The Wayside knocks fans sideways

Debuting at Art & Soul Fest, The Wayside is the freshest student band on the scene. The band was formed in December of 2021.


Photo by Luke Kolumber

Local celebrities…At the end of the jazz band’s home show, members of The Wayside (from left) Nick Mancini, Andrew Brown, Ethan Frattarelli and Preston Ziegenfuss pose for their official band photo. Other official band content can be found on their Instagram account, @TheWaysideOfficial.

After months of practicing, the members of The Wayside are proud to announce the arrival of their new band.
Members include seniors Andrew Brown, Nick Mancini and Preston Ziegenfuss, as well as junior Ethan Frattarelli.
The band began with Brown, Mancini and Ziegenfuss having a “jam sesh” during a jazz band class period one day in December, 2021. From there, they experimented further.
“I got out on the keyboard in the bandroom, Nick had his guitar and Andrew was playing bass,” Ziegenfuss said. “We all knew ‘Let it Be’ and we started playing that together and it actually wasn’t bad.”
Brown, Mancini and Ziegefuss decided to get together outside of school to further experiment with making music together.
“I’ve been writing [songs] since quarantine,” Mancini said. “We played one of my songs and Preston just started playing a random chord progression.”
From their experimenting, the band ended up writing what would become one of their first songs, entitled “Alive as I Can Be.”
“At that moment, I started messing around and basically wrote the chords to ‘Alive as I Can Be,’ sitting there at 10 p.m. in Andrew’s music room,” Ziegenfuss said.
Once the three of them decided to move forward with the band, they began looking for a drummer.
Specifically, they had their eyes on Frattarelli, whom they had been playing with in the school’s jazz band for a few years.
“I think from day one, we thought ‘we want Ethan Frattarelli in our band,’” Ziegenfuss said.
Brown, Mancini and Ziegenfuss decided to put a post out on social media, looking for a drummer. To their excitement, Frattarelli responded with interest. From that day on, the band officially had four members.
Frattarelli was excited to work with the other members.
“When I came in, they had at least three or four songs already planned out and they were great, but they needed some drums,” Frattarelli said.
According to Mancini, Frattarelli’s addition to the band is “invaluable.”
Mancini is happy to call Frattarelli a permanent member of the band.
“I’m glad that we got a hold of Ethan when we did,” Mancini said. “It’s nice that we have him and he’s not going to leave our band anytime soon.”
As far as the songwriting process, it typically begins with either Brown, Mancini or Ziegenfuss writing lyrics and chords.
Much of the style and direction of their songs is chosen by Mancini and Ziegenfuss.
“I think, stylistically, I take us back a few decades and Preston will help bring us forward to more of the pop, current stuff,” Mancini said.
Once the foundation of the songs are finished, Frattarelli goes in and creates the drum section.
“They’ll create a song and then I’ll add some drums and make suggestions of what else to add and change,” Frattarelli said.
The band likes to take influence from many of the earlier rock music of the ‘60s.
“A lot of people have said to us, and I’ll take this as a compliment, that we are ‘Beatles-esque,’” Ziegenfuss said. “I think The Beatles kind of started rock’n’roll as we know it today and if we sound remotely like them, I’m proud.”
Mancini “strongly agrees” with the sentiment of this inspiration.
“It’s the old kind of rock’n’roll,” Mancini said, referring to The Wayside’s style of music.
While the band had been practicing for months, their first official performance took place on March 19 at Art & Soul Fest.
This was the first time that their parents and families got a chance to see them perform.
“Both of my parents were pleasantly surprised when they saw us perform at Art & Soul Fest,” Brown said.
According to Ziegenfuss, the positive reaction from their peers was very motivating for the band.
Their Art & Soul performance eased their nerves about the direction of the band.
“I still can’t believe the crowd reaction that we got,” Ziegenfuss said.
As far as future endeavors, The Wayside is continuing to write new songs and hopes to put new music out soon.
“We have about 10 or 11 songs in the works,” Frattarelli said.
The band is currently making plans to record their set list and hopes to be able to release their music on streaming platforms, such as Spotify and Apple Music.
“In the future, we plan on performing more and recording,” Mancini said. “We’re going to be working with [Montgomery County Community College] recording interns over the summer.”
As they continue their “journey to stardom,” The Wayside hopes to grow their fan base and support from their peers.
“Support us on Instagram,” Brown said. “Give us a follow @TheWaysideOfficial.”