Pranxter: Student-run cover band starts their journey

Gabriella Puccio-Johnson, Contributing Writer

Lights up. The crowd is hushed with anticipation, and then, the drummer begins with a solo, stirring energy. From the back of the bar, the guitarist is waiting for his moment. The light falls on him, and he parts the sea of people to make it to the stage. One by one, each member of Pranxter, a newly formed cover band, made their way onto the stage to the song “Walk This Way” by Aerosmith on Feb. 4 at Birmingham’s The Grocery. 

Luckily, Pranxter is coming to Tuscaloosa, and they’re bringing the fun. After a successful debut at The Grocery, the band said they’re optimistic about their future performances. 

The band was formed in December 2022 and consists of five members. Quinn Hirschland, its their lead singer, is a sophomore majoring in international studies. On the keys is Steven Hensley, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, and a classically trained pianist. Then, playing the bass, mandolin, harmonica, and many other instruments, is Jack Adams, a sophomore majoring in anthropology.  

The founders of the band are guitarist Noland Miller, a freshman majoring in cyber security, and drummer Adam Josephson, a freshman majoring in manufacturing engineering.   

They discovered each other after Josephson sent out a message on a Tuscaloosa group chat for musicians, trying to form a band. Miller already knew Hensley, and they had previously tried to start a band together, putting flyers all around the music building. When they saw Josephson’s post, they knew they had to meet.  

“One Friday afternoon Noland said he found this crazy drummer,” Hensley said. “When we saw a video of him, I said, ‘Cool, I’m sold.’” 

From there, each member found their way into the band. Hirschland found one of Miller’s posters hanging on the walls of the Moody Music Building, and after seeing that they needed a lead singer, he enthusiastically reached out.  

“I sent them a couple of videos and they invited me to come to a rehearsal to see if we would fit,” Hirschland said. “About halfway through the rehearsal, Adam came up and shook my hand and said ‘Welcome to the band.’”  

And so, the band was born, but it still needed a name. Josephson said the name of the band is a tribute to his father who named his first band “Pranxter.” When he shared it with the band they took to it immediately, as it instilled the ’80s punk rock vibe they desired.  

“I wanted to give the band a name that gives people the impression that this show is going to be fun,” Josephson said. “They’re going to bring something to the table. They’re not just a musical act that is happening. It’s a concert, it’s an experience and a certain energy we want to portray.” 

Pranxter loves to make an unforgettable experience for their audience. All the songs on their set list are carefully selected to carry a certain energy throughout the concert. With a lot of Van Halen, Motley Crue and Bon Jovi covers, their concerts are meant to make the crowd wake up with scratchy voices and fond memories of a fun night.  

 “The set list is specifically designed for the most crowd interaction,” Josephson said. “We want people leaving with their voices shot waking up the next morning to say ‘Wow, that was great.’” 

 In fact, their debut night at The Grocery was a wild and eye-opening night for the band. Crowd members were standing up on tables, begging them not to stop playing. One even tried to bribe them with money so the night could go on.  

 “At that point my hands were completely chewed up,” Josephson said. “If not, we would’ve kept going.”   

 Pranxter has several upcoming shows. They’ll be performing at the Alpha Epsilon Pi crawfish boil on April 1 — a perfect day for a band called Pranxter — and at Alpha Tau Omega with Birmingham-based band The Vegabonds on April 21.