FORT LEE, N.J. — Dressed in dark jeans and ripped T-shirts, borough resident Marc Shoji, 15, and his three Lunatic Fringe bandmates turned heads last weekend outside a Bergenfield eatery as they played music you might not expect youngsters to know by heart.
Bassist Shoji, guitarist Cooper Boyd, 16, drummer Eitan Ofeck, 15, and lead vocalist and guitarist Mary O’Neill, 13, met as students at School of Rock in Tenafly.
After performing an Iron Maiden song for the school at Manhattan's Highline Ballroom last year, the quartet formed Lunatic Fringe.
“Playing music is the only thing I’m interested in right now,” said O’Neill of River Vale. “It's important for me to give back to the community through music because it's only way I can truly communicate and project my voice.”
O'Neill books most gigs online, which often leaves venue owners shocked to see how young the band members are.
“They sometimes make us say how old we are into the microphone,” she said. “They think it’s so funny that I’m this small girl with a big voice screaming curses into the microphone.”
The material includes Black Sabbath, Metallica and other heavy metal and hard rock covers.
“Seeing the crowd’s reaction, the expression on their faces when they see a bunch of young kids playing their favorite heavy metal tunes is a great thing to experience,” O'Neill said.
Band members recently began writing their own songs, but O’Neill said they spend most of their time rehearsing.
“[Music] is a great thing to share with others,” she said. “You’ll always meet new friends along the way.
“Just showing people what we’re really capable of makes us happy.”
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