A Peek Into The Alt-Rock Scene At Lake Shore High School


Nick Bommarito, Staff

All throughout Lake Shore High School, different people gravitate towards different groups and interests. One of these niche groups is the Alt-Rock scene. It has a large impact on many students at Lake Shore High School, and it brings together a large community. 

Within the Alt-Rock scene, there are the people that listen to the music. But, what about the musicians who make the music? Some of these musicians are Donovan Ripari and Michael Deweale.  Ripari plays guitar, and  Dewaele plays guitar, drums, and performs vocals. 

Inspiration can span to many different people in many different ways. From the harsh and heavier sounds of Metal, and to the fast paced and in your face tones of Punk, music genres have merged and has helped create the vast diversity in sounds of Alt-Rock. Through the many changes in sound and the new takes on genres, multiple different groups and subgenres have been united under the Alt-Rock title.

“Oh, Megadeth, for sure. The moment I got into guitar and I heard Megadeth, it was like a big brain explosion because like all he does throughout every single one of his guitar solos is just pure *GRUNT*,” Ripari said. 

“He basically stole my answer,” Dewaele added. 

“Punk, and all the Alternative stuff and like Metal, and just like basically any subgenre of Rock, Metal and Punk,” Dewaele said. 

The Alt-Rock scene spans across multiple different genres, and that reaches into the Metal genre and the subgenres that come along with it. This has helped bring together a large community of students from all different backgrounds and music tastes.

“For me, I like to just mess around with scales and stuff and see what sounds good. And when I find that, I repeat it, and after I get it down, I find other things and try to make a bridge by doing stuff with power chords and doing all that extra stuff… See if it all combines well and mixes together. That’s how I write music,” Ripari said.

“I like to do my writing first, like outright song lyrics. Then, I’ll sorta mess around with different chords, and I have a book of chords, so it’s fun to just experiment and mess around and come up with something new. And then of course, I’ll mess around with different drum beats when I’m playing and seeing if I can maybe come up with a cool intro. I kinda worry about the bass part after those are done,” Dewaele said.

The song writing process is a meticulous and intricate process that pulls together every chord, beat and note to form the coherent music you may hear on the radio or all throughout your everyday life. This process takes specific scales and rhythms to fit within genres and subcultures, which is how each genre and subgenre has a specific tone or sound that has become distinct within the Alt-Rock community. 

“Playing live, like my biggest dream, ever, is to be playing in front of a lot of people. Like I’m in a band now, we’re getting places, we have a demo cover, but if you give us like a month, we’ll have a song out. Like our first gig, with my band, will be a key moment in my life. I’d look back on it and think ‘Oh, that’s so cool,’” Ripari said. 

“As far as playing live, I don’t really know yet what exactly I’d be doing, either guitar, drums or singing, I’d like to be a singer live. That would be really cool. I’m really looking forward to it,” Dewaele said. 

Along with listening to music, comes the aspect of performing it. Within the world of music, it’s an entire journey on its own to find gigs and places to perform. However, places like bars and music clubs are unlikely to allow minors to perform, which adds another layer of obstacles for young musicians trying to find somewhere to put their music out. 

All throughout the different niches and communities at Lake Shore High School, the Alt-Rock community is one of the most unknown underground groups to appear. There are the people that listen to the music, but the people that create the music are the gateway to understanding the scene.