Sophomore Jimmy Bondi has loved drumming since he was 11 years old and now he gets to be the drummer of his own student-led band, RedLine.
On Saturday, the band played at Bondi’s fraternity, Delta Tau Delta’s, music showcase philanthropy event. Last week the band also performed its first-ever gig at the Tree House Lounge on Florida Avenue.
About 50 students packed into the basement to see RedLine perform at the Delta Tau Delta townhouse on Saturday, nodding their heads along enthusiastically to the music which could be heard from a block away.
When Bondi, a psychology major, came to GW from Connecticut, he was eager to find a drumset to keep up his hobby. He first tried to use the drumsets available in the music department but was told he’d have to pay for a class to use them.
He then found a solution for his drum-playing needs in the Student Musicians Coalition, which rents out five rooms in the basement of Shenkman Hall for students to play music. Bondi went on an open jam session night and got the idea to form a band.
“My forte is funk-rock. I just am a really funky drummer, but I play anything and everything,” Bondi said.
He met the singer for his band Sophia Wolbrom, a junior and the president of the Student Musicians Coalition, at a student showcase last fall. Wolbrom brought along the bassist, freshman Jordan Mullaney, who she knew from her hometown. Sophomore Wyn Dobbs rounds out the quartet on guitar.
“We all brought different elements of rock to the table, like some of us like folk-rock, some of us like modern, regular rock, some us like the classic rock songs and I bring the funk-rock to it, and we just kind of mesh all that,” Bondi said.
The band is currently only performing cover music – their Tree House setlist consisted of six covers of rock songs including “The Ocean” by Led Zeppelin and “Dani California” by The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
But Bondi said the band is also working on producing original music, which he hopes to have recorded professionally by the end of the semester, either using the recording studio in West Hall or through a personal connection of Wolbrom’s.
The group tries to practice together about twice a week, Bondi said. Dobbs creates the guitar riffs, Wolbrom writes the lyrics and Bondi comes up with the arrangements.
“From here on out our practices are really going to be working sessions,” Wolbrom said. “Let’s not come in to jam but let’s go in to really create.”
Bondi said he hopes to work in government one day and maybe teach drumming on the side, but he hasn’t ruled out big dreams just yet.
“First off, if I could make it famous that would be spectacular, but I’m realistic. I know the percentages of that. I thought the same thing in high school and I still ended up committing to my academics,” Bondi said. “But it’s always the dream. It’s always in the back of my head like if we really dedicate our time and we really know the right people how great would it be to actually have this as our life.”
Wolbrom also wants to make her living as a musician. She said that the experience of getting paid for the Treehouse Lounge gig was “a huge step” for her.
“RedLine is an incredible opportunity,” Wolbrom said. “I’m working with a fantastic group of guys, and while we may or may not end up going in different directions post graduation, right now, in this moment, we’re all on the same page about writing and playing great music.”