The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Finish Ticket discusses new music, Lollapalooza performance

James Hoeck
Finish Ticket at Lollapalooza’s press lounge during the first day of the festival on Thursday.

After playing their Lollapalooza set at the Bacardí stage, American indie band Finish Ticket talked with The Daily Illini about their musical journey, musical influences and experience at Lollapalooza.

Brendan Hoye, the band’s lead singer, said that the performance was a lot of fun. 

“It’s been a minute since we’ve done a festival, and we’re just kinda getting started again after a little break,” Hoye said. “It was so great to be back on the stage.” 

Hoye said he’s done a lot of good festivals, but Lollapalooza has always been on his bucket list. 

He also said the band did a lot of tours, but stopped to make a record. 

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

“It just didn’t really work out,” Hoye said. “We just didn’t agree on the ways of finishing the record, going with the right people. We all had different ideas of what that looked like. It didn’t work out, so we had to pivot.”

Hoye said the COVID-19 pandemic affected the band as well, extending the break.

“But finally, we’re in a new situation with a new label and our new album is done,” Hoye said. 

The band released “Changing,” their first single in three years, on July 21, 2023. Alex DiDonato, the band’s guitarist, said the song is quite personal.

“Changing is the first single coming out,” DiDonato said. “It feels super personal to us, I mean, we’ve been working on this for a long time. A lot has changed since we were last doing our thing, so this feels like a really great representation of us now.” 

Hoye said “Changing” is about having anxiety about why you’re doing music and where you’re going. He said that everyone feels this, and questions if they’re on the right path. 

Hoye said that the band’s new music will still feel like Finish Ticket, but the band has taken the music in new directions. 

“It’s way more personal,” Hoye said. “It’s way more insight into where we are as people and where we’ve been in the past couple years. It covers everything from depression to new love. We never used to go personal.”

Gabe Stein, the band’s drummer, said the band learned a lot during their time off.

“(We learned) how to do production so we could get more of our own ideas down without having to go through another person to help translate those ideas,” Stein said. 

DiDonato said this album was the first time the band had a heavier hand in the production of the record. 

Stein said the band is always trying to evolve and grow. Hoye said one of the changes the band has had recently is how they record their songs. 

“Our live show is a very important thing to us,” Hoye said. “And I think in the past — at least, in our last EP — it was very important to us. Like, we were really trying to go heavier on the recording and make it feel like the live show.”

Hoye said that with this record, the studio recording took priority and that the live piece came in later, after the song was recorded.

“With the new song, we were trying to focus more on whatever the song is,” Hoye said. “What’s the emotion here? How do you back that up musically and make it feel good in a studio setting?”

The band said they have a lot of musical influences, and that the three of them listen to a lot of different music. 

Stein said he listens to a lot of hip hop, old and new, like Wu-Tang Clan and Jamie XX. He also likes rock music and large dynamic bands. 

DiDonato said he likes Stevie Wonder, Cake and Pinegrove. He said when the new record was getting done, he was very into the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Hoye said that when the band started, their biggest influences were The Strokes and The Killers. 

“From there, I’ve kind of veered off towards … Caroline Polachek, Leon Bridges, and Frank Ocean,” Hoye said. 

Hoye said Fall Out Boy was a large influence for him as well, saying that Patrick Stump used to be his idol and that Stump had a massive influence on his vocals. He also said Adam Levine of Maroon 5 was an influence for him, especially their album “Songs About Jane.”

Hoye said “Changing” is the first of many singles to come.


[email protected]

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Hi! My name is Kiran Bond and I'm a junior majoring in journalism and minoring in informatics. I started writing for The Daily Illini in the features section back in early 2022, before coming to buzz. I'm very passionate about music and journalism, so buzz editor is an awesome position for me! In my free time, I'm usually doing something musical! I'm in the Women's Glee Club choir and I play piano and guitar. I'm also probably listening to Fall Out Boy or another pop-punk or post-hardcore band. For any inquiries, feel free to reach out to me at !
James Hoeck, Photo Editor
Heyo! I am James Hoeck, a third-year undergraduate student in photography with a minor in media. I have been a part of Illini Media for two years, starting back in fall 2021. I hold the position of Photo Editor here at The Daily Illini. I also work as Photo Editor for Illini Media’s Illio Yearbook. There is a good chance you will see me out and about on campus taking photos for my personal work or for The DI and/or Illio! If you want to check out more of my work, visit my socials linked below.
ILLordle: Play now