Junior Enzo Malaspina strummed his guitar, instantly filling the Gilman, their sold out venue. Within seconds, the rest of the band, Mt. Eddy, joined in, sweeping up his playing in a flurry of notes and noise, and the crowd, pulsing to the beat of the music, cheered.
On stage, Malaspina said that he loves to feel the vibe of the audience.
“The crowd will help you enjoy your own music,” Malaspina said. “If you see them getting into it, you will too.”
Malaspina said that show remains his most memorable performance, but soon, he and his bandmates will rock a bigger stage, opening for SWMRS, another band of former Piedmont students, in New York’s Irving Plaza, on Dec. 9.
Even though this huge venue is new for Mt. Eddy, Malaspina will surely bring his unique personality to the performance, senior T. H. Williamson said.
“He’s just got this undeniable focus when he plays,” Williamson said. “They have a good collective stage presence, but when he does his guitar solos or more Enzo heavy sections of different songs, his personality really comes out.”
Even as a seventh grader, Malaspina brought his own spunk to the stage, Jazz Band Director Andria Mullan said.
“We were playing at Yoshi’s and he was standing backstage dancing as he played the congas,” Mullan said. “I will never forget that about Enzo: his just general excitement about what we’re doing in the class. So much so that he would dance and just really get involved with his full body.”
For Malaspina, music truly is a physical experience, not just something played or heard. He said that he wanted his music to evoke feelings so strong they radiated through people’s entire bodies.
“I just try to make music that gives me the chills,” Malaspina said.
Mullan, Williamson, and junior Kevin Judd, a bandmate, all said Malaspina’s dedication to his music is unparalleled.
“The way he applies himself to music shows a very clear passion for it, but it’s not just a generic passion, it’s a very Enzo specific kind of passion,” Williamson said.
Mullan said she has also noted his willingness to experiment with new styles, his dedication to practice, and even his ability to adapt quickly to their musical needs.
“He’s a remarkable, super dedicated musician,” Mullan said. “He even played bass when we needed him to, and he still does on occasion.”
Malaspina also played bass for a local band called Destroy Boys on the weekend of Oct. 21. They recorded a whole album together over just a weekend, he said.
“It was 10 songs. Ugh, so gnarly, but we got to work with a really cool producer named Martin Cooke,” Malaspina said. “He’s done Maroon 5 and Death Cab for Cutie.”
Malaspina said this wasn’t his first time in a studio, having also recorded other EPs and albums. He often plays at local shows, and Malaspina has even gone on several tours with Mt. Eddy.
“The best part of touring and going places is not knowing if it’s going to be good, but then the crowd surprises you,” Malaspina said.
While big audiences might scare some people, Malaspina said he remains unfazed.
“A lot of people think you would get nervous, but I don’t really,” Malaspina said. “You just go up there and do your thing.”