Local Band Ready to Set Sail
Westwood High alums look to introduce more people to their unique brand of indie punk music.
Submitted by Mal Duffy
Down With The Ship, an indie punk band featuring five Westwood High School graduates, is a headliner at CNC’s Indie Music Marathon on Saturday, August 11 at All Asia Bar in Central Square, Cambridge.
Featuring hard rocking songs with titles such as “Zombie Killer” and “Fire Away,” the band had been playing at graduation gigs and summer parties when they got an opportunity to play at the Music Marathon.
“We expect that All Asia will be our breakout gig,” said drummer and co-founder Conor Duffy, “we played at lots of parties and charity events and we’re ready to play at professional venues so we can introduce more people to our unique brand of indie punk.”
According to Duffy, they have been rehearsing non-stop to prepare for the gig. “Rehearsals are a medley of practice, jamming, and musical creation. We are constantly trying to take things to the next level. ‘How can we get this song tighter? What new parts can we add? How can we surprise or inspire our audience?’ These are all the questions we are constantly going over for each song.”
Down With The Ship also features Malachy Duffy on lead vocals and guitar, Nate Teebagy on bass, Joe Elkhoury on guitar, and Ben Beal on back-up vocals and keyboards. According to Malachy Duffy, many of the band’s songs, principally written by the Duffy brothers, “feel like an adventure where bravery and love and revenge shine through.” Duffy says that he is “drawn to anything that is creatively intense and original in its mood and lyricism,” and he is “influenced by anyone with a story to tell and the guts to tell it their own way.” Among Duffy’s musical influences are Jerry Garcia, Dylan, and Springsteen, and he says the band is “drawn to the epic, smashing and powerful, and then we bring it down to the soft and beautiful.”
Malachy Duffy is a 2010 graduate of Westwood High School, the other band members graduated in June. Members of the band played in various music ensembles at Westwood High School, and the Duffy brothers each won the Louis Armstrong Award for Best Jazz Musician in their respective years of graduation. They each began their musical journey at the piano, studying with Westwood’s James Chubet.
Malachy Duffy will return for his junior year at Johns Hopkins University in the fall, where he is Music Director of Mental Notes, a comedy/acapella group; the other band members: Conor Duffy (Lehigh), Nate Teebagy (Mass Bay), Joe Elkhoury (Northeastern), and Ben Beal (UMass/Amherst) are set to begin freshman year.
The band is also getting a boost from other recent Westwood High graduates. Chris Colby created the band’s logo and artwork, Sarah Angelisi is taking photos and working with Ivy Lee and Genny Rodgers (a former Westwood resident) on publicity.
What does the future hold? “We take it one step at a time,” said Conor. “Even though we’ll be apart, we’ll keep writing music, and hopefully put it all back together again on breaks and next summer.”
Down With The Ship will be performing at the CNC Indie Music Marathon on Saturday, August 11 at All Asia Bar in Central Square, Cambridge. It’s an 18+ show, and the doors open at 6 p.m.