By Lauren-Olivia "Liv" Simister Though they’re young, Little Rock AR’s own School Boy Humor (comprised of twin brothers Phil and Anthony Evans) know a thing or two about putting everything on the line for their art. Like many musicians, the Evans twins sometimes wonder when money is going to come in, or even when their next meal will be….but they do this all for music, to give their passion all they’ve got, rather than work that nine to five job so many of us try our best to avoid. After a successful EP (Camera Shy But Still a Star), and a wonderfully-done full-length as their Vagrant, the duo have pulled in many a fan with their catchy hooks and melodies. With vibrant lyrics, they’re quick to earn a spot on your mp3 player. Known for their straight-forward, honest lyrics, School Boy Humor are quickly gaining popularity, proving worthy of every bit of attention they get. Despite the difficulties SBH have faced, there’s no stopping them. Check them out on Facebook, or on myspace.com/schoolboyhumor On March 5th, they will be performing at the Freehold VFW in Freehold, NJ with Chase Coy, Jimmy Robbins, Hollander, Call Me Anything, plus more. Get your tickets now on Ticketweb!
Just Surrender, previously known as ‘A Second Chance,’ is headed to Freehold, NJ on February 18th, 2011. Known for having two vocalists who “share the spotlight,” as well as for their catchy, melodic tunes that are sure to please, Just Surrender is a talented group, made up of Jason Maffucci (vocals), Dan Simons (vox/guitar), Steve Miller (drums), and Kyle Shellhammer (bass/vox). Hailing from Poughkeepsie/Dover Plains, NY, Just Surrender have made quite a name for themselves, though it’s no surprise with how much they tour! After the successful 2007 release of “We’re In like Sin,” and a successful tour, Just Surrender went back into the studio, later emerging with “Phoenix” on June 22, 2010. Since then, Just Surrender has toured with The Maine and Hit The Lights on the Zumiez Couch Tour. Now signed with Razor & Tie Records, Just Surrender is fully emerging as a success, even appearing on MTV.com and forums throughout the music scene. Fully embracing that success, Just Surrender is great with fans, before and after performances. Check them out on February 18th, and also on myspace.com/justsurrenderrock Their album, “Phoenix” is out on Itunes and Amazon now.
Usually when you hear an obscure band name it could be perceived the band members just made it up on the spot. The meaning behind Safety Word Orange has a sentimental story. Guitarist Robbie Rusbuldt explained that lead singer James Mason “had hit a low point living in L.A. and his friends had joked if things ever got really bad, the safety word would be orange. Years later, when he was no longer in a rut, his friend sent him a package with Safety Word Orange on the front. I guess it stuck with hm because it is now our name. We think of it as something there to remind us of where we have been and where we are headed.”
That humble attitude had brought the boys from Virginia very far. Recording their self-titled in 2007 the band has seen much success, even being featured in AP. Rusbuldt was more than ecstatic: "AMAZED! Haha it was crazy to think that a nationally recognized magazine that we have all grown up reading wanted anything to do with us. It was a dream come true."
When you listen SWO it sounds like something that isn’t on the scene right now. Yes, they are pop-punk, but have a hard rock sound. The way that Mason’s words have a certain syncopation, reminisces sounds reggae-less 311. This year they released two EP’S. An acoustic record and their amplified mix “On Your Mark, Get Set.” Rusbuldt explained there was a vast difference: There was a pretty big difference. When working on, On Your Mark, Get Set... our music was stripped to the bone. Every chord, riff, lyric was put under a microscope. haha It was a huge learning experience. On the other hand, when we were working on our acoustic EP we weren't as concerned with putting things under too much of a microscope. We just wanted to put out some good songs that people would like. It was interesting to see how Andrew and Bryan work. Both have different ways of going about the production/recording process.”
Expect to see SWO out on tour and a release of another EP. And exemplifying that humble attitude, SWO couldn’t be more excited to tour: “our favorite part about being on the road comes from playing to a different group of kids every night. It's cool to meet so many people and bands. Not to mention we get to see parts of the US that we would normally not get to see. One of the coolest parts of going out on the road is when we all begin to think of the van as home. We all have lives outside the band, but when we go out it really brings us together and reinforces why we are playing music at all.”
Safety Word Orange will be performing on February 11th at the Marlboro Rec Center in Marlboro, NJ.
If J.J. Abrams were to pick a band to represent his obsession with time and space, New England’s Love Via Dance Machine might as well have gotten stuck on an island or come from a parallel universe. With lyrics like “I was thinking everything was fine, until I heard you were lost in time,” and “the futures wastin, only the few survive,” you wonder if these guys loved “Star Wars” growing up or simply wanted to understand time, hoping their current status as rock stars doesn’t end anytime soon.
The futuristic pop-punkers formation is in the eyes of the beholder. If you are already a fan of the band you have been through time as a “time traveler.” They say they are from the years 2050 and are saving humanity from “the modern day pop trash that relentlessly burrows itself into your ears on a daily basis.” If you are a bit of a skeptic, the back-story of lead singer Eric Grava and guitarist Alex Badanes bonding over tight pants and Saves The Day at Berklee college might be more believable.
After recording their EP “All Is Fair In Love And Dance" in April 09, they toured relentlessly, and this year released their latest single produced by Rob Freeman, former guitarist of Hidden in Plain View. When asked how it was working with him the band said: “working with Rob Freeman was awesome. Personally, we were huge fans of Hidden In Plain View and it was awesome to work with someone that wrote a lot of our favorite songs. He did a great job with the song and got it done real quick which was awesome.”
The boys also decided to put out a documentary, capturing life on the road: “We wanted to put out a video to represent what kind of guys we are and funny things we do when we are on tour. This documentary definitely will show some of our time travelers what we are really like outside of playing shows and it’s also got some great live footage. We are super proud of it.”
So what do these boys from the future have planned for the future? Expect a tour and a cameo on Fringe…well maybe no J.J. Abrams show, but a tour is planned to have you dancing all the way into 2050.
Love Via Dance Machine are playing on February 11th at the Marlboro Rec Center in Marlboro, NJ.