As Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” BT seniors Adam Nohl, Benton Stegemoller, and Joseph Menna have done just that with their band, Steel Gallery. From Adam’s head banging guitar acts, to Joseph’s drumming expertise, to Benton’s powerful vocals, the band has captured the attention of BT and other bands such as ANTARCTICATS, Hall of Elders, and Makeshift Jukebox from around Georgia.
Like all great things, there is a dreamer and believer behind it. “Adam and I were sitting at a firework show and he asked me if I wanted to start a band,” said Benton. “I said sure, not knowing how serious it would get.” The band began to get serious last year.
Steel Gallery has played for small audiences before, but this year, they made a large public debut at a place called Swayze’s, said Adam. “We checked it out and asked the if we could play on a certain date which just so happened to be the date of their Battle of the Bands.”
Through advertising on Twitter and promoting their band during school by word of mouth and offering lower priced presale tickets, many BT students made their way to Swayze’s to support Steel Gallery. “We practiced a lot which included running through the set list and then buying some euros or Moe’s,” said Benton. “But no Steel Gallery practice is complete without the candy barrels.”
All of the practice and advertising payed off when the band won Battle of the Bands by getting the crowd’s vote for the most entertaining and best band. The group sold their CDs at the venue which contain a variety of self- written songs. “We all write different songs and sometimes help each other out with the lyrics,” said Joseph. “We just write about people or things we like; not too complicated.”
Adam finds his inspiration in his guitar playing and style of music from other bands such as Treephort, Black Flag and Husker Du. The band as a whole, however, adds their own creativity to their set lists and performances. For example, they threw out their beloved candy barrels during their concert, included other BT students, and even participated in some crowd surfing.
Whether from the energy of the band members or the unique song and lyric choice, Steel Gallery has definitely become the talk of the school over the past months. The band hopes to record some more songs in a studio, possibly tour during summer to new venues, and make some t-shirts for their fans. “As we are going to separate colleges next year, so we are trying to make the most of the we have left together,” said Adam. “During breaks though, we will definitely get back together to jam.”
The band which started out as a hobby and fun passtime has taught its members valuable lessons about themselves and life. “Being the singer in the band has taught be to open up. I used to be really quiet and now I am really comfortable,” said Benton.
Adam and Joseph have learned how to play with other people and perform with them as well as write songs, a talent that takes a while to develop. “We entertain people while expressing ourselves artistically,” said Adam. “I met a lot of new people and forged some serious ‘bro’ memories.”