College band works to break songwriting tradition

Fighting your way to the top of the ladder in today’s crowded pop-punk/emo scene is no small feat.

When bands like Blink-182 and Sum 41 became popular and attempted to fuse the two genres into one, they caught the attention of teenagers everywhere with songs about romance gone wrong and high school hijinks.

Hoping to defy these staples, the Hand Drawn Epic formed in 2004.

Sporting a positive attitude and a decided ambition, this North Jersey band seems determined to show the world that you don’t need to write songs about ex-girlfriends to be popular.

The Hand Drawn Epic is a five-piece band fronted by sophomore communication studies major Sean Curry.

The group is rounded out by Sean’s brother Evan (guitar) and their long time friends, Fernando Rios (lead guitar/ backup vocals), Dan Brozyna (drums) and Rick McGarril (bass).

“We came together in the summer of 2004,” Curry said. “Dan, Fernando and I had been friends throughout high school, and we decided to start a band.”

“My brother Evan was learning to play guitar and he’d gotten good so we let him jump in. Fernando knew Rick played bass so we auditioned him and then pulled him in,” Curry said.

Curry admits that when the band first got together, they were mere imitations of their influences.

The Hand Drawn Epic found themselves writing simple, catchy songs that mirrored the sound of “emo” juggernauts like Fall Out Boy and Coheed and Cambria.

“We grew up though,” Curry said. “I think we have a more positive attitude now. We write a lot of songs about friendship and love and try to stay away from the whole ‘I hate my ex-girlfriend’ thing.”

Curry backs up his words in the songs he writes. “Here for You,” the first of three songs that fans can listen to on the band’s Web page, is about close friendship and helping someone out of a bind.

“Her Eyes,” another one of the band’s tracks, is a more typical song about falling in love with a girl, that to its credit, avoids the much more annoying archetype of teenage angst.

The Hand Drawn Epic are a young band with plenty of time to grow and meet its goals. After all, you can’t create an epic overnight.