More Than Just a Hobby

Photo+Courtesy+of+Jay+Tamangan

Photo Courtesy of Jay Tamangan

In 6th grade, Nick Beers was gifted both an electric and acoustic guitar by his grandparents and he became immersed into the world of music. While many students start instruments at a young age, they don’t often keep up with them. However, Beers found a passion for it from the start. “I had such a strong love for it compared to a lot of other kids. I had such a strong love that I wanted to keep up with it,” he said.

For three years, Beers has been playing with the band Never Born to Follow made up of Tuscarora students who graduated last year, Zach Jones, Allan Fogelson, and Derek Johnson, and Jesse Hill, who graduated from Woodgrove High School. The group came together to compete in the annual Loudoun County Battle of the Bands event. “The first night we played, our first gig ever, was our first battle and we won third place. Then, we got to play at the Tally Ho and we won third place in the whole big battle. So that was really cool for a band that hadn’t played any gigs at all,” said Beers. However, even after the event was over, they decided to keep playing together.

Never Born to Follow has performed for many crowds, but the largest so far has been opening for Bon Jovi on May 14th, 2018 for a crowd of 20,000 people. They got this opportunity by entering a radio contest. “My friend Miles called me up one morning. He was listening to the radio and they were doing a contest for local bands to audition for a contest and if you won, you got to open up for Bon Jovi. The audition was to submit a video of your band playing an original song that was 3 minutes. That was it. So we submitted our video and it was the video that won,” he said. “It was absolutely amazing,” he described. “[My favorite part was] the moment when we went back stage and and saw the huge open arena and we were like, ‘Oh my god this is real.’”

On November 25th to the 28th, Beers participated in All-Nationals Guitar in Orlando, Florida. Because he made All-State Guitar last year, he had the opportunity to audition for nationals, and was one of five Loudoun County students selected. During the trip, the students practiced music, prepared for a performance on the final day, and were able to spend a day in Disney World. “[My favorite part] was just getting to meet all the amazing people there. People that I never thought I’d be able to meet and that I wouldn’t have the chance to meet otherwise,” he said.

Beers is influenced by music from the 1960s and 1970s, like The Beatles. However, he also likes some modern artists, like Mac Demarco. Artists like Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and David Gilmour influence his guitar playing. “[David Gilmour] was the was really the first guitar player I tried to emulate when I was first in NBTF, because I was super into all the Pink Floyd albums, the way they got their songs. I wanted to try to emulate that,” he said.

Along with guitar, Beers also writes music with Never Born to Follow. “Most of the time, it’s a joint effort. Sometimes one of us will come in with a rift or some lyrics, and then one of us will add another part to it, maybe a melody, until it becomes something cohesive that we can work with and play live,” he said about their writing process.

Although music is just a hobby for some, for Beers, it is much more. “It’s definitely a career. It’s my blood and soul and passion. I think every musician’s dream is to be a rockstar, to play in front of people coming for us and not for Bon Jovi,” he said. However, he acknowledges that it is a difficult career to be successful in. “It’s a dream that’s hard to reach and it only happens to very few people. But, one thing I do want to do is be a music teacher. That’s something I could fall back on. That’s something I could see myself doing,” said Beers.

Beers’ favorite part about guitar is how universal it is. “I love how there’s endless possibilities with what you can do with it. You can do really any genre, which I think is super cool. Anybody can pick up and play guitar if they put in the time and effort, but there are only a handful of people that can master it. I’m nowhere at that level, but I’d like to see if I can get to that level,” he said.

 

Beers’ music can be found at https://open.spotify.com/artist/0L8ehzvKtObMJNYRDzw2Nk?si=3aE7MM56QImGz7p8YqRsFA&nd=1 and Never Born To Follow’s next show is at the Tally Ho on December 22 at 7 pm.
Photo courtesy of Jay Tamangan