Just Keep Drumming


Photo K. Corwin

Matthew Sabo (’15) and three Jesuit High seniors have been playing together for years. “The other guys in the band are way cooler than me. I’m kinda the nerd of the group. The only cool thing I do is play drums, I guess.”

Kaitlyn Corwin, Staff Writer

The Orpheum club in Ybor City erupted with applause as local rock band Parrotfish finished their final song of the evening. The last note of hit “Trainwreck” from their self-titled EP was fizzling out and from behind his drum set, Matthew Sabo (‘15) sat drenched in sweat and overflowing with adrenaline.

Sabo smiles thinking of those moments. “It’s really exhilarating to hear everyone yelling. It’s pretty indescribable.”

Parrotfish was participating in the Gorilla Music Battle of the Bands, which is a world-renowned competition with contests around the nation. Competitions like these are a great way for garage bands to gain popularity and grow their fanbase. However, this Battle of the Bands wasn’t their first performance. The band has been playing together for about five years, since Sabo heard guitarist Joe Cadrecha for the first time.

“I saw him play and he was really good, and I thought right away, ‘It’d be cool to be in a band with him.’”

Sabo and Cadrecha were both in 7th grade at the time and they began jamming out together. Quickly, they realized they had the potential to rock the local scene so they started adding people: bassist Matt Rodriguez and lead singer Conor Lynch. With a full four-piece band, Parrotfish began to search for venues to showcase their music. In March of 2014, they played their first gig at The Orpheum and have had success there ever since.

“We play a lot there, since we’ve done these Battle of the Bands and we’ve sold a good amount of tickets,” says Sabo. “We’ve built a pretty good relationship with them and they keep asking us to come back.”

When he’s not “shredding” with Parrotfish, Sabo is probably playing in the drum line with the Robinson Band, from which he gets just as much excitement. Music has always been a passion of his and he uses drumming as a way to profess his love.

“I kinda tried to play other instruments but drums were the only thing that I stuck with.” Sabo laughs, “For whatever reason, I liked beating the crap out of an instrument, instead of playing pretty.”

Coming from a family of musicians, Sabo grew up around instruments of all shapes and sizes. When he started band in middle school, he wanted to play the saxophone, but his parents steered him toward the drums.

“I had drums around the house that I’d bang on. I guess I kind of showed a natural knack for it.”

Recently, Parrotfish opened for California-based ska band the Mad Caddies. Opening for another band is an experience in and of itself. Sabo claims, however, that it is the moments right before going on stage that are the most nerve-wracking.

“I wouldn’t say nervous exactly, but we do get kinda antsy right before we play. [Before each show] we huddle up and say corny things to each other,” says Sabo. “On this last show, we slapped each other in the face. But then you see all the people out there and you’re like, ‘I just wanna start playing.’ And you start and really get into it.”

Check out their EP “Parrotfish” on SoundCloud by clicking on the icon below or follow the band on Twitter (@parrotfishband).