Ruined Life 2.0: SPFHS’s signature band


by Alex Joshua
Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s fastest-growing band is ready to take the stage and step into the spotlight.  Ruined Life 2.0, founded by four now-seniors at SPFHS, has gained more and more success since its creation in 2014.  Composed of lead singer Joe Varela, lead guitarist Matt Lozito, rhythm guitarist Connor Wirth, and drummer Karl Wirth, the band plays both cover songs and self written ones, and attracted a large enough local following to get the ability to recently perform their first paid gig.
However, they didn’t get this way overnight; in fact, it’s been over three years in the making.  Back in October 2014, Lozito discovered a CD that his father had made while he was in a college band back in 1989, uncoincidentally called Ruined Life.  Taking inspiration from both the music and the name, Lozito recruited three of his friends, and Ruined Life 2.0 was born.
Although the band started out small, performing for the first two years solely in Lozito’s basement, the 2017 Battle of the Bands caught their eye.  Setting a goal as what they described as “Battle or bust,” the four worked past occasional disagreements and “band drama” to perform at the show, their first ever.  After that, they did summer beach performances down at the Jersey Shore, continuing to expand their reputation.  In the fall, however, they were given a different opportunity, and on Dec. 2nd, performed their first paid gig at Crossroads in Garwood, New Jersey.
“It was surreal,” Connor Wirth stated while describing the event, in which over one hundred people attended–dozens from their grade alone.  Lozito described it similarly, stating that it was great seeing all amazing support from their friends and family.  The other three quickly added on, explaining how much the continued support from their fans meant to them.
“It was validation for all the work we’ve done,” Varela explained, he and the others admitting that the showing was more than they had imagined.  The Crossroads was their first gig, but it won’t be their last.
While they are currently unsure about where the band will go after they leave for college, the four have a set list of goals for the next several months.  Their immediate goal, however, is to create an album by the Spring, like what the original Ruined Life had done.  To them, keeping a record of their music is necessary, so that they may be able to pass it down in later years.  At the same time, they have next year’s Battle of the Bands in their sights.  Although they didn’t win in 2017, they intend to change that this time around.  “It would cap off the year,” Karl Wirth said.
“We never thought we would leave the basement,” Karl  WIrth also explained. The four never expected that they would be where they are today.  However, as Ruined Life 2.0 has proved, a lot of talent and determination can go a long way, and with them, it doesn’t sound like it will be stopping anytime soon.