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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Sound of local band Make it to May draws crowds

Haylee Morman
Make it to May performs in Dave’s Dark Horse Tavern singing covers of popular songs.

On the night of Feb. 23 in Dave’s Dark Horse Tavern, local band Make it to May drew a formidable crowd into the small, enclosed space. From 9:30 p.m. to around 12:30 a.m., the band performed, playing crowd-rousing songs such as Fall Out Boys’ “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” and Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff.”

Make it to May is a band from Starkville and is composed of five individuals, all either current undergraduate students or recent graduates of Mississippi State University. The self-proclaimed midwest emo band, as band member Hutton Smith calls it, has performed nearly everywhere in Starkville. Their most recent gig was held at Dave’s Dark Horse Tavern, and they will be performing in the same location April 5.

The afternoon of Feb. 23 was spent lugging sound and performance equipment out of shared apartments and into the back of the members’ cars. Taking a break from the labor, the men sat in the living room of one apartment and shared how the band came to be. Surrounded by bare, beige walls and scattered instruments, including an unexpected tambourine, they detailed the swirling storm of circumstance that brought them together. 

Lead guitarist Koby Nicholson is a junior studying music education. By all accounts, the band is somewhat of his original creation. Having originally gotten into music thanks to his father’s playlists, Nicholson wanted to have a fun, musical experience in college and, in Nicholson’s words, “harassed” people into joining. 

Bass player Hutton Smith is a senior studying software engineering. Smith viewed Nicholson’s tactics for gaining members through a softer lens. According to Smith, he was in Perry Cafeteria one day talking about Black Sabbath when Nicholson overheard and asked to join in on the conversation. From there, the discussion shifted towards a mutual desire to create a band. 

Drummer Julian Dedeaux is a junior studying business administration. His musical beginnings came from his life at home.

“I think I asked for an Xbox one Christmas and my dad got me a drum set,” Dedeaux said.

Dedeaux’s freshman year, he was skateboarding on campus with a friend when a “guy in a hammock,” who revealed himself to be Nicholson, implored them to join the band.

“I drove four hours home that weekend to practice,” said Dedeaux. 

From there, Dedeaux drafted lead vocalist Graham Hughes, a junior studying music education. Hughes comes from a musical family. He shared that his mother was a music teacher, and his father was in a band that happened to play similar songs that Make it to May plays now. Hughes described his introduction to the band as relatively organic. He reminisced on the night Dedeaux approached him freshman year at a party, rambling about a new band he was joining and asking Hughes to send him an audition tape. 

The fifth member of the band, rhythm guitarist John Landry, is a recent MSU graduate of communication. Much like the other members, Landry’s love of music came from a childhood surrounded by a combination of musicians such as Elton John and AC/DC. His introduction to the band began as a casual invite by Smith to hang out and quickly progressed to an official membership.

All five band members pointed to fun as their reason for being a part of Make it to May.

“Other than being an athlete or something, it is the best job in the world,” Landry said.

Others shared that they looked forward to surprising audiences with unexpected songs or inclusions, such as Nicholson’s favorite metal riffs. Hughes said he did not want to have any regrets later in life from not getting involved with the band.

The members expressed gratitude about how far the band has come since its creation, though they are not sure how much longer it can last. Smith emphasized that parting ways from the group was just around the corner.

“People are, you know, being responsible, getting degrees and everything,” Smith said, staring at John Landry before they began to laugh.

The members of Make it to May can save these memories in recordings. Dedeaux shared that the band had finished recording an EP in December and is planning to release it to Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube.

“I want us to put out some music and we can listen to it for the rest of our lives,” Dedeaux said.

Landry offered advice for people who may be thinking of forming a band of their own.

“If you have any idea to do with your friends, do it, because this kind of thing…” Landry said. “Just go do it. You will not regret it in the end.”

About the Contributor
Haylee Morman
Haylee Morman, Staff Writer
Haylee Morman is a senior English major. Haylee is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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