from the studio

Relive the glory days of pop punk with The PopRoxx

Courtesy of The PopRoxx

The PopRoxx draw inspiration from the best names in pop punk, from The Clash to Green Day.

Seniors Xander Thurkins and Jeremiah Towe are apartment-hunting, looking for a space they can use to make music. A few years ago, they barely knew each other.

Thurkins, a senior music industry major, and Towe, a music education major, are two members of the four-piece pop punk outfit The PopRoxx. The lively group of friends loves making music with each other.

“Playing music with my friends is the whole reason I’m a music major,” Towe said.

Music education major Alex DePersia and voice and music history and cultures double major Sean Jordan, both seniors, complete The PopRoxx. DePersia plays drums, Jordan is the vocalist, Thurkins plays bass and Towe is the guitarist and primary songwriter.

The four, like many other bands, started as just jam partners. They are all in the same music fraternity, so Towe, who always wanted to start a band, shopped around for musicians. Jordan and Thurkins came on board, and were soon followed by DePersia, whom Towe knew from playing in a now defunct Whitney Houston cover band, Sextuple Chocolate.

They didn’t start to get serious until this semester, booking gigs and buckling down in the recording studio. They played Rock for Reporters, Juice Box and Crouse College’s annual Prism Concert, in addition to an off-campus house show. They just recorded a song at the Belfer Audio Archive next to Bird Library, with their friend acting as producer, and hope to release it online soon.

As far as musical influences go, the band is inspired by all the classic pop punk icons. Towe absolutely loves Green Day.

“I basically idolize Billie Joe Armstrong,” he said.

Some of their other favorites include old-school punk like the Dead Kennedys, the Sex Pistols, The Clash and the Ramones, as well as new-age pop bands like The Summer Set and The Dollyrots. DePersia admires drummers John Bonham of Led Zeppelin and Bill Ward of Black Sabbath.

“For me, I really admire Brendon Urie’s unique vocals. I tend to sing a lot of our stuff with a definite Urie-n flavor. If that’s a word. It should be a word,” Jordan said, admiring the Panic! At The Disco singer.

While the band is primarily an avenue for fun, Towe and Thurkins are trying to make a career out of music. That’s why they’re apartment-hunting in the Syracuse area.

“We have been working on a bunch of new songs and I know with enough hard work, we can get our music out there,” Towe said.

DePersia is waiting to hear back from graduate programs, and Jordan will go to Canada for a graduate program in opera.

“But I would much rather stay with these fellows,” he said.

Because at the end of the day, PopRoxx is about friendship for the four musicians. They love how they can be honest about each other’s performances – if something sounds off, they let each other know. Friendship and being in a band go hand in hand, in their eyes.

“If you ever have a chance to make music with your friends, take it,” Towe said.

Leah Meyers contributed reporting to this article.

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