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Banded together

January 28, 2016

 

From left to right: Thaun Nguyen, Taunton Melville and Eugene Achi have been playing together as Banded for ten years–Photo courtesy of Chris Landry

From left to right: Thaun Nguyen, Taunton Melville and Eugene Achi have been playing together as Banded for ten years–Photo courtesy of Chris Landry

 

A doctor, lawyer and engineer were brought together through music at Louisiana Tech more than ten years ago.

 

ELLIE MOSLANDER

Editor-in-chief | emo012@latech.edu

 

After graduating Louisiana Tech more than 10 years ago, Taunton Melville, Thuan Nguyen and Eugene Achi not only left with undergraduate degrees but also with a shared passion for music that transformed into their alternative rock band Banded.

 

“Our shared interest in music has always been our common language,” Melville said. “However, we can’t deny that we call come from very different backgrounds and cultures.  These differences are good things because we want our music to reach the greatest spectrum of listeners possible, regardless of background.”

 

The three come from different countries and backgrounds but have been united through their love for writing and playing music.

 

Melville, a former history major who currently is an attorney from Bossier City, plays guitar and piano for the band.

 

Thuan Nguyen, a civil engineering graduate and current project manager from Vietnam, plays a mixture of drums, guitar and bass for the band.

 

Eugene Achi, a former biomedical engineering major and current medical doctor from Lebanon, plays the piano, guitar, bass, drums and sings.

 

“I think with that foundation of creativity and friendship, we’ve been able to keep the band together post-college, despite living in different states and having very different career fields,” Melville said.  “Music keeps us near, and that started at Tech.”

 

Melville said they are all very patient musicians because living in different states, currently Louisiana and Texas, means most of their music is produced through long-distance emails, texts and phone calls. Cover of Still a Chord to Strum

 

“We actually are rarely in the same room, but thanks to technology we can still write and record together,” Melville said. “However, even with technology, it still requires patience, fortitude, and for an individual member to at times ‘sacrifice’ something for the sake of the band with hopes that the collaborative effort will result in a better song than one that individual could have done on their own.”

 

Even though each member maintains a professional lifestyle and career, they still take the time to work on their music and released their second album in 2015.

 

“It’s called ‘Still a Chord to Strum,’ which is fitting because the album is about love, loss and nostalgia, but most of all, the album is about hope,” Nguyen said.  “It’s about the future that’s ahead of us.”

 

He described their music as a mixture of pop, rock, folk and country. He also said their music is deeply inspired by classic rock bands such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. He said their music has evolved over time, but they have always had inspiration.

 

“We wrote a lot of love songs early on so I would say the early inspirations were crushes and relationships,” Nguyen said.

 

Achi said being part of the band and making music has served as a creative outlet for him through his career using the music as a stress outlet going through his medical residency.

 

“We have a common understanding,” Achi said. “We want a professional life and a musical life as an extension.”

 

Through their journey as friends and musicians, Melville said he is glad they formed while they were all college students, because this gave them more time to get to know one another, be creative and understand each other’s musical styles.

 

“At Tech, we had the luxury of proximity, but we have become much better musicians and songwriters, and song crafters, because we allow time and distance to be assets, rather than liabilities,” Melville said.

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