Nashville band brings rock to Volapalooza 2015

Students came to celebrate the last day of classes on April 24 at Volapalooza 2015. They came to hear performances from Bad Suns, Cold War Kids and Lupe Fiasco, but they got a special treat when a relatively unknown Nashville band took the stage.

Arman Asadsangabi, lead vocals for The Screens, talks to the audience between sets at Volapalooza, April 24, 2015, World's Fair Park, Knoxville, TN. //Photo by Ryan McGill

Arman Asadsangabi, lead vocals for The Screens, talks to the audience between sets at Volapalooza, April 24, 2015, World's Fair Park, Knoxville, TN. //Photo by Ryan McGill
Arman Asadsangabi, lead vocals for The Screens, talks to the audience between sets at Volapalooza, April 24, 2015, World’s Fair Park, Knoxville, TN. //Photo by Ryan McGill

Students came to celebrate the last day of classes on April 24 at Volapalooza 2015. They came to hear performances from Bad Suns, Cold War Kids and Lupe Fiasco, but they got a special treat when a relatively unknown Nashville band took the stage.

Zephyr Garden, formerly known as the Screens, is  comprised of lead singer Arman Asadsangabi and producer and guitarist Benton Black. The two high school students won the opportunity to play at Volapalooza back in March when they won the Battle of the Bands competition.

Though they only had a week’s notice, the duo still managed to wow the judges and audience members alike.

“We just got invited to play, and it was actually through a family member,” Asadsangabi said. “We went ahead and came here, played and got the spot.”

The two met at a party towards the end of 2014 and have been making music together ever since. Though their musical journey as a band has been a recent one, both Asadsangabi and Black believe that music has been an influential part of their lives.

“I’ve been playing music my whole life,” Black said. “I’ve been playing guitar for over ten years now and making tracks and things like that, so music is pretty much my whole life.”

Describing their sound as “party rock,” Asadsangabi and Black cite indie rock artists such as Tame Impala, the Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys as some of their musical influences. They say that Nashville is a great place for musicians to live, regardless of genre.

“The funny thing about Nashville is that people associate it with country music, but anyone under the age of 30 doesn’t,” Black said. “I’d say it’s one of the biggest indie rock scenes ever.”

The young duo is not wasting any time when it comes to their music. They released an EP, “Plastic Dreams,” on Soundcloud earlier this year and recorded, mixed and produced the whole thing by themselves.

Asadsangabi and Black put in a lot of work to prepare for their Volapalooza performance as well. This included finding a way to make the digital sort of sound on their EP work in a live performance.

“That’s been a lot of hard work, figuring out how to make all of our songs play as close to the album as possible in a live setting and still have it sound really good,” Black said.

Overall, Asadsangabi and Black hope to deliver energetic performances that will please the crowds.

A group stands and listens to The Screens at Volapalooza, April 24, 2014, World's Fair Park, Knoxville, TN. //Photo by Ryan McGill
A group stands and listens to The Screens at Volapalooza, April 24, 2014, World’s Fair Park, Knoxville, TN. //Photo by Ryan McGill

“I hope they [the crowd] just has a good time,” Asasangabi said.

“A lot of people who don’t know what to expect when they see us go on-stage, they really enjoy it,” added Black.

Zephyr Garden is just getting started. With a Volapalooza performance down, they will next be performing at Do Dah Day in Birmingham, Alabama on May 16.

They’re optimistic about what the future holds.

“Hopefully an album is next,” Asadsangabi said. “And a lot more music festivals this summer.”

You can find more information about Zephyr Garden on their official website.

Edited by Jessica Carr

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Arts and culture editor, Taylor Owens, recognized her passion for writing at a young age. As an avid talk show fan, Owens found journalism to be the perfect way to combine her love for interviewing and writing. She is now a sophomore at the University of Tennessee majoring in journalism and electronic media. When she isn’t writing for the Tennessee Journalist, Owens is most likely catching up on the latest reality television show.