By Sara Serkownek, Chattanooga, Tenn., — UTC alumnus Justin Sperrazza is traveling the country with the indie band Sabbatical Year.
Sperrazza graduated from UTC in 2010 with a degree in accounting and in 2013 with a MBA. He now works at Tennessee Valley Authority, and plays bass, guitar and sings back-up vocals in his spare time.
Sperrazza had played with two of his current bandmates before college and before Sabbatical Year.
“We all went through a phase where we thought we were going to be rock stars,” said Sperrazza, “And then once reality finally settled in we thought maybe we actually need to go to college and stuff, so we did that, but we still kind of played off and on.”
Sabbatical Year was officially formed in 2013. Described by Sperrazza as a “rock band with no guitar,” Sabbatical Year is based out of Atlanta. That is where they do most of their shows, although they have played all over the country. The members have jobs and families, so scheduling shows can be a challenge.
“It’s hard, but it’s what we all love doing, so we don’t mind dedicating most of our free time to it,” said Sperrazza.
They end up taking their weekends and vacation time to play shows and record. Sperrazza said the most difficult part was balancing it with their families, but for the most part their wives are very supportive.
As for those looking to be rock stars, Sperrazza said this:
“The business side is completely unsexy. But I guess the message for people that are trying to do it is that it’s possible. Even if you’re working a corporate grind job and have a family and kids and have to commute two hours to band practice, if you want to do it, you’ve got time in your life to do it. You’ve just got to dedicate yourself to it.”
Sabbatical Year released their second album, SY2, on March 5, 2015. They’ll be playing locally at the National Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburg, Tenn.