Live Music in the Food Court

You can watch Billings, Mont., native Hana Pestle perform acoustic covers on YouTube, or you can see her live today on campus.

Pestle, an alternative/acoustic rock singer-songwriter, is performing during X-period today in the Student Center food court. In addition to her original music, Pestle has done acoustic YouTube covers of a variety of artists, including Incubus, Gotye and Rihanna.

“All my songs are inspired by different things,” she said.

She named Radiohead, Alanis Morrisette and Sarah McLachlan as major influences.

“Those three were [helpful]in sculpting who I am as an artist today,” she said.

Pestle said that she began writing music in high school. She performed “anywhere [she]could” in Billings, at small venues such as coffee shops and bookstores. At age 16, she met producers Michael Herring and Ben Moody, an Arkansas native and co-founder of the band Evanescence.

“Right away we sparked a friendship,” she said.

Pestle moved to Los Angeles after high school to further her music career. She said that she and Moody wrote songs together for two years before they officially became a couple. She said the relationship can be difficult because they are both on the road, but that they “make it work.”

“We just have a lot of fun together,” she said. “Our house is full of [music].”

Pestle contributed background vocals on Moody’s Mutiny Bootleg” EP and studio album “All for This.” She has a studio album of her own, “This Way,” which was released in 2009. She also has three EPs, one of which she produced with Moody’s help.

In 2008, Pestle went on tour with Live, Collective Soul and Blues Traveler as an opening act. While on the tour, she performed at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, which she said was “totally surreal.” She also played at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, where she had previously seen performances by her two favorite bands, Incubus and Radiohead.

Pestle is currently on a college tour and has played more than 100 shows in the past six months. Because she is the same age as college students, she has made many friends while on the road, she said.

“I’ve had a blast going all around the country,” she said.

Pestle will play an acoustic set of both original songs and covers today.

“It’s just me and my guitar,” she said. “[It’s] a lot of fun.”

Here’s the music video for Pestle’s original song, “These Two Hands.”

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