By: Kianna Haskin
On Friday September 1st, the Goucher Independent Music Club hosted young artists from the East Coast, including Shark Club, a band based out of South Brunswick, New Jersey. Due to inclement weather, the concert was held inside the Athenaeum. Despite the change in location, over a hundred students attended the show.
November will mark Shark Club’s two year anniversary. The band has put out two albums and two EPs together since their inception. Their latest EP was produced by Jake Ewald of Modern Baseball. Each band member has dabbled in music throughout their lives, ultimately leading them to their collaboration.
David Juro, the band’s drummer, started playing music in elementary school. “I started playing music as soon as I could. I played viola, and then I picked up drums and percussion. I like this a lot more, and I kept doing that,” he said.
Russell “Danger” Cerminaro’s, the ESP guitar player and vocalist of the band, grew up in a household where his parents requested he participate in extracurricular activities alongside his early education. “I played different instruments because that’s what my elementary school required. Then my parents kept encouraging me. I played guitar hero when it first came out. It introduced me to a lot of old classic jams that I probably wouldn’t have heard on my own. I always thought the guitar was a cool instrument. So I said I would like to try guitar lessons. I did that, and I stuck with it. Then I was like I need to be in a band. I tried some other groups out, and now we are here,” Cerminaro said.
Jake Britton, lead vocalist and guitar player, attended music lessons during elementary school, though he did not stick with it due to scheduling conflicts.
“Unlike these guys, I don’t have much of a musical history. I played cello for a year in third grade, and then the schedule got changed. I would have to miss recess if I wanted to play cello. Unfortunately, I cut music out of the schedule,” Britton said.
During the summer of 2015, an impulse buy, along with determination and desire led Britton to a local music store where he started his journey toward creating Shark Club.“I woke up one day, and I was like, I want to go buy a guitar and teach myself how to do it. I went to Guitar Center and bought an acoustic guitar, and I taught myself how to play by learning some Front Bottom songs. I guess you could say it has come naturally to me and that is just something that I wanted to do,” he said.
Eric Ciparis, the band’s bass player, also took cello lessons in third grade. This experience allowed Ciparis to understand the basics of music theory. “I started picking up the bass in high school. I went online and kinda just taught myself,”
All four band members of the group grew up in the same town, though they did not start writing songs together until the summer of 2015. Cerminaro had known Britton since sixth grade.
“We met in middle school, but we weren’t the best of friends. I got to high school, and I was like I really want to be in a band. Then, me and a buddy of mine started jamming together, and then we got Eric in that band. We did cover songs. Nothing big. And then I joined another band where we wanted to do originals. I recruited David for that. That band later dispersed. Me and Jake were hanging out the summer of sophomore year of college, and he said I wrote a song. He showed me. I was like, this is a really cool song. So then I said I know a bass player and I also know a drummer. That is kinda how it culminated,” Cerminaro said.
Shark Club has a unique chemistry due to their existing friendship beyond the recording studio. Despite being comprised of college students, they still find the time to communicate to keep updating one another on developing song ideas.
When it came to naming the band, they wanted to wait for that show stopping name. “We kept putting off naming the band. We wanted to name it the perfect name. One day, the name would just come to us,” Britton said.
As the band began producing music and time began to pass, they became anxious. They were afraid that they would never stumble upon the perfect name. Then it came to them during a routine recording session. “In Russell’s basement, there are a lot of paintings. One of the paintings was a mural of a shark wearing sunglasses, and I said Shark Club,” Ciparis said. To the delight of all of its members, Shark Club stuck.
When asked to describe their band’s style, Britton said, “I feel like it is a blend of everything that we listen to and our favorite stuff. I would say we have different elements within each song.” The band has yet to take a creative break. On August 19th, 2016, the group released their second album “Michigan.” “Right after that, Russ and I pretty much got right back into it. This summer, we put out a two song split with our friends from the band Now Days,” Britton said.
Over the past year, the band has been putting their energy toward touring and expanding the band’s outreach. As the band moved beyond the academic music stage and began performing on their own, each band member experienced different levels of nervousness. “I have played music in front of people for a long time due to school performances, so I have a lot of experience playing music in front of people. I am comfortable enough doing that. Going on stage is a really fun thing. I am really excited, and the nerves have gone down for me. There is nothing else like doing your thing in front of a bunch of people,” Juro said.
In January of 2017, Shark Club performed in the Thormann Center. The band was saddened to hear that the building was demolished, though was ecstatic to find out they were about to play in a library. “We love everyone here at Goucher. We played here last January, and now we are back and ready to play,” stated Ciparis pre-performance.
The band is scheduled to release a new EP in October.
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You can buy their music on Amazon music and through the Apple Store
Photos and video: Kianna Haskin