Phonefoot Finding Its Footing

Student Band Goes From “Jamming” to Having Local Gigs

The bright blue sky was sprinkled with bits of clouds and music coming from the drum set of junior Corey Bozek and guitar of junior Raúl Najera one fall afternoon earlier this school year. A collection of students met in between the A and C buildings to hear a performance that the two musicians had thrown together after a brief exchange over an Instagram post Najera had shown Bozek earlier that week. 

Recording of Najera and Bozek at their first “jam session.” (Courtesy of Hayden Lane)

“I was in history class one day, and I showed Corey a video of me and my friend, James, jamming, and he said, ‘Yo, we should totally jam sometime,’” Najera said. “And we were trying to find a place, but we couldn’t, so we decided to just jam here, live at Comm Arts, without practicing or anything.” 

Najera and Bozek at their first “jam session.” (Courtesy of Hayden Lane)

 

The two didn’t need much practice to get the attention of two classmates in particular, juniors Dylan Stinson, a Taft student, and Magnus Bishop, who had seen the “jam session.” They decided to ask to join the band in the next two weeks that followed without knowing much about Najera or Bozek. 

 

“We’ve been quick to connect, we all just kinda fit perfectly,” Najera said.

 

When it came time to name their band, they chose to draw inspiration from bands that they liked.

 

“We all like Radiohead, and the opposite of a radio is a phone,” Bozek said. “And with your body, the opposite of a head, is a foot… The interpretation is left up to the fans, though.”

 

Shortly after they had all assembled, newly named, Phonefoot decided to have another performance in between the A and C buildings on Dec. 16. Just two weeks later, over the winter break, they performed at the Area 51 Food Park as their first professional gig. 

Najera, Bozek, Bishop, and Stinson at the Area 51 Food Park   gig. (Courtesy of Layla Belmarez)

“We got really good responses, and we had to go over time. It was like three hours long, but it was really, really good,” Stinson said.

 

Each of the members, though having varying experiences with getting into music, have all loved the opportunity to play together. Stinson started off learning to play guitar on his own and then received lessons, Najera learned guitar through hours of YouTube videos, Bozek previously took drum lessons before joining the jazz band in middle school, and Bishop learned the bass on his own. He was also briefly in a band previously. However, the experience with that band

Bozek’s first connection to drums. (Courtesy of  Michael Bozek)

doesn’t compare to his as- often- as- possible practices with Phonefoot. 

 

“We met up like three times, and then we stopped being a band,” Bishop said.

 

While all of the boys mostly learned music on their own, their success has developed through the connections and support of their friends and family. Their families go to their performances while the band’s friends help plan music videos, record their performances, design band art, critique songs, and sell band merch, and Najera’s sisters publicly support their music by getting them more gigs. 

 

Phonefoot’s personal advertisement for their LibraryPalooza performance. (Courtesy of Phonefoot’s Instagram)  (click image to see page)

In fact, one of Najera’s sisters had him perform at her wedding while his other sister, a Northside employee, connected them with the librarian at Brandeis who is hosting this year’s LibraryPalooza where Phonefoot will be performing tomorrow from 11:45- 1 p.m.  

 

With this kind of support, the band is also working on its first album and music video for their debut song, “Bossa Burger”. The songs in the album, like the debut, will be written by their co-founder, Najera. 

 

“I have a bunch of iPhone recordings just thrown on my phone of melodies that I write on my guitar, and that comes a lot easier to me than lyrics,” Najera said. “I’ll just choose a topic without thinking of any melody or song beforehand and

Phonefoot performing at Area 51 Food Park gig. (Courtesy of Maddox Stockton)

start writing about that, and then I have to try and fit them together.”

 

While they’re not completely sure what will come next for them or how far their band will be able to go, for the time being, they’re happy to have one another and their music. 

 

“Covering songs that we’ve heard for a while and playing them, it’s pretty sick,” Bozek said.