Meramec student knows the song of his future
By: Caroline Frank
Art & Life Editor
Thomas McIlroy is a full-time student at St.Louis Community College – Meramec and full-time musician in a local band.
McIlroy said he has been involved in music ever since he “became a human with motor skills.”
He said that as a kid, he would listen to The Beatles and gain inspiration from their music.
“You could play five seconds of a Beatles song and I could tell you the song title, album name, and year it was written,” McIlroy said.
“I kind of binge bands.” McIlroy said his biggest fear as a songwriter is accidental plagiarism.
“I try not to emulate them,” McIlroy said.
“I try to internalize the music I listen to and redirect that into writing my own [creative work].” McIlroy became a member of the band Sub_ Urban in 2014.
After losing a few of its members, the band name changed to “People Seen In Cars.” After this transition in 2015, McIlroy and his friend Derek Hamm were the only members left.
“We kind of built our band from the bottom up,” Hamm said.
McIlroy and Hamm have a variety of songs, ranging from old ones to new, that they practice every week.
The band members collaborate when it comes to writing lyrics and singing vocals.
However, they do instrumentals individually: Hamm plays guitar while McIlroy plays the drums.
They described their genre as a mixture between indie, alternative and rock.
After being asked what he likes about music, McIlroy responded, “The question is, ‘What do I not like about everything else?’ [Music is] really the only thing I enjoy.” Hamm said music provides a way for everyone to connect.
“The emotion that the artists try to convey can be the same whether you’re listening to Beethoven or Slipknot,” Hamm said.
“That’s what I like about music.” McIlroy said he also loves the emotion that emerges in music.
“I love the vibe and the feeling that comes through,” McIlroy said.
McIlroy plans to focus on the band after earning an associate degree at Meramec.
“I don’t want to be a starving artist,” McIlroy said.
McIlroy said he would love to be in the upper echelon of music.
“I want to be in a successful band … I want to make a living off of performing music.
Maybe it’s disillusionment, but I feel like there’s something grand in my future,” McIlroy said.