Four Boys with A Dream

Christina Lopez, Feature writer

Math class is usually for algebraic equations and geometry, but in a math class last year two students created a band. Sophomores Ronald Butler and Richard Scanland made Phoenix Nation in that math class..

 “We realized we had the same interests in music and we started writing songs together,” said Butler.

   Phoenix Nation is a band that plays alternative rock music.

“I need something with meaning,” Scanland said. “A lot of lyrics today are mindless and that’s not art to me. We put how we view the world in our music.”

 Throughout their years of growing up, music has always been a big thing to them.

 “I’ve always loved music since it was introduced to me when I was four by my

grandpapi,” junior Michael Hillegass said.

Scanland and Butler recruited Hillegass and sophomore Nathan

Pence after meeting them in different classes. According to Hillegass, rock music “speaks to them.”

The band itself is influenced by other bands such as A Day To

Remember, Metallica, Slipknot, Skillet, and Red.

“I’ve always wanted to be a musician,” Pence said. “I’ve always wanted to play music so I just go off of that.”

The band uses their influences to help write their songs, whether it’s incorporating a riff or lyrics.

“I’m constantly getting new influences. If I get really into a band, I’ll take pieces and use them even if it’s just a song,” Scanland said.

Scanland started playing violin before switching to guitar, and now he is singing in the band. Hillegass started playing the guitar and switched to drums because the band needed it.  

Butler and Pence both play a version of guitar, and always have.

“I’m mostly a self-taught singer,” Scanland said. “Michael [Hillegass] has helped me out as well just to improve my technique.”

Juggling school, home, band and activities can get overwhelming. So the band has to prepare themselves.

“This is what I want to do with my life. It’s encouraged me to stay on my grades so my mom won’t be like, ‘time to drop out of the band for a little bit,’” Butler said.

Many times, when playing or listening to different types of music, your parents might not approve. With Hillegass his parents didn’t accept his music until the band.

“Joining the band has opened a lot of doors for me, especially with my parents, they’ve been really supportive now,” Hillegass said.

The band has been promoting themselves through social media in order to get gigs.

“We have a twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and we’re working on a YouTube channel,” Pence said.

The band has high hopes for themselves in the future and want to continue to play for a long time.

”I can’t see myself doing anything else, this is it for me,” Scanland said.

To check out phoenix nation on social media go to

Phoenix_nation_official or facebook.com/phoenixnation