Meet The Backrooms: A Local Student-Run Band

Band+members+Fiona+Garrity+%28far+left%29%2C+Robbie+Green+%28middle%29+and+Megan+Stefanik+%28far+right%29+practice+in+Garrity%27s+basement.+Their+band%2C+The+Backrooms%2C+has+demos+available+for+streaming+on+Soundcloud+and+Bandcamp.

Photo by Megan Stefanik

Band members Fiona Garrity (far left), Robbie Green (middle) and Megan Stefanik (far right) practice in Garrity’s basement. Their band, The Backrooms, has demos available for streaming on Soundcloud and Bandcamp.

When trying to find new music, many choose to go to the top charts on Spotify or Apple Music and scroll through to see the same artists they’ve seen for years. While that is effective, it can become boring. Most times, there is new music in your own community that you weren’t even aware of. Kaneland senior Megan Stefanik has spent the last year creating music with her band The Backrooms and has produced music on SoundCloud that is free for anyone to listen to. 

Stefanik’s band is fairly new and was formed in the summer of 2020. The group consists of Stefanik and West Aurora students Fiona Garrity and Robbie Green. It started in Garrity’s basement and has continued to grow from there. 

“I had known Fiona for a little bit, and her and Robbie had been jamming together for a while. They needed a bassist, so that’s where I came in. From there we all clicked together as musicians and as friends,” Stefanik said. 

Garrity is the lead singer and plays guitar, Green plays the drums and guitar and Stefanik plays bass guitar. Stefanik has been playing the bass guitar for three years and enjoys writing music as well. At this point, the band has only released demos on their SoundCloud and Bandcamp platforms, but they hope to release official songs soon.

The Backrooms describe their main genres of music as Midwestern emo and math rock. They draw inspiration from bands such as Cap‘n Jazz, American Football and Sunny Day Real Estate. 

“Artists like Beabadoobee and Snail Mail inspire Fiona as a female guitarist. Personally, I’m inspired by bands such as MGMT and The Smashing Pumpkins,” Stefanik said. 

The band had their first show this past Halloween in Garrity’s basement where they practice weekly. Due to the pandemic, it has been difficult to book gigs. As places are starting to open up, the band hopes to be able to play more shows. 

The two demos that The Backrooms have uploaded to SoundCloud and Bandcamp are called “Get Out of My Head” and “I Lost My Favorite Pair of Shoes Last Night.” The lyrics to both songs are personal and resonate with each band member. 

“To me, “Get Out of My Head” is about constantly thinking about someone that you don’t want to. While “I Lost my Favorite Pair of Shoes Last Night” is a very fun song to play, I think it’s about disappointment and abandonment. But each song can mean different things to each person,” Stefanik said. 

Juggling being in a band and attending high school in the midst of a pandemic seems challenging, but Stefanik believes it is rewarding. So much so that she plans to continue her education studying Audio Engineering at Millikin University. 

“I love being in a band. Music is a huge part of our lives. We play and listen to music each day basically. I don’t mind that it takes up a lot of my time, because it’s what I am truly passionate about and want to do. Music brings me such a sense of belonging, peace, and happiness,” Stefanik said.