Spunhouse — 27 March 2019 on Rocket Shop Radio Hour
Last Wednesday, Spunhouse of Saint Michael’s College joined us on Rocket Shop. The band consists of four friends John Humes (lead guitar), Jack Caron (guitar and vocals), Jake Poskus (bass guitar), and the only non- Saint Michael’s alum Jeff Wilson (drums). The band got the name “Spunhouse” from their friend’s freshman dorm room that they first started practicing in. They threw the mattress on the ground, propped the bed frame up on the wall, and hung all of their equipment off of the frame. The best way to describe this chaotic room was as a “spun house.” John described the band’s sound as “A little bit of grunge, punk, jam, funk, reggae...a wall of sound.” They find inspiration in a wide variety of artists, such as Black Sabbath, Toots and the Maytals, Blink 182, and most prominently Vermont-born Phish. The members of Spunhouse have all seen Phish together several times, and John even has a Phish tattoo.
The members of Spunhouse have very diverse musical backgrounds. Jeff primarily plays the mandolin. He remained the band’s mandolin player until they lost their drummer, and that’s when he stepped up as the new drummer. Jack played trumpet for six years and did not even pick up an electric guitar until his sophomore year of college. He is almost entirely self-taught, aside from asking his guitar playing friends some tips. When he first started playing, he would just sit with his guitar and mess around for hours until he had some chords and riffs figured out. Similarly, Jake did not pick up a bass guitar until sophomore year of college. He has played violin since the second grade, but he wanted to try out an instrument that he could have a little more fun with, so he taught himself the bass. John is very well-versed in music theory, as he started taking guitar lessons with a Berklee graduate at the age of 11, and he is now majoring in music. Beleive it or not, John acquired interest in guitar as a young child, when he would absolutely destroy his brothers and big-kid neighbors at Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock.
An interesting trademark of Spunhouse is their abstract and “out-there” lyrics, although lately they have trying to move away from this pattern. Jack explained that he has a natural talent for rhyming, and would often freestyle rap with his friends in high school while banging on lunchroom tables. At the start of his music career, he focused more on the rhyme and lyrics that crowds would find innovative and unexpected (like their song “Oranges and Porridge”), rather than the substance. However, lately he has been focusing more on writing songs that capture the raw realities of life, like “the grass isn’t always greener” ideas. The songs still have that whimsical aspect, but with more hidden depths.
Spunhouse is focusing more on live performances right now, and does not have any recorded music, but they hope to get some songs recorded in the near future. Feel free to check out their Instagram at @spunhouse.is.just.okay
Text by Marisa Iannitto
Photo by James Lockridge.