Baltimore Avenue is best known for many of our favorite restaurants and hangout spots. Now, it’s also the name of a rising noise rock band on campus.

The band’s members, frontman Kyle Cassell, bassist Wes Boone, guitarist Chase Francis and drummer Rogelio Joya first came together after chatting at student radio station WMUC 90.5 FM’s open house last semester. 

Their genre of choice, noise rock, is an umbrella term describing a subgenre of punk or rock music that experiments with various instruments and vocal soundscapes to create minimalistic atonal music.

“We were all just talking music and we left the station with, ‘Guys, it would be really funny if we started a band,’” Cassell, a junior government and politics major, said. “Here we are six months later.”

Though the group came together at WMUC, the members’ paths had crossed before.

Cassell and Boone met when they attended Community College of Baltimore County and reunited after transferring to this university. Cassell then met Joya during the second day of school last semester. The group’s mutual connections led them to meet at the open house. 

All members — excluding Francis — became DJs at WMUC and used the station’s live room every Monday to play together. The group encouraged students and friends to gather and watch them play.

What started as a bit became more serious as the number of spectators grew. 

The band planned a show over winter break and debuted on April 5. They also discussed releasing an EP, but never produced it after underestimating a recording process they called a “hell on Earth.” It was during this period the group decided on a name for their band.

Joya, who chose the name Baltimore Avenue, explained how many bands name themselves after a geographic location meaningful to its members, like the Swedish band Europe or the American band Chicago.

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Cassell, Boone and Francis are from Baltimore, while Joya is from Hyattsville. Yet even though they are not from the same place, the word “Baltimore” has a connection to all the members.

“[Baltimore Avenue] is an idea that you can branch concepts off of. Our band has become a concept stretching the idea of Baltimore Avenue,” Joya, a freshman enrolled in letters and sciences, said.

The band released their debut single on April 5. The noise rock track titled “feel,” is six minutes and seven seconds long. As of Thursday, Baltimore Avenue has 175 monthly listeners on Spotify.

All four members contributed to the track’s composition. Cassell does vocals and the others often find themselves improvising and riffing off of each other on instrumentals. This resulted in a particular moment of improv during the songwriting process that Francis called the band’s “defining moment.” 

“We all have different influences,” Boone, a sophomore sociology major, said. “Our common ground is that post-punk, noisy 60s, 70s, 80s experimental type of stuff.”

“It’s all frickin’ noise,” the band added.

Cassell said he wanted to push the band into an “ugly-ass” wall of sound. He often clashes with Francis, who prefers a more technical and clean style. But Francis and Cassell both see value in their differences because creating music is a collaborative effort.

“If one of us had complete creative control, we would squash everyone else and no one wants that,” Francis, a freshman public policy major, said. “It really is a good thing how all of our influence kind of comes together.”

Before creating their single, the band members lacked experience in sound engineering or recording. They credited WMUC with allowing them to use their recording studio and the friends who assisted them in the process. 

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Baltimore Avenue held their debut show, sponsored by WMUC, the same day of their single release. After the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed in Baltimore, the band and WMUC announced that all ticket proceeds would go to a relief fund.

The band called it a “surreal” experience to see all the people who purchased tickets — allowing them to raise more than $600 for the fund — and see an overwhelming amount of support and love for their music.

In the last few months, the members have come to consider each other best friends and were glad their shared passion for music brought them together.

“It’s very easy to get lost in the crowd that is the University of Maryland, but through WMUC and through this band, it very much has made the world feel a lot smaller,” Cassell said.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated that all four members of Baltimore Avenue are DJ’s at WMUC 90.5 FM. Chase Francis is not a DJ. This article has been updated.