When asked what would best describe their band, NARPs members Charlie Fogarty ’14 and Andrew Roseman ’14 agreed on “passion. Sweet, sweet passion.”
One of the many student bands on campus, the NARPs is comprised of Roseman, Fogarty and Aggie Kelly ’13. The group formed when Fogarty and Roseman were first years and Kelly was a sophomore.
For Roseman, the band’s birth was inevitable.
“I knew when I came to school I wanted to start a band. It just mattered finding people and making it happen. With those guys—we were all friends before we had the band going so it just kind of worked out that we all played music,” said Roseman.
Roseman had played with Fogarty and Aggie separately during his first year, but they came together for the first time to play the Battle of the Bands competition in the spring of 2011.
“It worked out pretty organically,” said Roseman.
When it came to choosing their name to compete, Roseman again took the lead. Before coming to Bowdoin, he had not heard the term NARP (Non-Athletic Regular Person) but had often been called one. When the band was born he felt it would be the perfect name, as none of its members played a sport—they wanted to claim the term.
“We wanted to take it and embrace it,” said Roseman. “We’re NARPs so let’s be The NARPs.”
Roseman and Fogarty describe the band’s music as a mix of many elements including rock, funk, soul, blues, love, hate and passion. Roseman and Kelly play both guitar and bass, Fogarty plays the drums and Roseman does vocals. Additionally, the band often invites friends to play with them and is always experimenting with sound.
“At this point it’s more just like fun, we’re trying to get more experimental in what we can do and what kind of songs we play,” states Roseman.
Despite their status as a student band, the NARPs don’t only play at parties and campus events—they also play in Portland, and for the last couple of summers they’ve played in New York’s Sullivan Hall in Greenwhich Village. When asked how much they charge for a show, neither Roseman nor Fogarty could pinpoint an amount. They explained that it depended on the event, as money mainly goes toward equipment repairs. Roseman said that equipment sometimes breaks at house parties so the money goes right back to fixing their instruments so they can continue jamming together.
Like any musicians, the NARPs spend a lot of time practicing. Even though Kelly graduated last spring, he currently lives in Portland and the boys still practice in Smith Union at least once a week.
Fogarty and Roseman describe their third bandmate as shy.
“The band was a coping mechanism for [Kelly], because he didn’t like going out and the band forced him to do that,” said Roseman.
Fogarty and Roseman offered a bit of an insight into the group dynamic by poking fun at each other throughout the interview, and fondly describing Kelly’s time in Portland and his attempt at potty training a rabbit named Django.
The NARPs will play all original songs at Gino’s Rock Club in Portland on November 23. Admission is free to the public. They will also be playing the Junior-Senior Ball in early December.