by Ariana Bhargava, Feiya Wang, Features Reporters, Emma Zhang, Features Editor
photo by Marty Basaria
Starting as a group of middle school students jamming out in their garage to now taking the stage at Boston festivals, Weird Autumn is an alternative rock band consisting of juniors Willa Foster, the lead singer, bassist and guitarist Jude Seiner, drummer Liam Connolly and guitarist Edward Park.
Foster said that part of her inspiration for starting the band stemmed from growing up in a musical environment, raised by her father, a drummer, and her mother, a singer.
“It started when I was young, and my family would play ‘Rock Band,’ the video game, as a family,” she said. “I’ve just always loved to sing.”
In seventh grade, she said she began wanting to take this passion further, which led to her taking a leap and founding the band with Seiner.
“I really wanted to be in a band, and Jude also really wanted to be in a band,” she said. “We weren’t really close friends at the time, but we just decided to do it together.”
Seiner said that he wanted to co-found the band due to his love for music and songwriting.
“One of the beauties of being in a band where you get to write your own music is you can take everything you liked about all your different influences and put them into one place,” he said. “For me, I liked a bunch of modern rock and emo bands, but I also listened to a lot of jazz.”
Through mutual connections, later members like Connolly joined, who said that the band felt like a strong community.
“I wanted to join mainly because my friends were part of it,” he said. “I felt like I was a part of something, so I stepped in and played drums.”
What started as a hobby quickly flourished into something bigger, Connolly said. The band recently played at the 2019 AIDS Walk in Boston’s Hatch Shell, a prestigious opportunity.
“Back in eighth-grade, we started it as just a fun little get-together,” he said. “After our first gig at the AIDS Walk, it got bigger than we expected, so we started making more songs.”
Sophomore Leah Vashesko said she was impressed by the group’s stage presence after seeing one of their first sets at the 2019 AIDS Walk.
“They all looked super excited, and they were just rocking out,” she said. “The guitarist at the time was head-bobbing so hard that his beanie fell off.”
Vashevko said that the band makes an impact on its listeners through both their style and execution.
“They have managed to pinpoint what makes that kind of rock music so great, and they can execute it well because they’re all really talented musicians,” she said.
Although many high school students may shudder at the thought of a group project or the idea of collaborating with others, the members of Weird Autumn have found a collaborative dynamic that Seiner said is one of the best parts of being in a band.
“It’s cool to see what happens when I add something in and then the rest of the band just runs with it and makes it into something a little bit different,” he said. “You can rely on your other bandmates with creativity. You don’t have to do everything yourself, and that way, you can come up with a wider variety of things.”
On Oct. 19, Weird Autumn participated in Passing Time, a South tradition where students perform in the hallways. After watching the band perform, theater and public speaking teacher Paige Perkinson said the band had an excellent grasp on the fusion of skills that make up artistic strength.
“The performing arts, music, theater and dance all go hand in hand. Performers who are comfortable stepping back and forth into those worlds are the strongest all-around performers,” she said. “That’s exactly what [Weird Autumn] has.”
Park said that he is looking forward to the band’s future performances.
“It’s exciting to share the things I’ve made, and that’s exactly what people want from me. New ideas,” he said.
Seiner said that the band has plans to expand past school events and put their music out on larger platforms other than Instagram and YouTube.
“We’re planning on recording soon and we want to write a couple more songs so that we have more to choose from,” he said. “We’ll also try to come out with an EP, so [our] Instagram will keep everyone updated.”
Perkinson said that given their strong foundation, Weird Autumn has a bright future ahead of them.
“Getting started in high school in a band is a rite of passage for a musician,” she said. “I’m super proud of them for not caring what anyone else thinks and enjoying themselves.”