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Riff Too Hard: The Musicians Of CB

Christian Brothers High School is known for its many creative students who succeed in school activities. One of the many outlets Christian Brothers offers is its musical programs. From De La Femmes, De La Dudes, band, theater, and musicals throughout the year, there are many different ways students can express themselves through a musical outlet. […]

Kaveh Khajavi and his band Orange Sunshine performing at Holy Diver.

Christian Brothers High School is known for its many creative students who succeed in school activities. One of the many outlets Christian Brothers offers is its musical programs. From De La Femmes, De La Dudes, band, theater, and musicals throughout the year, there are many different ways students can express themselves through a musical outlet.

Nevertheless, there is still a group of students who have created their own paths into the musical world. These students have learned how to express themselves in bands, writing their own music, performing gigs, and just playing for the benefit of an outlet in their crazy academic and social lives. These are the musicians of CB.

Ryan Bruce (’20) and Bobby Horst (’21) have been playing together since “the start of creation,” Ryan says. Both are capable of playing multiple instruments and writing their own music, and have proven themselves as super talented individuals of the Christian Brothers community.

“I started playing [guitar] freshman year,” Ryan states, “I wanted to start because I was always interested in music and I had nothing to do.”

As a senior, Ryan has strayed away from just the guitar and has learned other instruments.

“Other than the guitar, I play bass, a bit of saxophone, and dabble with the piano every once in a while,” the senior says. “But my guitar is still my favorite.”

Bobby was introduced to music at a very young age. “I started playing the guitar when I was about seven years old,” he says. “[My family] just had guitars laying around the house.”

Just like Ryan, Bobby’s interest in music opened him up to learning multiple other instruments. “I play the guitar, drums, bass guitar, and I am starting to learn to play the piano. My favorite out of all is the guitar, though.”

Ryan Bruce (’20) and Bobby Horst (’21)

Their favorite song to play together is “Get Off of My Cloud” by The Rolling Stones. “It was the first song we played together,” Bobby says. Although it is their favorite song to play together, it’s not from one of the many bands or artists that inspire them. “

“We take inspiration from Green Day, Dinosaur Jr, Bad Brains, and the Smashing Pumpkins. They are all bands that we listen to all the time and try to base our sound off of,” Bobby says.

The Talon asked if given the opportunity to play with any band or artist, who would it be and what song? “I would play ‘Hummer’ with Billy Corgan [lead singer, primary songwriter, guitarist for the Smashing Pumpkins], or ‘Feel the Pain’ with J. Mascis [singer, guitarist and main songwriter for Dinosaur Jr].” Ryan says.

“I would play ‘Basket Case’ with Green Day,” Bobby says.

But away from covering their favorite artists songs, the duo hse taken the inspiration gained from their favorite bands and started to endeavor into song writing. Ryan says original songs are “in the works.”

“We have written a couple of songs, we just haven’t made much of them yet though.”

The Talon is excited to see what will come out of Ryan and Bobby. Maybe they can even take some notes from Gracie Cann (’20), who writes and plays her own music. Gracie has been writing and playing the guitar and piano for years.

Gracie Cann (‘20) and her sister Megan Cann (’23)

The senior has been writing and playing the guitar and piano for years. “I started singing when I was in 6th grade and learned how to play the piano in 4th grade,” she says.

Music has always held a special place in Gracie’s life as a outlet and passionate hobby. “Music has always been a part of my life because both my parents play guitar, and music has always been present.”

Gracie’s writing process is personal and emotional.

“Instead of just forcing myself to sit down and write a song, I wait until I am feeling a certain way and I let my emotions write the words,” she says. “My inspiration is nothing specific — I base my stuff off of human emotions and see where or how a song can go from there. Without feeling, not many songs of mine could ever have been written.”

Gracie’s music idol and inspiration for singing and songwriting is Freddie Mercury.

“He had a brilliant mind for music and it would be super cool to work with him and see what he could’ve done to my music.”

Despite Gracie’s feat in songwriting, she has not preformed any of her original songs due to how personal they are to her.

“I haven’t even shown anyone my songs because they are very personal towards my life,”she says. Even though she hasn’t preformed one of her own songs, Gracie talked about her favorite memory with music, which was her first time performing.

“I was in the sixth grade and getting ready to perform for the first time in my life. It was nerve wracking but exciting at the same time.”

A member of the Christian Brothers community that is well established in performing is senior Kaveh Khajavi (’20). Kaveh is the proud founder of his very own band Orange Sunshine. Starting his junior year, his fellow band members and him created EPs and albums that eventually got him gigs at popular Sacramento locations including Holy Diver, Harlow’s, and The Silver Orange. Kaveh created Orange Sunshine after years of playing [the guitar] and writing songs on his own.

“I started really playing when I was in the third grade, but I dropped it and th3n got back into it in seventh grade — I’ve always always sang in the car and whatever, but I only started singing and playing at them same time in the past few year so.”

“I’ve been playing for a long time and making songs– but never played with anybody else.” Kaveh says, “ When I found Kai [Orange Sunshine’s drummer], and we played together we just knew what was up — my brother Kian plays bass which just worked out perfectly and that’s how Orange Sunshine came to be”

Covering many bands and artists songs at it’s start, Orange Sunshine is now it’s own independent band with its own sound and style due to Kaveh’s ability to create, produce, and play his songs.

“My writing process varies a lot of the time, sometimes I’ll just be playing the guitar and find a riff. Sometimes I’ll be playing with Kian [bass player of Orange Sunshine] and we’ll find a riff together and I will start singing and making lyrics as we play it,” says Kaveh, “Most of the time though I write the lyrics and make the song around them.”

“I take a lot of inspiration from rock bands I grew up listening to.” Kaveh says. “If I could play with any band it would definitely be the Grateful Dead just because they have influenced my life and music.”

After months and months of practicing, creating songs, and working to perfect their sounds, Orange Sunshine was finally given the opportunity to preform at their first gig.

Their first legit gig was at the Holy Diver back in January. “It was magical experience– I honestly couldn’t believe we even got it.” says Kaveh. The gig sold out and the audience was filled with Kaveh’s friends and family supporting.

Kaveh Khajavi (’20)

“That was out first time playing our music together and it felt amazing seeing all my friends and family having a good time,” he says, ” I was nervous and excited and ready at the same time–after it was the most peaceful, fulfilling feeling which I don’t think I can ever replicate.”

After Kaveh’s first gig, the band took off preforming at multiple venues a month. Despite Kaveh being a senior and looking at a future in college, he has high goals for Orange Sunshine within the next year.

“My goal for the future of the band is to make a music video for our song, ‘Full Circle’ and hopefully release an album by the end of the year.”

Come check out Orange Sunshine play at the Ace of Spades on Saturday September 21st where they will be playing with Nirvana and Guns N’ Roses tribute bands. Tickets are $10, come support a fellow Falcon!

All these musicians have one thing in common. As an outlet, a career, or just for fun, they all show passion and love for music. Christian Brothers is thrilled to have such talented and creative students on campus.

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