A little over a year ago, the punk band WilberForce hit the Milton Academy music scene. While they aren’t yet booked for MTV’s Total Request Live (TRL), WilberForce is happy with their progress, and says they hope the road ahead is smoother than in the past.
Zack Smith ’04, Matt Humphreys ’04, Keith Gordon ’04 and Nathaniel Naddaff-Hafrey ’04 are WilberForce. Zack and Matt are the original band members and say, with the addition of Keith and Nathaniel, they finally have a band that will be able to make great music. “We are the Lynard Skynard of student bands,” says Matt referring to the number of changes the group has undergone in the past year. Through the loss of unhappy and uninspired band members, musical differences and the difficulty of playing in undesirable locations, the band has persevered and the members are following their early childhood dreams.
“People either love us or hate us,” says Zack, the band’s drummer. “There just isn’t a big punk following on campus,” explains Matt, lead vocals. WilberForce, a cover band, plays music by Green Day, Nofx, Operation Ivy, and the Ataris. Although they don’t have a big following, the four-member band has realized that they are not about to compromise their values for the deafening sounds of applause from a crowd of hundreds.
Keith Gordon, the bassist, never listened to punk music before joining the band. “I never identified with any type of music, but once I started playing with these guys I started listening to the bands we cover and realized punk music is pretty good.”
With a number of songs under their belt, the group is now working on some original music. Zack and Matt say that the songs they are writing are either politically oriented or about girls, they also have some goofy ’80s nostalgia songs.
WilberForce named the band for William WilberForce, the abolitionist, although some of their followers think they were named after the college, a scientist who worked with pendulums or a “scary British band” that also goes by the same name.
WilberForce will perform for the Milton campus on Monday, December 10 in the snack bar.