The East Vision

The newest rock band “Meltdown Cinema”

Five middle and high school students start their own talented musical group

Danny Barnes

Danny Barnes

Nick Van Hekken, Staff Writer

Get used to hearing the name “Meltdown Cinema.” This hot new music group is growing their popularity every day.

Meltdown Cinema is a local rock band, composed of five talented musicians, most of which are students at East Grand Rapids. The bassist, Danny Barnes ‘23 and drummer, Sam Gamble ‘22, both attend the EGR Middle School. The keyboardist, Drew Huegli ‘21 and guitarist, Jack Ashley-Oswalt ‘21 are both freshman at EGR. Their singer, Lana Chalfoun, attends St. Thomas.

“[Danny, Sam, and I] got together in 2016 through an audition at the Piano Cottage,” Huegli said. “Lana joined and became our backup singer, and when our old guitarist left, we decided we needed a new guitarist. That is when Jack joined, which brings us to where we are now.”

For those that don’t know, the Piano Cottage is a musical school in Grand Rapids that offers lessons and classes to young musicians. The Piano Cottage is a big part of Meltdown Cinema, because it’s where all the members got their start, and it’s where they all met.

The five young musicians get together every Sunday, either at one of the members’ houses, or where it all started, the Piano Cottage. They use their practices as an opportunity to hang out together, and practice their music.

“At our practices, we decide what songs we want to play and then we practice them until we have them down,” Huegli said.

So far, Meltdown Cinema’s hard work and dedication has allowed them to perform at a few charity events around Grand Rapids, and they have even made an appearance on Eight West. On the show, they performed a song and were interviewed about about their group.

“It was stressful at times,” Huegli said. “But as we got further into the interview it became a lot less stressful and overall it was really fun.”

Although they are starting small, like many upcoming musicians, the band has big aspirations. They hope to go from performing at local events, to much larger stages.

“Our goals are to get a record label, and to perform in front of larger audiences,” Huegli said. “We also want to pursue creating music, do gigs around town, and go on tours.”

Whether the band achieves its goals or not, it has already had a positive impact on the artists’ lives. It allows them to explore music, meet new people, and have fun together not only as a band, but as close friends.

“This band is what enables me to reach people through music and to show people my talent,” Huegli said. “The band has started to become like a giant, crazy, musical family.”

Keep your eyes and ears out for Meltdown Cinema as they show off their talents and make their way through the music business. You can visit their website, meltdowncinema.com, for more information about the group, individual artists, performances, and more.

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The newest rock band “Meltdown Cinema”