Call Him Gobi

Student Highlight: Sean Roediger


Call Me Gobi performing live at a concert held for a friend’s birthday. Photo courtesy of the Call Me Gobi Facebook page.

Delaney Harrison, Layout Editor, Writer

Senior Sean Roediger is marching to the beat of his own drum–or more aptly, drumming his own beat in the 8-year-old indie band Call Me Gobi.

Roediger has performed with sister and bassist Katy Roediger, guitarist Chase Illig, and vocalist Zach Bogely, since he was 10 years old. Roediger’s longtime girlfriend reports that the band’s name comes from a “cheesy pickup line” delivered by the sister Roediger to boyfriend Bogely, replacing “call me hot” with “call me Gobi”–as in the notoriously scorching desert.

He only ever “goofed around” on the drum set gifted to him by his brother before his skills were put to the test.

“There was this show at the 9:30 Club in D.C., kind of a Battle of the Bands type deal,” reports Roediger. The original 3-man-band competed there, and needed a drummer. “Through goofing around, I figured out how to do the same drum fill” that they needed, Roediger says. “I was the youngest drummer who ever played there.”

To this day, Roediger is still self-taught, and moreover he ‘writes’ all of his own music. Singer and lyricist Bogely is allegedly a “genius when it comes to lyrics, he does the guitar parts, but he has a very very vague idea of what he wants the drums to sound like.” To write his part, Roediger improvises along to the drumless version of the song to figure out what would sound best. “I’m pretty much 100% part of the drum process when it comes to our songs.”

Learning to play seems to have changed Roediger’s world for the better. “[Playing the drums] has become a true way to express his feelings,” explains his girlfriend. “Music is his passion and he loves his bandmates, as they have been together for over 8 years.”

Adds his sister and bandmate Katy Roediger, “he absorbs more from a song than I ever could, and I feel like it honestly changes his whole way of thinking.”

Roediger and his sister are not the only musically-minded folk in his family. Their brother drummed, their father plays the guitar, and his mother is a “very good singer.” According to Roediger, the family’s musical talent popped up sometimes when “we as a family would play patriotic songs” at family events such as cookouts. So the music is nothing unexpected–although it is supported.

Support, especially within the band itself, is the what Roediger calls the key to starting off a musical career. “I would say that probably the most important thing you can do when getting into music or starting your band is to make sure that the people you’re collaborating with have the same vision as you.” If everyone involved is on the same page “it’s gonna turn out pretty great.”

As far as plans for the future go?

“We have 4 or 5 songs recorded at the moment,” reports Roediger. “Surprisingly, it takes a lot more money and time than we all thought it would… we recorded a 4 or 5 track demo and we’re going to mix that in New York during the winter.” Perhaps early listeners will get to see Call Me Gobi join the ranks of indie hall-of-famers like St. Vincent or Sufjan Stevens. Who’s to say?