Most students wouldn’t expect to find out that their math teacher doubles as a bassist in a progressive rock band. Little Rock native and UCA graduate Zack Parham, 25, is the mathematics visiting lecturer surprising previous and current students when seen playing bass in the band Becoming Elephants.
What started out as two friends jamming at a party in 2011 is now a four-piece instrumental band including Logan Kennedy, Jameson Burton, Brandon Toney and Parham.
“I’ve only ever had one student that was currently taking me show up to one [show]in Little Rock,” Parham said. “He was there to see another band and was like ‘I’ve had no idea, you’re like living another life.’ So, I guess they all just think I’m this math-nerd guy.”
Having grown up playing guitar and bass, music has always been a hobby for him. After graduating from UCA in 2012 with a math degree, he wasn’t ready to give it up.
“You can’t really just do music. Or at least the kind of music I’m doing,” he said. “So you need a job and then the band is just my thing I do for fun. I’m not really looking to make any money off of it or anything.”
Becoming Elephants landed in the finals of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase in February and March this year. Parham said even though it was disappointing to get that far in the competition and not win, it was still a fun experience and the band got to compete against friends.
After months of working on its first record, “Volume I,” his band will release it at the band’s release show on Nov. 9 at Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack.
Parham said he is always surprised when people on campus talk to him about his music because he has no idea who knows about Becoming Elephants.
“It’s interesting when the two things collide because my friends in the band and all of my music friends, they never see me in this context, and nobody here [at UCA]really sees me in that context,” he said.
This article originally appeared in the Nov. 4, 2015 print edition of The Echo.
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