When you listen to “Virginia Woolf,” the first song on Thieves and Villains Myspace page you would swear this was Patrick Stump’s next project. Do not be fooled, because even though lead singer Sergio Otaegui’s voice sounds a lot like the former Fall Out Boy front man, there is something harder and grittier wrapped around his vocal cords that makes Thieves and Villains a lot like their name. The meaning behind the name comes from lyrics written by guitarist/pianist Chris Pennings. Even though in this interview they band said it could be determined as open-ended, the band has said in the past : "People often have to engage in sketchy behavior to get ahead, so we decided that instead of ever allowing ourselves to follow that path we'd name our band 'Thieves and Villains' so that we as people don't have to be."
The band had first formed in 2007 when Pennings and Otaegui decided to start playing together. Several lineup changes later they finally solidified things in Spring 2009. They had known each other from the local music scene in the New York area. After relentless touring, the band signed to Victory Records in 2008 and released their first full-length, “Movement.” Their songs had appeared on “Gossip Girl,” “The Real World,” and “Making the Band.” Their second album “South America” was released in august of this year. Absolute punk, offering some constructive criticism, praised “South America”: “Everything about Thieves and Villains is bigger and better now, a lot better. Sergio Otaegui has certainly breathed life into his voice now, adding more drive and heart into it. That goes for the entire band as a matter of fact." When asked if the band felt that this album was a step up from “Movement,” Otaegui replied: “Yeah, the new album is definitely a lot different than the first album. We just wanted to grow and take the band where we always wanted it to go.” And taking heat from the critics and if they have any influence… “We take the criticism and if it’s constructive then its even more welcome. But no, we never have anyone in mind when we're making music. We like to just go with our own vibe and make ourselves happy. Hopefully others will be on the same page.”
In the never-ending debate of nature versus nurture, it could be argued your surroundings make you who you are. The Jersey shore band For the Foxes, growing up with the cool breeze and sea air, the ambience is like the wind, blowing in and out of their music. Their two EP’s “Six Ways to Love,” released in 2008 and the self-titled in 2009 have catchy, carefree tunes about having fun and the trials and tribulations of the girls who inspire them. They are pure indie-pop, sometimes sounding having some rougher edges like on “Not Like I Like You” and circus-filled twee-pop in “I Know, You Know, I Know It’s True.” The band members agree that their unique sound could have come from their hometown of Barnegat, but not too keen on the idea that their was their main influence saying: “I'd imagine it has had some sort of influence on the music, any environment can.”
Lead singer Nick Dungo started the band in 2008 after recording demos and playing local shows. Guitarist Jimmy Brindley and drummer Danny Vassallo both joined in 2009. The name “For the Foxes” was derived from the title of Charles Burkowski’s poem. When reading the poem lines like : be sorry for the others who fidget, complain. who constantly rearrange their lives like furniture. beware of them: one of their key words is"love." You could interpret these boys are cautiously optimistic about falling for the girls they sing about. It could also be interpreted that they show a sign of independence, not letting anything negative interfere with their positive aura.
Nick Dungo takes that independent attitude and strategically places it when determining how to write a hit. In past interviews he described how his band would sit and discuss what other bands were doing to make them so successful. They would take bits and pieces of others success, but then in-turn, make it their own. Their songs like their hit single “OMG” have appeared on MTV and “Keeping up with the Kardashians.” They just released their latest catchy single "Where the Heartache Is,” full of claps and danceable beats. A full EP is expected for 2011.
Having the ability to have hit songs also contributed to getting recently signed to Hopeless Records, the same record label that is trying to put Yellowcard back into the spotlight. With the positive attitude the band holds, they were again, cautiously optimistic about being the new kids on the block and being on a label with a band who had experienced the pitfalls on being on a major label: “Being signed to Hopeless is an incredible feeling. I remember buying my first Hopeless compilation at the Atlantic City boardwalk when I was just eleven years old. Now that we're signed to Hopeless we're ready and willing to work harder than we ever have before. I can't believe were on the same label as Yellowcard as well as bunch of other Hopeless bands. They've done amazing things as a band and hopefully someday we can have the same success that they've had. The music industry can be intimidating thing to get into, but we just try to stay focused on the goals we have for the band and try our best to achieve them.”
For the Foxes are playing at the Marlboro Rec Center on Friday January 14th, 2010.
When Anthony Green's 2008 solo album " Avalon" debuted, fans and critics knew the Circa Survive frontman had reached a different point in his life. After a tumultuous relationship with his on-and off- again girlfriend Meredith, the two wed that year. Flash-forward two years later Green and his love have a baby, and now this week announced he will start recording his second solo album titled "Beautiful Things." Green has made note in the past that he is not qutting Circa. In fact after the 2010 release of "Blue Sky Noise," Green grew as a lyricist, tackling deeply personal issues, such as his wife losing a baby, not once, but twice.
In regards to his second solo album, Green gave us a preview earlier this year of things to come in an interview with The Aquarian: "Yeah, I have all these songs ready to go, and they’re the coolest songs. There’s this one song that I’ve been working on just on this tour, and it’s all about just wanting to be around somebody so bad and not know why. It’s kind of like a beggar’s song, telling someone that they’re fucking crazy and they’re awesome to be around. I wrote a song about antidepressants called ‘I Love You When I’m On Pills,’ and it’s a work in progress. There’s a song that’s an apology to Meredith for cheating on her for so many years and being such a terrible partner."
April Smith is not one to follow trends. Listening to her album "Songs for a Sinking Ship'' it would appear she was following the cabaret-esque type sound that many mainstream pop stars like Pink, Christina Aguilera and even Britney Spears have dabbled with the last couple years. Like an old-time magician pulling a rabbit out of his hat, do not be fooled, for Ms. Smith has been conjuring her brew of vaudeville-pop-rock for a long time. The Toms River native, whose influences range from Tom Waits to Queen, gained her epic sound and archaic-like showmanship by performing for anyone and everyone, trying to impress, as she says on her website, “her insanely talented” siblings. Her haunting, yet euphonious voice blends well with her songs that sound like they came from an era where blues and swing were at the top of the charts, a time where the Andrew Sisters performed "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” and not Katy Perry. Now Living in Brooklyn, Smith will be returning to the Shore with her band, the Great Picture Show, to perform at Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park on Saturday (Dec. 11). The show will be a holiday event held by “Hey Cole,” a promotional and booking service for musicians, whose founder Nicole Lipman, who after seeing Smith perform live, years ago, convinced Smith to be her very first client. Asbury Park is like a second home to bodacious singer, whose video for "Bright White Jackets',” off her first full-length "Loveletterbombs,” debuted in 2007 at the Baronet Theatre. The 97-year-old theater was demolished this September after it was determined to be an imminent hazard by city officials. In an interview with the Asbury Park Press Smith lamented on the issue: “that just makes me so mad. A lot of people, instead of restoring buildings and preserving history, they just want to tear things down and put up condos, and I think that's such a stupid thing to do.” Also adding: “How do you tear down the Baronet? I don't know, but clearly that person had no connection with history.'' History…that is why April Smith works so well in Asbury, for the era she sings about is lost in this Jersey Shore town, but like a ghost, she serves as a cultural stand-in of a time that we yearn for, but can never get back.
Anyone part of the local scene for sometime knows it’s always a right of passage to proclaim you knew a band “way back when.” However, what if it was in reverse? What if an already established musician decided to randomly come out of hiding to play a show, giving you the credentials to brag I witnessed history being made? Well, if you were one of 75 people at The School House in Brooklyn Friday night then you would have witnessed Neutral Milk Hotel frontman Jeff Magnum make a rare appearance performing songs off the band’s, now legendary albums, “On Avery Island” and “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.” The 90’s indie band who disbanded after the 1998 release of “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea,” has been looked at as a band way ahead of its’ time. Stuck in-between post-grunge and the height of the alternative wave, Neutral Milk Hotel boisterous instrumentation and lyrical content gained the band some critical success. Not knowing something is good until it’s gone, NMH grew in popularity as time went on. In “Aeroplane Over the Sea” the album was rumored (and now confirmed) to be about the life of Anne Frank, making it at the time, unique for an indie band to do a concept album, way before concept albums were the cool thing to do. In an interview with Pitchfork Ben Goldberg of Ba Da Bing Records, who helped set up the show, says, "I really can't say what this means in terms of future performances. This was a last minute show, done intentionally without buildup to let it be as simple and easy going as possible. It seems to have gone exactly like that. What I honestly feel like I saw tonight wasn't The Greatest Musician In The World Performing The Most Amazing Songs Ever, but rather a fantastic musician performing his wonderful songs. God, I have to say that is so much more gratifying than trying to look at it as a life -altering event. I bet others who were there would agree with me."
Irish Punk legends Flogging Molly have just announced their annual Green 17 Tour which as always includes stops to our neck of the woods! They're currently working on a new album which should release in the spring sometime after the tour so expect to hear some new material!
Flogging Molly 2011 Tour Dates: 02/08 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues 02/09 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues 02/11 – Orlando, FL @ House of Blues 02/12 – Miami, FL @ The Fillmore 02/13 – Tampa, FL @ Ritz Ybor 02/14 – Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle 02/15 – Charlotte, NC @ Fillmore 02/17 – Myrtle Beach, SC @ Hosue of Blues 02/18 – Norfolk, VA @ NorVa 02/19 – Atlantic City, NJ @ House of Blues 02/20 – Albany, NY @ Northern Lights 02/22 – Providence, RI @ Lupo’s 02/24 – Rochester, NY @ The Armory 02/25 – Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory 02/26 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre 02/27 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues 03/02 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5 03/03 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE 03/04 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore 03/05 – Nashville, TN @ War Memorial Auditorium 03/07 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue 03/08 – St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant 03/10 – Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room 03/11 – Chicago, IL @ Congress Theater 03/12 – Chicago, IL @ Congress Theater 03/13 – Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theater 03/15 – Oklahoma, OK @ Diamond Ballroom 03/17 – Tempe, AZ @ Luckyman’s St. Patrick’s Day Bash 03/18 – Las Vegas, NV @ Beach at Mandalay Bay 03/19 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
After being dropped by Columbia Records for not making a "commercially successful" enough record, New Jersey/Brooklyn (for hipster cred)'s Nicole Atkins is back with a new album coming out on indie label Razor and Tie. The new album "Mondo Amore" will have a sound that is described by Atkins as "psychadelic funk". You can catch her in NY or Philly during her tour:
Nicole Atkins 2011 Tour Dates: 02/09 – New York, NY @ The Bowery Ballroom 02/11 – Vancouver, BC @ Media Club 02/12 – Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern 02/13 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios 02/15 – San Francisco, CA @ Cafe Du Nord 02/16 – West Hollywood, CA @ Troubadour 02/18 – La Jolla, CA @ The Loft at UCSD 02/23 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall 02/25 – Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rossa 02/26 - Toronto, ON @ The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern 02/27 – Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick 03/01 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club 03/02 – Madison, WI @ The Frequency 03/04 – Chicago, IL @ Subterranean 03/05 – St. Louis, MO @ The Firebird 03/07 – Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge 03/09 – Washington, DC @ The Rock and Roll Hotel 03/10 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
Punk band Against Me! are going out on tour the next few months with Dropkick Murphys and have added New Jersey's own Jay Weinberg (son of Max) as their drummer. Jay had previously played in local band Chaosis and had the opportunity to fill in for his father with the E Street Band as well as the Max Weinberg Seven on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. While the Florida based band will not be stopping at Starland this time, nor New Jersey at all, you can check them out in NY or Philly.
Against Me! 2010/2011 Tour Dates: 12/03 – Jacksonville, FL @ WXXJ 102.9’s “The Big Ticket” 12/04 – West Palm Beach, FL @ WPBZ 103.1’s “Buzz Bake Sale” 12/05 – Tampa, FL @ WSUN 97X’s “Next Big Thing” 12/11 – La Jolla, CA @ KBZT 94.9’s “Holiday Hootenanny” 02/23 – Niagara Falls, NY @ The Rapids Theatre * 02/24 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore * 02/25 – Milwaukee, WI @ Bradley Center 02/27 – Chicago, IL @ Congress Theater * 03/01 – Denver, CO @ The Fillmore * 03/02 – Kansas City, MO @ The Beaumont Club * 03/03 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue * 03/04 – Des Moines, IA @ Val Air Ballroom * 03/05 – St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant * 03/06 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues * 03/08 – Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory * 03/10 – New York, NY @ Roseland Ballroom * 03/12 – Washington, DC @ Shamrock Fest 03/16 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues * 03/17 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues (sold out) * 03/18 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues (sold out) * 03/19 – Lowell, MA @ Tsongas Arena *
Available at the following shows: Crossroads- Garwood, NJ: December 5th Marlboro Rec Center- Marlboro, NJ: December 10th Court Tavern- New Brunswick, NJ: December 12th Freehold VFW- Freehold, NJ: December 17th
When looking for the perfect concert (i.e. one that will get your heart pumping, and leave you with unruly hair that makes you smile), look no further than Statelman, a New Jersey based band notorious for giving one heck of a live performance.
Recently, Statelman have uploaded two new singles on their Myspace, which will be available in late December.
“The writing process for our songs was just putting ideas on the table, and we sat down and turned them into songs,” says Tim James (bass). “I like songs that you can understand exactly what the person was thinking the moment they wrote the lyrics,” says Meg Diguilio (vocals). “That’s really what I try to do when I write.”
Statelman have also recently welcomed two new additions:Jon Stolpe (guitar) and Donny Saraceno (drums). “Having new members has brought us to a new level as a band overall. We are all on the same page, and the songs that we write and play together mean a lot to us and have a lot of emotion which only makes our stage presence even bigger,” says Tim.
With a reputation for giving a great, energetic show, Statelman describe their stage-presence as “in-your-face.” “We try to start off strong and give every second of the show our all, and we also do our best to get some crowd participation happening, without coming off as forced,” says Dan O’Connor (guitar/vox).
Throughout their extensive east-coast touring, Statelman have encountered many a fan, and they’re not keeping quiet about it! “One time, I caught a girl taking a picture of Dan. Not with Dan, but of him…and he was facing the opposite direction,” Donny laughs.
Despite being in a mostly-male scene, Meg, who started off playing guitar in the band, has transitioned wonderfully into the role of being the band’s front-lady. “Honestly, I just give every performance my all because that’s when I feel like people see past the whole girl-fronted band thing,” she states. “I just try to remind myself not to compare myself to anyone else out there either, because I want people to see me, not say I’m trying to be someone else.
“If you ask any of the guys, they’ll say I’m a dude just like them,” she laughs.
Keep an eye out for their new singles, “Hit The Road Quick,” and “Back Against The Wall,” available December 28th. Listen to the singles on myspace.com/statelman
By Jenine Clancy Count Your Blessings is at the “Top of the Naughty List...,” and no, not THAT naughty list that Santa Claus puts young boys and girls on, but rather the name of the pop-punk band’s new Christmas Album. Labeled a “transitional album” from the band, “Naughty List” was a fun record to make in between touring for their debut album “Like Gum in Your Hair” and recording their second full-length. Hailing from Good Charlotte’s hometown of Waldorff Maryland, this five-piece group of guys who shared a passion for music (and like most bands origins,) decided to start a band. The band that describes themselves as “an abrasive, honest and muscular approach to the rock/pop genre,” have a pop-punk sound that is catchy enough to make any young kid mosh and dance at the same time. CYB’S fans are constantly rewarded with the bands tenacity and amazing work ethic. Their goal is to constantly prove they are not like every other band, and to give their fans something different. That altruistic philosophy gave way to “Top of the Naughty List. Lead singer Michael Miller explained the band’s motivation: “We didn't think anyone understood how much we love music by listening to the first CYB CD. It was pretty much... just an unbelievable lie. We thought a good holiday album would be a nice way to let people know we're playing music because it's fun, not because it's what everyone else does. Not many play Christmas songs right?” Miller screams on classic Christmas songs like “Rockin Around the Christmas Tree”and “Two Front Teeth.” In “Two Front Teeth,” the lyrics are changed a bit, modernizing the tune: “back in ’95 we didn’t have Facebook, 9-years-old didn’t have friends old enough to cook.” Guitarist Antonio Ricci even said that “Teeth” was their favorite song to record because they got a chance to reminisce about their childhoods. After the holiday season wears down, CYB plans to promote their second full-length on Stand-by Records, which currently doesn’t have a title. They plan to give it a name once the album is complete and gave an analogy about the thought process: “When you are writing an album it's like creating your offspring. Which makes us about 8 months pregnant and we haven't got a name picked out yet. We're waiting ‘til birth to know the sex.” Once the name is given, everything will come full circle to a band who wrote on their Facebook status: “ Kenny and Miller here! Jammin our first bands cd (10 years ago!) and we're glad we've been lucky enough to still be here creating music! We will not let you down on this album. NO WAY NO HOW!” It’s nice to know that some bands count their blessings. Count Your Blessings are playing at Freehold VFW in Freehold, NJ on December 17th and at the Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia, PA on December 18th.
By Jenine Clancy Stolen instruments and equipment, car accidents, canceled shows, and the loss of members would break down any band, but Time and Distance surely have lived up to their name. Lead singer Greg McGowan has had a tenacious outlook on it all, saying his band just keeps on “rockin and rollin.” That “rockin and rollin” philosophy has been with McGowan since the beginning. Hailing from West Virginia, in high school he created what he called a “solo acoustic thing,” and in later years turned it into a full-fledged band. While the band’s sound is heavier, McGowan’s adds a melodic tone, resembling a feel from his earlier work. In 2009 Time and Distances put out their first full-length album, “Gravity,” on “Not Alone Records.” Produced by former “Hidden in Plainview” guitarist Rob Freeman, the album brought the band to a different level. McGowan says Freeman would push them to “outdo themselves” and “to do things they thought they couldn’t do.” Lyrically, everything on the album is introspective. In the song “Away We Go,” McGowan quizzically tries to figure out a girl singing “says she misses me, but never wants to kiss when her friends are around.” Psychology still plays a part in “For Real,” in which McGowan defiantly sings “Because all we are is all we’re told,” ironically telling the world he's more than just a lead singer in a band. To promote the album the boys hit the road playing with bands like Mayday Parade and The Material. Also, they teamed up with forty-five independent record stores with in-store listening stations. Like streaming online, the listening stations allow people to hear the album before even buying it… when asked if this was a good thing or a bad thing McGowan replied “ I don’t know if it makes people want an entire record or not. I personally prefer records as a whole and we try to present our records as a whole picture, instead of a bunch of songs, but if kids just like a couple that's cool too… (just as) long as they're listening.” Time and Distance’s fans are sure to keep listening with more tour dates, a recorded Alkaline Trio cover and some acoustic songs on the way, you can say luck is bound to be on their side. Time and Distance are playing at the Marlboro Recreation Center in Marlboro, New Jersey on December 10th.
By Jenine Clancy The year 2010 has blessed music fans with a "nostalgia trend." With Weezer touring and playing "The Blue Album" and "Pinkerton" in their entireties, to Dashboard Confessional playing all of "Swiss Army Romance" at The Stone Pony in December, it seems like everyone is yearing for the past. Thursday, grateful for their past accomplishments, is set to play their 2001 hit album "Full Collapse" in it entirety at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ on December 30th. Expected to play their other hits alongside "Full Collapse," the band wanted to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the album that sky-rocketed them to mainstream success. In an interview with AP, lead singer Geoff Rickly said: "Full Collapse was a record that changed the course and shape of my life. We began touring for it in basements and VFW halls, continued, opening for bands like the Murder City Devils and Rivals Schools and ended up a full-time touring band meeting hundreds of thousands of people with whom we formed deep and lasting connections. Time passes and we embrace new music and different goals, but 10 years later, Full Collapse continues to move people and for that we are very grateful. This tour is a celebration of those times and the end of a chapter in the life of Thursday."
Critically, "Full Collapse" was deemed a success, with many critics declaring them pioneers for the early 2000's wave of screamo bands. One critic's review held true to this belief saying "Thursday splits the difference between the puffy sounds of pop emo and the ear-shattering fare that holds the hardcore ethos in higher regard with a style that’s fairly unique in post-hardcore circles." Pre-Myspace and Facebook, the success of "Full Collaspe" was due to word-of-mouth and extensive touring. However, without Thursday's knowledge, Victory Records had put out a video for the song "Understanding in a Car Crash," using live footage from the band and forcing it to be band's first single. This incident would mark the continuous internal struggle with Victory Records, leading them to part ways with the label. When talking about some of the bands on the nostalgia bandwagon like Thursday, Weezer, Dashboard, NFG, The Starting Line and Something Corporate, it could be debated that these anniversary albums and reunions represented a time that we remembered fondly, or that the current music and scene just isn't as great as it used to be. One thing is for sure though, that this only might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity...otherwise, we might have to wait for them to change their minds and say "happy 20th anniversary!"
Typically while going to a show, you'll have to pre-game eating before the show or wait until after the show is over to hit up your local 24 hour diner (isn't Jersey great?!). At some shows you have the option of something like candy or if you're lucky pizza to hold you over. At Crossroads in Garwood, NJ you can not only see great shows, but also have a really good meal. The kitchen offers a variety of Cajun and American options which is limited to a smaller menu during shows, but still pretty decent none-the-less. My personal favorite that'd I'd recommend are the Thai Spring rolls, something that they normally have only during restaurant hours rather than during shows but will still make for you! Being that this is a restaurant, this is one of the few places that hosts all ages shows that still has the bar open for those over 21. This helps bridge the gap for older bands to perform for younger audiences and vice versa. The decor of Crossroads is like stepping into what I'd imagine a New Orleans pub to look like, completley decked out with saxaphones, alligators, and a sign that states the rule "No Spitting". The sound system at Crossroads is better than average and the stage while small compared to some other places has still managed to fit bands such as Outnumbered's 8 person ska lineup or Calamity Menagerie's 6 people and a xylophone (that sounds like a sequel to "Three Men and a Baby"). Crossroads is located at 78 North Ave. in Garwood, NJ. For a listing of all ages shows go to: www.jerseyshows.com For a listing of a variety of 21+ shows which includes cover bands, jazz, blues, open mics, DJs, karaoke, and comedy go to: www.xxroads.com
By Skippy Rodman What do you think of when you hear the word “skank?” Most people probably think of a promiscuous individual. Not me. I think of dancing at a ska show. Ska has been pretty much dead for the most part of the new millennium. It is evident in our local scene. You can probably only count the number of local ska bands on one hand.
A few weeks ago I attended a local show that featured a ska band from Jersey. The band had great energy, just like every ska band should. However, I was disappointed. I looked at the crowd and most of the fans were just standing around. I believe there was one or two individuals attempting to “skank.” It looked like just a bunch of bouncing around, though, without any clear movement or rhythm. I came to the conclusion that the local scene just doesn’t know how to “skank.”
How can we get the scene to start “skankin” again? First, go to a ska show. Even though our local scene doesn’t have real ska shows anymore, they’re still out there. A lot of amazing ska bands are still touring. Go to the show and observe the crowd. You’ll be sure to pick up a move or two. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones even has a member of the band who “skanks” all around the stage. If you can’t get out to a ska show, go on Youtube. You can learn everything on Youtube these days and that includes how to “skank.” Finally, we need to rebuild our ska scene so everyone has a chance to actually practice these crazy moves. Every kid playing in their high scho
The 2010 Asbury Music Awards have been announced and you'll find that none other than yours truly, Danny Wreck has been nominated for the "Top Journalist in Support Of Local Music" category. I'd like to thank the academy or whoever it was that nominated me! This is a huge honor as I'm only into my 10th month of this whole journalism in support of local music venture. I'd like to thank all of my contributers including Lauren "Liv" Simister, Skippy Rodman, Scurrow, the guys at Dynameecho, and Jersey Shows without whom this whole project would not be possible. All Nominees can be read here: http://www.mazi401.com/AMA-NOMINEES-2010-Final.pdf
If you have them, you want to share them. But if you share them, you no longer have them. What is the object in question? (Psst…it’s a secret!) Secret Secret Dino Club, a secret no more, thanks to tours with bands like Young & Divine, We Are The In Crowd, Allstar Weekend, and Thieves and Villains, is a band known for their unique sounds, and amazing stage-presence. Hailing from Saratoga Springs, New York, SSDC has a bit of something for everyone (yes, even that weird guy in your apartment building), with an Indie/Pop-Rock/Hip-Hop sound, and catchy lyrics that beg every listener to sing along. SSDC was formed by Jayce Kalinkewicz in 2006. It was formed when “I was conceived presumably in a hotel bed or a state college dorm room,” Jayce jokes. “It was actually the name of my under-bed studio when I was in college. I kept it as a band name for amusement. “Although, now, I refer to it as just ‘Dino Club.’” In 2009, after three years of independently recording three albums (Big Whoop Wanna Fight About It, Welcome To Dixieland, and Up To No Good) as well as four EPs (Fort Jayce Henry, Abraham Lincoln, Ho Ho Ho No!, and Super Fun Party Songs), SSDC signed with Drive-Thru Records. The first release was a split called “Chicken Finger Fingers” with Allstar Weekend. In December 2009, SSDC released a two-song EP “Snow Buddies,” on Glamour Kills and Purevolume. Following later in 2010, the band released “Cinco,” a song-a-day project in which the band wrote, recorded, and released a song by sending the fans on an Internet scavenger-hunt. “ No one talks to each other unless it’s over the Internet or on their mobile phones,” Jayce says. “I see so many tables of kids at dinner just sitting on their phones, not saying a word to each other. “They are probably on the Internet listening to my band,” he jokes. “Cinco is all about getting older, and less attractive…about being misunderstood in today’s scene.” Despite getting older, Jayce still has his fun on tour. “Yesterday, I woke up in a stranger’s kitchen in the hood, and I actually had to use the location services on my phone to figure out where I was!” Be sure to check out Jayce and the guys as Secret Secret Dino Club on tour, and in Marlboro, New Jersey on November 5th! Don’t forget to head to SSDC’s Myspace (myspace.com/secretsecretdinoclub), and check out the latest EP “Cinco” now.
To say Calamity Menagerie is a diverse group with members from all over New Jersey may be an understatement. With a revolving line-up, this band never gets dull! Calamity Menagerie all began when Jamie (vocals/guitar) and Mike (bass/accordion) began performing acoustic sets at open-mic nights. From there, the band’s line-up grew, and they were soon joined by Stefanie (bass recorder/bass/keyboards/congas/xylophone/synth/harp/bass drum), Ryan (drums), Scruff (percussion/bass/vocals), and Allison (vocals/keyboards/ xylophone/bass drum/tambourine/synth), forming a diversely talented group. “I’m also part of The O>MATICS, and I wrote a ton of stuff that just didn’t fit in with the band, so Calamity Menagerie was my outlet for that, I guess,” Jamie says. Working with more than one band is not uncommon for the members of Calamity Menagerie, as many of the past/current members have been/are part of other bands. Jamie is currently part of Calamity Menagerie, the O>Matics, and working on a solo-project. Scruff is also currently a member of The Tea and Whiskey. “Sometimes it’s easier to be part of two bands, like when there’s a show we can play, and if one band can’t do it, then hopefully, the other can. And if I can’t play with either one, I could do a solo thing. So if I find a show I want to play, I’m going to play no matter what,” Jamie laughs. “Being part of two bands, a dog-owner, and a newlywed is a little hectic, so I don’t get to play as often as I’d like, but when I do, I always have a lot of fun,” claims Scruff. Calamity Menagerie are known for having upbeat, fun shows, drawing people of all ages in. “We’re not really profane. We have like, one song where we curse…and one that gets mistaken for cursing a lot,” the band jokes. “When we do an all-ages show, it’s the funniest thing, because you’ll have these families, like with the kids and the parents or grandparents, and in our song, ‘Happy Lucky Fun Duck,’ there’s a line that goes, ‘All I wanna do is fun, fun, fun, FUN.’ You just see these adults’ jaws…drop,” Jamie chuckles. “When we finish the song, I have to say, ‘I was saying ‘fun’, just, you know, by the way.’” “You just hear this collective sigh of relief, and then this huge applause,” Calamity laughs. Calamity Menagerie have struck a chord with adults and kids alike, much like their own influence, Oingo Boingo, struck with them. “Oingo Boingo is a band from the ‘80’s, and it’s fronted by Danny Elfman, who is a famous composer,” Jamie states. (Side-note: Most might recognize Danny Elfman as the composer for The Simpson’s theme song, as well as the singing voice of Jack Skellington in ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas.’) Calamity Menagerie is playing a Halloween show in which they will be covering Oingo Boingo (check out location and time on the band’s Myspace). On October 8th, they will be working once again with Jason Webley (accordion player). “He can transform a room by getting everyone into his music, and by the end of the night, everyone is singing with their arms around each other. “We got to back for him once, and I think that was a pivotal moment in Calamity Menagerie’s career,” Jamie laughs. Along with being musically-inclined, the band is also good on film (check out Tom Devil’s New Year). “I think we got all our profanity out of our system with that movie. It had like no budget,” exclaims Jamie. The band laughs, recalling the amount of cursing the movie involved. Calamity Menagerie is a band for the ages, and a sure delight! Check them out on Myspace (www.myspace.com/calamitymenagerie) and Facebook www.facebook.com/calamitymenagerie), and buy their EP ‘What Could Possibly Go Wrong?’ on Itunes now.
Jason Webley is like a character from a movie or a book. He travels the world with an accordion, acoustic guitar, and his hat. When he's at home in Seattle, he lives on a houseboat. He has shared the stage with the likes of The Dresden Dolls, The Avett Brothers, and more. Most recently he did a collaboration with Amanda Palmer in which they had a slew of special guests including Weird Al, Francis Bean Cobain, Tegan and Sara, and Gerard Way submit vocals to the album's closing track. Danny Says! sat down with Jason to ask him 11 questions (a number he seems to obsess over)
1. Which album of yours is your personal favorite?
JW: That is hard... they are all different sorts of albums, and each is my favorite in different ways. Even my least favorite, "Counterpoint" in some ways I am most proud of, as it was probably the most ambitious of them all. But generally I prefer the last two, "Only Just Beginning" and "The Cost of Living." I think they are both strongest in terms of songwriting and production. They lack whimsy a bit, but I think that actually makes them hold together better than the older records did.
2. On average, between touring, how long do you stay at your house boat?
JW: It depends. Sometimes a few days, sometimes a month or more. I was home for all of August which was nice.
3. How many countries have you performed in?
JW: More than eleven... let's count. Canada, US, Mexico, Ireland, UK, Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Austria, Italy, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, Austalia, New Zealand, Morocco. So twenty four, unless I am forgetting something.
4. Where’s been your favorite place to play?
JW: I guess I don't like to think in terms of favorites. I love places, all sorts of different places. I love visiting new places for the first time, and I love revisiting familiar spots.
5. How many times have you played in New Jersey?
JW: I'm not sure. The first time was opening for the Dolls in Asbury Park... I've probably been back 4 or 5 times since then?
6. Have you been able to visit the Jersey Shore between your shows?
JW: I have a couple times! Before that first show in Asbury Park, I spent a bit of time walking along the beach. It was there actually that the first seeds of the Evelyn Evelyn project were born.
7. Do you have any new collaborative records coming out?
JW: I just finished two earlier this year, but I have a few more coming down the pipe. I had hoped to have one finished this autumn, but just had my laptop stolen and am probably not going to make that deadline.
8. Who is your biggest accordion influence?
JW: I don't really have one. I started playing in a bit of an accordion bubble - not really having heard much of the music, and while I have grown to like a lot of different accordion music, not much of it has affected the way I play.
9. Who is your biggest punk influence?
JW: I liked the pop punk stuff that was happening in the late 80's... Operation Ivy, Crimpshrine, Jawbreaker. I was also into the DC Dischord scene... Fugazi, Jawbox. I'm not sure who the biggest "influence" was. The main thing that inspired me was the whole attitude that you can play shows and make records without really being plugged into any sort of industry.
10. What is your favorite non-curse word?
JW: You like favorites a lot.... there are so many nice words out there. Tergiversation. Dirigible. Transmography. I also like made up words... Sinceriously. Nongratulations.
11. And finally the question everybody needs to know: What’s your favorite vegetable other than tomato?
JW: Another favorite question! But this one is easier, because the artichoke is by far the tastiest, sexiest, thistliest vegetable that I am currently aware of. Do not pickle them and pizza them. Steam them and eat them with butter and salt.
The O>MATICS are releasing their fifth full length album "O>MATICS on Parade!" today on iTunes and various other online retailers. Their new album which has songs produced by Paul Carabello formally of The Ataris as well as by themselves in their home studio features a cavalcade of fourteensongs in a variety of styles. It opens with a new wave dance song called "Horns", which is reminicent of MGMT, DEVO, and The Killers at certain points. The second track "Blanket of Snow" recalls They Might Be Giants and Elvis Costello. "Make It Last 2.5", apparently a partial sequel to another song has Flaming Lips influence all over. The rest of the album recalls everything from Spongebob Squarepants (Peachy Keen), to Fountains of Wayne (Milltown), to Nada Surf (Distance Inbetween), to James Brown (Seymour), to punk (Not Up to You), to steel drum conga line music (Conga Inferno), to Eastern Indian sounds (Mysterious One). I'm told the online version of the album will also have three bonus tracks which are only available through iTunes and other online retailers. Tomorrow, September 15th at 8PM (EST) they'll be doing a live webcast from their site omatics.net where they'll be performing live. They are supporting the release all month with live shows all over including a 21+ record release show at The Loop Lounge in Passaic, NJ on September 17th and an all ages record release at HHVFW in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ on September 24th where everybody with a ticket gets the CD free. They'll also be playing September 18th in Yardley, PA, September 19th in Westville, NJ, September 25th in Freehold, NJ, and September 26th as a guest on the Jersey Showdown Regional Finals at Crossroads in Garwood, NJ along with Running Late, March Fourth, Rise of Razel, Overboard, Alter The Ending, and more.
There are rumors of the demise of Solfege Radio (twice featured band on Danny Says!) and this may just be fueling the fire but Statelman seems to have slid their drummer Dan over to guitar and added Solfege Radio drummer Donny and SR guitarist Jon. Whether this is a permanent thing or not we'll have to wait and see, Donny did play drums for them at Get Heard Fest back in June... Check out this video of the new lineup from the Union County Music Fest:
Standing outside a club in Asbury Park recently, an individual with a mohawk and a punk rock sense of style asked me what type of music I preferred. I said I listened mostly to punk and used some examples of my favorite bands that included the Bouncing Souls and the Descendents. Naturally, he knew of the Bouncing Souls. After all, we were in Asbury and unless you live under a rock in that area I’m sure you’ve heard of them once or twice (there is sarcasm in that statement). To my surprise, though, there was a blank stare as I spoke of the Descendents being one of my favorite bands. After having a very unsatisfying conversation with this individual, I turned to my friend and said, “This guy had no idea who the Descendents were.” My friend agreed and I went on one of my rants. My most current rant… Everyone dresses all punk rock, but really doesn’t know the music or has any passion for the scene. Try walking through the mall on a Friday night. You’ll see a bunch of “I’m so punk rock and cool” kids walking around. Why aren’t they at a show? At that age, I was at a show on a Friday night. Then there’s individuals who go to shows, but don’t actually watch any bands. They just hang outside. These are the people that get dressed up in their best “Hot Topic” clothes, pay to get into a show, and don’t watch any bands. It bothers me that so many kids don’t know the roots to our scene. If you like a band, read about their influences. It will open a whole new punk rock door to your life. For instance, if you love Green Day you should know that they used to be on a little label called Lookout Records and then you will discover Operation Ivy. If you are a hardcore fan, do some research on it’s history and you may just stumble upon a band called Minor Threat. And finally just for me… look up the Descendents! They have influenced some of the biggest pop punk bands of today.
Six musicians make up Class 6. They are a hard rock/ hip hop hybrid that has far more class than any of the rap/rock bands that surged in the late 90's, infact it's something refreshingly new. Danny Says sat down with the recently victorious winners of the Philly Showdown to find out a little more. DS: Congratulations on winning the Philly Showdown! Can you tell me what you guys plan on doing with the $5,000 that you won? C6: First off, we would like to thank Jersey Shows for the opportunity to participate in this competition, along with the countless other events they have involved us in. We plan on using the $5000 to get back in the studio and record new material. We also plan on getting some new t-shirts, stickers, and various other merchandise made up. So be on the lookout! DS: How long have you guys been playing together for? C6: Kyle (synth) and Chris (vocals) were previously in a Black Eyed Peas-esque hip hop group before meeting up with James (guitar) and Harry (bass/vocals) to take a different musical direction. This collaboration happened in late 2007, and Dan (drums) was on board by early 2008. That was the birth of Class 6, but we weren't complete until Tony (piano) joined us in early 2009. DS: You guys seem to have a wide reach playing all over NJ, PA, and DE, what are some of the venues you have played? C6: We've played at the Trocadero several times, including Concerts First's Next Big Thing competition in September of 2008, in which we came in 1st place. We've also played at JC Dobbs, Starland Ballroom, Alexander's, and countless coffee houses, churches and fire halls throughout the tri-state area. DS: I can remember seeing you over a year ago at Starland Ballroom and you played a song about Michael Jackson less than about 2 weeks after he died which incorporated an original song into some Jackson 5/MJ riffs, if I'm right I believe that song became "Nostalgia" can you tell me about how your wrote that song so quickly and how developed it into the song it is now? C6: 'Nostalgia' was actually one of our earlier songs from our first collection of original music that we decided to revamp. After the death of Michael Jackson, we wanted to pay tribute in some way. 'Nostalgia' was the perfect song for the job because it's all about reminiscing on pop culture and what was "big" in past years. A few days before Starland, we decided to integrate some elements of Jackson 5 into our song and it just seemed to fit. DS: What is your writing process like in general, do you often freestyle at practices and develop them into songs? C6: Each song has a different story behind it. Our earlier songs were loose interpretations of instrumentals Kyle (synth) had made himself, with him and Chris writing lyrics. Now, we often start with original ideas that any one of us will bring to the table, whether it be entire songs or just lyrics or a rough instrumental. We'll all listen to it and add our own touch in different areas. Our new song 'Inertia', for example, was an entire song that James (guitar) had wrote, with Chris adding a 2nd verse and Harry (bass) and Dan (drums) tweaking their parts. An inspired idea can come from any one of us individually or collectively, so we try to be keep as much diversity in our music as possible by exploring different sounds and vibes. DS: What does Class 6 have in store for the future? C6: We plan on continually writing and recording new material and broadening our fan base by reaching as many listeners as possible. Just continuing to grow as overall musicians and performers, while putting out eclectic music that everyone can enjoy.
By Lauren-Olivia “Liv” Simister Many people dream of being traveling the country, especially when they’re fresh out of high school. For the guys of Solfege Radio, a band from Florham, New Jersey, that dream came true. Starting out in January 2008, the band was comprised of long-time friends Marco Torriani (vocals) and brothers Jon (guitar) and Matt (drums) Stolpe. In July of 2008, Joey Nester (guitar/vocals), another childhood-friend, joined the trio. A year later, in August 2009, Donny Saraceno (bass) became the bass player for the band. Though they hadn’t been together long, Solfege Radio won the preliminary rounds of the 9th Annual Jersey Shows Battle of the Bands, and began touring the east-coast non-stop for two years. Still early on in their career, Solfege Radio has played shows like the Get Heard Fest in 2009, and the Monmouth Park Racetrack date of Warped Tour 2010. “Headlining the past year’s Get Heard Fest was pretty incredible. Not being from Central Jersey but more towards the North, we had an incredibly welcoming and responsive crowd. It made us remember why we love what we do. Playing this year’s Warped Tour was also an amazing experience. It's one of those things you dream about from the first time you walk on to one of those parking lots.” When asked how they’re music has evolved since their formation, Jon Stolpe says, “Our music has definitely matured a lot since then, including our song writing and stage performance. With the help of John Collura and Paul Carabello (producers of our "Tell My Mom I'll Be Okay EP"), we've learned a lot about the art of "song writing" as well as the business.” It’s hard to imagine there was a lot to teach the guys of Solfege Radio, especially considering they can’t remember not playing an instrument! “It’s hard to remember exactly when we all started playing. We all got into music at a very young age and have been with it ever since,” Jon claims. High school, however, was a different story. “High school was lame,” Jon says. “The only thing I thought about was when our next show was. I gained absolutely nothing from high school except disgust for public education.” Solfege Radio has stolen the hearts of fans all over, though it was no easy task. They’re known for working non-stop on promotion, making sure their shows are nothing short of spectacular (either go see them live, or look up a live performance via Youtube), and making sure they get to know their fans. The songs on their recently released first EP, “Tell My Mom I’ll Be Okay,” are filled with the punk-pop energy the quintet are known for, as well as the catchy beats that will have concert-goers jumping like they’re at Warped all over again. The EP’s title took on significant meaning to Solfege Radio, used almost as a declaration of self-confidence. “Sometimes it's really hard for parents to see through the insanity of what we're trying to do here. The amount of money, time, and effort that it takes doesn't seem quite worth it to a lot of people. ‘Tell My Mom I'll Be Okay,’ is homage to that pretty much. Not that our parents are unsupportive but maybe this will help keep them off our backs,” they laugh. “The name goes along with the idea that this is what we want to do no matter how crazy it might seem, and we won’t stop, ever.” When listening to Tell My Mom I’ll Be Okay EP, Solfege Radio want you to come away with one thing: a smile. Tell My Mom I’ll Be Okay EP is available now. Head to myspace.com/SolfegeRadio to order your copy now!
Punk rock will never die. As a sub-genre of rock and roll, which obviously has the elixir of life, it’s offspring (not the band) punk rock has the same standing the test of time strength. Proof is in the pudding with the likes of Princeton, NJ based band Basicneed who is caring on the almighty punk rock torch.
DS: You guys are really solid for your young age, how old are you guys and what’s your schedule like as a band? BN: Mike and Pat just turned 15, our drummer Sam is still 13 and going into high school this year. This passed school year we played every weekend we could, which was rough on the parental units, but we managed to sell tickets and get a ride every time. It was tough focusing on school work when all we wanted to do was play bigger shows, sell more tickets and write better songs. This school year we played about 20 shows.
DS: How old were you when you first started playing your instruments and how did you learn them? BN: Mike had easy access to his dad's equipment since he played guitar. Once Sam and Mike decided to start a band, Sam threw some drums together and we got his cousin Pat to buy a bass. So there, all youngins, about 12 years old, taught each other everything, and here we are. We started basicneed before we knew how many strings were on a guitar.
DS: How did you get into punk rock and what is it about punk that drew you in? BN: The 80's hardcore movement is really what drew us in to playing punk rock. Bands like Minor Threat and Bad Brains were all about DIY, do it yourself; find shows, record, put out albums and merch, and promote everything yourself. With the help from Jersey Shows and our friends, we've been able to do all of this and we are very grateful for it. Punk is the most true and real type of music out there. Plus there are so many places to go with punk rock, we never feel limited to playing one type of music.
DS: Where are some of the places you have played at? BN: The first thing we did as a band was the Jersey Showdown in 2009. Total scrubs...but we managed to advance to the semi finals at the Starland Ballroom, which was our 3rd show ever. Since then we've played all over Jersey; Trenton, Princeton, New Brunswick, Hanover, Waretown, Freehold, Hasbrouck Heights, South Brunswick, Sayerville, East Windsor (yes, we have a list). Two shows out of Jersey, in Yardley and Philly at the Trocadero.
DS: Who are some bands that you have played with that you enjoy? BN: We love all local bands (pretty much...) and we love the fact that people are doing it. We'd have to say our top five favorite bands we've played with are (not in any order) The Waffle Stompers, Madcats & Beehives, ASBPK, and Liberal Media Bias... and Statelman...and the O>Matics. Okay we love everybody.
DS: Do you have any favorite memories from the shows you have played at? BN: One of our best memories is definitely when we couldn't find the venue we were supposed to play at in Trenton. We ended up breaking into an apartment, almost getting slaughtered by a pissed off Trentonian, and not even getting a good show in return when we actually found the venue. We played the show and were then shuffled off to a corner in the venue that was surrounded by strip show posters and bullet proof glass. Another good time was in Philly, playing the Trocadero when we were walking around chinatown with our buddies from Statelman, going to the hello kitty store and looking at mystical antiques and whatnot.
DS: What are some of your goals as a band, do you see yourselves playing together still in 5 years or beyond? BN: Our main priority is world domination...but right now we're just focused on getting our name out to Jersey and surrounding states. We're planning on releasing an album before 2011. Right now we're preparing for the finals of the Jersey Shows battle of the bands, which is a very important event for us. Who knows where we'll be in 5 years, but we're going to try to take basicneed as far as it can go.
New Jersey Native Ted Leo of Ted Leo and The Pharmacists says he's having a hard time keeping music his full time job in this economy and with the fall of album sales. See that, all you music pirates are bringing down the middle of the road indie artists! Don't fear Ted Leo fans, as he says music will be more of a part time job for him. Read more here
Post-ska band The Waffle Stompers have a busy summer ahead of them. Just this month they’re playing with Catch 22, a ska fest at the Garwood VFW, The Trocadero Theatre mainstage, and at the Oceanport, NJ stop at Warped Tour. We sat down with guitarist Ted Moore to find out a little more.
DS: New tour dates were posted on your myspace recently, What are you looking forward to most about this new tour? Ted: We're really looking forward to getting back to places we've played before. It's cool to see the same friends again in other states each time we go out.
DS: I saw that you guys are playing with Catch 22, can you give us some information on that show? Ted: Sure! It's at the School of Rock East in Hackensack, NJ. Sexy Heroes are also on the bill so it's sure to be a killer show. We're excited to play with another childhood idol... it's actually hard to believe. Also, we're on at 7 sharp so don't be late!
DS: How does it feel to see your band on the Warped Tour line-up this year? Ted: It's absolutely incredible. Warped Tour has been a fantasy and a staple growing up-- the punk rock summer camp out. So many bands get launched from a stint on warped because there's so many listeners open to so much different music. This year our goal is to make a good enough impression to be invited to take our flying circus out of state on Warped in 2011.
DS: Who are you most excited to see on the Warped tour this year? Ted: For me, it's Bring Me the Horizon. Bet you didn't see that coming, haha. Those dudes seriously make the most brutal music I've ever heard and their live show is completely nuts. I'm going to take bets on how many kids get carried out on stretchers during their set.
DS: Recently, you stopped performing the “Serious dance” as seen your music video at live shows, is there any chance you guys will incorporate it back into your set? Ted: There's always a chance! We've even done it on request a few times. We love putting on a show and we love dancing but we're not looking to be a schtick band so we can't do it every time. If we do it, we do it, if not there's always next time ;-).
DS: Are there any new songs or recordings that fans can look forward to this summer or in the fall? Ted: Hopefully! We're working tirelessly behind the scenes right now talking and negotiating. We're going to do a release soon, but it's too early to know when just yet. It's coming though.
DS: What is your advice for other ska bands who are trying to make it out into the scene? Ted: Practice, practice, practice. Ska bands always have twice as many members as other bands, so it's SO important to be tight with one another. Then go on tour to get your recordings out to as many fans as you can in as many states as you can. Also, Pilots sell the best coffee anywhere on the highway.
DS: Is there anything you want to say to your fans? Ted: Keep coming out to shows and supporting touring bands! It means the world to all of us band dudes. We'll have new music for you soon, and THAT'S A PROMISE. Love you guys.
In 2004, the End of an Era began in Toms River, New Jersey in a garage; where the band spent a year recording their first demo. By 2005, they had solidified their line-up, and taken the name, “End of an Era.” In March 2010, the group, comprised of Jeff Wallace (vocals), Steven Blair (keyboard), Justin Mazyk (bass), and Jeff Spags (drums) were joined by Chris Matsinger as their new guitarist. When asked if they ever still get stage-fright, Steven Blair says, “We don’t get nervous…It’s more of an adrenaline rush. We’ve all been performing on-stage with bands for, like, ten years, so any stage fright we once had, is gone, unless we’re playing in front of a massive, and I mean massive, crowd.” They’re not picky when it comes to venues either! “Any place with a P.A. system, and an audience; be it an audience of four or forty thousand, is our favorite venue,” Steve laughs. Their rehearsals can be described in one word: “Chaotic.” During rehearsals, End of an Era are geared towards specific shows, making sure each song is perfect, as well as going over new songs. The way they behave on stage is not just a front though. Off-stage, the guys of End of an Era have been friends for a long time. “It’s not like we have sex with each other or anything like that. We’re very close; we love each other very much. It’s pretty much like having 4 girlfriends,” Steve says. “You live with each other, you see each other all the time, and you get on each other’s nerves. All in all, we have a common goal, a common mind-set, and at the end of the day, all shit aside, we’re focused on the common goal.” While End of an Era are always up for a party, despite what many people believe, life on the road is not a non-stop party. “It might work if you’re as big as Mötley Crüe or KISS, but if you’re a band whose struggling to get gas from one venue to the next, it’s a little different. You actually have to think if you can afford food, let alone a beer!” In End of an Era’s experience, they say, “If you can put up with ten years of boringness, then it’s [the music business is] for you!” So what would they do if the music business weren’t for them? “We’d either be serial killers or dead,” Steve says chuckling. “I’m actually serious about that. Music is the centerpiece of our lives, and I think without it, we wouldn’t know what to do.”
You can check out End of an Era at www.endofanera.org, and follow the links to purchase their album, The War Against, also available on Itunes now.
Can you believe it's almost July?! The Danny Says! zine has some big things coming your way with a better design (clearer pictures!) and major distribution at the Oceanport, NJ Warped Tour stop on July 18th! July will feature a new story on The Waffle Stompers who will be tearing it up all month at shows such as Catch 22 @ School of Rock, a ska fest in Garwood VFW, The Trocadero Mainstage, and at Warped Tour! See you in the circle pit!
It's been a slow news week, and Channel 12 News in New Jersey has posted the latest internet sensation, video and pictures of a whale off of Pt. Pleasant, NJ. There's this pretty impressive image of the whale jumping only about 10 feet from a small speed boat, I certainly wouldn't be standing up in that thing with a whale splashing so close! click here to check out more pics and a video!
Starting tonight at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York City and running until June 12th, you can catch the world famous conjoined twin sister act Evelyn Evelyn "EVELYN and EVELYN NEVILLE are a songwriting duo performing original compositions on piano, ukulele, guitar and accordion. The sisters are parapagus tripus dibrachius twins, sharing three legs, two arms, three lungs, two hearts and a single liver. Their unique musical style is inspired by their many eclectic influences - from 80's music to showtunes, Joy Division to the Andrews Sisters." The show features special guests Amanda Palmer (of the Dresden Dolls) and Jason Webley who produced their full length self titled album. The album features many special guests including the much hyped about singing debut of Francis Bean Cobain (daughter of Kurt and Courtney), Weird Al Yankovic, Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, Andrew W.K., Tegan and Sarah, and many more.
"Sir" Paul McCartney (you know that guy from a little band called THE BEATLES) was honored with the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. A gala concert event was held at the White House including appearances by Dave Grohl, Jack White, Elvis Costello, Stevie Wonder, Jersey's own Jonas Brothers, and more. The event will be aired on PBS on July 28th, but you can catch a little preview below featuring the above mentioned singing "Hey Jude" with none other than President Obama and The First Lady!
Saturday June 12th is Get Heard Fest in Marlboro, NJ. There are over 40 bands playing including national and local acts. The whole premise of the festival is to expose some unknown acts along with some acts that you might already know. It's a concept that started with the "Get Heard" compilations which featured local bands alongside bands like Pepper, Halifax, Just Surrender, The Ready Set, Houston Calls, Karate High School, Crash Romeo, Jason Webley, and more. This is the 3rd Annual Get Heard Fest and now there is a digital sampler featuring the bands playing the fest including: Ian Walsh, Solfege Radio, The Waffle Stompers, Calamity Menagerie, and more Get it HERE
With Memorial Day Weekend almost here and the lack of shows during the holiday weekend. The Danny Says! zine is coming out a week early in select venues. You can find it this weekend at: Vintage Vinyl- Fords, NJ 5/21 Dock Street- Staten Island, NY 5/22 The Saint- Asbury Park, NJ 5/23 The Saint- Asbury Park, NJ 5/23 Station 36- Waretown, NJ
In addition the special edition May issue will still be available at: 5/21 Marlboro Rec Center- Marlboro, NJ 5/22 Hasbrouck Heights VFW- Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 5/23 The Trocadero Theatre- Philadelphia, PA
As if Philadelphia's live music clubs staying in business wasn't a problem enough, now if Bill No.100267 is ratified then Philadelphia's music scene is in even greater danger! The new bill would require all promoters to apply for a permit from the Philadelphia Police a minimum of 30 days before any event is to take place. Besides the massive amounts of paperwork and redtape proposed for doing a single show, the police can deny the event from happening as little as 11 days before the show. The bill will also hold the promoter liable for the crowd's behavior at a show. (So if a fight breaks out, it's the promoter's fault?).
The Garden State's own Pop-punk band Crash Romeo and pop-pop band For The Foxes have been added to the lineup for the indoor festival Get Heard Fest along with NY's Mourning District which features three ex-members of the Ataris. Get Heard Fest is happening June 12th in Marlboro, NJ. The 40+ lineup includes The Morning Of, Thieves & Villains, Young & Divine, Ian Walsh, Set In Color, The Waffle Stompers, Calamity Menagerie, Solfege Radio, Statelman, and way more bands than I care to type!
Today would have been the 59th birthday of Ramones' front man Joey Ramone. Tonight at The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza is the 10th Annual Joey Ramone Birthday Bash featuring HR of Bad Brains, Jesse Malin, Matt Pinfield, and more paying tribute to the Punk icon. "Danny Says" takes its name from the Ramones song of the same title and wishes to thank Joey for the legacy that he helped create!
Long Island is home to many well-known names in music, such as Pat Benetar and Billy Joel. Emerging from the ever-growing music scene, Set In Color, a power-pop quartet, is intent on joining the ranks of the famous Long-Islanders. Set In Color, comprised of Trey Ewald (lead vocals/guitar), Anthony Purpura (guitar/vocals), Chris “Topher” Mayer (bass), and Chris Capuano (Drums), is known for being a musically-diverse group. So what inspired the members of Set In Color to come together? “My uncle plays music and it was constantly around me when I was younger, so as soon as I found people with a similar love for music I knew I wanted to start a band,” says lead singer Trey Ewald. Practicing almost everyday, these guys are no strangers to hard work. All that hard work paid off, scoring Set In Color gigs like the home date of Warped Tour ’09, Bamboozle ’06, and even Six Flags! They are also competing in the 14th Annual Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands (so don’t forget to go to battleofthebands.com/setincolor to vote for Set In Color to play at Warped Tour!) When asked what their career choices would be if not a musician, most of the band said they would stay within the music business, either in the studio or on the road. However, Anthony Purpura (guitar) claimed that if he were not a musician, he would be “A history teacher.” But don’t be expecting Set In Color to throw in the towel anytime soon! They expect to be back in the studio by summer, working on a follow-up for their self-titled debut. After building a dedicated fanbase, the guys are anxious to get back onto the road. While on tour, fans can expect to see Set In Color showing off their brand loyalty. “I like to use Fender bass guitars, an Ampeg cabinet and an Orange bass head,” says Topher (bass). Set In Color also gave a shout-out to Gibson, as well as thanking their sponsors (SJC and Zildjian, Vic Firth and DW, D'Addario, Planet Waves, Evans, and Orange). Set In Color are playing June 12th at Get Heard Fest in Marlboro, NJ. For more information on Set In Color, go to setincolor.com or myspace.com/setincolor Their self-titled debut is available online now.
Ian Walsh, a singer/songwriter from New England, has proven that a sophomore album can be just as amazing as the first. 2008's notable, *Please Remember EP,* struck a chord with many listeners, debuting Ian Walsh as a rising star. Following the debut was 2009's "Seeing Stars" EP, which was released on September 25th.
Taking a leave of absence from Berkley College of Music, Ian Walsh is focused solely on his career and making a connection with his fans. His music is known for having a powerful sense of raw emotion. When asked where he gets the creativity and energy to turn that emotion into such a collective group of songs, the singer says, "For my last two records, Seeing Stars and Please Remember, it has been a very natural process. I would sit at the piano or sit down with a guitar and I could translate anything I was feeling easily through music. These records were a great outlet during everyday life. But on the contrary to the music, I'm a very happy guy!"
Of his songwriting process, Ian claims, "Every song happens a different way for me. I could spend weeks reworking a tune and putting a lot of thought into it, or I could simply hear a song playing in my head while driving my car. For each song there is a very different way it came to be. I start most of my ballads by banging away on the piano and most of the rock tunes are written on a loud guitar or the drums. But I'm always looking for a new instrument and a new way to start writing songs."
When looking for a new instrument, Ian is loyal to the Fender brand. "I love Fender guitars and 65 amps. This may be a plug, but it's very true. Hauling instruments around from place to place, meeting fan after fan, and sitting through long drives is part of an ordinary working-day for a musician, but how does a musician balance their home-life and their career? This is the hardest part of being a musician. Unfortunately it is nearly impossible to have more than the life of a musician. Every day you spend doing other things can hurt you and harsh schedules find any way they can to ruin any life you have outside of your music life. You have to be born to do this."
Focusing on making connections with his fans, Ian Walsh has seen his fair share of crazy tour moments and fan-encounters. "Every memory on tour seems like a crazy one, but the memory that comes to mind right now was a very drunken night in the parking lot of a venue in Kentucky. The whole tour package was partying and we somehow accidentally broke multiple windows and left a huge ruckus. Other things happened, but I'm not at liberty to discuss," he laughs. Ian is also keeping his lips sealed about crazy fan-encounters, saying he "won't call anyone out!"
Of his family, Ian Walsh claims they are quite musical, "Most of the music I make is with the assistance of my Dad, who could crush me on the guitar any day of the week."
When listening to Seeing Stars, Ian Walsh wants listeners, both long-time fans and first-time listeners, to come away realizing, "It was purposely made different from the rest. Most bands today just play the same song over and over again. I want people to take in a good vibe and realize that different is good (and that is NOT in any stretch of the imagination "pop-punk")."
Ian Walsh is playing June 12th at Get Heard Fest in Marlboro, NJ. For more information on Ian Walsh, go to myspace.com/ianwalsh or ian-walsh.com His second EP, "Seeing Stars", is available now, along with a deluxe edition of "Please Remember".
The Bamboozle is going down May 1st and 2nd in East Rutherford, NJ. A ton of bands ranging from great to terrible are playing, here is my (Danny Wreck's) list of who to check out: Saturday May 1st: The Aquabats- The only good band any member of Blink 182 was ever involved in. Some silly new wave/ska! The Ready Set- Electro pop that has gone from home DIY recordings to huge in a years time. Four Year Strong- Ditto, these guys were playing halls just a few years ago, now they're post-HC headliners! Sexy Heroes- Entertaining/energetic/funny pop punk Sunday May 2nd: Weezer- Whether you're a Pinkerton purist, fan of everything, or just know their singles, everybody loves at least one Weezer song! OK GO- Their videos are the best out there and their live show? Awesome. MGMT- This year's lineup isn't just for 14 year old girls anymore, they actually got some credible bands that will bring out the college kids. Kevin Devine- As previously stated, this is some good indie (the genre). Foxy Shazam- Imagine Queen meets r&b/soul, meets punk rock. The singer is completely out of his mind and will amaze you with his antics! Say Anything- I wanted to hate this band, I wound up liking them! Hey Monday- Featuring Mikey Mo who now goes by "Jersey" (ex Someday Never) The Parlor Mob- You know how Weird Al Yankovic does original songs in the style of a band? Imagine that, but a band that's in the style of Led Zepplin. Back in the day these Jersey guys were What About Frank?
You can pick up your free copy of Danny Says! this weekend at Bamboozle. They will be handed out at the Fat Rat Press Tent in their bag! This marks the first time the zine is a total of 12 pages (including the cover) and also the first time it was printed by a print shop with the staple in the side rather than hand done!
An article by Lauren-Olivia *Liv* Simister Think back ten years ago. The first year of the 3rd millennium began, and pop music reigned supreme. In 2000, amidst all the pop-icons of the world, The O>MATICS emerged. Now, after many shows, laughs, and comic-strips, the band will celebrate their first decade together. The band calls this first decade *ten years of rock n* roll fun.* Having recently been on The Price Is Right (and winning), we can*t blame them!
So how does this band plan on celebrating their first decade together? The O>MATICS: *We*re having a 10th anniversary show at the Loop Lounge in Passaic Park, NJ on May 7th, and we*re just hoping friends and fans who have gone to our shows over the past ten years come and celebrate with us. We also have a slew of shows within the next couple of months.*
Liv: What are some things you have to have or do before a show? Chris O>MATIC (drums): Every time I*m driving to a venue, or the House O>matic, I have to listen to Appetite for Destruction by Guns N' Roses. We also all stretch before every show. * Liv: Do you ever crave a certain food or drink before or after a show? Jamie (bass): I*m a vegan, so I like to eat a lot of lentils before I play, because they just give me a ton of energy. Mark (vocals, guitar): Our dad (Mark and Chris*s) used to give us pasta, which is the reason I named one of our songs "Zitis and Meat Sauce". Chris: I don*t eat much before a show, because I*m just too excited, but as soon as that show's over, I just go crazy.
Liv: Are there any bands you would love to do a concert with? Mark: They Might Be Giants, definitely. Jamie: Flaming Lips Chris: Cake, they have such an original sound, and their dance party sound would mix well with our dance party sound.
Liv: What are some artists now that you are impressed with? The O>MATICS: Kevin Devine. We played with him, and he was awesome. He started off in clubs, and now he*s headlining festivals. Just seeing how well he*s doing for himself and his progression just amazes us.
Their shows are known for getting the crowd pumped, but if you can*t manage to see them live, check out their website omatics.net, especially the O>MATICS in Comic. Mark O>MATIC creates all the comics, and even made an O>MATICS comic book which you can order at mypalmark.com
Ten years of rock n* roll gone by, and here*s to another ten! Don*t forget to celebrate the O>MATIC*s 10th year and catch them live this month! myspace.com/theomatics
Brooklyn, New York's own Pete Steele of goth/metal band Type of Negative died last night April 14th of heart failure. They were best known for their single "Black No. 1" (the type of dye goths would use to color their hair) with the line "Loving you was like loving the dead". He will be mourned mostly by the people who were already mourning.
The fourth issue of Danny Says! is coming out this weekend you can find it at the following venues: 3/26 Freehold VFW in Freehold, NJ 3/27 HHVFW in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 3/28 The Court Tavern in New Brunswick, NJ
It will be appearing at many other shows during April as well as Vintage Vinyl in Fords, NJ with an estimated 1,000 issues being distributed for free! For a copy to be mailed send a self addressed/stamped envelope to: Danny Says! Box 912 Old Bridge, NJ 08857
The Kill Gene is a group comprised of “five guys from Jersey.” With vocalist Dave Boland, guitarists Dave Kaminski and Dave “JD” Lisowski, bassist Josh Roman, and drummer George “Huzzy” Hazinikitas, The Kill Gene is trailblazing forward, releasing an EP next month, “From Tears Of Those Who Grieve,” which has been called a “must-have” of the year.
Liv: Where did the name, “The Kill Gene,” come from?
TKG: The name is a long story. We all wanted to come up with a better name from what we were using at the time. Josh was looking at different things about serial killers, and then we all pretty much started to as well. So we all decided that we come up with 5-10 names each. Then we all got together at Georges' house (where we practice) to settle on one. The way we went about it was to vote. So we went through 50 names or so until we hit The Kill Gene. The story behind is, basically it's a gene that certain scientists believe predisposes them to their behavior, hence The Kill Gene.
Liv: When did you guys get together, and how did The Kill Gene come about?
TKG: Well George and Dave K. were hanging out back in January 2009 and decided it was time to start a new band. After the forever process of trying to find a guitarist, bassist, and singer we started looking on Craigslist. We then found Dave L. from Freehold, NJ. He sent us some clips of what he does and we asked him to come on down! Then we found our old friend Josh who used to play guitar but wanted something new, so we threw a bass in his hands and BOOM! We had our bassist. So, The Kill Gene was almost complete. After about five different singers auditioning and not hearing what we were looking for, back to Craiglist it was... We then found an ad on there for Dave B. from Iselin, NJ. We had him come down for an audition and loved everything about it!! The final piece to The Kill Gene was found! This band went from almost strangers to a Brotherhood! So The Kill Gene officially started around July 2009.
Liv: How far would you say you guys have come since forming The Kill Gene? Are you in the same place goal-wise?
TKG: Since we came together, we have released a demo, have played roughly twenty-five shows, recorded our first E.P., and will be releasing it in less then a month. We've grown tremendously! Our song writing has become easier due to our styles finally coming together. We are all very different and I think it shows in our music. It’s not even a full year yet and we plan on going back into the studio to record a single by June. We don't think this band will ever be okay with just staying the same. We always try to push the envelope musically and lyrically. Our goals change every week, they just become bigger and harder to reach but then we just work harder and faster.
Liv: You have a new album coming out within the next month. What was the writing process like?
TKG: The writing process was probably the biggest wake up call since we started. We all, as individuals, found out a lot about ourselves and our band mates. It was a long process with some really early days and some really late ones as well. Only as we got more comfortable with each other's playing, did we start to incorporate more melodic, intricate idea, like in "Last Chance To Dance." But toward the end of it all we realized what we need to do for the next album to come. If it weren’t for Jeff Wallace of Entrolab Studios who engineered and produced our E.P., we would have been lost. His patience and love for music made the process as smooth as possible!!
Liv: Is there a song on the album that you love to play live, or is just a personal favorite?
Dave B: I love performing, "I Thought You Died Yesterday," it starts off soft and slow and then it hits you with heaviness. It gets me pumped up.
Josh: “I Thought You Died Yesterday” is the most fun to play live (personally). It has a lot of emotions that all get released at the very last breakdown and it gets pretty intense live. As far as a personal favorite in general, “Last Chance to Dance” is the song that really captures just how much we've grown as a band and gives you a little insight on where our music is headed.
Dave K: Personally, “I Thought You Died Yesterday” is my favorite to play live and just my favorite because it has soothing melodic riffs and brutal breakdowns!
George: All of them. I really can’t narrow it down. In every song, there’s parts that I just love.
Dave L: Well, “Last Chance To Dance” is my personal favorite. It mixes all of the things I love in music: harmony, beautiful instrumentation, brutal riffage, and breakdowns that can split skulls. But I like to play “I Thought You Died Yesterday” live, because the song speaks to the crowd and they go crazy for it. I guess the thought of a girl coming back from the dead interests them.
Liv: What’s your advice for people who want to form a band?
Dave K: If you’re going to form a band make sure your heart is in it until the end. And never take things too personal during the writing process, because people say things they don’t mean at that point pretty often!
Dave L: Find people that you vibe with on a musical and personal level. For all intents and purposes, this is a second family, so you have to trust the guys or girls in your band that have your back, because it's only you guys on stage for thirty minutes to one hour, there is no other safety net.
Josh: Go for it! Just have an open mind. It’s like a relationship. Communication and compromise are key. On the other hand, if you want to go anywhere with the band, you better have your heart invested or don't bother wasting your band-mates’ time.
Dave B: Do it! Making music is so much fun, and all the people you meet and the friends you make, rockin’ out in front of people, the ridiculous things that go on in the studio, it’s a blast!
George: Communication. If you don't have it you will go nowhere. It’s true, no BS. Also practice a lot.
Liv: Who influenced your sound?
Josh: Pretty much any one that has ever made music. We really do all have much different tastes in music and that’s what helps bring us together.
Dave K: My biggest influence is Parkway Drive. From the first moment I listened to them, I wanted to start playing guitar again.
Dave L: I'm usually laughed at for my influences, because I'm the oldest, I have a lot of tastes that date back to the 80's, Metallica, Poison, Motley Crue, but a lot of my playing style has come from As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage (especially), and bands like that, that crunchiness and just straight-up metal...also Chicago and Journey! Hahahah I love ‘em.
George: For me, it’s In Flames, As I lay Dying, Parkway Drive, Killswitch, Devil Wears Prada, and Poison The Well.
Dave B: I am a huge death-metal fan, but when it comes to The Kill Gene, Parkway Drive and As I Lay Dying were my main influences.
Liv: What is your favorite part about live-shows?
George: The crowd. The fans. And the PITS.
Dave L: I love the energy before the show - that feeling you get when you see a packed room with all eyes on you, they're looking for a great show and they're looking at you to give ‘em one...It's kind of a pressure, but more of a goal...I am determined to make every last person in that crowd fall in love with our band and make every hater pay for their words!!!
Dave B: Girls!!
Dave K: Playing live is cool in so many different ways. But the best is just being on stage and owning it! There is no better feeling then to have the crowd in awe!
Josh: The breakdowns and watching the crowd go nuts! Connecting with other bands is great as well. It helps open the doors to new things (venues, crowds, et cetera).
Liv: You’ve shared the stage with so many bands. Who would you like to perform with most?
Dave L: Easily Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, A Day To Remember, Parkway Drive...and possibly Journey if it was like a festival or something!
Josh: The list is huge! With any luck, we'll find our way on some festivals in the near future that will remedy that.
Dave B: I'm gonna have to say Parkway Drive. They're just awesome in so many ways.
George: Any One We Can!
Dave K: I would have to say Parkway Drive as my Number One, but As I Lay Dying is a very close Number Two.