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Meet the Rock Bands Carving Out a New Space in Gainesville’s Music Scene

With dynamic performances and singles, they’re transfixing listeners in Gainesville and beyond

CREDIT: Jazzy Angeles (@jazzy.angeles on Instagram)


Did you attend the Rowdy Magazine x Swamp Records Rock of Ages show and are still replaying all the performances in your head? Need new music recs and also want to support local acts? We got you. Here are four up-and-coming Gainesville bands that you should know about.


CREDIT: Jazzy Angeles (@jazzy.angeles on Instagram)

The formation of this band’s lineup sounds like something straight out of a movie. While each band member hails from a different city and state, they eventually found themselves in Gainesville, Florida. After starting as coworkers at Target, they connected over their mutual affinity for music. The current lineup consists of bassist and lead vocalist Adam, guitarist and backing vocalist Caleb and drummer Reece.

As an alternative rock band, RA’SBRY cite the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Green Day as their main influences. Although each band member holds diverse genre preferences, lead vocalist Adam still describes their songwriting process as collaborative. At jam sessions, band members each contribute rhythms and riffs as a way of blending their individual music tastes.

While the band has acknowledged that their expansive catalog has sometimes proved a challenge in landing gigs, they’re proud of the fact that “no two songs sound alike” and stand by their adaptability. After finishing up a slew of shows this spring, they plan on recording and releasing their first EP in the summer. You can follow RA’SBRY on Instagram @ra.sbry.


CREDIT: Gabriel Velasquez Neira (@gvelasquezneira on Instagram)

We gotta start a band together when we get back to school is what lead guitarist Zane Borenstein texted frontman Grant Schmid over the summer. The two had met when Borenstein previously rushed the Schmid’s fraternity last year, and they had always talked about jamming together. Schmid met drummer Cole Brooks on a road trip to New Orleans the previous fall. The band had found their bassist after convincing Myles Salustro to pick up the instrument and to start teaching himself.

All four band members are students at the University of Florida, where they’re also heavily involved in other extracurriculars. When sitting with Schmid and Brooks for an interview, they noted that the band’s biggest challenge since coming together has been finding time to work around their schedules. Club hockey, Dance Marathon, Student Government, and a degree in Neuroscience are just a few of the commitments the band members have learned to navigate. And as suspected, balancing responsibilities as a student and ambitions as a band member can be quite tricky. Schmid notes how every band can relate to the need to make personal sacrifices to pursue their passion for music.

If you missed them at the Rock of Ages show, you can catch them at High Dive again on March 30. Check them out on Instagram @southbound_441.


CREDIT: Quail Hollow (@quailhollowband on Instagram)

Quail Hollow is a six-piece band primarily based in Tampa, Florida. Their members include Dominic, Ashley, Matthew, Nathaniel, Douglas and Augustus. Some of the band members have known each other since elementary school, while others joined through invitations to jam sessions and a serendipitous encounter at an open mic. After Augustus converted his attic into a fully functional home studio, the band was able to steadily write and produce more songs.

The band has stated that their favorite aspect of performing is the crowd interaction. They even create songs with the intention of playing them live, and they love to provide the chance for people to let loose of their concerns and enjoy a brief reprieve from the rhythm of daily life.

Even though the band recently released their self-titled debut album earlier this month, they have already put out some singles from their second album and are hoping to have the project completed before the end of this year. You can follow Quail Hollow on Instagram @quailhollowband and listen to their debut album on Spotify and Apple Music.


CREDIT: Staircase Spirit (@staircasespiritband on Instagram)

In his freshman year of college, drummer Jayson Vereby was invited on stage by The Killers during Riptide Music Festival to perform one of their songs with them. Oh, and this happened in front of thousands of people—so no big deal. After that event, Vereby’s friend and guitarist Eduardo Giralt took a chance and decided to ask Vereby to work on a few songs with him. They had previously met in high school and connected over their mutual love for bands like Radiohead, The Strokes and Nirvana. Together they formed the rock band Staircase Spirit. They haven’t stopped playing since.

Staircase Spirit recently had the opportunity to record three songs with Daryl Palumbo of the bands Glassjaw and Head Automatica. While Giralt admits that it was nerve-wracking to write and perform songs at such high caliber, the recording session went smoothly and the band was able to refine their work.

The band is currently mastering the songs they recorded in December. They’re also looking forward to playing a string of shows in Florida in the coming months. Be sure to check out their Instagram @staircasespiritband for future announcements.


Rowdy online writers Simone Liang and Tiffany Fang contributed to this article. Special thanks to Quail Hollow and Staircase Spirit for sharing their responses to the interview questions and to RA'SBRY and Southbound 441 for sitting down for interviews.


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