Love Via Dance Machine, the up-and-coming boy band made up of Wiley Eston, Jimmy Coberly, Alex Badanes, and Izaiah Yelle performed at New Canaan High School on Thursday night as guests at the RamStock battle of the bands.
For New Canaan native Badanes, it was more than another gig, it was a chance to return to his hometown.
“We were on a high school tour, this is our last stop for a week and then we’re doing a run of middle schools,” Badanes said. “It’s cool, we reach a lot of people who may not have heard our music. Then we have fans who already know us and think it’s cool that we’re playing at their school.”
The four met their first year at Berklee College of Music — Badanes hailing from New Canaan, Eston from Redding, Coberly from Ohio, and Yelle from Rhode Island.
“We were the only guys at Berklee who wore tight pants,” Badanes laughed. “We all loved blink182, skateboarding, going to concerts.”
Beginning in the fall of their first year at Berklee, they started playing and casually thinking about getting a band together.
“Izaiah is our bass player, he’s big into tattoos and likes the ladies. Jimmy is sort of the dad of the group, he’s really responsible and makes sure we’re never late, keeps us in line,” Badanes said. “Wiley, he’s just a crazy personality — really fun to be around. He’s singing all the time.”
By early 2009, they had started to play as many local venues as possible in the Boston area, working hard to learn about the local scene and build up a fan base.
“A lot of students at Berklee want to stay in their room and practice, we wanted to get out there and play,” Badanes said. “A lot of the boy bands that are forming now have had thousands of people audition — I think it’s cool that we came together organically and that we met at a music school.”
It didn’t take long for Love via Dance Machine to go from opening for a band at Showcase Live in Boston to headlining at that very same venue. In the summer of 2011, they participated in a mall tour sponsored by Pepsi and have appeared with Drake Bell from Nickelodeon.
The band’s name evolved from lyrics in one of the first songs they wrote together: “making love via dance.”
“At first we were all like, “That is the stupidest name we’ve ever heard” — but the next day we decided to just go with it,” Badanes said. “It stands out, it’s not a typical band name.”
With a new single coming out soon and an appearance in this month's issue of Pop Star Magazine, the future is bright for Love Via Dance Machine.
“We just want to be touring and on the road as much as possible,” Badanes said.