Here comes your Banderson


Miles Keefe

This is the official Banderson logo, which shows the four members’ faces photoshopped over the four members of American rock band Weezer on The Blue Album. “We love Weezer,” says Ide. Banderson plans on covering Weezer’s “Buddy Holly” sometime in the future.

Lily Coady, Staff Writer

The Pixies aren’t a particularly popular band. Most students at the school are more likely to be found with Taylor Swift singing “You Belong With Me” through their earbuds, or with Travis Scott’s bass-boosted tracks blaring through their car speakers on the way out of the parking lot. Of course, there are many classic rock fans at the school, as well. Even then, Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd are more prominent here — and if students are listening to The Pixies, it’s probably “Where Is My Mind?”, the band’s most popular track, and usually the only song that students can recognize them for. So, why are so many kids suddenly listening to “Here Comes Your Man”? What is this newfound Pixies phenomenon? Why are the kids who normally bump mainstream pop or rap listening to this mellow, classic rock track?

The answer can be found at the 80’s-themed Guitar Night this past fall. Audience members cheered on Guitar Night regulars: Taylor O’Connell ‘19 delivered phenomenal vocals, Peter Szczeszynski ‘19 wowed the audience with his keyboard skills and Joe Messina ‘19 moved a freshman girl (or two) to tears. When a new band to the Guitar Night scene stepped on stage, the audience didn’t exactly know what to expect. The boys — Anderson Steckler ‘20 on guitar, Evan LaFrance ‘20 on drums, Miles Keefe ‘20 on bass and Josh Ide ‘20 on guitar and vocals — ended up stunning the crowd with an impressive rendition of, low and behold, “Here Comes Your Man” by The Pixies. Their stage presence and, of course, undeniable musical talent made the audience members swoon. After giving the group a generous applause, students were begging to know: who were these new stars?

They are none other than HB’s newest and greatest band: Banderson.

Banderson first came together when the four boys found themselves as the only students in a Music History class. LaFrance was a member of the Honors Choir, and Steckler and Ide had played guitar together before. Keefe possessed limited musical experience, aside from his ability to play the recorder. However, Ide encouraged him to learn.

“You see, Miles and I attended a Weezer-Pixies concert over the summer,” explains Ide. “And I told him, ‘Hey, Miles, learn to play the bass so we can play something like this at Guitar Night.’ And then he did.”

From there, Ide sent out a SnapChat message to Keefe, LaFrance and Steckler proposing the formation of a band. Their dilogical name, Banderson, was first created by adding a “B” to Steckler’s first name and stuck for its clever inclusion of the word “band.” Banderson’s goal was to get good enough to rock out at Guitar Night later that fall. They practiced a few times over the summer with LaFrance familiarizing himself with the drums, Ide publicizing his vocal skills and Steckler teaching Keefe the basics of the bass.

“I taught him everything he knows,” said Steckler. “I’m like his sensei.”

When fall had rolled around, the band crushed their cover of “Here Comes Your Man.” The audience loved the rendition, and they quickly acquired a following of local fans.

“People loved the first performance,” says Ide. “We had to be escorted out of 80’s Night to avoid being tackled.”

Banderson knew that they had to bring the heat with their performance in Spring Guitar Night in order to satisfy the new (and old) fans. After narrowing down a long list of potential covers, they ended up with “Freaking Out The Neighborhood” by alternative artist Mac DeMarco, and classic pop rock song “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne, which would be sung by fellow peer Ian McNabb ‘20. Even though their set had doubled from the fall, they did little preparation for the show, especially with the task of aligning all four of their busy spring schedules to set rehearsal dates.

“We only got together twice,” recalls LaFrance. “It keeps the mojo fresh. And we always make sure we have all four members at practice.”

“Because that’s important,” adds Keefe. “Without all four, it’s not Banderson.”

Regardless of the wrong chords or voice cracks that came along the way, Banderson perfected their set and pulled through with a stellar performance. Both of their songs were very well-received by audience members. Ide even got to throw in some memorable jokes between songs, adding to the likeability of the group.

“I didn’t think it was possible, but it was more epic than I expected it to be,” says fan Meghan Veino ‘20. “Banderson never disappoints.”

Since the show, Banderson’s fanbase (called “Fandersons”) has grown from their original following in the fall. Their Instagram has acquired over 100 followers, and a fan account on the same platform has been created, as well. Riding the publicity, Banderson is trying to secure more out-of-school gigs for over vacation. They’re also looking into releasing an EP online, so fans can listen to Banderson all summer long. The band keeps the satisfaction of their fans as their number one priority.

“It’s all about you, Fandersons,” says Steckler. “Thank you for everything.”

“You’re the reason I wake up in the morning,” says Ide.

As a closing message to their fans, they want people to love Banderson, but to, more importantly, love themselves.

“We love you, be positive and be kind,” says Keefe. “It’s all for you.”

“Thank you for supporting Banderson,” adds LaFrance. “We’ll point to you when we play.”