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‘We The Living’ perform at FHS

Nashville band “We The Living” performed at Farragut High School to help Student Government Association raise funds to buy ambulances in Mexico, Thursday, March 11,

While ushering students to their second block classes after the concert, SGA advisor Guy DeMarco said, “They came free of charge. I was impressed by that. It really says something about the character of the band.”

The only out-of-pocket expense was a pack of bottled water. We The Living footed the bill for travel costs.

“We play shows for causes we believe in,” We The Living drummer Benjamin Schaefer said.

Schaefer may be onto something. After all, FHS’s last recording artist to stop by for a fundraiser, Taylor Swift, has sold 13 million albums since her visit.

Her hit, “Tim McGraw,” sky-rocketed through the charts shortly after her FHS performance.

Until that day arrives, the band makes most of their money through merchandise sales.

For fans who buy a classic white T-shirt with the band logo, a band member will paint the T-shirt on the spot.

Students who weren’t able to purchase an album were given one free. It’s part of We The Living’s passion for sharing music, Schaefer said.

“They really love to get to know their fans. Afterwards, we’re taking them around to classrooms so they can meet many of their fans and answer questions,” FHS senior Kristen Phillips said.

While high school shows aren’t high in profit, band members supplement that with profits turned through performing club shows.

To help cut costs, the band members share a house in Nashville and eats odd things such as raw eggs because it’s cheap and is high in protein, Schaefer said.

While all band members are in their early 20s, and fairly new to the music scene, Schaefer feels they’re “melling” (or connecting) as a band.

“Someone said it. It takes three years for a band to mell,” Schaefer said. “We’ve been together nearly three years. Played over 500 shows.”

For Schaefer, “Writing music is a release, a distraction, a nearly religious experience. It’s super challenging, but it’s fun,” he said.

Upon hearing of FHS fundraisers and other cause events, We The Living contacted DeMarco about playing for a fundraiser at FHS.

We The Living band members choose schools such as FHS through a Web site that ranks schools based on parent reviews, test scores and overall school environment: great

FHS has garnered a perfect 10 and is the only Knox County high school ranked a 10; Bearden High School is ranked a 9. Reviews are open for public view.

Funds were raised through student ticket sales. Tickets were $5 each.


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