In 2006, the midst of the 2000s mainstream pop-punk acts, The Friday Night Boys formed with Bowdoin junior Robert Reider ’07 as its bassist. Fourteen years later—after two albums, three EPs and multiple tours with names such as Boys Like Girls, All Time Low, We The Kings and Cute is What We Aim For—Reider is back at Bowdoin as the assistant director of annual giving at the College.
“I joined this band as something fun and different to do from Bowdoin,” he said. “And then one of our videos just started to grab more attention on the internet and MySpace, and that’s kind of just how it started.”
The Friday Night Boys began playing gigs and recording music during Reider’s junior year, but progress was slow since Reider continued to prioritize his academics—he majored in English and theater—and could only reunite with band members over school breaks in their hometown of Fairfax, Va..
“Whenever I came home, we would have shows booked, and on breaks, we would go on tours, which we booked ourselves,” Reider said. “And then once I graduated, it started to pick up steam, and I had more time for it. So when I graduated, I was pursuing the dream as a full-time musician.”
After a year of living at home, playing gigs and writing music, The Friday Night Boys, with the help of All Time Low frontman Alex Gaskarth, were signed in 2008 by Fueled By Ramen, a record label based in New York City, which had signed similar groups such as Paramore and Panic! at the Disco. After this, life began to move much faster.
The band produced an EP titled “That’s What She Said” in 2008 ,and its debut full-length album titled “Off The Deep End.” Reider and the band toured throughout the states and in Europe in the wake of these releases with some of the top names in pop-punk.
“Having this time to only play music and do what I loved at the time was fantastic,” Reider said. “It was the perfect age to put my heart into music with some great guys.”
The band even performed on TRL, an MTV program, on July 8, 2008 to promote its self-released EP, “The Sketch Process,” which sold 45,000 copies and was named one of MTV.com’s “Pop Punk Rookies of 2009.”
“I simply love playing and playing with those guys specifically; they’re by far the most talented guys I’ve ever played with,” he said. “And so it was always a lot of fun to just get on stage or even in a practice room and just make some noise with them.”
Reider transitioned into the band lifestyle naturally since he loves being on stage.
“This band put together everything I love, from the stage to music,” he said. “It was a great mixture of what I needed at that point in my life.”
But all great things must come to an end—The Friday Night Boys disbanded in the summer of 2010 after an intense and tiring tour.
“We were all a little burnt out by the rigorous touring schedule and decided that it was time to move on to other things, and everybody’s remained close ever since,” Reider said.
The band hasn’t been completely stagnant since—due to popular demand, its members came together for one last show at the South By So What?! Festival in Dallas, Texas, in March 2017. The lead singer, Andrew Goldstein, has also had a successful career, writing hits for Demi Lovato, Britney Spears and Jason Derulo.
Now, a recent father and assistant director of annual giving, Reider’s days as a pop-punk bassist still make up some of his fondest memories from Bowdoin and beyond.