Alumni Profile: Pale Cowboy
Beyond academics, Hampshire provides ample opportunity for the musically inclined to connect:
Pale Cowboy features alums Karl Helander 09S (guitar/vocals), Phoebe Berkel 07F (vocals, percussion and keyboards), and Maxwell Wareham 09S (lead guitar/vocals). The band, which also includes Helander’s cousin Aaron Moon on drums and Andy Cass on bass, formed in 2009 after Helander transferred to Hampshire from the University of Miami.
“That’s when things got going. When I transferred to Hampshire, it definitely was a launching point for us,” Helander says. “Hampshire people were really supportive and enthusiastic about us.”
Helander points to the Beatles as a universal influence for a band with three songwriters (Helander, Moon, and Wareham). “We’re all very inspired by the Beatles collaging many different ideas and styles to their albums,” he says. “There’s a variety of styles, there’s an ‘anything goes’ approach in a lot of ways. Our common ground is older rock ‘n roll music, Chuck Berry, rockabilly and country, the Everly Brothers.”
The Divisional system at Hampshire has proven to be influential on the three alums in the band. “I think I can speak for all three of us when I say the whole Division process really forces you to learn how to see a project through all the way and work independently, to seek out people and information that you need to complete your project,” Helander says. “Experiencing that, seeing a project through as far as you can, is really a glimpse into how to be a professional artist.”
The band is on the verge of releasing a five-track extended play, waiting for the money from a Kickstarter campaign to pay for the tracks to be completed.