Luddites rise from the basement

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First Posted: 3/25/2013

Emerging from basement jam sessions in Scranton, The Luddites are finally starting to make more musical appearances.

The self-described melodic pop punk rockers got their start in 2008 without any serious intentions, just to play music with some friends. After a long start, and many extended breaks, the band is finally starting to get their name out there.

“We’ve been around since ’08, and for some reason we’ve had a tough time getting shows,” Nelson Negron, drummer of the band, explained. “Now, all of a sudden, we’re starting to get a little bit of recognition, and it’s great. This is going to be our first headlining show, so I’m pretty excited about it.”

The three-piece consists of brothers Nathan and Nelson Negron and good friend Jonathon Renaldi, playing mostly original music while throwing in a few covers here and there. Renaldi writes a majority of the lyrics, keeping a rock ‘n’ roll attitude. Women are one of many subjects that inspire his writing.

“I was always surrounded by amazing writers, and I was inspired to write well,” Renaldi said. “I write what I see. I write about things I hate and things I love. With writing, I see more honesty in how I accept myself. It’s different when you’re surrounded by a wall of music. It’s easier to write about things and actually talk things through with people.”

The band has over an hour’s worth of original music to play. When forming music together with Renaldi’s lyrics, the trio works as a team, adding in what they think fits just right.

“John will come up with an idea, and when we get together, that’s when we start throwing little things in there,” said Nathan.

After playing in many previous bands, even one including Eric Keen, mostly known for his work in The Menzingers, Nelson is not new to the music scene. However, it is a different story for his brother Nathan. Never touching a guitar in his life before March of 2008, Nathan was more or less forced into the band.

“I made Nathan play the bass,” said Nelson. “I didn’t give him a choice. I was like, ‘Learn how to play the bass guitar because you’re playing bass for us. ‘”

Along with Nathan, Renaldi was also mistakenly pulled into the music world by a friend of his. After being asked to join a friend’s band but having no musical skills or interest, Renaldi quickly picked up a guitar and jumped at the opportunity to play in a band.

The band has two shows coming up at New Visions Studio & Gallery (201 Vine St. Scranton); one titled “Punk-or-Die” on March 29 featuring local bands D-Grade Monsters, Warning Level, and Crock Pot Abduction, and another show in May, but that is just the start; they have discussed going on a short tour over the summer.

With high hopes for the future, Renaldi states, “I think the whole goal in bands is to tour, promote yourself, make records, meet different people, and network across states.”

While waiting for that much-needed tour route to come into place, The Luddites continue to do what they do best: rocking out underground while playing the music that they love.

“We’re always going to be in a basement somewhere playing music,” said Nelson. “It’s just going to be that way.”