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Pascack Valley Daily Voice serves Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge, River Vale, Washington Township, Westwood & Woodcliff Lake

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River Vale Teen Rocker Turns Heads In Metal Band

Mary O'Neill of River Vale performs with Lunatic Fringe outside of Rony's Rockin' Grill in Bergenfield.
Mary O'Neill of River Vale performs with Lunatic Fringe outside of Rony's Rockin' Grill in Bergenfield. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine
Lunatic Fringe (from left): Marc Shoji of Fort Lee; Mary Oneill of River Vale; Cooper Boyd of Carlstadt; and Eitan Ofeck of Englewood Cliffs.
Lunatic Fringe (from left): Marc Shoji of Fort Lee; Mary Oneill of River Vale; Cooper Boyd of Carlstadt; and Eitan Ofeck of Englewood Cliffs. Photo Credit: Lunatic Fringe
Lunatic Fringe performs outside of Rony's Rockin' Grill in Bergenfield.
Lunatic Fringe performs outside of Rony's Rockin' Grill in Bergenfield. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine

RIVER VALE, N.J. — Dressed in black leather pants and a red bandana, township resident Mary O'Neill, 13, and her three Lunatic Fringe bandmates turned heads last weekend outside of a Bergenfield eatery as they played music you might not expect youngsters to know by heart.

Lead vocalist O'Neill, guitarist Cooper Boyd, 16, and bassist Marc Shoji and drummer Eitan Ofeck, both 15, met as students at School of Rock in Tenafly.

After performing an Iron Maiden song for the school at Manhattan's Highline Ballroom last year, the quartet formed Lunatic Fringe .

“Playing music is the only thing I’m interested in right now,” said O’Neill of River Vale. “It's important for me to give back to the community through music because it's only way I can truly communicate and project my voice.”

O'Neill books most gigs online, which often leaves venue owners shocked to see how young the band members are.

“They sometimes make us say how old we are into the microphone,” she said. “They think it’s so funny that I’m this small girl with a big voice screaming curses into the microphone.”

The material includes Black Sabbath, Metallica and other heavy metal and hard rock covers.

“Seeing the crowd’s reaction, the expression on their faces when they see a bunch of young kids playing their favorite heavy metal tunes is a great thing to experience.”

Band members recently began writing their own songs, but O’Neill said they spend most of their time rehearsing.

“[Music] is a great thing to share with others,” she said. “You’ll always meet new friends along the way.

“Just showing people what we’re really capable of makes us happy.”

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