Typically a fedora wearer, Simon Nagel occasionally sports a Mohawk and black nail polish for performances. His normal outfits consist of Converse shoes, leather jackets and denim jeans. Coupled with his ear and lip piercings, Nagel’s look screams rockstar.
Nagel was the bassist for the electronic based band Neo Geo featured in The Vans Warped Tour 2012 House Of Marley stage. He played with the band for about eight months and is currently the bassist and backing vocals for the heavier rock band Knee High Fox.
“This was my first time playing Warped Tour, but Neo Geo has played previous years,” he said.
Nagel, music major, has been a student at PCC for the last year and is currently taking 12 units. He says the History of Rock Music and recording classes he is taking are his favorites.
“PCC seemed like the nicest community college to me when I was checking them all out. I heard it had a great music program too, which is what I’m obviously into,” said Nagel, who lives in Hollywood.
Nagel, 24, also attended Musicians Institute in Hollywood for 18 months and completed the G.I.T. guitar program. “I’m playing bass right now in my band, but my main instrument is guitar,” he said.
“If I had to pick the single best part of Warped, I would say [it was] getting to hang [out] with new fans everyday,” said Nagel. He says he liked how accessible the bands were for the fans. He also says meeting and hearing new bands play were highlights for him.
Nagel decided to quit Neo Geo right before the New Year, and is focusing his efforts on school and playing in Knee High Fox. He said it was really difficult to juggle being a member of both bands and having a full class schedule. “It takes a lot of getting used to, being a student and being in bands because of scheduling, but that’s why you have to prioritize,” said Nagel.
One of his teachers feels he has found a good balance. “Simon does a great job managing his commitments,” said Daniel Cole, who teaches the recording class Nagel is in. “If he has a conflict, he lets me know in advance and gets his work done.”
Ruben Helmstadter, music major and pianist, has shared several classes with Nagel during the last two semesters and is familiar with his musical career. Helmstadter noted how a few times Nagel had to miss afternoon classes to play gigs, but he feels Nagel has found a good balance. “He seems to manage [school and music] pretty well,” said Helmstadter.
Nagel also feels that he has worked out effective time management between music and class. “It also helps that I’m studying music, so a lot of times what I’m studying I can correlate with what I’m doing at the time music-wise,” Nagel says.