Southern students in local band release first album


Jake Messer

None the Wiser; featuring (from left to right) bassist Atlas Munroe; singer and rhythm guitarist Jake Messer; junior psychology major; and lead guitarist Drak Smelser; sophomore biology major will release their first album; Full Circle; on March 16.

Two Missouri Southern students will perform with their band for the first time at Blackthorn Pizza and Pub on March 14, before releasing their first album on March 16.

Full Circle, the band’s first album showcasing the current members, will feature seven tracks that combine the sounds of alternative indie rock and folk music.

Jake Messer, who plays rhythm guitar and sings vocals on the new album, began None the Wiser as a solo project in 2012, but said he always hoped to see it grow.

“I knew I always wanted to have a band, like a full band,” he said. “It took a lot of time to find members that were lasting and would stay.”

None the Wiser’s journey to becoming a full band started when student senate president Messer met lead guitarist Drake Smelser through Southern’s honors program. Smelser said he became interested in making music with Messer when he voiced his passion for music in class.

“A year later, after sharing different philosophies on guitar and music, we joined together to make a band,” said Smelser.

Messer and Smelser united with bassist Atlas Munroe and drummer Sevirin Eldred to record Full Circle in late October 2014. Messer compares their music to that of City in Color, The Strokes, The Killers and Cage the Elephant.

The band’s newly released single, “Allegory of the Cave,” discusses the philosophies Plato explored in his work The Republic.

“It’s more of a relation to my life and trying to find one’s self, and Full Circle is all about an identity crisis and trying to find your own self within the events that happen to you,” Messer said. “I think it can definitely relate to people on a personal level because these are all things that we go through each and every day.”

Although the album won’t be released online or in stores until March 16, None the Wiser will have hard copies, along with various merchandise, for sale the night of their show at Blackthorn.

For those who can’t wait, None the Wiser’s album is available for pre-order on iTunes.

Smelser and Messer said they look forward to summer, when their schedules open up to allow the band to practice more, play more gigs, and possibly tour.

“It’s just insanely hard to practice as much as you would want to and gig as much as you would want to [while in school],” said Smelser.