Pleasant Discomfort Make Themselves Comfortable on Stage


Image courtesy of Pleasant Discomfort.

Grace Gorham, Digital Director

You might have heard the name Pleasant Discomfort or heard their music circulating around campus, since this year they have played at a Kappa Sigma alumni event, Camptown, and Theta Chi’s pig roast.

Juniors Daniel Sugano, Josh Garka, and Paulo Matheny along with senior Holden Trimmer are all members of the band that started last fall. Each member has their own talent that they bring to the table, with Sugano on vocals, Garka on the guitar, Trimmer on drums, and Matheny on bass.

Even though they each have their own separate roles, Sugano explains how they all work cohesively together to create their original songs.

“I brought in lyrics and the vocal melody idea. Holden does drums, Garka writes solo for lead guitar, and Paulo the bass part. Sometimes it works in different ways, we each come up with different ideas. Each member brings to the table one idea and we all help craft that together in a way,” said Sugano.

Several of the members have been in bands before, including Trimmer. He has experienced bands that can be hard to work with and result in conflict, but he says that Pleasant Discomfort is not like that.

“One of the things I really like about all the guys is that they’re all really easy to talk to and get along with. Even if we might have different or strong opinions we’re still able to talk and figure things out, it doesn’t turn into a screaming match,” said Trimmer.

In their performance at Camptown, there were several instances where they had to improvise and help each other out, even though it wasn’t obvious to the audience.

Garka’s guitar broke a string in the middle of the performance, and he was still able to keep playing through it while not changing the sound of the music. He explains what was going through his mind when the string snapped.

“First I was like ‘How the hell am I gonna restring this without wasting our set time…’ I was gonna play the songs without it, but then Dan was like ‘Do you guys wanna hear some Brazilian music?’ and I was like ‘Good move Dan,’” said Garka.

Their ability to improvise on the spot spoke to their capabilities and chemistry as a group. Sugano talks about how he felt after overcoming the challenges on stage.

“It was like a cold shower because it really showed to me that life doesn’t go as planned. Learning how to work as a group and figuring out on the spot how to fix those problems was something that I was very proud of how we worked together to help each other out in those situations,” said Sugano.

Pleasant Discomfort’s experiences with improvisation also ties in with their band name. Garka came up with the name, with the idea of life being “pleasantly discomforting,” meaning that you have to seek comfort in uncomfortable situations in order to grow as a person.

Besides the unplanned challenges in their performance at Camptown, all of the members were in agreement that the concert was one of the most fun ones they have played so far together.

“The students’ energy was contagious, we were all feeling it. It was awesome. We definitely felt like celebrities getting escorted from Brock to Mary Branch,” said Matheny.

Playing for events at Randolph-Macon means that all of the band members know people in the audience. Trimmer explains how he feels about playing for school events.

“Being able to give them that experience compared to some random people in a bar, its different. You look out there and say, ‘Oh that’s my friend, they’re rocking out with us,’ that feels good,” said Trimmer.

While all of the members like being in a band because they clearly enjoy playing music, they also love being able to share that with others.

Garka explains how his favorite part of being in the band is that he gets to reach so many people through his music, and he got to see that come to fruition at Camptown.

“My favorite part is getting to touch people. It’s really awesome to express myself and feel heard but it’s more to know that I reached 400 people tonight, 400 people danced at least a little bit to what I was doing. It’s a tough world out here, we all need a break sometimes, and being able to give that to people is very rewarding,” said Garka.

Garka also compared the band to a sports team. The guys all have similar interests and are able to share their successes and struggles within the music industry. Matheny talks about the friendships that they have along with their shared love of music.

“The best part about being in the band is playing songs I love with guys I love hanging out with. When we play a show, it’s the same feeling as going to a big party with your whole crew. We’re coming to have fun,” said Matheny.

The guys all have chemistry and are hoping to stay together as a band if it works out. For Garka and Sugano, they even got psychic clarification that they would be successful together.

“In the summer, Dan went back to Brazil and saw a psychic. She asked him if he knew this long curly haired guy who plays guitar, and Dan was like ‘Yeah,’ and she was like ‘You’re gonna make a lot of money with him,’” said Garka.

Matheny said that he and Garka agreed that “Wherever life takes us, we’re taking our guitars with us.”

In the future, Pleasant Discomfort will be looking to develop more of their original songs. They only have one right now, but they are working on getting into the studio to release more of their music.