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Musical passion leads student to pursue career in Austin

Nov. 15, 2005


While most graduating seniors are bustling with job applications, apartment leases and final exams, one student has chosen to follow his dreams.

Jeff Metil, an Edina, Minn., senior, plans to build his reputation as a musician in the nearby creative hub of Austin.

Although he is a solo artist now, he intends to join a band when he becomes a part of the music scene.

"Austin is an ideal city for me to start my career because it has a lot of live venues and (residents) seem to be receptive to a wide variety of music," Metil said.

Metil said that although he is a native of the North, he plans to spend at least a few years in Texas starting his career and forming a band.

"I think Jeff really wants to do this for the rest of his life," Jill Guerra, Metil's girlfriend said. "I think he definitely can. It will just be a lot of hard work and sacrifice."

Metil has been playing the guitar since age 14.

He said his inspiration to begin this hobby came from artists Jimi Hendrix and Weezer. He began his performing career at his middle school and church in Edina.

At the age of 22, Jeff has already written about 20 songs that he plans to record. Nine of those are included on his demo CD.

He said he believes his music will appeal to a wide variety of people.

"My music is simple, but I try to add to it as much as I can," Metil said. "I use techniques such as looping that you don't hear very often."

Metil plays in his hometown and at events for his fraternity, Beta Theta Pi.

He can also be found every Wednesday at Bogart's on Franklin Avenue.

"We're always packed on Wednesday because Jeff has developed such a loyal fan base," said Bogart's employee Melody Johnson. "Jeff's demo CD is always in my car's CD player. He's got a really different sound."

Although he compares his music to that of Pat McGee and Howie Day, he plans to stay true to his own style throughout the course of his career.

Metil said the songs he writes are inspired by situations.

"I like to be able to hit on something universal that other people can relate to," he said. "I look for things that can be taken on more than one level."

Metil said four years of concentrated study of philosophy at Baylor has helped him to interpret and understand life situations better.

In five years, Metil hopes to be touring with a band. If that plan falls through, he intends to apply to law school.

"No one is happier than me to see him graduate," Guerra said. "Jeff had lots of friends who were out playing in bands when he first started college, and I guess it was frustrating for him to see them making CDs and playing at places and he was stuck doing the whole school routine."

Metil has less than a month of that routine left before he sets out on his own to pursue a career as a musician. And even if that doesn't work out the way he planned, law school isn't such a bad backup plan.