student profile: A perfect balance-Full-time student Brendan Stevens juggles work, school and the release of his band’s latest album

Joey Hill

It’s no secret that passions can take a backseat to school and work during college, but sophomore General Studies student Brendan Stevens manages to find time for not only work and school, but also singing lead for his band, The Strive.

A local Pop-punk band, The Strive has been rising in popularity, most recently last year after performing at Mix 93.3’s Red White and Boom concert at Starlight Theater following the winning of a battle of the bands contest, as well as Warped Tour.

Even with the release of a third studio extended play album “Caught Inside,” Stevens remains humbled by the experience.

“You can get someone to buy something on iTunes, or you can get someone to press ‘like’ on a Facebook page but to get someone passionate enough to drive 40 minutes, to figure out a ride,” he said. “All these different aspects come into making a great show, [but] to have kids actually come out is 10 times more gratifying than playing ‘Red, White, and Boom.’ It was a great experience, but getting there was more fulfilling to me.”

Along with his music and student life, Stevens also works up to 30 hours a week as a server at Outback Steakhouse, though he has a way of remaining in control of the balance.

“Usually with school or work or anything else, when it comes to music I try to drop everything when I get home,” he said.

While working on the group’s second EP “Design The Road,” Stevens had to make compromises during finals week in order to ensure the album was released on time.

“I had to be done with everything by April 27 to go to work on that record. I took four finals early; I was taking finals over lectures that hadn’t happened yet. It was so stressful,” he said.

Stevens’ talent as a writer shows very much in his work, especially in “Caught Inside.” His lyrics give off a deeply personally vibe, though are left open enough to be felt by anyone.

“I want it to be open for interpretation by anybody so it’s not just what I feel, it’s what I expect what people around me would feel,” he said. “Like if this happened to you, how would us as humans feel about it, not just how my personality or myself react to it.”

All of The Strive’s releases are available on iTunes and Facebook.

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