Americana group has Stephenville ties

BY Jessica LaFon/Contributing writer

Graham Laird, Tim Rugg and Connor Delso are three friends who joined together to form a band known as Back Acre.

All three are skilled in many instruments; however, for the band, they each tend to stick to one.

Rugg plays drums, Delso plays bass and Laird plays guitar. Laird and Delso also sing, and Rugg explained he plays guitar on the band’s song “JLMSIS.”

The three met when they were in very different spots in life. 

Laird explained he and Delso met at Milsap High School but eventually lost touch. However, they linked back up later in life. Laird met Rugg at Tarleton State University in the fine arts program.

Delso and Laird had been trying to start a band for a while, testing different drummers and aspects. 

When asked how he came to join Back Acre, Rugg responded, “That’s a funny story, actually. I had quit playing for the country-rock group Giovannie and the Hired Guns and was without a band for a few months. At one point I just got so restless I needed to play. I messaged Graham, who I went to Tarleton with and was still Facebook friends with, even though I hadn’t seen him for years and flat out asked if he wanted to start a band. He told me that Connor and he were actually looking for a drummer for their band! It felt like fate.”

Laird believes the band was destined to be together. 

“I don’t think anything happens by accident. I can appreciate all the other directions we all could’ve gone musically with the influences we have, and I’m really happy this is the direction we all ended up in,”Laird said.

The three bandmates collectively agreed on the name Back Acre after it was thrown out in a discussion by Laird. 

When asked what the meaning behind the name is, he explained, “Back Acre RV Park is where I spent my entire childhood. We rented land on the other side of the park, and I lived in a little trailer with my family there growing up. It just struck me one day that it’s kind of a cool name, and my friends agreed, so it stuck.” 

All three members have their own way of writing music, but they tend to write their music together. 

“When Back Acre writes a song, usually one of us, either Graham or Connor, will have a riff together, and we’ll just jam together until we have a solid foundation and write the lyrics afterward. Most of the time, the songs are already mostly written by one of us and then we get together and learn it while each putting our unique spins on our parts,”Rugg said.

The band members had a special way of describing the band’s sound.

“We describe ourselves as ‘Real Fake Emo’ and tend to bounce back to that a lot.”Laird said, “Honestly, we all have super super spread out influences across genres, and we just kind of vibe out with the rock/punk elements on the top.” 

Although having a band can be fun, it also has its struggles. 

When asked what they think the toughest part of being in a band is, Delso said, “Finding the extra free time and coordinating our schedules around work and having kids.”

Having a band means playing in front of crowds. When asked about their different interactions when playing, Rugg described the weirdest thing to happen to the band during a concert.

“I suppose it would be when we played a house gig in my hometown Dublin, Texas. It was at the Alien Ghost House, and it was actually the first gig we played as a band,” he said. “It was very weird for me because we just played inside of a house in the middle of nowhere but it was packed, everyone was very nice and it gave a very intimate setting for our music.” 

Another aspect of playing in front of crowds is stage fright. 

When asked how he destresses before playing a show, Delso said, “Just hanging out and talking to my bandmates and other people at the venue. I’m honestly usually pretty relaxed when I go on stage.”

Rugg said something similar when asked if he finds it frightening to play for a crowd. 

“Since I have been playing live music for a while now, I’ve gotten very used to playing music in front of an audience. It was definitely nerve-wracking when I started in 2013 with my first band Fervent Roze, but I have gotten very comfortable since then,” Rugg said.

Despite the band members fears, Laird has set various goals that he wants the band to achieve.

“To play shows, make friends and play rad music! I want to grow with my bandmates as a musician and producer. I think as I’ve aged the whole ‘rockstar’ thing has faded more into reality, which is that music is something I enjoy no matter what and I’m willing to invest in if someone is willing to listen,” He said. “If something cool happens where we end up as a more well-known act, great! If not, I know the more important part was the journey and the friends I’ve made on the way.”

These three members have different backgrounds and experiences, but they got together to make the most out of life and do what they love, making music.

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