Punk-rock Band Has Kean Roots

By: Jennifer Deligne

Not only can Kean University produce great teachers, nurses and art students, but we also have music lovers flourishing from our establishment.

Nine18, a New Jersey punk band, is composed of two former students from Kean, who graduated in the last three years.

They have taken the same paths and diverged to their now growing music career, with majors such as psychology, broadcasting and art. I had the chance to sit down with two of the three members of the band and discuss the who, why, when, and how of their presence as a band.

Nine18 has been around for almost 10 years now with Mike Vidal, who graduated in 2010,  is the singer/guitarist and the only original member of the band, Tony Garcia, who is graduating this coming Spring, plays bass, and Brian Zelenenki, the drummer.

“Our passion is punk,” said the 23 year old psychology major, Garcia.

The band’s passion is in plain sight with the way the members speak about their support for each other, which in the bigger picture means success in their passion of punk.

One or two band mates might flirt with other genres, such as R&B because of the similarity in the bass line, but they all seem to have their ears set on what music they want to be immersed in.

“It’s one of those genres when once you get into it, you either go 100 percent or you’re just not into punk,” said Vidal.

Nine18 is a local band who is playing their part until they make it big. They have opened up for other Jersey bands such as Let Me Run and will be opening up for Shades Apart this upcoming November, a punk band who had national notoriety in the 90’s.

The band does not have any upcoming because they are working hard writing songs to be studio-ready for producer Pete Steinkopf of the legendary New Jersey punk band, The Bouncing Souls. Their hard work is sure to pay off with a great number of shows in the future.

Both Vidal and Garcia said that if it were not for Kean University, their band would probably not be at the place that it is today. Along with the support from the students at Kean going to Nine18’s shows, he found it easy to interact with students on campus and strike up conversations with random people.

“Kean’s got good students,” said Vidal.

This has helped him out in the long run because in his line of work, you must be an outgoing person in order to make it to the top. Luckily enough, Kean was in this band’s path and has helped in making them who they are.


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