What's the punkest number? 9.18 of course!
If you are a punk music fan then you know them.. If you are based in New Jersey, then you've been to one of their shows for sure ... This is Nine Eighteen ladies and gents ! They have been around the music scene for more than 10 years and they are here to talk with us about their music journey, their endeavors and the future. Don't miss their next show; the only disappointing part will be that your body will hurt the next day from dancing all night to their sounds and you will be grooving to their songs all day long !
Q: Hi guys and thank you for your time today! Let’s get started… Who are you ?
A: MIke: We’re Nine Eighteen and we’re a punk band from Union County, New Jersey. I’m Mike, I play the guitar and I sing, Tony is on the bass and Joe is on the drums.
Q: Was it all started at 9:18 am/pm ? Who came up with this name?
A: Mike: My Friend Kieran came up with the name for the band actually, he was the original
bass player when we started the band back in 2004. The band name comes from a movie, I
won’t say which one though. Over the last 14 years however it's begun to represent a lot
more, which was kind of always the intention. It means whatever you want it to mean.
Q: How did you guys start all this and what keeps you together in that journey in the music industry?
A: Mike: I started this band with my friend Kieran back when we were both just kids pretty much. Kieran left the band around 2007 for various reasons and we added Tony to the band on Bass. Tony had opened up for us with his old band The Glass Bombs and after seeing him play it was just the perfect fit for us.
Tony: Me and Joe actually started The Glass Bombs back in Junior Year of High School, so we’ve been playing for a while together as well. When our last drummer left in 2016 I reached out to Joe to see if he wanted the spot.
Joe: I had been playing with Tony so long that when he told me Nine Eighteen was looking for a new drummer, I knew it was gonna be a good time.
Mike: The thing that keeps us together on this whole ride is the family bond. Between the three of us we’ve pretty much been playing music together in one fashion or another for about 15 years, I'm gonna be 30 years old this year. That's half my life. We’re not afraid to challenge each other or to speak our minds. We make decisions together as a band and we all tend to have the same forward thinking when it comes to the future. Most importantly, we love music. We love playing music together on any opportunity we get. That Spark is still very much there and still feels amazing to be in sync with your band mates. You grab a couple beers, head to the practice space, and just spend 3 hours playing the same 2 songs over and over till they’re perfect. Nothing beats that feeling of discovering a new sound with your band mates.
Joe: Beer Keeps us together.
Q: Jamming on punk/rock sounds, what are your music influences? Which is THE band for you and why?
A: Mike: I’ve always been a huge fan of classic Skate Punk, the Offspring, Green Day, lag wagon. I’ve recently been really influenced by The Menzingers, The Flatliners, Dave Hause, and Frank Turner. I would say the band that means the most to me is The Bouncing Souls. They’re Jersey Legends and the first time I heard one of their songs, it made me want to grab a guitar and learn. That was almost 15 years ago now, and now we’re at the point where we’ve recorded with Pete From the Souls and have gotten tattoos from the bassist Brian. They’ve become friends to us at this point and its very cool to see where we started and where we've come all because of the souls.
Tony: First song I ever learned on bass was a Ramones song. They’re definitely THE band for me. I like to be well rounded with my bass playing so I also love a lot of Motown and R &B. James Jamerson, Donald Duck Dunn, Bob Babbit, etc. My Main focus has always been punk though
Joe: what got me to start to play drums was a lot of reggae and hip hop. I’m very influenced by Questlove and his drumming. That's how I got into jazz drumming and eventually punk/reggae influences like: Sublime, The Ergs, & Bad Brains.
Q: Who writes the songs? What do you like to write about?
A: Mike: We all tend to write everything together. Each of us brings something different to the table. Regardless of whoever starts the idea whether it be a riff, a drum beat, or a lyric at some point we all put our stamp on it. That’s kind of how we work, we are very much a jam band. We love to play and write music together, it's very rare for us to write a song that only one of us has had any input on. It is and always has been a group effort. In terms of lyrics I like to write about things that hit close to home, being personal but also leaving areas of interpretation for people to find what they want to find in the lyrics.
Tony: We make songs that we’d wanna hear.
Joe: Anytime I’ve got a big smile on my face, we've got a good song.
Q: You started playing music more than 10 years ago. Is that right ? What is your goal? Would you like to make a career out of this or just having fun playing a few gigs here and there ?
A: Mike: Yeah, the band has been together for 14 years at this point. I think making a career out of this has always been the intention especially when you've been doing something for so long. If we could quit our jobs, jump in a van tomorrow and just be musicians I think we’d all do that instantly. The one important thing is that this had never felt like work, even when I've been stressed or frustrated or unhappy with certain scenarios or problems, playing in this band has always been fun. I’ll be playing music till they have to roll me on and off the stage on a wheelchair. A wise friend once told me “ Find what you love and then do it till it hurts.” It doesn't hurt yet so I'm gonna keep this train moving.
Tony: I’ll play any show, anywhere for as long as i possibly can. Most important thing will be to always have fun with it, wherever it takes us, it takes us.
Joe: My goal is to keep playing music and having the best time I can with my buddies. we’ve got a long road ahead of us…i know it's gonna be a great time.
Q: You released your EP on 2016. What happened after that? Should we expect anything to come out in the near future?
A: Mike: at the time we released Animals our EP in 2016 we were actually technically between drummers. We had these plans of trying to release that record then support it with shows. By the time the record came out, our last drummer had prior engagements and had to leave. No bad blood or anything like that, just poor timing. From then till now we’ve reconnected with Joe and been working hard to figure out who we are as a band. Now we can happily say that in about 2 months our new full length “Twelve Fluid Ounces” will be out and we couldn’t be happier to go out and support it and bring it to new fans.
Q: You had played at Starland Ballroom, Knitting Factory and more, and you had a bunch of shows last year. Which one was the most favorite one for you and why ?
A: Mike: That's a tough one, we’ve played with so many different bands in so many different places that it's tough to choose. I’d have to say The Scandals “Lucky Seven” record release show last April is at the top of my list right now. We were almost done recording and had made all these new friends at the studio we are working at, that when they asked us to jump on the record release it felt great to be including in the scene.
Tony: We actually just played with Iron Chic and Murphy’s law at the beginning of January. The turnout was amazing! My family actually came to see us play for the first time in like 10 years so it was cool to share that moment with them and for them to see how far we’ve come.
Joe: We played outside in Coney Island this past summer. It was a really amazing experience being outside right next to where the Brooklyn Cyclones play and only a few feet away from the rollercoaster. We spent all day there just hanging out, meeting new people and having a great time.
Q: Do you have any shows coming up?
A: Mike: We are actually playing February 16th at the "Harp n bard" in Clifton, NJ with some good friends of ours Chris Skel and Brian Rothenbeck. Then our album release show will be March 17th St. Patty’s Day at the stage house tavern in scotch plains NJ with Tommy Gunn and the Semantics and Brian Rothenbeck. We are currently working on additional dates for the remainder of the year.
Q: What does the future hold for you? What are your next steps ?
A: Mike: We have a couple shows coming up, an album release in March and hoping to keep playing gigs and getting our name out there this year. You’ll definitely being hearing about us in 2018.
Joe: We’re hoping to head up north to the Boston area as well. I’ve got some friends up there that have been dying to have us come up and play. Tony: We’re hoping to tour. We’d like to cram in the van, hang with some great friends, travel, and play our music.
Q: I would like to thank each and every one of you for your time today! Anything you would like to share with your fans and future musicians?
A: Mike: We’d like to say thanks for supporting us for 14 years. We’re hoping to make you proud in 2018. We’ll see ya in the pit.
Tony: Hot! Reckless! Totally Insane… it’s not a kids game anymore.
Joe: Grip the rip, don’t rip the grip. Ya heard!
on Facebook: @nineeighteen
on Instagram: @NineEighteenNJ
on Twitter: @NineEighteenNJ
Coverage by Anna Antonopoulos
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