Spotlight: One student out of 36,000

Angelica Bonomo

Angelica bonomo/ Staff Photographer
Angelica bonomo/ Staff Photographer

Living in Los Angeles, it isn’t rare to meet local musicians striving to be the next big act. What is rare is Jarred Tibbetts, 22-year-old creative writing English major and History minor, a musician striving to have a career emphasis in writing songs, not performing them.

Tibbetts, who is self-taught, has been playing the drums since the sixth grade and has been in a total eight official bands. Currently the drummer of four bands, Tibbetts advocates that being a member of multiple bands allows him to have a wider scale of artistic expression.

“My feeling about music is that it’s an art form,” said Tibbetts. “And as an outlet, music should also send out a message. Two of those bands are more politically driven, lyrically at least. So I don’t want to contaminate those bands with more sensible band structure. The others are more commercially friendly.”

Another aspect of his music, Tibbetts said, which doesn’t follow a strict structure, is his songwriting process.

“Things come to me randomly,” Tibbetts said. “I’ll be in class or something and two lines will come to my head, and that’s kind of like the spark that ignites. I’ll write two lines here, two lines there over the course of a couple of days.”

When it comes to performing his songs, Tibbetts said he definitely enjoys feeding off the audience’s energy, but wouldn’t want to make touring a lifestyle choice. Instead he would like to eventually work as a songwriter for musicians.

Tibbetts also added that going on tour is a lot easier then most people think. One of his bands, Dogs Holy Life, recently went on tour this past summer.

“We did it ourselves, you know,” he said. “We took the minivan and the trailer. I have friends who have gone to all these remote places that you think are impossible to penetrate unless you are like Metallica or some huge band. But it’s actually easier to do.”

What was hard for Tibbetts was learning to play the drums without having lessons, or even his own drum set for the first two years he was learning how to play. He taught himself by borrowing his friend’s brother’s drums, and imitating the drummers in songs that he listened to.

Despite this, Tibbetts remains humble about his accomplishments and the position he plays in his bands.

“Personally I feel playing the drums is the easiest instrument to learn, well at least to be self-taught at,” said Tibbetts. “The drums are the most expendable. You can have a guy with just his guitar, you can’t have a guy with just his drums.”