FARMINGTON — In 2009, Robert Trobaugh, Brandon Lucas and Marc Smith received their high school diplomas from Piedra Vista High School.

Then, the three former choir mates, went their separate ways. For Lucas, that meant college in Grand Junction, Colo. The other two remained in Farmington.

About four years ago, the three reunited and formed the rock band "The Dead Side."

The band members have recently purchased a bus and started touring. They have traveled through Colorado and played a couple of times in Farmington. On Friday, the band celebrated the release of its second studio album, "Infectious," with a concert at Three Rivers Banquet Hall.

From left, Marc Smith, Robert Trobaugh and Brandon Lucas with the band The Dead Side warm up prior to their show Friday at the Three Rivers Banquet Hall in
From left, Marc Smith, Robert Trobaugh and Brandon Lucas with the band The Dead Side warm up prior to their show Friday at the Three Rivers Banquet Hall in Farmington. (Jon Austria / The Daily Times)

The band followed up with a concert in Durango Saturday night as part of Snowdown. The tour will continue in Albuquerque and Texas later this month.

The Dead Side started as two friends — Trobaugh on guitar and Lucas the lead singer and keyboardist — jamming together in the basement of Lucas' parents' house in January 2010.

Smith eventually came by and heard them play. He immediately liked the music and encouraged the band.

Eventually, Smith became the band's guitarist.

"I was in the band before I learned to play the guitar," Smith said.

Now he said he plays it all the time and enjoys the look, feel and sound of the instrument.

He said he always loved the guitar but never thought he would play it.

Trobaugh said they then packed up and moved to Glennville, Calif., an unincorporated community of less than 200 people, in 2011. Trobaugh said they wanted the isolation to write music.

Moving to California was a huge change for the Farmington boys. Only Lucas had ever lived outside of Farmington and, while Glennville was a small community, the band members spent a lot of time in Bakersfield, Calif., which is has an active music scene and is only about 20 minutes away.

Smith said there were a lot of things the band had to adjust to, but the biggest adjustment was learning to drive in California traffic.

The band members remained in California for about a year before moving to Colorado, where they began to get noticed.

Their song "Follow Your Mother" began to get radio airplay.

For the band members, this type of musical success was something none of them had expected when they had received their diplomas only a couple years earlier.

"When I was a kid, I wanted to be a lot of things," Trobaugh said.

At one point he wanted to be a paranormal investigator and at another point he thought about architecture.

In high school he started listening to Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin and he started to think about becoming a musician.

He said the turning point came after the band had formed. Last year he attended a concert featuring celebrities such as Paul McCartney and Weird Al Yankovic.

He said seeing so many people there enjoying music really hit home.

"Music is a very universal thing," he said.

Lucas had also pictured a very different future when he left Farmington to attend Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colo.

At college, he studied musical theater. Eventually, he said, he began to believe that music was a better tool than musical theater for reaching people.

"I think music is far more ethereal," he said.

However, even after dropping out of college and forming the band, Lucas continued in theater.

While in California, he joined a community theater group and was part of the play "Zanna, Don't!"

During that play, Lucas met Ace Brewer, who was also part of the theater group. Lucas and Brewer started dating.

A few months later, the band found itself short a drummer when its former drummer quit.

"I just jumped on the drums," Brewer said.

Brewer had never before played the drums.

"We took a leap of faith and it paid off," Lucas said.

While neither Brewer nor Smith had experience prior to joining the band, Lucas and Trobaugh are happy to have them as members.

"They're tailor made for the band," Lucas said.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.