Quinnipiac junior, Justin Weiner, has great reason to be hopeful this month. He ponders and affirms that the best show his band played for was in front of 563 people. The show took place in July in Plymouth, Mass.
Now The 8th Grade, a Rhode Island-based band, have been named as a potential opener for Everclear’s performance this month at the Burt Kahn Gymnasium.
The 20-year-old, mass communications major, is the ecstatic drummer of the punk quintet. Weiner has been a member of the band for less than a year.
Since the winter of 2000, he and his mates have gone by the name The 8th Grade. Last year the band went under the name The Ripoffs and had one less member.
Guitarists Pete and Xander, 20 and 17 respectively, handle the band’s songwriting with Justin as well. Brothers Pete and Mike collaborate with Xander laying down their lyrics. Xander, 17, base guitar. Jay, 17, and vocalist Mike, 18, are the youngest of the band. Each of the five hail from the close-knit towns of Sharon and Pascog, RI, and nearby Easton and Stoughton, Mass.
From the get go The 8th Grade have been an active band. In February they released a limited-number 2-song EP. Campus radio station WQAQ has given the band significant airplay since March. The guys came in 3rd Place at this year’s Open Mike Night among 13 acts.
The band’s name, “The 8th Grade,” was a joke that a friend of the band thought of to call the band. The name remains much like fond or sour memories of junior high turning into high school one might have.
What also remains are a few other bands being considered for opening acts during the Everclear show. One band that Weiner knew of through friends is called Tripjack. This group is Connecticut-based.
Some of the band’s set tracks from their recent limited-number recording show off many of their influences, including the pop-punk style of Everclear. The 8th Grades songs include “Mash,” “Cinatit,” “Unspoken” and “Untimely Departure.” All have a very emo and pop-punk feel and charged tempo, while the tracks show off influences from the likes of emo-punk bands like the Atari’s, Saves The Day and Goldfinger.
“There was a girl that Xander had been pining over for years and she wore a M*A*S*H t-shirt,” said Justin about the inspiration for “Mash.”
“We like to think of ourselves as a professional band, but we are still just five kids who like to have fun, hang out, and play music,” he said.
The 8th Grade have developed a loyal fan base in their home states and at the two colleges the band has in common, Johnson and Whales in Providence and here at Quinnipiac. Justin said it best, “It would be incredible to share the stage with [Everclear] for an evening.”