DePaul grads follow rock ‘n’ roll dreams

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DePaul grads follow rock ‘n’ roll dreams

DePaul graduates TJ Horansky and AJ Khah on stage during their performance at Warped Tour as part of their band Sleep on It.

DePaul graduates TJ Horansky and AJ Khah on stage during their performance at Warped Tour as part of their band Sleep on It.

Ashley Sanchez / The DePaulia

DePaul graduates TJ Horansky and AJ Khah on stage during their performance at Warped Tour as part of their band Sleep on It.

Ashley Sanchez / The DePaulia

Ashley Sanchez / The DePaulia

DePaul graduates TJ Horansky and AJ Khah on stage during their performance at Warped Tour as part of their band Sleep on It.

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You never know who you’ll meet at your freshman year dorm social.

Chicago-based punk band Sleep on It, guitarist TJ Horansky and former bassist AJ Khah weren’t expecting to make connections at a social in Corcoran Hall that could change their trajectory for the rest of their time at DePaul.

“We met at a gathering meant to socialize people on different floors,” Khah said.

They formed a bond through their love of music and bands they had previously been in.

Ashley Sanchez / The DePaulia
Fans crowding the stage during Sleep on It’s set. The band was originally formed while Horansky and Khah attended DePaul.

“I thought [TJ] was the best songwriter I’d ever heard in my life, even back in college he blew my mind with every song he wrote… then things just kind of fell into place with Sleep on It,” Khah said.

Both Horanksy and Khah knew they were destined for the music industry and majored in fields they knew would help them in their careers.

“I always knew I wanted to do music and felt like a communications degree had a broad scope,” Horansky said. “I was able to take a lot of PR, journalism and editing classes and things I knew would tie into what I wanted to do musically.”

Ashley Sanchez / The DePaulia
AJ Khah

Khah also chose his major based on how it would help him as a musician.

“I wanted to study something that I knew would be beneficial to any band I joined so to me it only made sense to study business,” Khah said about his decision to major in business. “I’ve read horror stories about bands that sign contracts that ruin their careers and I knew if I ever got to that point I wanted to be able to read and understand the contract. The more pieces of arsenal you can have for yourself is the best thing.”

Ashley Sanchez / The DePaulia
TJ Horansky

These two DePaul graduates made their dreams a reality when they joined the final round of the annual Vans Warped Tour this summer. While on tour, they gave some advice for current students who are looking to make it big in the music scene.

“Try to get internships – it seriously helped me,” Horansky said. “It was so much more about getting that hands-on experience and just networking. I took a music business class and definitely learned a lot about the basics, and it was really my internship that taught me how it actually worked behind the scenes and how to network… The guy who signed our band was actually someone I worked with while I interned.”

“Another point of advice is work hard, put in the effort,” Khah said. “People will see the time and effort you put in, especially when you’re hustling in the freezing snow handing out flyers outside of concerts.”

“The time we got picked up by our management was when he saw us hustling outside of a Wonder Years show,” Horansky said. “You just never know.”

Fans can check out the band’s debut album “Overexposed” and at the Subterranean on April 27 with This Wild Life.