At first glance, Knipfing, Lamont’s lead singer, seems the usual indie rock character who might not feel out of place in Harvard’s own Lamont; trucker cap, vintage t-shirt, the requisite tattoos and appropriately intellectual glasses. But one listen to Lamont’s tunes, such as the fast moving recent single “Hotwire,” prove Knipfing and bandmates Jesse Sherman and Todd Bowman would shun the library’s quiet time rules. “I think we’d scare the shit out of your students,” Knipfing admits with the candor of a true rock star.
Before christening his band, Knipfing knew of Lamont Library only as a neighbor to his place of employment; before joining the band, he did a brief stint bartending at the Harvard Faculty Club. However, Knipfing didn’t find his inspiration in the book emporium across the street; instead, his “Lamont” derives from the son of Redd Fox’s title character on the popular old sitcom “Sanford and Son.” Though Lamont’s website—complete with an intimidating logo of a hellhound surrounded by punk salutes—plays up the band’s tendency towards the dramatic, the boys of Lamont boast real experience; they’ve played seminal venues such as The Middle East, TT the Bear’s, and Manhattan’s CBGB’s Lounge. Though Knipfing freely admits to his previous Harvard employment, he concedes that he and the band “try to play down how smart we are; it doesn’t translate well to the greasy rock ‘n’ roll scene.” Yes, even Harvard bartenders are smart.
So, can the two Lamonts ever find a middle ground on the road between academic rigor and riff-laden rock? According to Knipfing, a Harvard concert isn’t entirely out of the cards “if the money’s right and beer’s free,” and he even admits to an appreciation for Lamont Library’s resources; all band members “like a good read.” Still, when it comes to blows between the two Lamonts, Knipfing seems assured of which would win. “The edge always goes to the loudest—that’s us!”