Gabe Gott at [email protected].