FGCU alumnus band hits the road to support sophomore album
An FGCU alumnus’ band, The Helmsmen, is bringing its island indie vibes throughout Florida with a tour that started on June 22 in the band members’ hometown of Jupiter and will continue through the end of August, going from Jacksonville down to Miami and hitting the other coast as well at places like St. Petersburg and Tampa.
The Summer Camp Tour will be broadcasting The Helmsmen’s second album “Midterm,” which recently dropped on June 18.
Jesse Glendinning, the FGCU alumnus and The Helmsmen’s ukulele player and vocalist, said a lot of the band’s musical productions have been inspired by the events surrounding his academic life.
“For me, the songs on ‘Midterm’ were inspired by the people, places and events that surrounded me while writing,” Glendinning said. “For example, the last song on the album, ‘Ankles,’ was written in North Lake Village during a summer semester. So, parts of that one come from my time attending FGCU, but I’d like the listener to have their own feelings associated with the music.”
Picturing Glendinning lying in a hammock, staring up at the palm trees and feeling the summer winds blow off of the water — it’s not difficult to imagine where the fun islandy melodies came from.
Derek Campbell, a vocalist of The Helmsmen as well as saxophone and guitar player, described another Floridian experience that helped inspire one of the songs on the album.
“My favorite song is definitely ‘Floating,’” Campbell said. “It seeds from a humid night sitting on Jesse’s back porch where we came up with the general musical structure and melody. The addition of the heavy cannon-like drums, stomping bass and thick electric guitar really complete the dark mood of this song. The song for me represents sort of a swampy, hot, coastal South Florida mindset. It takes you on a journey where you can feel yourself losing your mind almost from the heat and drowning in the ocean air.”
According to Sam King, the drummer and a vocalist of The Helmsmen, though ‘Midterm’ made its debut as an album on June 18, it won’t be their first time performing the songs live.
“Interestingly enough, we had already been playing the songs from ‘Midterm’ live by the time ‘The Homework EP’ was released last year,” King said. “Toward the end of 2015, we recorded demo versions of the new songs and also an extra song that we ended up cutting from the final product. I believe the actual final recording process began in January and went right up until the end of May, so it took about five months.”
After the Summer Camp Tour, the band plans on wasting no time about getting back into the studio. As said by Jacob Constantakos, the electric guitarist of The Helmsmen, the band is more than ready to get started on their next album, in which the audience can expect new music and crazier shows.
As for the future of the band, Micko Paparo, the bassist of The Helmsmen, said they have big dreams to keep doing their music.
“I would say that the dream goal for us as a band would be to keep putting out music that people like and to play huge shows,” Paparo said. “As far as our musical careers go, we would all love to do music fulltime. Whether we are teaching, performing or recording, we will be happy as long as it has something to do with music. Who knows? Maybe there will be Helm House music school coming soon.”