As I walk into the practice rooms in the basement of Usdan, the music hits me. I can physically feel the vibrations of the song that The Taste, the band that won last week’s Awesomefest, are playing. The sound reverberates off the walls and as I wait for them to finish, I can feel it throughout my body. With such a powerful combination of trumpet, sax, guitar, drums, and keyboard, led by vocals from Ethan Tischler ’14, I’m not at all surprised that in their debut performance, they took home the number one spot.
With a stage in each of Eclectic’s large bottom floor rooms, 17 different bands had the chance to perform at Awesomefest. With a sound they’ve dubbed “alternative funk,” The Taste beat out the competition. Though this was their first public performance, the band sounds as if they’ve always been playing together.
The night of the performance was a great one for The Taste, even though it was unexpected.
“We thought we had a one percent chance at winning” said Adam Jaskol ’13, who plays saxophone.
“[It] turned out to be a really great crowd, we played a great set, people were feeling it, but we still didn’t think we would win,” said keyboardist Zach Burns ’14. They had such little faith that when the winners were announced, trumpeter Matt Leibowitz ’14 was the only band member present.
“When they announced that The Taste had won, I went crazy. I actually ended up knocking someone over I was so excited,” Leibowitz said.
The Taste played all original songs for the show. Guitarist Adam Brudnick ’13 described the band’s sound as “a combination of rock, pop, jazz, soul, funk, and blues.”
“It’s a mix of funk, rock, and pop,” Jaskol chimed in.
It seems hard to narrow down exactly where they stand on the music spectrum; especially because the band is not eager to define their position.
Dan Wissinger ’13, bass, added that they’re too cool for categories.
“[It’s] not in like a, we’re beyond genre kind of way,” he said. “We’re not like that.”
Though Tischler, Leibowitz, and Burns are in their first year at Wesleyan, Jaskol, Wissinger, Brudnick, and Nate Jacobs, drums, all met last year when they were freshmen. The band came together slowly over the last year and a half, adding and losing members. The final lineup, though, seems to be just the right fit. The sophomores came up with the name last year while living in Fauver.
“We were just sitting around in Fauver, complimenting each other on being really tasty,” Wissinger said. “In like, a musical way. It was like ‘let’s call the band The Taste!’”
The band has yet to collect their prize, the money that was collected at the door. With it they plan to buy recording time and to record a few tracks in the near future. For the rest of the semester, The Taste will be playing various shows, including opening for Mad Wow on March 26, at Alpha Delt and plan to record this year and continue playing for the foreseeable future.