SVSU faculty pursues passion for guitar with local band

Band members of Last Night Saved My Life. Courtesy Photo | Riley Hupfer

By day, Riley Hupfer is known to the SVSU community as the director of Cardinals for Community Engagement and the adviser for the Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity.

What many do not know about Hupfer is that he is a rhythm guitarist for Last Night Saved My Life, a pop rock/punk band that plays medium-sized venues around the state and is looking to travel out of state soon.

The band formed slowly after its 2010 start, with breaks for the members to focus on undergrad coursework.

When Hupfer was 14 years old, his parents bought him a guitar and signed him up for lessons.

“I wanted a PlayStation,” Hupfer said. “I was not happy that I got a guitar.”

After starting lessons, Hupfer was able to find another guitarist who was looking for other people to play music with.

“(Bandmember) Justin and I began playing Blink 182 music in the garage,” Hupfer said.

They could not have a band with only two people, so the pair started looking for more members.

“I was in the milk line and saw the kid in front of me and told him he looked like he played an instrument,” Hupfer said. “He ended up becoming our drummer. We found (bandmember) Ryne at church, and we found our singer Wilson on MySpace.”

Hupfer said getting a singer was the last piece of the puzzle for the band.

“We debuted at the Freeland High School talent show, where we covered ‘Sugar We’re Going Down’ by Fallout Boy,” he said.

Over the years, the band started selling merchandise as well as doing its own advertising and songwriting.

“It is starting to become like a business,” Hupfer said. “We play our instruments, book our shows, sell our merch. … It’s all on us.”

Last Night Saved My Life has released its own songs on various platforms.

“We have written and released 37 songs through EPs and one album,” Hupfer said. “We are planning three more songs in the next few months, which we hope to follow with an EP and maybe an album.”

Hupfer said he enjoys a lot of what comes with being part of the band.

“It’s definitely a balance between the writing and sharing creativity,” he said. “But there is nothing more freeing than being on stage and people are singing your songs back to you.”

As of March 15 Last Night Saved My Life will be playing at the Pike Room in Pontiac on March 21 updates can be found on the band’s Twitter @LastNightSaved.


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