BY SAMANTHA CALDERONE, STAFF WRITER
Feb. 12, 2000
The Wilkes-Barre-based band Strangers with Candy earned the title of MTV’s Ultimate Cover band with its rendition of Limp Bizkit’s hit song, “Nookie.”
The contest aired nationally in 2000, and bands were judged by celebrities such as singer Mandy Moore, hip-hop artist Eve and Third Eye Blind’s Stephan Jenkins. The Citizens’ Voice reported judges scored the band “to be a 30 on a scale of 30.”
After winning the competition, the band received inquiries from major record labels and self-published its original EP, “No Need.”
After that release, the band signed a six-record contract with Universal/Republic Records. However, the band had to change its name because Comedy Central had already trademarked “Strangers with Candy” for an upcoming show. The band renamed itself Driver and eventually changed the name again to Lifer.
In July 2001, the band filmed an MTV music video for its hit single, “Boring,” in Scranton at Tink’s Entertainment Complex (now Levels on Linden). During filming, people waited outside hoping to see the band, and at 9 p.m., they were allowed in the club to see it perform. In the fall, the band released its first major album, “Lifer.”
At the time, the heavy rock/hip-hop group consisted of Nick Coyle, vocals; Mark Klepaski, bass; Aaron Fincke, guitar; Chris Lightcap, drums; and Tony Kruzska, DJ.
After playing with Lifer until 2002, Fincke and Klepaski went on to play with Breaking Benjamin, and Lifer broke up in 2003.
Since breaking up, the band has played multiple reunion shows, and Fincke and Coyle reunited the band with a new lineup in 2018. As part of its reunion, the band returned to its hometown for a show in August.
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Brian Fulton has been the librarian at The Times-Tribune for the past 15 years. On his blog, Historically Hip, he writes about the great concerts, plays/musicals and celebrity happenings that have taken place throughout NEPA. He is also the co-host of the local history podcast, Historically Hip. He competed and was crowned grand champion on an episode of NPR quiz show “Ask Me Another.” Contact: email@example.com; 570-348-9140; or @TTPagesPast