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Earthquake Lights shake things up

By Andrea Ordonez, News Editor


To call the guys of Earthquake Lights meticulous is an understatement. 

While other bands rushed up to get ready to perform this year's Battle for Music Fest, the guys took their time, a little under 15 minutes, just to set up.

"Can we do a sound check please?" said lead singer Myles Rodenhouse from behind the mic. After briefly running a few chords twice, Earthquake Lights finally began performing its set.  

Sure, the guys care about getting fans and selling CDs, but clearly not as much as achieving absolute perfection. Referring to a rare phenomenon, when bright blue or red auroras suddenly appear after an earthquake, Earthquake Lights was a name marking a rarity for the five-person band.   

"We went through a painfully long process of picking a name for the band and this was the only one we could agree upon," said Cam Underhill (keys, vocals). 

Such high standards would drive other bands insane, but for Earthquake Lights, it's what holds them together.  

Under the former name Kids with Guns, Rodenhouse, along with close friends Steve Helms (drummer) and Underhill decided to create a band in the fall of 2010. This desire intensified at the beginning of the following year after Hofstra Concerts announced it would hold a competition for one band to perform on the main stage of Music Fest. Working under pressure to meet a March deadline, the three changed the band's name to sound less controversial and found Evan Douaihy (guitar) and Jimmy DiGirolamo (bass) to complete the set. 

After performing at Hofstra, the band began working on its EP. However, each member's meticulous nature followed them all the way to Los Angeles, where they recorded for Rodenhouse's brother at Perfect Sound Studios. 

"I sat in a room with a notebook writing bad lyric after bad lyric until we had one that was just passable enough to record," said Helms.  

Although Hofstra brought Earthquake Lights together,, the band looks to perform beyond campus and Long Island. Rodenhouse, Helms and Underhill have since graduated, making Douaihy and DiGirolamo the only ones in the band still taking classes. For Douaihy, Earthquake Lights gives him something to look forward to after graduation. 

"I never really put school first," said Douaihy. "It's usually work, my internship, and then this band, and then school kind of takes a back seat. I see real potential in this band and it's something I really enjoying doing so much more than listening to a lecture."  

Releasing their band's EP "Bangups & Hangups" on Leap Day of this year, the guys of Earthquake Lights plan to move to the next level with a full-length CD. But in the meantime, they'll be performing around the East Coast, as far out as Washington, D.C. this spring and summer. Being perfectionists, Earthquake Lights measures the success of its EP not just by how many they sell, but how the listeners respond. 

"I was hoping that somebody would say that they found something in our music that they don't find in any other contemporary rock bands," said DiGirolamo.    

For Helms, the perfect response to "Bangups & Hangups" is strictly sensory.

"One of the best feelings you can get when you're listening to music is when you hear something and it gives you goose bumps," said Helms. 

Earthquake Lights will be performing on the main stage at Hofstra's Music Fest May 5. 

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