Andrew Zoltowski, a senior accounting major, and Michael Gallucci, a junior public relations major, are students by day and half of a rock band by night.
Svnset Children is an alternative rock band based in Paramus, New Jersey, composed of singer Juliette Musungu, guitarist Andrew Zoltowski, bassist Michael Gallucci and drummer Steve Gennekin.
The band calls itself a “Reddit band,” as Zoltowski formed the band through making posts on websites such as Craigslist and Reddit. In February 2018, midway through his sophomore year, Zoltowski decided he wanted to start a band.
“I didn’t know any musicians because I only started playing guitar freshman year of college,” Zoltowski said.
He went online and met drummer Steve Gennekin and their former singer on Reddit and two former bassists through Craigslist. Zoltowski said he later met Musungu and fellow Seton Hall student Gallucci on Reddit through his sub-reddits titled “find a band” and “need a band.” The group became solidified when all members, old and new, met in person for the first time in August 2019.
“It’s a modern way of making a band,” Zoltowski said. “Trying to find musicians, at least online, is very difficult.”
Musungu came up with the name Svnset Kids.
“Sometimes there can be nothing more impactful than just watching a sunset go down,” Zoltowski said. “A bright orange and red sky as you watch it go down. A coming of age name.”
Zoltowski said he defined their genre as alternative rock whereas Gallucci said they are an indie band. Gallucci described the band as indie due to their “very barebones, low production, raw” sound.
“Everything in our studio releases [have] very little extra added effects, layering or post-production,” Galllucci said. “It’s like we’re playing our instruments and there’s no synthesizers going on.”
Gallucci said the band has a lot of alternative and grunge influences. Zoltowski is primarily inspired by 90’s rock. “His [Zoltowski’s] entire listening catalog that inspires the songwriting is Nirvana and Green Day,” Gallucci said. Gallucci has diverse musical taste. Despite their different discography diets, he says it helps them pull in a lot of different inspirations.
“When I write my riffs, I’ve got the idea and then they [the band members] expand on it,” Zoltowski said.
When it comes to producing their music, Gallucci said every song is built in a distinct order. First they do the guitar riffs, then the drums, followed by the baseline for one section. Then they will come together on forming a b-section. Each member is responsible for writing their own parts. Then there is a cross-input from the other members.
The band tries to meet twice a week.
“Because some of us are working and some of us are still in college, it’s harder for us to meet up on a whim,” Gallucci said. “It’s definitely something we’ve overcome.”
Despite their schedules, Svnset Children recently released its debut EP “Ignite” on Jan. 21 and have been playing gigs since last fall.
The band played its first show on Sept. 28 at FM Bar in Jersey City. Zoltoswki said that Svnset Children have been trying to play once every two or three weeks since mid-December. Svnset Children have their next gig at the Dingbatz in Clifton on Feb. 21 and will play at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park on March 1.
“I attended one of their shows in December in Brooklyn at the Knitting Factory,” James Conklin, a senior marketing major, said. “While I am not necessarily a big fan of their genre of music, I was very impressed by the group’s cohesion and chemistry because I know they have only been working together for less than two years.”
Bianca Stover can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.