Local Woodstock Talent Releases Astounding EP 

Staff Writer: Danika Audrey Beaton 

Five Piece Kit, an alternative/indie rock band made up of current and former Woodstock High School students released their first EP on August 20th. The members of this band consist of current Woodstock High School student Austin Kramer and former Woodstock High School students Michael Gentile, Josh Hair, and Jared Smith. 

The four members making up Five Piece Kit all met through the Woodstock High School marching band. Austin, Jared, Josh, and Michael became friends quickly since they played together on drum line. Band member Austin Kramer, who plays guitar and is a senior at Woodstock, revealed, “I really wanted to start a band in high school, so I picked my friend Josh, who was in chorus at the time, to come sing. My friend Michael was an amazing drummer, so that was an easy pick; and my friend Jared always talked about learning another instrument, so I taught him how to play bass, and he picked it up pretty easily.” The four of them formed Five Piece Kit in January of 2021. Band member Jared Smith, who just graduated from Woodstock High School explained, “The name Five Piece Kit comes from the usual five parts of a drum kit. Just like how each piece makes up the kit, each one of us put together makes up the band.” Five Piece Kit stemmed from them all having the love for drumming in common. 

The EP they just released on August 20th is titled Out of My Hands. Austin Kramer gave insight to the title, explaining, “Out of My Hands refers to letting something go. All of the songs on the EP are all about problems that affect us, but we aren’t in control of, so it’s out of our hands. It’s essentially our way of finally letting go of our problems that have affected our lives.” Five Piece Kit has now shared their music with the world through their Out of My Hands EP, which consists of six songs: “Backseat,” “Girl from Up the Street,” “Hideaway,” “Let You Go,” “Blue Vans,” and “Butterflies.”  

Picture Credits: Julia Jensen 

These are the members of Five Piece Kit pictured in their EP cover for Out of My Hands. 

Austin Kramer, Jared Smith, and Michael Gentile all share a personal favorite song off the Out of My Hands EP. The three of them declare that their favorite song from the EP is “Butterflies.” Austin Kramer stated it was his favorite because, “Instrumentally it (“Butterflies”) is just beautifully crafted.” Jared Smith explains that it is his most-liked song because, “I feel that it really captures our band’s sound, and I think Josh sounds absolutely phenomenal.” Michael Gentile gave insight to why it was the song he liked the most, stating, “I love how modern it sounds, with the music and the production. The structure is really nice, and the guitar solo is sick. Also, the last chorus is just beautiful. I was so surprised with how that song turned out. It was the last song we wrote, so it was kind of on the chopping block, but it worked out, and I’m really happy with the results.” Josh Hair, the singer, on the other hand, has a favorite song of “Backseat” off the EP, sharing, “Other than it just being awesome, writing it was really important to me.” 

Jared Smith shared where the meaning behind the songs comes from, saying, “Each band member has gone through their ordeals and struggles, so each song is unique in its own way. One of us might have written a song about being in love while the other is about having a broken heart.” Five Piece Kit puts a lot of work into their music and are continuously inspired by the fact that, as Jared Smith shared, “We love playing music and everything about music, so we wanted to share our love for music and maybe bring a little bit of joy into someone’s life through our own creation.”  

Though Five Piece Kit has created a sound unique to the band, the group has certainly been influenced by those who came before them. Drummer Michael Gentile shared, “I think as a group, bands like Mom Jeans and Modern Baseball inspire our sound. We all have different personal inspirations, but I think we can all relate with having Mom Jeans and Modern Baseball in common as inspiration.” 

The band has certainly evolved since its formation. Josh Hair shared that Five Piece Kit “originally had the idea that every project needs a story, so we put the original track list in an order that built some kind of narrative that none of us really understood. Fast forward a year, and we realized we don’t need this weird story arc thing; we just need to make music. After cutting and adding songs, Out of My Hands was born.” 

Five Piece Kit has a few different processes they go through in order to create the songs that are on the Out of My Hands EP. Michael Gentile explained, “We have a few writing processes. Sometimes we just write songs by ourselves and then show the other guys. But typically, it depends on whose house we are at. If we are at Josh’s house, it’s easier to write the structure and musical aspects on the songs. This is because all of our instruments are set up at his house. If we are at my house, it’s easier to write words and demos. I have a lot of recording gear, so it’s easier to focus on lyrics.” 

Picture Credits: Julia Jensen 

Pictured from left to right: Jared Smith, Austin Kramer, Josh Hair, Michael Gentile 

Five Piece Kit is put together from four different styles, personalities, and brains at work to create the wonderful EP, Out of My Hands. 

The hope Five Piece Kit has for their music is to play and perform for as long as they can. Jared Smith stated, “The goal is to make music and hopefully turn it into a career. It is our beloved hobby, but if it ever got to the point where it’s what we could do with our lives, then that would be the ultimate goal.”  

Many WHS students follow Five Piece Kit and have enjoyed listening to their new EP. Sophomore Levi Little gave a little bit of his own take on Five Piece Kit, stating, “It was pretty good; it had a very indie feel with pop punk-type lyrics. The songs in the EP definitely took inspiration from classic rock chord progression. They sounded a lot like the Wallows with the bass line and electric guitar parts. The electric guitar went off on those features, and it was fire.” Levi’s favorite song off the Out of My Hands EP is “Backseat.” 

Like Little, WHS juniors Kaitlyn Henscheid and Trinity Starzyk also consider “Backseat” the best song from the Out of My Hands EP. Henscheid explained, “I love the instrumental intro. I like the indie vibe this song gives. I think it’s honestly a good EP, and it’s very impressive that they went out to do this and release songs.” Junior Mia Terrado, whose favorite song from the EP is “Hideaway” because of its catchy lyrics, gave her insight on the EP, sharing, “I think the EP was great! I love the lyrics of each song and the type of music that is on the EP.”  

Fans of Five Piece Kit can look forward to much more from the band in the future. According to Austin, “We started writing new songs for a new project about a month before the EP was released.” This means we can expect to hear more coming from the band, Five Piece Kit. Jared shared, “Five Piece Kit is more than a band. It’s a family, and the fans allow us to continue on.” 

Everyone can now stream Five Piece Kit’s EP on all major streaming platforms, such as Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. Five Piece Kit also sells exceptional merchandise consisting of crewnecks, t-shirts, and bucket hats. Attached is a link to where fans can access all things Five Piece Kit, such as their songs and merchandise: OUT OF MY HANDS by Five Piece Kit – DistroKid 

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