“I started playing guitar because I wasn’t much into sports or anything else really. I fell in love with music.”
Local band At First Glance, which features Allex Wilson, freshman undecided major at Emporia State, as lead guitarist, signed a record deal with LAD Media last month. The Internet label, founded by Andrew Happle, former Emporia resident and musician, offers its bands merchandising, management and recording services, as well as direct online distribution and assistance with booking. The quintet recently released an EP titled “All Hearts,” which is available on iTunes.
At First Glance also consists of lead vocalist William Martinez, bassist Konner Mann, rhythm guitarist Cody Briar and drummer Patricio Morales. Wilson and Mann also provide backup vocals. Martinez and Morales attend Flint Hills Technical College, Mann is a student at Wichita State, and Briar is a senior at Emporia High School.
Wilson said the band formed in 2010, but he has known Martinez and Briar since high school and has also been friends with Morales since childhood. He said their sound fits into the post-hardcore genre, and their songs have lyrics that are “encouraging and uplifting.”
“We’re definitely heavier metal, but there’s a lot of ‘melodic-ness,’” Mann said. “It’s a fusion.”
Wilson said he got started with music when his father’s friend gave him a guitar.
“I started playing guitar because I wasn’t much into sports or anything else really,” he said. “I fell in love with music.”
When it comes to balancing school and music, Wilson said “it can be tough, but everything seems to be working out.”
“Any assignments I get, I tend to do them as soon as possible, so I can have more time with the band without worrying about what is due and such,” Wilson said. “Sometimes in the past I have even taken my laptop with me in our band van and have worked on assignments while on the road to a show.”
Wilson said his advice for aspiring musicians is to “remember why you play music and why you love music in the first place.” He said that if people are only in music because of the “riches or becoming famous,” then music wouldn’t have as much emotion, which is what makes relatable.
“It’s a passion and a way to express yourself through something so beautifully unique, just like each individual person is,” Wilson said. “If you remember that, then any hardships that come your way through a musical career will be easier overcome.”
Amy Meador, LAD Media public relations director, said At First Glance’s “focus is on bringing a heavier side of music to the Emporia area, which mainly consists of country and punk-rock bands.”
At First Glance will perform at 10 p.m. Feb. 2 at Beer:30, 402 Merchant St. Kansas City-based metal band Collapse The Masses and Wichita-based metalcore band Limits will also perform. The show is for ages 18 and up. Tickets are $3 for 21 and up, and tickets are $5 for anyone under 21. At First Glance will also perform March 13 in Albert Taylor Hall.