Corey William
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Corey William

Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


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Dreams of rock star status might seem like a stretch for some aspiring musicians, but for the band Built for One that fantasy seems a bit more within reach. After winning the first round of Gorilla Productions' Battle of the Bands competition, the five-man band of AU undergrads is heading off to compete in the finals at Jaxx Nightclub in West Springfield, Va. on Dec. 13.

The band met and became known as CS-5 after vocalist, keyboard player and Kogod School of Business then freshman and current sophomore Corey Schneider expressed interest in starting a band. The band built a fan base on and off campus by performing at Georgetown's now-closed Grog and Tankard and at campus events, such as Up 'til Dawn and Relay for Life. After a name change and many hours of practice, Built for One is no longer just having jam sessions in their dorms. Instead, the band is creating music that is being recognized all over the District.

"I'm pretty confident that our sound is unique, especially for our age," said Geoff Malloy, the band's drummer and a sophomore in Kogod. "Most bands in college are emo/thrash/metal bands that can only scream and play three chords."

Built for One can be described as an alternative rock group similar in sound to Coldplay and Ben Folds Five. Schneider is responsible for writing the songs the band performs while the rest of the group works on the melodies.

"When I write my lyrics, I am trying to satisfy the needs of two different types of listeners," Schneider said. "The first being the person who is listening to music for pure entertainment purposes and the other being the person intrigued enough to break down the lyrics and discover the true message of the song. Bottom line, I focus on making my lyrics easy to listen to, but incredibly deep for those who want to better themselves by using my message as an inspirational platform."

The band will compete against nine other bands of a variety of genres in the finals, which will be judged by how much the audience applauds for each band after their 30-minute set. If Built for One's music and lyrics please audience members and make it through the finals, they will win $500, 20 hours of studio time and a submission to a record company (Warner Brothers, Rotten, Geffen, Prosthetic, Metal Blade, Universal or Columbia). The bands that make it through the finals will have their music put online, and people will vote for their favorite band.

"We feel winning this battle of the bands will do more than simply get us the prize," said Al Smith, the band's guitarist and a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. "It will expose a whole new range of people to the music we are creating. We put a lot of effort into the music we play, and that certainly won't be lost on our audience."

Schneider said he thinks the event can teach the band a thing or two.

"More than anything, this event will show us what we are, what we need to be and what we must overcome in order to be the next popular band of our generation," he said.

No matter how the battle turns out, Built for One has already experienced success. Gorilla Productions called Schneider and said they want to work with the band in the future. The band has connected with a music director associated with the competition, and they will be working with her for future events.

"This is the start of something big," said Keith Ingram, the band's bassist and a sophomore in the School of Public Affairs.

The band has also seen a great deal of support from AU, the Class of 2011 and campus greek life. Since AU is more famous for its political interests, the band hopes to spark more of a musical interest on campus by getting more of their music out into the public.

"Of course we wish to become well known in the music industry, but there is something much more fulfilling we strive for," Smith said. "We hope to change the world through the art of music, because music has the power to stir the emotions in a way that words and text cannot. Art is often overlooked in today's society, but hopefully we can change that perspective."

With a number of events on their calendar, a record in the works and a national competition in their future, the band's members are beginning to make a name for themselves in the music industry.

"It is nice to see our hard work finally paying off," Schneider said.

Tickets for the battle are $8 in advance, $10 at door.

Eagle Staff Writer Hilary Crowe contributed to this report.

You can reach this writer at - Brittany Horowitz- The Eagle

On one gloomy day in early February, three young men make their way into the back room of Letts Residence Hall's first floor and begin to set up and tune their instruments. Band practice will start with or without all five members today.

Corey Schneider, a freshman in the Kogod School of Business, turns from his keyboard and cues for drummer Geoff Malloy, a freshman in the College of Arts and Science, and saxophonist Robert Lutz, a freshman in the School of International Service, to begin. Practice is underway.

Their name is CS5, but to a select few in the AU community, they shall always be known as the "GARC Band." Yes, it's true - there is a band whose very existence can be traced to the AU's beloved Games and Recreation Center.

After Schneider's solo songwriting garnered some immediate attention last semester, "everything just came together through word-of-mouth," he said.

Some Letts South residents will remember the band fondly for its heartwarming, albeit loud, practices in the first floor's lounge last semester. Now, thanks to a collection of noise violations and complaints, the five boys have relocated their efforts.

"Could you imagine having a full band playing next to your door?" said John Quast, resident director of Letts Hall.

"The bass used to shake the wall behind my bed," said Tom Ports, a resident assistant on Letts South Terrace and a junior in the School of Public Affairs. Ports had even received noise complaints from second-floor residents while minding the front desk. "I'd always have to ask [the band] to turn it down."

Prior to their prime setting in the GARC, this alt-pop quintet was running dangerously close to ruin, lacking an appropriate place to practice its music.

"Corey e-mailed me a while back and asked about practice space," Quast said. "They had looked all around campus, even in classrooms, for a good spot and had no luck." Quast offered up the GARC as a possible venue, and CS5 jumped at the opportunity.

"It seemed like it would be the perfect spot for us," Malloy said.

They had a practice space, but they were still missing one piece.

The rain was coming down softly outside and four guys were hard at work jamming in the GARC. At this point, the only missing piece was bassist Keith Ingram, a freshman in SPA. The band, which has a heavy Dave Matthews Band influence, is used to working without everyone together. Between classes, work and the band, these guys have a lot on their plates.

But getting used to a rock band way of life has all been a learning process. For German-born Lutz, the saxophone may come naturally, but it also has proven to have its fair share of challenges.

Lutz "has never had the opportunity to play saxophone to rock music," said Tricialee Friedman, a sophomore in SOC and self-described "temporary manager, graphic artist and press agent." She's been an integral force in CS5 since the beginning. Friedman's job as a Letts Hall desk receptionist enabled the band access during GARC closing hours, which band members agree has been quite a blessing.

"We really love to play here during closing hours because it's so intimate and quiet," says Lutz, adjusting the strap on his saxophone. "We have the place all to ourselves."

Their ability to practice freely has even made other students to take notice in the band's activity. As it turns out, this unexpected locale has proven to be quite the versatile space, allowing the band the option of playing live shows on top of practicing.

"We'd ultimately like to be playing shows in the GARC once a week," Lutz said.

Not only are CS5 playing GARC shows - they're also moving up and out of AU altogether. The band recently played a gig at the Grog and Tankard on Wisconsin Avenue and have booked the same venue for Feb. 19.

By the looks of things, CS5 just might be taking AU - and D.C., for that matter - by storm. You'd better keep your eyes - and ears - peeled. - Rob Natale- The Eagle


Eclipse, Red Light Runner, Built for One EP



Corey Schneider is a singer/songwriter/keyboardist who grew up in the small central New Jersey town of Bedminster. Since the age of five, Corey Schneider has developed an understanding of music through his years of piano training. His first ventures into songwriting occurred naturally through tweaking the melodies of classical and contemporary songs he had learned. By the time Corey was twelve years old, he had begun to explore the art of writing music.

Striving to make every song sound genuine, Corey Schneider puts his heart and soul into creating his own unique sound. He writes his own scores and lyrics, sings his own songs, and plays his original music on his keyboard. As only a sophomore in high school, he released a solo 14 track album titled Eclipse in September of 2005. To help spread his music, he began performing solo acts at coffee shops and open mics throughout northern New Jersey.
By early 2007, he had formed a band with younger classmates Matt Setola on guitar and Isaac Roth on drums. Within a few months, he released his second album, Red Light Runner, which finally achieved the developed sound that Corey was looking for.
After high school, Corey attended American University located in Washington, D.C. In only a few short weeks, he joined with musicians Geoff Malloy, Keith Ingram, Al Smith, and Robert Lutz to create Built for One.

In 2008, Built for One entered Gorilla Productions National Battle of the Band competition and placed 2nd out of 8000+ bands.