THE BIOGRAPHY OF THIRD CLASS:
Third Class began as a product of three feral “children” who were adopted by kind parents and given instruments but no musical instruction. Over one hundred and twelve years of what might be called practice – but which also could be called the reinvention of music – the three wild children, locked in a padded room, broke guitar strings and keyboards and drumheads, rebuilding and innovating the tools of their craft until the instruments they used had no hope of being readily recognizable to modern musicians but rather seemed like weapons and torture devices from the future. At first, the music they made with their sci-fi nuitars and kianos was partially recognizable as noise, though would never be categorized as music, at least not by humans. However, over a period of thirty-seven decades, the children, who had since grown into young “men” and had left their padded room, developed a musical styling which was not wholly unbearable to others. In fact, with time and repeated exposure, some even began to enjoy the music which those who later became known as Third Class produced.
Third Class is a band of modern artistic value, a trio of progressive-minded musicians. Their music’s intention is to bring art and life closer together through the display of “Nouveau Réalisme,” a term defined by Pierre Restany in 1960 as “new ways of perceiving the real.” This term has been redefined into a more musical setting by Youngstown-based artists who have been cohesively classified into the “Nouveau Rock” genre, a term coined by a Youngstown band called The Zou. Third Class’ genre is that of indie rock or alternative rock. The main instruments used are a 4-string electric bass guitar, tuned to the notes F-A-C-F, a cheap keyboard, a 5-piece drum kit, and a 2-string electric guitar, tuned to the notes C and G. The band has a quirky sound with stream-of-consciousness lyrics like Radiohead, rhythmic piano licks like those of Laura Nyro, repetitive and complex drum parts such as Kings Of Leon, power-chord-based guitar like The Presidents Of The United States Of America, strained vocals like John Lennon’s solo material, a driven and slippery bass style similar to Ben Folds Five, and the mood of a punk rock act, such as The Clash.
Third Class officially formed in 1999 with the brothers Lee and Jack Boyle and their friend Pepe Parish. These three teenage boys lived together in a small town called East Palestine, Ohio. In the winter of this same year, Third Class played their first show in a living room.
In the years 2000 and 2001, after the a number of shows in basements, living rooms and barns, Third Class made a successful attempt to break into the music scene of Youngstown, Ohio. They played their first battle of the bands competition and were featured on NBC News. They also played their first few shows at a venue that encouraged the original style that Third Class was developing. This venue was a bar called Cedars Lounge, the main place for innovative music in the city.
By the year 2004, Third Class had come to represent the offbeat style of indie rock music that had started an underground movement in many areas in Ohio. The band received a handful of interviews from local newspapers and airplay on 98.9 FM. They also co-headlined a big festival called The Nouveau Rock Festival with their friends in a prominent Youngstown band known as The Zou.
After becoming more established, Third Class decided it was time to expand its promotional methods. Being that Third Class was of such an experimental style to many skeptical ears, they decided they needed to travel and find more fans who wanted new and innovative music. Therefore, in 2005 Third Class ventured to Long Island and New York City. In their travels, the band spent a week and a half passing out demos, selling home-made albums, and playing small venues such as The Coda, The Mad River Grille and McCoy’s Bar. Then, in early 2006, the band played shows in Wooster, Ohio (The Underground/The College Of Wooster), Louisville, Kentucky (The Highlands Taproom), Bowling Green, Ohio (Grumpy Dave’s Pub), Youngstown, Ohio (The Nyabinghi, Cedars Lounge), Kent, Ohio (Europe-Gyro Pizza), Akron, Ohio (The Boba Bubble Tea Bar, R/E Nightclub) and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (The Pittsburgh Deli Company).
Then, in the summer of 2006, Third Class began to think seriously about a well-recorded project. A couple months after an interview on Kent State University’s Black Squirrel Radio, the band went into a professional recording studio in Youngstown called Ampreon Recorder. With the legendary sound engineer, Pete Drivere (The Deadbeat Poets, The Infidels, The Pretty Demons), Third Class recorded a full-length album in four days. November saw the album’s official release under the title Chloe’s epitaph is Chloe. In the following months, the album made its way to being available on a number of music sale websites including iTunes, Napster, Amazon and Cdbaby. The album was referred to as an “attempt to classify [an] idiosyncratic sound” by Leonard Crist of The Walruss. In the Youngstown Vindicator, writer John Benson described Third Class as “a progressive pop band falling in the same mindset as Ben Folds Five and Radiohead,” and “a band to be reckoned with in Northeast Ohio.”
After the album’s release and a year of local promotion and numerous shows in places such as Cleveland, Ohio (The Mocha Dreams Café), Wooster, Ohio (Seattle’s Coffeehouse), Cleveland, Tennessee (Starbuck’s Coffee), Alliance, Ohio (Ely Street Billiards), Louisville, Kentucky (The Highlands Taproom), Salem, Ohio (Friends Roastery, Timberlanes Lounge) and Sharon, Pennsylvania (Quaker Steak And Lube), Third Class set out on another tour in the summer of 2007. Throughout the process of growing and playing more shows as a band, Third Class had ventured to a variety of cities and venues. But, this was their first real, organized tour. Throughout their travels, Third Class played shows in Philadelphia, PA (The Philadelphia Fire), Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania (The Firefly Music Festival), Louisville, Kentucky (The Hideaway Saloon, Stevie Ray’s Blues Bar, The Petrus Nightclub, The Highlands Taproom), and Youngstown, Ohio (Cedars Lounge), with promotional stops along the way in Cincinnati, Ohio and Columbus, Ohio. Then, in 2008, they received airplay on a show called The HomeGrown Show on 93.3 FM and an internet station called Ruckus.com. They also got a short review of a performance in Salem, Ohio by The Salem News.
All three members of Third Class have a profound love for the literary arts, regarding anything from J.K. Rowling to William Faulkner in their range of tastes. The two brothers in the band, Jack and Lee, graduated in 2008 with Bachelor’s Degrees in English and went on to submit poetry and short stories to different publications internationally. Lee was published in a book called Off The Coast in Robbinston, Maine and nominated for a Pushcart Prize later in the year. This series of events inspired Third Class to title their next album, The Red Wheelbarrow, as such to recognize poetry as a strong intervening influence on their music and to embrace the ideals of William Carlos Williams, the author who wrote the poem which the album is named after. Williams’ philosophy was that there are “no ideas but in things,” a notion Third Class has strongly latched onto when explaining their lyrics to listeners. Third Class recorded and mastered this second studio album with the same studios they had used in 2006 and proceeded with an album release show on February 14th of 2009. After the album became available, Third Class received published interviews from Valley24.com, MRNspace.com, Jambrain.com, The Wooster Voice and The Youngstown Vindicator, airplay from the online unsigned-artist radio stations Westsidewill Radio and JFL: The Mixx, an online pod cast interview by Saw Kick Media (Cleveland, Ohio) during a battle of the bands organized by FTF Productions, and recognition from The Salem News for their new songs performed at Friends Roastery in Salem, Ohio. Jack Boyle’s poetry was published in The Salt River Review that year. To promote their second studio release, Third Class played shows in Athens, Ohio (19 South), Kent, Ohio (The Green Room, The Robin Hood, The Outpost), Alliance, Ohio (Mount Union Music Hall), Youngstown, Ohio (The International Pop Overthrow Festival and The Nouveau Rock Festival at Cedars Lounge, Hot Topic, Caribou Coffee, The Royal Oaks, Indie Wax Records), Columbiana, Ohio (The Lazy Bean, The Dutch Village Inn), Geneva-On-The-Lake, Ohio (The Cove Niteclub), Cleveland, Ohio (Pats In The Flats, Wilbert’s) and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Saddle Ridge, Excuses Bar, The Smiling Moose).
Today, you can find Third Class on myspace.com/thirdclass and thirdclass.net where show updates and album availability are shown, as well as a variety of band photographs and song samples. Third Class continues, at present, to define themselves as an influential part of the up-and-coming indie/progressive musicians of these times.
A 2009 album review by The Wooster Voice describes Third Class' sound as this: "...abrasive and at the same time lucid. It weaves in and out of convention and familiarity. There are times when their sound is reminiscent of so many artists it’s impossible to pinpoint just one, and then eight seconds further into the song it collapses into a musical heap of conflicting layers, only to reconstruct within seconds into a completely different song."
Booking Contact: Lee Boyle