Happy Valley is a place full of constant excitement as well as tons of entertainment. Each fall and spring semester students flow into State College ready for a new and exciting journey to add to their college career—one group of guys that Valley had the opportunity to talk to expressed their excitement through music and entertaining their friends.
The Darkhorse Tavern in the heart of downtown State College this past Thursday (Jan. 22) hosted Whiskey Business, a rock influenced band full of memorable songs and is bound to leave everyone is the room chanting along and having a good time. Zach Grossman the lead singer and guitarist described Whiskey Business as, “being a fun way for the guys to express themselves in a different way that their friends might not always see.”
Valley had the chance to sit down and discuss Whiskey Business with Grossman as the other band members were preparing for their set list.
VALLEY: [To Zach Grossman] What is it like to be in a band in college?
Zach: My dad is a really good musician, and I grew up playing piano first and from that I taught myself how to play guitar. Music was always my thing and it kind of made me stand out from the rest so when I came to college I played at coffee houses by myself and through that met these guys through other friends and started jamming out at AEPi (Alpha Epsilon Pi) and it all flowed from there.
V: Who all are the band members?
Z: Jacob Schneider, guitar, and is from New Jersey. Justin Lehrer, drums, and is from Long Island, New York. Peter Ryan, bass, Pennsylvania, and Zach Grossman, guitar, piano, and sings and is also from Long Island New York.
V: As a genre, what would you describe Whiskey Business as being?
Z: Personally, I play a lot of acoustic guitar. My main influences are Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Billy Joel, and Bruce Springsteen. Whiskey Business plays all of the songs that you know, love, and want to hear. Playing songs that everyone knows all of the words to is really what we do, we like to consider ourselves as just a college rock band.
V: What is your favorite part of being in a band?
Z: People that come out get to see a different side of me that they might not get the chance of seeing if we were all just hanging out. Playing music is what I love to do, and I am glad that I get to share this with other people.
V: So…. You’re playing at THON?!
Z: Yes! This was the best day ever when we got asked to play. THON came to see us play at Café 210 and then they said they liked us and wanted to see us again so we set a show up at AEPi and they loved us and were given the offer. We are the only student band, and it is honestly going to be the best day of my life. We are excited, but all that we care about is sounding good. We have been practicing a lot and are just excited to be a part of this. Whiskey Business isn’t a business but more so something that we all just love to do with one another. These guys are some of my best friends and this is something we all are happy to be involved with.
V: Why Whiskey Business?
Z: Our old bass player thought of the name, and we all laughed because it was perfect since we were going to be playing at frat parties and other bars. We knew that we needed a good name that people would remember, and after throwing around ideas we all agreed and went with it.
V: Any lasting thoughts that you’d like to leave Valley with?
Z: Absolutely, we couldn’t be happier to be where we are today. Everything happened so quickly. To think that we all went from playing in a small frat room to playing later this year at THON is a dream come true. I wish that I could do this for the rest of my life, really. I haven’t enjoyed anything more than being in this band and meeting all of these guys.
V: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Z: In five years I will be working in the entertainment industry working in marketing. In a perfect world I would be a rock star but since that is hard to do I want to stick with being involved with music since it is such an important aspect of my life. Playing music is never about the money for me but it is nice. All of my best friends come out to see us and it is just a good feeling.
Later in the night…
People swarmed the Darkhorse Tavern as soon as Whiskey Business set foot on stage. This group of guys makes an impression and put everyone in a good mood. Marni Friedlander and Melanie Rome two fans and friends of the band expressed how they felt about Whiskey Business.
“These guys are a lot of fun, and are a great band to come and see,” says Rome.
“A night with Whiskey Business is bound to be a good night,” says Friedlander.
Whiskey Business can be seen later this semester at THON, on Thursday’s at The Darkhorse, Wednesday’s at The Saloon, and at other promotional concerts that can be found on their Facebook site.