Spud Mack: The rising stars of Rowan’s music scene with Hunter St. Pierre at the helm

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Hunter St. Pierre is changing the relationship between drugs and rock and roll. St. Pierre originally came to Rowan to pursue a career in bioinformatics, which is a combination of biology and computer science, to land a job in the pharmaceutical industry developing drugs for people with terminal diseases. While it is still a goal of his to explore this path, he has found himself as the lead vocalist of Spud Mack, an alternative band that has been dominating the local music scene and recently took home first place at Rowan’s Battle of the Bands. 

“It kind of fell into my lap,” St. Pierre says about forming Spud Mack. 

Growing up in Clinton, New Jersey, St. Pierre always had a love for music. As a kid, his parents would always sing to him, making up songs about things they would do throughout their day together like going to school or hockey practice. When he reached elementary school, he joined the choir and noted how much his choir teacher shaped him as a singer. 

“I was the only guy in my grade to make it and she worked with me on one, she wanted to give me solos. She always gave me opportunities to hone my skills and made me want to sing even more…But when I fell in love with it, it was probably during elementary school when I had that opportunity to express my individuality through music and basically when I got the validation that I was pretty good,” St. Pierre said. 

As a full-time student in his senior year and frontman of Spud Mack, St. Pierre has to balance many different roles in his day-to-day life. 

“I struggle to maintain that balance between the band and schoolwork especially when I enjoy the band so much more than sitting and staring at a screen and you know, doing statistics, whatever. But what I would have to say is that you need to have time management down to a science,” St. Pierre said. 

Established in 2021, Spud Mack has played countless shows and now has music on all streaming platforms. In last year’s Battle of the Bands competition, the group did not place, pushing their drive for this year’s event. 

“So prepping for battle was one of the most stressful things that we’ve undergone as a band. Because we had no idea what we were gonna do up until like, a couple of days before,” St. Pierre said. 

The band changed their setlist six or seven times before they landed on what would win them first place and fan favorite. 

“We got up there, we played, we had a really good time and it was super fun. We were all vibing out with it. And I was like, okay, like I feel really good about this. This was one of our best performances yet. And it was certainly pretty surreal in the build-up to finding out that we were going to win because last year, we didn’t even place at all,” St. Pierre said. 

While each of the band members listens to music from a wide range of genres, St. Pierre is personally influenced by country singers such as Chris Stapleton and Tyler Childers, as well as classic rock such as Metallica and Black Sabbath, who he modeled his raspy voice after. 

“I would love to open up for Chris Stapleton. Or like, if Maroon 5 could take a time machine and go back 20 years to Songs About Jane. Like that would be the number one,” St. Pierre said. 

As advice for other students who may be looking into diving into the local music scene, St. Pierre encourages them to put themselves out there and speak up. 

“I mean, the people in my band are some of my best friends around here. And I don’t know, my life would be very, very different if I didn’t see them multiple times a week. So yeah, be confident. Get out there. Work on your stuff and talk to people around you,” St. Pierre said. 

For comments/questions about this story DM us on Instagram @thewhitatrowan or email the.whit.arts@gmail.com.

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