Many bands that begin in college have a hard time balancing their lives between gigs and exams, but Passafire exemplifies what it means to pass the test. Ted Bowne (Guitar/Vocals), Adam Willis (keyboards), Nick (drums) and Will Kubley (bass), combined their degrees, musical ability with a mutual love of reggae to crate a sound that is innovative to the genre. Each member plays an intimate role in all aspects of the band and see it as a business. They began at the Savannah College of Arts and Design (SCAD). When Bowne arrived he was a photography major and then switched to sound and music production. During a jam session, Bowne met Nick Willis through a mutual friend. The group was not complete until Nick, who had years of experience in other bands, joined the group.”All of my [bandmates] were older,” Nick said. “I was able to draw from their experiences.”Nick received a B.F.A. in Illustration and has found his degree to be a useful tool when doing business. “I feel like with my degree I’ve been able to play art director,” said Nick. “I like to be sure we have the best design.”All of the members believe in being personable to whomever they meet. Communication is a key aspect in everything from sales to dealing with fans.”It’s so important to be a nice person,” said Willis. “Know your place. There is a hierarchy so you have to check your problems at the door.”The various areas of expertise that they have acquired have allowed them to comprehend on all ends of the business. Their ability to speak the language of engineers and producers in the studio had made their music “tight.”For the band the most important part of the night is the end when they are able to connect with their fans.”We try to hang at the merch-table to meet the fans,” said Willis. “The best part of the night is when people you don’t know come up to you.”The band celebrated their five-year anniversary in New Orleans at Mardi Gras 2008 but knows what it is to keep a healthy balance in down time activities. Although Passafire knows how to have fun, they keep an essential equilibrium between business and pleasure. They keep their party time in its place so that when they take the stage, they’re able to deliver the best performance possible.Passafire’s sophomore album, “Submersible” is the model of the fluid nature that is customary to reggae music. The members believe in reggae because the style thrives on a specific formula. “Rock has so many different styles like metal, punk and riff rock,” said Willis. “Reggae is reggae.”The members of Passafire live up not only to their words but to their degrees as well. The “Kubley Rhythm Section” lays the backbone to the album with “phat” bass lines and the grooviest of beats. The guitar and keyboards link up with soulful melodies that burn a passive fire through your core. Their name is not Pacifier. It’s Passafire. And the only pacifying Passafire does is soothing stress with a jam band vibe.For more information on the band, visit To view some of Nick’s illustrations, visit

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