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The Mass Media

UMBeats: Ethan Alexander, the man of two bands

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Up-close of girl playing guitar. Photo by Olivia Reid (She/Her)/ Photography Editor. 

Welcome to UMBeats! This is a section of The Mass Media dedicated to helping UMass Boston’s musical artists showcase their talent and discography to the world, and more notably, UMass Boston’s community. This week’s installment is an interview with Ethan Alexander, a “Cape head” who is the guitarist for the band “Court Date,” as well as the vocalist, drummer and one person show for a side project known as “E.”

Nick Collins: What is your name, and what are your pronouns?

Ethan Alexander: My name is Ethan Alexander. “Big E,” hahaha. My pronouns are He/Him.

NC: I heard about a couple bands you have, Court Date and E. Could you tell me a little bit about them, like when you first formed or what gave you the idea to want to perform music?

EA: So Court Date started; one of my buddies never played in a band, and he always wanted to do vocals. We were looking for a heavier project, and that’s how, basically, that band started back in 2019. We weren’t getting a lot of shows, and we weren’t able to meet up a lot during COVID-19, so I started this side project called E, which was just me, a drum machine and a bass guitar trying to make really, really, really short songs—like one to 20 seconds each, no longer than a minute.

NC: A good pack and punch!

EA: Oh yeah, you have to. The weird part is that E picked up a little harder at first, but now Court Date’s getting a lot more traction than E just because it’s different music. People want longer songs now. It’s comical doing E; it’s not comical doing Court Date.

NC: Who are the other members of Court Date?

EA: So in Court Date, we have my good friend Shreddie—he got his name because he’s the gnarliest skater I know. My buddy John is on bass, he’s another “Cape head”—deep in the Cape—and on drums is my buddy Alex, who just moved out to Somerville.

NC: How did you guys come up with the name Court Date?

EA: It’s a funny story, actually. My buddy and I were sitting in court alongside another guy, and we couldn’t come up with a name for months. So, I looked over to my friend next to me, and said “hey, Court Date,” and we thought it was a great name for the band. It was funny to the three of us, all just some normal dudes who hang out at the skate park, dressed up in suits in court.

NC: How would you describe the genre of your bands?

EA: Really difficult (to tell) for Court Date. I always thought of it as a hardcore punk band, and people started calling us more grind. Some people have even started calling us more powerviolence lately because we’ve been writing shorter stuff. E started as a side project for me to write powerviolence songs, just wicked short, wicked aggressive, wicked blast and then “the end.”

When listening to Court Date, it does have a style of hardcore punk like Ethan said. With the length of their 2020 self-titled album consisting of seven songs and 15 minutes of raw emotion and energy (1), it’s not surprising to hear it be considered a powerviolence band. Regarding the raw energy and passion that’s showcased in the songs, I asked Ethan whether there are any symbolic messages within them, and his answer might resonate a lot with other people.

EA: In Court Date, Shred writes all the lyrics; a lot of it is kind of cultural, a lot of it is kind of timely. As for E, it’s just aggressive with “mess you up and leave” type lyrics. What could sum up Court Date’s message is that Eddie’s been thinking a lot about how much you should be telling your friends how much you love them because life is very, very, very, very short. You know, the good times we have, whether it’s on stage or off, I think is what life is all about; it’s not about “what’s like to get paid for playing music,” it’s about having fun with your best friends.

Ethan’s outlook on playing music, alongside the message that he and his band actively try to convey, is more than admirable. Music has the capability to bring people together through the interactions you have with fan bases, songs and albums, not to mention many more things. Life is too short to hold grudges, let alone too short in general, so why not make the most of it and cherish the memories you make with your friends? If you want the chance to hear these messages play out through the sound of music, Ethan has all that covered for you and has provided what you need to know in regards to the plans for his bands.

EA: Court Date is about to release a promo for our full length album; we’ve been playing these songs live for about a year and we finally recorded them. It’s looking really well, I’m really excited to finally put them out there and have people have a hard place to listen to them. We currently have a show April 8 in Providence and April 10 in Boston, those are the only things set in stone right now. As for E, I’m recording two albums right now, one of ’em all electric type drums, and the other acoustic type drums. It’s a learning curve for me, I’m trying…it’s hard, especially being self taught, too. I feel like I’m sweating more than I’ve ever sweat in my entire life, I feel like I’m doing something wrong. *Laughs* Everyone looks so laxed doing it.

NC: Can you tell me more about the show April 10? You said it was in Allston?

EA: Yeah, the show is in Allston; it’s at O’Briens, and it came about from me and one of the singers in one of the bands who’s playing, Treasure Club, having the idea to do a UMass Boston core gig. We invited only bands that have members at UMass Boston to play. It’s only a four-band bill, but it’s my band Court Date, “Hate Still Burns,” “Treasure Club” and “Impulse Control.” I think it starts at 7 or 8 p.m.; cheap drinks too. If you’re around, come to the gig.

If you’re looking to support UMass Boston students in their endeavors, look no further. The show at O’Brien’s is a perfect opportunity to make new friends, listen to some great live music written by your peers and, overall, have an amazing night. The address of O’Brien’s pub is 3 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA(2); and doors open at 7 p.m. It takes approximately 15 minutes to get there via car if you’re leaving from campus (3), and it’s well worth the commute to go out, have some fun and give these bands the spotlight they deserve.

You can find Court Date on Spotify and Apple Music alongside the other bands billed for O’Brien’s. Feel free to search all of them up and listen to their discography in anticipation of the upcoming show. The future looks bright for Court Date, so it’s best to jump on the bandwagon now because there’s no better time to do it with their new music and live performances on the horizon.

1. https://open.spotify.com/album/6fEz374LZzgXMSv7KZAYtV

2. https://www.google.com/search?gs_ssp=eJzj4tLP1TfINi0rMigyYLRSNaiwsEw1NrdMNjU1SUkzTUlLszKoSDRPMkpJMbJMSUw1TjJJtPQSyk8qykzNK1YoKE1SSMovLsnPAwDuWxZT&q=obriens+pub+boston&rlz=1CAOUAQ_enUS1050&oq=obriens+&aqs=chrome.1.0i355i512j46i175i199i457i512j0i10i512j69i57j46i10i175i199i512j0i10i512j46i175i199i512j46i10i175i199i512l3.3346j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

3. https://www.google.com/maps/dir/UMass+Boston,+100+Morrissey+Blvd,+Boston,+MA+02125/O’Briens+Pub,+3+Harvard+Ave,+Allston,+MA+02134/@42.3328259,-71.1233997,13z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m19!4m18!1m5!1m1!1s0x89e37afb848c801f:0x8b627c28a174fb5b!2m2!1d-71.0419953!2d42.3141992!1m5!1m1!1s0x89e379c554df5dff:0xa7b2dd29dae3b4a9!2m2!1d-71.1329162!2d42.3552199!2m4!5e0!5e1!5e2!5e3!3e3

About the Contributor
Nick Collins, Sports Editor