A Conversation with Cicada


From Left to right, Courtney Stark, Sarah Carlson, Mary Belisle, and Christy Choi.

YoungSeo Jo, Print Editor

The school rock band debuted with their new name, CICADA, this winter concert. They played their first original track, Slow Boat and is planning on releasing an entire album by the end of the school year. Band members include senior Christy Choi, lead guitarist, junior Mary Belisle, lead singer, sophomore Sarah Carlson on drums and Courtney Stark on the keyboard. 

Inkwell sat down with CICADA and talked with them about their plans for this school year. 


Inkwell: Who came up with the name CICADA? And how?

Stark: (laughing) Mary 

Belisle: Well, I like CICADA because it’s six individual letters but it’s actually just 4 alphabets. I liked the numbers together. Along with that I liked how it was spelled C I C A D A. That’s nice, and it’s nice for merch as well.


Inkwell: What kind of music do you guys want to play and like to play? And does the school prescribe you with the kind of music depending on the event?

Belisle: Most of our gigs right now are school prescribed, if not all of them, except for Christy’s CAS project. So, they’ll tell us to play a Christmas song or whatever but typically we have artistic license, which is nice. Along with the name, we’re doing originals now. 

Stark: Slow Boat, which we played for the winter concert is one of our originals. 

Belisle: I think old rock and indie is what we write and play. 


Inkwell: What do you think is the strength of CICADA as a band? 

Carlson: It’s just a better group this year. We go better together this year than all the other past years. 

Belisle: My theory is that it’s because we’re practicing in the basement now. There is something about spending upwards of six hours together alone in the basement every week that I think makes us develop some kind of cabin fever. The longer we practice, the more we feel like a family. 

Choi: In my perspective, each member has their own distinctiveness but somehow when we perform all together I see some kind of commonality. I can’t define exactly what that is, but I think it’s our strength. 


Inkwell: What do you want to accomplish this year? 

Belisle: I think we all have different goals but for once, they all kind of work together. 

Stark: We want to release an album. 

Carlson: Yeah, we want to put ourselves out there. 

Choi: Two projects we all planning are, one is releasing our album with the originals and the second one is the fundraising concert that I’m planing. 


Inkwell: Tell me a little bit about the album. 

Belisle: We have 3.5 finished songs right now, and so based on the time it took to create those, it’s definitely doable. I write songs in one sitting. So, it’s typically I’ll write something, I’ll bring it in… and It’s really just how long it takes to finalize the togetherness. 


Inkwell: And what about the fundraising concert?

Choi: When we have enough originals to hold a concert, so at least ten to fifteen [we will have the concert]. So I think from now on we are going to focus on originals and several school events in the middle. So we do have to work on some covers. 


Inkwell: What would you say if you were to promote your band to the school? 

Belisle: Well, it’s not like we have a lot of competition. So, we feel like an unneeded niche, but a niche nonetheless. Honestly, I put some thought into the promotion material but we don’t even need it because we practice under the quietest place in the school. Everybody knows we’re here. 


CICADA will be playing at the end of year assembly and plans on holding their fundraiser concert near the end of the year.