Few bands on campus can claim Zach, the Schwartz Outdoor Leadership Janitor, as their first fan.

When the Spins first started playing, the band didn't have access to the music practice rooms in Gibson Hall. Guitarist Dave York '07 obtained permission for the group to practice in the OLC thanks to his status as a trip leader. So Zach witnessed the band's beginnings.

"At that point," drummer Mark Viehman '07 said, "it was just nice to have someone to listen to us."

The Spins have moved out of the OLC and into other venues around campus that are more accessible to its growing fan base: the tsunami relief concert at Quinby House, parties at Ladd House, the Battle of the Bands, and outdoor concerts at Pine Street.

The group of seniors, with York on guitar, Viehman on drums, Mike Igoe on vocals, Armand Gottlieb on guitar, and Jack Clancy on bass, credited the strong dynamics of its band to the friendship they developed before the Spins' inception. Gottlieb, who was in a band in high school, convinced his first-year roommate Igoe to start the Spins.

"We were into heavy [progressive] rock in high school, and it got really, really heavy and loud," said Gottlieb. "Our moms would have to run around the house keeping the furniture down. I wanted to move away from that a little bit."

The other members instinctually gravitated toward the idea of playing various rock covers in a campus band. For instance, while York was doing laundry, he heard Gottlieb playing guitar and started playing with him. That was how they first met.

Viehman, who spent last year abroad in Paris, was even able to play with the band during a quick trip back to the States.

"I was craving organized music since I didn't get to play any in France," he said.

Four of the band members lived in Quinby House during their sophomore year, which gave them ample room to practice and play shows. That year, Clancy joined the group. Like many good things in college, his induction happened over a beer at a house party.

Clancy had not played a musical instrument before coming to college. Since then, he has declared a major in music and developed into what the rest of the group calls "a bass god."

Now that the Spins have played a string of live shows this semester, the band plans on taking a few weeks off and writing original songs. They have a great deal of respect for the musicians they cover, listing the Beatles, the Allman Brothers, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Led Zeppelin as a few favorites, but the group understands the need to keep the show fresh.

"Before one show, we learned five songs in a week," Gottlieb said. "But, that doesn't give us a lot of time to write. We were playing the same covers and even our friends got bored, so we wanted something new."

The group wants to expand its portfolio, writing about subjects like an attempted axe murder that York witnessed in New Zealand, characters from the Bonnaroo Music Festival, and "the mullet blues," which is dedicated to a friend of the band who willingly wreaks havoc on his appearance for a couple hundred dollars.

When asked where the band's name originated, Igoe attributed it to the Spins' "wild youth."

"The spins are the basis of a lot of crazy stories," he said.

"Call it our youthful indiscretions," Clancy said.

Thanks to that wild youth, the band has plenty of stories to spin into songs.