Text by Linda Claycamp, Illustrations by Stan Shaw
In 1995, three Harrington Hall residents, Adam Gehrke, Gavin Tierney ’98, and Matt Pruett ’98 developed a new sound on campus, combining Celtic music, heavy metal, and punk rock. They named the band Pint O’ Guinness, paying homage to the traditional Irish stout. Over the years, other members included Aadip Desai ’98, Dave Bowe ’00, Avery Anderson ’99, Andy Rick ’00, and Shane Scot ’97. Their sound was produced by an eclectic mix of instruments such as mandolin, drums, guitar, tin whistle, accordion, banjo, and bass. “We all ended up playing at least two different instruments, sometimes more,” says Adam. St. Patrick’s Day proved vital for Pint O’ Guinness; they were booked each year by prominent Irish pubs in Seattle (Dubliner Pub, Owl and Thistle).
Adam now juggles several titles in the music industry, including on-air personality for Seattle’s KISW and operations advisor for KUPS, where, as a freshman, his radio career was set in motion. Adam was not only a DJ all four years at Puget Sound, but also the program director during his sophomore year, and general manager in his junior and senior years. He likens general management of a college radio station to “herding cats … impossible.” But he obviously didn’t shy away from the challenge.
This UPS School of Music graduate began his broad musical career in campus band Pint O’ Guinness and has since found success writing, singing, and playing guitar in several local bands, including Trigger Happy Campers (hard rock and soul), Toxic Jungle (industrial/metal rock), and a ska band with whom Pint O’ Guinness had shared the stage a few times, the Diablotones (ska is a mix of rock, Caribbean, and jazz). Perhaps the most high profile among Shane’s bands is Clatterbone. Dubbed “Celtic rock,” Clatterbone blends hard rock, Highland bagpipes, and a fiddle. The band’s assorted influences include The Pogues and Metallica.
“Playing in Pint O’ Guinness probably had the biggest impact on me as a performing musician,” explains Shane, “I learned not only about the business and what it means to be in a recording/gigging band, but also about what it means to get that close and work that hard with a group of musicians until you get to the point where you want to strangle them.” Don’t get him wrong—when it comes to his Pint O’Guinness experience, he says, “I would do it all again.” Shane and Pint O’Guinness band-mate Adam Gehrke also formed Skivereen, which Shane describes simply as “a two-man band in the vein of Simon and Garfunkle.” They recorded two songs for the annual Campus Music Network CD.
In addition to currently playing in four separate bands (and counting), Shane has gone back to school to become certified in several computer systems, and he works in the high-tech sector.
Talk about wearing many hats … Aadip Desai is one part businessman, one part computer geek, one part teacher, and one part artist—without ever leaving the music industry.
In 1998 Aadip received his B.A. in economics with a minor in music, but his college experience afforded him much more than a degree. While at UPS he not only played in Pint O’ Guinness, he was also a member of the Phi Mu Alpha music fraternity, Jazz Ensemble, and Jazz Combo, and added the ASUPS groups Cultural Events, Popular Entertainment, and Campus Music Network to his extracurricular activities. Aadip spent time behind the turntable as DJ at KUPS, too. All of this exposed him to a wide variety of music styles, which, along with his internships at National Public Radio and Columbia Records, served him remarkably well in his musical-career development after graduation.
These days Aadip is working as an account manager for PlayNetwork, a business music provider, in addition to developing his freelance business, Porcupine Productions, which provides music consulting, a record label, and music-related Web development (Aadip was Web developer/designer certified after he finished at Puget Sound). He has done independent music marketing proposals for popular companies Abercrombie and Fitch and Banana Republic, wherein he provided general music recommendations and proposed playlists based on consumer demographics and other assessments. Aadip also teaches private lessons in trumpet, guitar, and drums (and he plays keyboard and harmonica).
Beyond music as a vocation, Aadip plays the trumpet and/or tabla (drums) in several bands, his experience spanning the genres from rock to jazz to salsa. After graduation he began substituting on trumpet in ska bands the Diablotones and Easy Big Fella, and recorded a few tracks with indie-rock group Gardener and hip-hop band the Sharpshooters. He has just finished recording a six-song rock EP of original music.