Geography and economics double major senior Peter Scilla is a guitarist, singer and songwriter for the band Salary Jones. Scilla tries to keep his music appealing while also staying unorthodox, as Scilla ensures to create avant-garde music and to avoid sounding mainstream.
“I guess the music I make is barebones—you can just call it rock,” Scilla said. “Catchy music that's sort of really weird at the same time.”
The act of playing is an experience unlike any other for Scilla.
“There’s nothing like playing live when everything's coming together and everybody's playing the right thing,” Scilla said. “There’s nothing else on your mind in that moment except playing music in front of people.”
Scilla writes about a wide range of topics, combining the everyday with the transcendental. Overall, Scilla prefers to write about small interactions that combine with greater forces instead of writing about inherently larger concepts.
“It’s a lot easier to write about say, religion, but there’s something that forces you to be really creative if I was writing about the fact that my coffee isn’t strong enough and how that could make me a perfectionist,” he said.
Music has played an integral role in Scilla’s life. In fifth grade, he listened to Green Day’s “Dookie” and felt that it expressed everything he could not.
Scilla is an articulate person, but still claims that in certain instances music can allow him to reach toward places that are not accessible through words.
“Music can convey a magnitude of feeling that’s unmatched by other means of communication,” he said. “Sometimes it’s a concise way to convey a huge motif that you’re trying to get across.”
Scilla primarily plays for the sheer act of playing since it clears him of all of life’s many confusions, but he is certainly open to receiving recognition in the near future.
“If it happens, it happens,” Scilla said. “I figure that I can always do music; it’ll always be a staple in my life, no matter where I am and what I’m doing, so if it happens one day, if my record goes somewhere, I would love that, but for the moment I’m making it just for fun.”
Additionally, Scilla’s study of geography makes its way into his music, but not directly.
“The reason I like geography is that I would like to travel so much because there’s this air of mystery over places I have never been and you could write songs about that,” he said.
Scilla has a clear plan for his life after he finishes college—he wants to join AmeriCorps before finding a job with city planning. He will always do music on the side, he said.
Right now, Scilla is working on an extended play record, which will be released shortly. It may go on Spotify, Facebook, Bandcamp or even on tapes.
Musicians can often be stereotyped as supremely cynical, but Scilla welcomes all manners of joy into his life, musical or otherwise.
“I guess good music, good company, good weather,” he said. “That’s what makes me happy.”u