8-Bit Sounds Off
Sitting down with the future of Rock ‘N Roll, 8-Bit.
Hailing from Maplewood and South Orange, 8-Bit is a hard rock band made up of four soon-to-be high schoolers. With Lara Phillips singing the vocals, Jack Goldberg picking the bass, Sam Gomberg beating the drums, and Simon Pettigrew ripping the guitar, this band is destined to go places.
“We formed over the winter. Sam, Simon and I had been trying to start a band since the sixth grade when we finally found our lead singer in Lara, but we’ve all been friends for a long time,” explained Jack Goldberg.
Unfortunately, the lead guitarist Simon Pettigrew was attending camp in Chicago and was unavailable for an interview. “He's at geek camp," joked Phillips.
When talking to any band, inspiration quickly becomes the main topic of discussion. 8-Bit is influenced by a mix of both older and modern rock bands, but they really love the grungy sound of the '90's.
“Nirvana, Weezer, even Arcade Fire and Florence of the Machine; those are some of our influences, just to name a few. Going back farther in time, we are definitely influenced by artists like Led Zeppelin and Simon and Garfunkel,” said the shaggy-haired, Robert Plant look-a-like Sam Gomberg.
Speaking of the '60's, Lara Phillips added “I love Grace Slick from Jefferson Airplane. She is definitely my biggest influence.”
Playing in a band takes dedication. 8-Bit admits that they have to juggle music and school, which can be challenging at times. “Working on school and music at the same time can be tough. During the school year, we are forced to practice less, and usually cram a few days before we have to play a show,” said Goldberg.
“It actually works out better that way for us,” Phillips added.
When asked why they changed their name from Plaid Giraffe to 8-Bit, Phillips said “I thought it was stupid," Goldberg added “There was a children’s clothing brand called Plaid Giraffe, and we just didn’t think it was a great name for a rock band, so we went with 8-Bit, which pays tribute to all of our old favorite video games."
The band has played numerous shows, including one at Stony’s last May, and another at Hat City Kitchen to raise money for ultimate Frisbee. “We also perform a lot at the SOMS cafeteria, but we don’t count those as shows,” added Phillips.
Recently, 8-Bit had the opportunity to meet one of their favorite bands, Weezer. “It was really cool, they shook our hands and complimented us on our band name!” said Goldberg
“They initially thought we said our band name was 8-Butt, but we are not that clever,” joked Phillips.
When asked about what the future holds, Gomberg answered “We plan on playing a show at Highland Place sometime this fall. The chef loved our music, and invited us to play anytime.”
In addition to all that, Sam Gomberg has been growing his curly locks since the second grade, and plans on keeping them. “My dad had long hair, but he cut it off. Now I am continuing the legacy,” added Gomberg.
Ultimately, 8-Bit is a young band with a lot of talent, and potential. They play music not only because they love it, but also to raise money for good causes. They are a band everybody can cheer for.
To keep up with 8 Bit, contact Leah Gomberg at email@example.com. She'll add you to the email list.