Roots Music Club President talks about what it takes to make an annual album

The Roots Music Club releases a compilation album every year of songs written and recorded by the club’s members. In addition to including songs from local bands like The Juice Company and Industrial Sunglasses, this year’s album will be “even more of a student-run project than before,” the club’s president said.

“We’re going to the Kuhlin center to record,” President Jacob Shellist, a junior, said. “We have a number of bands that have formed out of Roots throughout the past couple of years or so that are going to be on the album.”

The album is tentatively set to be released in late April and features artists who are University students, faculty and community members.

“The main goals of the album (are) to give all these other students an opportunity to be on an album or record one of their songs,” Shellist said. “In most cases, (recording) is going to cost you some money, and you have to get other musicians and a lot of time. We kind of want to take out that aspect and go, ‘Here’s your opportunity to record.’ So the biggest goal of the album is simply giving students opportunities to be on an album and get to record.”

The album not only gives the club’s members a unique opportunity to experience a professional recording environment, which can be too expensive for many people, but also exhibits the diverse community at the University.

“We have a very large mix of backgrounds and people who are involved in Roots,” Shellist said. “We definitely just have one music major. Everyone else is someone who loves music and wants to be involved in music. We have someone who’s involved in the faculty and comes out every time and adds his own folky vibe. There’s a lot of differences in musical opinions and genres going on. It gives us a sense of the music within the community.”

“We scheduled these sessions and engineers, and it’s been a long process of working around everybody’s schedules. It’s really difficult, but it’s been super rewarding to get people into the recording studio because a lot of these people have never done anything remotely similar to recording studios. Speaking from experience, it can be a really eye-opening, like, ‘Wow, I can do this!’ Once it gets going, they can actually just do it.”

While recording songs for a compilation album is hard work the group members take seriously, they don’t forget to have fun with their craft.

“For some of the groups, it’s just a process of playing together and finding what we like,” Shellist said. “For other groups, it’s someone who brings a song to a project. Every single meeting that we have, we come together and we play this same, simple little melody, and I point to a person in the room and say, ‘Alright, your turn! Sing a random verse off the top of your head.’ That’s how we’re doing one of our songs. I really am a big fan of it.”

Those looking to be part of Roots Music Club can attend meetings every Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. in Room 1002 of the Moore Musical Arts Center.