Band of UT students Slurp The World debuts EP

Aaron Boehmer, Senior Life&Arts Reporter

Fresh from finishing a thermodynamics exam in the last hour, Conner Petru sits in the dimly lit back patio of The Ballroom at Spider House. Live music, LED lights and puffs of stage fog seep outside from the venue’s back door. 

With his exam behind him, the mechanical engineering sophomore prepared to take the stage as Slurp The World’s drummer in two hours with his four other alt-rock bandmates, composed of current and former UT students. Releasing their first EP, The Slurp Sampler, at midnight the night before, Slurp The World gets ready to debut its original music to the Austin music scene. 

Blending its five members’ different styles and sounds, the band showcased their eclectic original music for the first time live at their release party Wednesday night. Featuring several other Austin-based artists, the event offered Slurp The World the opportunity to unveil months of work in the studio, all the while balancing work and studies. 

Riffing off of the saying, “The world is your oyster,” Jackson T. Cox, the band’s lead singer, said picking the name came before the band itself. 

“We were thinking of weird takes on old sayings,” said T. Cox, an international relations and global studies junior. “We came up with, ‘The world is your oyster, so you have to slurp it.’”

Initially, “Slurp The World” served as a concert-going tradition for T. Cox and Rylie Riddle, the band’s bassist and a psychology and sociology senior. The two wrote the phrase on T-shirts, asking artists to sign them at every concert they went to. 

Once formed, Slurp The World started performing live in April as a trio playing covers, with Petru on the drums, T. Cox as the singer and Riddle playing the bass. Later, the group gained two more members: keyboardist Carly Saunders, a psychology alumna, and Jackson C. Cox, a government junior who plays rhythm guitar. By spring break, they began working on original music for the next five or six months to create The Slurp Sampler.

While creating the EP, the band said they took four days to record the five songs, waking up at 9 a.m. and working until 5 p.m., T. Cox said. 

“Each one of us has a little bit of a different flavor,” T. Cox said. “Each member had lyrics that they sent, and we all collaborated to make songs. The songs are different in genre and style, so (we wanted to) represent each member of the band.” 

The band collectively said one of the hardest parts of the process includes coordinating five different schedules. Along with juggling a full-time job, Saunders said anxiety ahead of live shows can be difficult to deal with at times. 

“The anticipation of the show itself (is the hardest thing I deal with),” Saunders said. “I spend the entire day thinking about it, but then once it’s happening and once it’s over, it’s amazing.” 

Cox said before this band, he never performed in front of people. However, like Saunders, C. Cox said performing gets easier once he gets in the groove.

“With music, it’s a lot of muscle memory,” C. Cox said. “You’re able to just turn off your brain and let your limbs carry you through the show.” 

Following Slurp The World’s first release, Riddle said she never thought she would see music she created on cassette tapes, streaming services or performed live. 

“The fact that we actually have physical media now, songs on Spotify and we’re playing live concerts is surreal to me,” Riddle said. “I never ever thought that I would be in this stage of my life.”