Student duo heads up band; balances school

By on October 31, 2006

Many college students have enough trouble finishing all of their homework and getting enough sleep. Andrew Wolpert, on the other hand, finds time to be a Dean’s List student, record a full studio album with his band and still have time for a nap.

Wolpert is a junior finance major who doesn’t seem to realize just how much he has accomplished. He shrugs his shoulders and speaks humbly about his work.

“I remember wanting a guitar since I was 15. I got one two years later as a Hanukkah present,” Wolpert said.

From there he met someone who would change his life completely. His name was John Black. Black was looking for some people to start a band with and Wolpert jumped at the opportunity. He was willing to get started at any cost.

“I lied to John and told him I had been playing for a year,” Wolpert said. “I really had only been playing for six months, at the most.”

An Obvious Passion

Despite his lack of experience playing the guitar, Wolpert had an obvious passion that could not be suppressed. He and Black began to play together regularly and eventually formed a band called Afferent. The group was comprised of Wolpert on lead guitar, Black on rhythm guitar and vocals and two friends that played bass guitar and drums. But to both Wolpert and Black’s dismay the group did not go in the direction they had hoped.

“When we started writing as Afferent, the music was too hardcore. John and I weren’t really into that. We decided we needed to end that and start over again,” Wolpert said.

The new start would yield John Black, a new band named after the singer. The band would be more acoustically based, a nod to the early days when Wolpert and Black would play together in Scarsdale.

New Directions

The band has flourished in its new direction and has completed its first studio album titled “A Beginner’s Guide to Letting Go.” The next step from here, according to Wolpert, is shopping the album around to record labels. To the average person this may sound like a monumental task, but luckily for the band, they’re well connected.

“We’re going to play a few shows for Crashbox, who are signed and are opening a show for Maroon 5 in October. We’re looking to gain some exposure from that,” Wolpert explained.

A Balancing Act

Though he does not yet have a label offer, he has juggled school work, a coveted summer internship at Merrill Lynch and an extracurricular activity. Of course there are a few hardships that go along with living this type of lifestyle. Wolpert laments that he’s not at school on the weekends with his friends as much as he’d like to be.

“I’d love to play music for the rest of my life, and if I do, I still think I’ll do some financial work on the side,” Wolpert said. “But if we don’t stay together I still have my financial education and I know I would still want to play with John, too.”

Despite any uncertainty regarding the group, Wolpert has already accomplished a lot. He says that one of the most rewarding things that has come of making with his band is that he can see the fruits of his labor.

“It feels good to know that no matter what happens from here, I have these songs that I’ve helped create and I can show people and be proud of them,” Wolpert said.


About David Westerberg