Signed band with record deal has BC students in it

Kyle Chidgey, Photographer

What began as an Internet project between two former Bakersfield College students has quickly grown into a signed band with a new record about to come out.

The Zenith Passage was started by guitarist and songwriter Justin McKinney, who later recruited Greg Hampton, also a former Bakersfield College student, to do vocals. The two laid down tracks on what would be their EP, “Cosmic Dissonance.”

The EP quickly gained momentum through Internet exposure and with the addition of drummer Luis Martinez and second guitarist Rob Maramonte.

The Zenith Passage took their sound to the road. Now signed to Unique Leader Records, The Zenith Passage is set to release its first full length album “SOLIPSIST” out April 15.

Justin McKinney, who wrote all the music on SOLIPSIST”, studied under Kris Tiner and John Gerhold while attending Bakersfield College and credits them for their influence on his growth as a musician.

“The passion in their craft resonated within me and helped me quite a bit. They’re incredible educators,” McKinney explained.

When asked what message he has for students studying music here at Bakersfield College, McKinney stated, “Practice religiously and bust your ass at your craft, and I guarantee you people will take notice, and opportunities will arise. It’s important to never give up on your passion and never settle. Stay hungry.” “SOLIPSIST” is a testament to that philosophy.