Virginia quartet, A Collegiate Affair is exactly what the name implies. Two members of the band have already earned their college degrees, while the other half are still attending classes at Virginia Tech. But, James Tuck (vocals), Mikey Stecher (bass), Tim Fogg (guitar), and Dylan Morgan (drums) never took classes in music. They are self-taught rock/punk musicians that are expanding their knowledge by meeting each challenge as they go. Tuck says, “I think that, honestly it’s (music) a lifelong process. It’s not something you can just acquire. It’s an ongoing process that’s for sure.” Music is a journey of discovery that involves learning about music (and yourself) along the way.
Music is feeling. When A Collegiate Affair was contacted by a campus chapter of To Write Love On Her Arms, they were happy to help with a fundraiser. Tuck was drawn to the organization that provides support and outreach to people who may be at risk for self-harm, or struggle with problems that seem insurmountable. He is able to relate, because he has battled his own demons in the past. The band went on to participate in other events for the cause and remains supportive of the mission.
Bad news is overwhelming. It happens every day. Our news feeds are clogged with disaster and heartache with every new post, making it difficult to understand what is credible and what is not. Lyrics from the song, “Shock Value”, express the confusion as, “I know this isn’t the way it was supposed to be/You always seem to exploit pain in the midst of tragedy” highlighting how some people take advantage of events for commercial gain.
Too much information. While Tuck admits that it is easy to be optimistic as post after post recounts each horrific detail, the real problem may be people are becoming unaffected because there is simply too much information. The song goes on to say, “No more apathy from me/I’ll expose the truth for the word to see” in a bold statement of determination. But how can we stop the deluge of negativity that drives us to buy into the media hype? Tuck says, “The most practical way to do it is to turn off the television. It’s to just not give in to what they are selling you.” On the other hand, Stecher says, “It’s not like it’s all bad. News is definitely important. You need to be informed, but the twenty four hour media outlets just shove it down people’s throats.” At times, you have to decide for yourself when enough is enough.
Cross your fingers. A Collegiate Affair is currently vying for a shot at playing Warped Tour this year. The Buzz Rating is good, thanks to an impressive outpouring of support from their fans. The experience of playing at one of the biggest events of the Summer would be thrilling to A Collegiate Affair, but the chance to connect and expand their fan base, getting their message to more people is the higher goal. They released the EP, Out of Place, in 2013, following up with a wildly successful single, “Calling Card” the next year. The newest album, Full Disclosure has just been released this week and already promises to surpass the previous works. Working around their busy school and work schedules, A Collegiate Affair will be featured on short tours throughout the Summer.