East once was home to a small group of kids who called themselves the Songwriting club. They met in the Choir practice rooms irregularly once a week during seminars, or before and after school. Mason Pashia described it as a laid-back club. This small club of close friends was centered around one common interest: a love for music. The members of this club would come with a guitar and their original songs. The club was a way for young musicians to share their musical skills with their friends. The light hearted songwriters club was started by East alumni, Mason Pashia, who graduated in 2013. Only three years later, Pashia has started a band called Page 18 which is getting ready to drop an album on Sept. 10.
Pashia is the lead singer, songwriter and guitarist of the band. The name stems from the band member’s love of books. Pashia explained that the band found the 18th page of a book to be significant to them so it became the band’s name. They are still debating on whether or not to let the specifics of the band name’s origin be public knowledge.
Page 18 is an alternative rock band operating in Nashville, Tennessee. The band consists of three members; Pashia, Stephen Sesso, the lead guitarist and Sean Logan, the drummer. While this is the band’s first album, they’ve been honing their skills for years.
Pashia started playing guitar in 5th grade and he could be found playing in his Mom’s art shop. By the end of his senior year in high school he had over 100 original songs.
For any lead singer of a band, working with your voice is crucial because the voice is generally most prevalent part in a song. In high school Mr. Foley helped Pashia do just that through individually counseling him and working with him in choir. Another teacher at East who played a significant role in Pashia’s time at East is English teacher Mrs. Feinberg. Pashia was in several of Feinberg’s middle school classes and at one point her lab aid. Through being close with Pashia, Feinberg helped Pashia form his ideas into spotify ready songs.
“We’d talk about life and we’d just talk about what’s going on in [his] life or challenges [he’s] having,” Feinberg said. “I know that talking about real life stuff, that becomes the subject for what he explores when he writes.”
As Feinberg explained, sometimes a person needs someone to confide in and help process ideas. Meeting up for the occasional coffee when he’s in town, Feinberg and Pashia continue to stay in touch. Feinberg says that with the support of herself, Foley and his parents, Pashia is certainly not running low on people who believe in his abilities.
“Find the people who help you be the best you and hang on to them. I think everyone’s happy to support a kid with a dream,” Feingberg said.
Even with all the supporters, the music industry is very competitive. Pashia explains that with everyone struggling to make a face for themselves it can be hard to get noticed. This is especially true in a music oriented city like Nashville. The album dropping will be a good way for the band to get publicity.
“The hardest part so far has been finding places to play in Nashville because it’s pretty oversaturated,” Pashia said.
Finding a place to perform is only one of the many obstacles that Page 18 has overcome. This band, like any other, has to stay synchronized. Pashia knows that with different personalities and goals all wrapped up into a unified sound it can be hard to make sure that everyone feels they have a voice. With each of the band members liking different sounds, finding a common ground is important.
“You have to make everyone feel like they have a stake in the band. It’s pretty easy[…]for the drummer to just not care as much because it’s not necessarily his creation,” Pashia said. “As long as you, in the process of recording and the process of rehearsal, give them a voice it keeps everyone going for the same team.”
But even if they don’t always agree with how much drumming the song should contain, Pashia said they do agree on this one thing- the sound of Nashville needs to be changed. The pop music with less than meaningful lyrics is not the prefered music type in the band. Page 18 is hoping to show Alternative rock to Nashville’s scene instead of the old pop sound.
Pashia explained that Page 18 is hoping that their album dropping will get them the fan base they need to make an impact. Even though their base is in Nashville, the band got an offer to record in KC. Setting up shop in a ten story abandoned building in the West Bottoms, the band recorded their album. Sesso took care of the engineering and producing side of Page 18’s album. All this was done without the help of an agent or recording studio.
Five months later they have an album ready to hit stores and spotify containing 10 songs along with a bonus track or two. Now they wait for it to hit stores. They are already working out CD signings in KC, as well as shows.
With the amount of hours Pashia has spent practicing guitar or solidifying lyrics, he has the motivation to succeed. Pashia began with the simple melody lines of Songwriters club and now he is the lead singer in his own band.