Artist profile: Bugslam

Meet one of the newest bands in the UMass music scene


Paige Hanson/Daily Collegian (2023)

By Paige Hanson, Collegian Staff

Bugslam, a local band, recently recorded its first song, ‘Jaguar,’ which will be featured on the WMUA Mixtape, set to release at the WMUA Spring Concert. They first appeared on the Amherst music scene during WMUA’s Open Mic event at the Student Union Black Box Theatre in November 2022.

While it was a fun performance, the band felt as though it wasn’t the best setting for their style. “Sitting down is not the way to fully experience our music,” said August Ellis, Bugslam’s guitarist and backup vocalist.

The members of Bugslam met through the Students for Alternative Music (SALT) group at the University of Massachusetts. “Jason [Frankel] corralled us like little ducklings; we all just waddled in there and met,” Ellis said.

The band consists of two vocalists, two guitarists, a bassist and a drummer. The lead singer and guitarist, Jason Frankel, is a UMass freshman majoring in music. Guitarist and backup vocals August Ellis is a freshman majoring in landscape architecture; bassist Lulu Harding is a freshman majoring in journalism. Drummer Noah Bromberg is a freshman linguistics major.

The band performs a variety of original and cover songs, including Tek It by Cafuné; their favorite song to perform together is “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)” by Deftones.

“I think UMass is perfect because it’s so big and I feel like there’s a good scene for the type of music we play,” Harding said.

“Between the Drake, SALT, all of the house shows and this little network of places to be in bands around Amherst, you’ll almost certainly find a band to align yourself with, even if you’re not in a band,” Bromberg said.

While the members of Bugslam have loved the community and connections that they have made, they feel that the band could be even bigger than what it already is.

“It’s definitely starting to happen. So many people our age are trying to get into bands. It’s always been a cool thing to do,” Frankel said. “Back where I grew up, in the South Shore music scene, everything was there, everyone was friends and it was a very communal atmosphere.

UMass students are starting to build that community, according to Frankel. “I’m excited about how it’s going to go. We’re already friends with some bands at UMass. We have connections, and we’re all adults, so we can actually go out and play shows in Amherst and western Massachusetts,” he said.

Paige Hanson can be reached at [email protected]