“Huckleberry Binge runs on vegetable oil,” says Gage Lyons 11S. The band, featuring Lyons on guitar, Jonah Simonak 10F on guitar and vocals, Jad Quesada-Khoury 10F on drums, and Will Meyer 10F on bass and vocal, drives to gigs in a tiger-striped short bus that runs on the aforementioned liquid.
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“The music industry consumes so many resources, the amount of energy going into putting on a live show is scary,” Lyons explains. “We were struggling with the question of how we could feel better about playing, and consuming energy, even in this fledgling phase [of the band], so we upgraded to grease. The carbon emissions are next to nothing.”
“We’re a small band, we needed a promo boost, and tiger stripes sell,” Lyons jokes.
Formed in 2010, Huckleberry Binge has played throughout the Northeast. The band’s influences range from indie rock, classic rock, and contemporary jazz to author Cormac McCarthy.
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Meyer says his biggest influence is his peers: “The local music scene in the Valley is inspiring to me. I find myself singing local bands’ songs on the way to the bus, becoming obsessed with these bands. It feels really cool to be around such incredible artists. We’re all pushing each other and all in this together.”
The group began practicing in Merrill House, and has played quite a few shows in venues and mods around the Hampshire College campus. “We’ve played a lot of shows here, whether it’s in someone’s mod, or at the Red Barn,” says Quesada-Khoury.
“Hampshire has to a certain extent molded our identities. It has encouraged our creative process in a positive way,” Simonak says. “It changed the way I think about things and see things.”
The band plans to record additional tracks for an album or extended play in the next year, with the hope of touring with local band Who’da Funk It in the spring.