Thu. Feb 21st, 2019

Disco: from dance floor to mosh pit

 DiscoBy Michele Dubey

Managing a full-time academic schedule is enough to monopolize most students’ time, but for members of the local band Disco, they find the time to juggle both academics and rock music. 

Disco began as a trio in October 2004. Guitarist Zack Pennington met Jared Woods (drums) and Charlie Patton (cello) while working as an R.A. in the dorms at the University of Louisville. The three played together for a short time before deciding that they needed a bass player.


After placing an ad in the Louisville Showcase, Robbie Strojan, a.k.a. Robbie Hollywood, joined up and the group played as an instrumental quartet. In August 2005, Pennington asked friend Clay Nevels to join Disco as the lead vocals to round out their sound, and his addition to the group completed the five-piece.


The band’s members attribute two origins to the name of the band. First, they noted, “Disco is the antithesis of rock and roll,” thus the irony of a hardcore band named Disco. “I also heard that 70 percent of all disco balls are manufactured here in Louisville, so I thought it was fitting,” Patton said.


A self-professed “hardcore band that plays with metal bands,” they still do not think they fit completely into the metal genre. Disco describes their sound as post-hardcore, which singer Nevels clarified as Every Time I Die with a cello. With musical influences ranging from classical to punk and even rap, some of their major influences are the Blood Brothers, Depeche Mode, Dillinger Escape Plan, Bright Eyes and Incubus.


Aside from music, the band’s members maintain full-time academic schedules. Pennington is a Communication major with a French minor, Nevels is a Photography major, Patton majors in Cello Performance, Woods is pre-med with a Biology major, and Strojan is a graduate student in Electrical Engineering.  However, they all agree that Patton is the “diva” of the band, with the busiest schedule.


“I’m supposed to practice four hours a day,” Patton said, “besides various commitments in the evening.”


Their favorite shows so far have been in areas outside of Louisville. At the shows they played in Scottsburg and London, they found the kids that came out were much more receptive to new music than the audienceshere in Louisville. Disco is gaining a fan base here in the river city, though, and hoping there’s roomin the Louisville scene for a group that is a little something different.

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