Local band, The Jettys, have been garnering recognition for their ability to perform a variety of music genres, including rock & roll, classic rock and psych rock. The Jettys are rapidly establishing themselves as a mainstay in the alternative music scene thanks to their common love of music and enduring friendships. The band, known for its distinctive songwriting style and passion for music, consists of five college students, most of whom attend Rowan.
The band consists of political science major Andy Ohr as the lead singer and guitarist and music business major James Davenport as the “nutty” guitarist. James Davenport’s brother Zach, a sophomore physics major, plays bass guitar in the band. Matt Kulpa, a cybersecurity major at Flatiron School, is the band’s drummer. The band’s sound engineer, Kaszimir Herbert, is a graduate student with a degree in music industry technology.
The Jettys’ have known each other since kindergarten and spent their formative years in Barnegat Township, New Jersey. Although they initially followed various routes, they gradually teamed up, grew close to the local music scene and made the decision to start their own band.
For them, starting a band was a natural and obvious choice. Formed in the spring, the band was a result of their mutual love of one another and their enthusiasm for music. Since then, they have been writing and producing their own music and organizing their own live performances, earning a reputation as a must-see live act.
“James was already running the Fun House so we have already seen all different bands play and then we were all just like, ‘Well, we all love playing music. We all love each other. Why don’t we just do that too?’ That’s really what it came down to,” Zach said.
The Jettys used to go by the name “Mount Vesuvius,” but changed it after frequently being tagged in Instagram images by travelers to Italy. The term “The Jettys” refers to the jetties that are constructed along the coast or in bodies of water to offer protection and facilitate navigation. Just like these structures, The Jettys aims to control the movement of music and make waves in the music industry with their unique sound and style.
The Jettys have accomplished a lot despite being a relatively new band in the music landscape. With the intention of breaking into the local music scene, they intend to stick together while carrying on with their musical endeavors and live performances. The Jettys are prepared to leave a lasting impression on the music industry thanks to their ability, commitment and close friendship and bandmates.
“There’s a few bands so I would say take our approach to music. But I think there’s really only a couple. There are a lot of others that are very pop oriented, very heavy metal oriented, very emo oriented and I think we’re one of the few bands in Glassboro that stays true with the form of classic rock,” Kulpa said.
The Jettys allow each member the flexibility to write their own songs and submit them for the band’s opinion. Every band member takes pride in having written at least one song for the group and all participate equally to the songwriting process.
It’s interesting to note that every member of The Jettys has a different method for writing songs. Some people prefer to begin with the lyrics, but others like to start with a melody or riff. While some can’t begin without at the very least a sandwich and some marijuana.
“I go into my room and I make a peanut butter sandwich. I use crunchy peanut butter and raspberry jelly,” Ohr said. “I grab a fruit that I cut into four pieces, take the peel off and prepare it all in front of myself. Then I take a knife and cut the sandwich into four triangular pieces. So once it’s all in front of me, I smoke a lot of weed, eat a sandwich, and then I write a song.”
The Jettys are influenced by many different bands and musicians when it comes to their music. They all enjoy classic bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and Tame Impala, among others, even if they each have their own tastes. Additionally, they draw influence from local acts like Swansun, which encourages them to experiment with new musical concepts and sounds.
The Jettys have a soft spot in their hearts for the university music scene. They are considered to be one of the cornerstones of the alternative music scene and they feel compelled to contribute to the thriving music scene on their campus.
“The only reason I’m doing any of this is that I think that there’s a lot of people at the school who feel like they don’t have a place that they can go to hang out and enjoy themselves,” Ohr said. “I would like to see the music scene become more accessible to people who want to come and have a fun time and don’t want to go to a frat party.”
The Jettys have played a variety of places and events since their inception, including a two hour set that left the audience wanting more. Just a few days before Christmas, they even gave a live performance of their debut song “Christmas Past” at a Fun House concert.
The Jettys intend to stick together as long as they can and carry on creating music that connects with their audience in the future. After graduation, they want to establish themselves in the music industry and gain more notoriety. They advise other groups considering starting their own band to give it their all and be prepared to work hard to make it succeed.
“If you’re not showing up to practice prepared, if you’re not showing up to gigs prepared, there’s no point,” Kulpa said.
“If you’re serious about it, you really need to act serious about it. Come to it with respect and just embrace the struggle. Because it’s really not easy,” Herbert continued.
The Jettys are an up-and-coming collegiate band with a love for making unique music and a close relationship as friends and bandmates. The Jettys are on a path to success because of their shared past and enduring friendships. Follow the band on Instagram at @the.jettys to stay updated and check out their music across all platforms.
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