Orange County School of the Arts

Undecided Future : Breaking into the music scene

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Ever since the band’s origin in 2012, Undecided Future’s presence has been a staple of Orange County School of Arts. Every so often during lunch, the band will take to 10th Street as students jam out to their music. The band has built up quite a solid fan base—in fact, in 2014, they were awarded the People’s Choice at the Orange County Music Awards, and this year in January, they won the annual Anaheim Ducks’ Battle of the Bands.

Undecided Future is composed of five OCSA students: Hayden Lyskoski (age 16, bass/vocals), Cole Fredrick (age 16, lead guitar), Matt Jarnagin (age 17, lead vocals/guitar), Matisse Pasillas (age 17, drums/percussion) and Nick Stone (age 18, keys/guitar/vocals). The band came together in the transition from middle school to high school, and they’ve become inseparable ever since.

“We all are best friends,” said Fredrick. “We all have grown up together.”

Inspired by the likes of Michael Jackson, James Brown, Stevie Wonder,
Reel Big Fish and Sublime, Undecided Future’s music is a blend of pop, funk, ska and reggae. Jarnagin writes the majority of the lyrics. He brings the song to the band, and everyone brings their own styles to the table such as ska influences, chord progressions, or a catchy beat.

“We want retro music to come back,” says Pasillas. “We all really love music from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. But at the same time we want to make money. We pay attention to every pop single that comes out. We want to know what makes each song successful.”

The band strives to be successful and truthful to who they are. Naturally, with five different artistic backgrounds, the band sometimes faces disagreements. Lyskoski says that taking a break, whether it be eating snacks or playing soccer, is always helpful.

“We come back and we all find new perspectives,” says Lyskoski. “We hug it out and have a touching band moment.”

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The synergy within the band is elevated when they perform live in front of an audience. To the band, there is nothing like the crowd-performer connection that transports them to another mindset. Over these four years, they’ve discovered that performing is completely worth juggling their busy band schedule along with school and conservatory.

Pasillas and Jarganin are in the Film and Television Conservatory, one of the most time, consuming conservatories at OCSA.

“I’m actually very blessed to be busy,” explains Pasillas. “We do photography, film and acting on top of band, but I’m really glad every weekend I have something to look forward to—practice, performing, filming, anything.”

Not only does the band have the support of their fans but also their families, who understand their hectic schedules and passion to perform.

“Our families really are a huge part of what we do,” says Stone. “Their support is crucial and so unwavering. Honestly, I can’t express how grateful I am for my parents.”

With three band members graduating high school this June, many fans are asking about the fate of Undecided Future. Frederick asserts that the band is not breaking up. They hope to make it big with a potential record signing in the future. Jarganin reflects upon the band’s history.

“If we could go back in time and give ourselves advice, I honestly don’t think we would,” says Jarganin. “The things that we’ve learned by making mistakes have faired so well in the end and we’ve grown so much.”

Though their future is currently undecided, Lyskoski sums it up: “It’s more journey than destination.”

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(Journalist Cassandra Hsiao with Matt Jarnagin, Matisse Pasillas, Hayden Lyskoski, and Cole Fredrick)

Their EP Disco Balls & Mating Calls is available now on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon.

Watch Undecided Future perform their original song “Rich Kids” at OCSA during lunch time! Follow Undecided Future on Twitter!

—Cassandra Hsiao

Follow Cassandra_Hsiao on Twitter!

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