Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

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Subterfuge: Nothing deceptive about the band’s love of punk

From+L+to+R%3A+Jackson+Yeager%2C+Sumair+Ahluwalia%2C+Johnston+Jacob+Green+Jr%2C+and+Keen+Simpson+practice+one+of+their+original+songs+on+Jan.+25%2C+2024%2C+the+night+before+their+performance+in+Carbondale%2C+Illinois.
Nicole Fox
From L to R: Jackson Yeager, Sumair Ahluwalia, Johnston Jacob Green Jr, and Keen Simpson practice one of their original songs on Jan. 25, 2024, the night before their performance in Carbondale, Illinois.

Sub•ter•fuge (noun): deceit used in order to achieve one’s goal. It is also the name of a young band stepping onto the Carbondale music scene and making its voice known. For the last few months, Subterfuge has been making music and playing their original songs in punk house basement shows across town. 

 

The band members include: vocalist Keen Simpson, 21; guitarist Sumair Ahluwalia, 22; bassist Johnston Jacob Green Jr, 19; and drummer Jackson Yeager, 18. Yeager says that although he’s been casually playing for years, he only recently started taking music seriously. “I love music more every day,” he said. 

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Three of the members – Simpson, Green, and Yeager – are current SIU undergraduate students. Ahluwalia completed his undergraduate degree at SIU and plans to return next semester as a graduate student. At this point, the band is spending more of their time on songwriting and practicing than they are on their schoolwork. But, they say, that’s just what it takes to succeed.

 

Their lyrics discuss topics such as failed relationships, social constructions and government control. And while the entire band plays a role in creating and perfecting their songs, the other members claim that most of their ideas come from Ahluwalia.

 

“I’m not your machine

Won’t listen to you man

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I’m just a human

But I am my own being”

 

Above is an excerpt from Subterfuge’s recently released song, “Freedom to Starve,” which contains strong tones of rebellion and disobedience. 

 

Both Simpson and Ahluwalia are history students, and Simpson says that studying history actually pushed him towards this style of music. “When you learn about history you learn about all the s*** the government does that you should be mad about.”

 

This same sentiment is shared by the operators of Commune, the venue of a recent Subterfuge’s show. With huge banners strung behind the performance area reading “Queer Liberation Now” and “Abolish the Police” the political leanings of the house are not a secret. “It’s probably our favorite basement,” Ahluwalia said. 

 

The group will also be playing in the Blackout Festival, occurring the weekend before the April 8 total solar eclipse. The festival will take place over four locations around Carbondale: Commune, two other punk houses — Lost Cross and Birdhouse — and PK’s bar.

 

The band also recently recorded a video version of “Freedom to Starve,” which can be viewed on their Instagram: @subterfuge_cdale.

 

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