Lachlan Keller

What does it take to start a band? For Evan Branham ’24, the bass guitarist in a recently formed rock and metal band, the answer is two years.

Branham has wanted to start a band since his first semester at Yale, but his first few attempts failed to get a group off the ground. But this year, he joined forces with his friend and band lead singer Anthony “T” Scarborough ’23, to form “3 PM Noise Complaint.” The group consists of Branham, Scarborough, Lachlan Keller ’22 and guitarist Thomas Zamora ’23. 

Although Branham’s goal was to audition for the Spring Fling event “Battle of the Bands,” the group was not chosen to perform. Still, they enjoyed jamming together so much that they decided to continue, and even ended up getting a noise complaint about them playing in the Silliman recording studio at 3 p.m., hence the band name. 

“I guess the Silliman Recording studio isn’t completely soundproof,” Branham said. 

Since deciding on a name for the band, the group has been trying to find opportunities to perform. Once Keller heard about “Earth Night,” a concert at Stella Blues meant to raise awareness about environmental issues, the band reached out and was accepted. 

“Our greatest strength as a band is that we’re all quite technically proficient musicians,” Keller said.

At the event, the group played a set of 13 cover songs — some rock, some metal and some classic theme songs.  

“Not a lot of people at Yale listen to rock music, it’s much more new stuff,” Branham said. “A lot of the stuff we’re playing is tangential to ‘dad rock,’ but we are trying to connect with Yale students, connect with the younger generation by playing stuff from when we’re kids, like the Phineas and Ferb or Johnny Test theme song.”

The group also played “Down with the Sickness” by “Disturbed” to appeal to a mainstream audience, as well as “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” by Metallica, where Branham replicated the sound of bells tolling by slamming his guitar with the guitar stand. 

“Personally, it’s our first gig, so I’m very excited, and as a band we’re trying to make things work, and play songs that people are interested in, and not just play alt-jazz-rock.”, Scarborough, the band’s drummer, said.

Scarborough, who began singing in his final year of high school, said that the band plays both heavy and melodic music, including songs by bands like Green Day.

“I feel like it’s just been a great time,” Keller said. “We’re just four guys who like metal and jamming, so we decided we should start jamming together.” 

Keller first played the piano before realizing that “you can’t play metal on a piano.” Over the summer, he released his own heavy metal album, “American Blight.” 

Though the band is currently “just having fun playing cover songs,” Keller said that they did plan to write and perform more original music next semester. He said he felt very strongly about the metal they were playing. 

“Heavy metal means empowerment. It’s definitely a genre that doesn’t shy away from hard topics or how life sometimes can kinda suck,” Keller said. “Heavy metal really embraces that and deals with those themes in an empowering way. I think when someone listens to heavy metal, they’re either scared out of their mind or feel very powerful, feel better about their life. It’s hard but I feel like I’m better equipped through metal to deal with it and just continue on.“ 

Saturday’s concert took place from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. in Stella Blues at 204 Crown St.