Danny Says covers local and national music that is relevant to the NJ/PA/NY tri-state area.

The Icarus Account

By Lauren-Olivia “Liv” Simister

Florida is making way for the next generation of musicians. The state has become known for churning out some fantastic musical talent, and The Icarus Account is no exception!

Hailing from Fort Myers, Florida, The Icarus Account an acoustic-pop duo made up of twin brothers Ty and Trey Turner, both multi-talented artists on the piano, guitar, and skilled vocally.

“We started off writing songs and playing in coffee houses towards the end of high school,” Trey explains.“When we got to college we started playing around our college towns more and found a studio to record a demo there.”

In 2007, the duo released their first EP, “Hold On For Dear Life,” leaving a wonderful first impression on listeners, encouraging them to stick with the pair for the following three years, until they released their 2010 full-length, “Sunshine and Rain.”

Since then, The Icarus Account has been touring extensively. Recently they embarked on tour with Rookie of the Year and The Mechanical Kids. “We are really excited to get back on the road,” Trey says. “We love touring and haven’t toured much this year.

“In years past, we have toured six to eight months out of the year, but this year we only toured for about four.”

All that hard work has paid off, earning them loyal fans, especially in their local scene. “We played a lot locally and promoted the shows a lot. If we played a show we made sure that we got a lot of people there and out on a good performance,” Trey says.“And then we did a lot of online promoting, adding people on myspace and facebook, et cetera, which really helped.”

In the online-world, The Icarus Account is building their name up through more than just promoting via social networks; they’re also using Youtube, posting acoustic covers of some of their favorite songs and radio hits.

However, while their covers are very well-done, nothing beats the duo playing their own songs. “Everything we do inspires us and every relationship we have brings up scenarios and ideas to write about,” they explain. “[Being brothers and working together] makes us a little competitive with songwriting and things like that, but we get along really well so it’s not a big deal.”

Obviously, that friendly-competition is working in their favor; but you can see this for yourself when you listen to their new EP, released on November 29th. The Icarus Account also plans to release a full-length in early 2012.

“[We love] when [recording’s] all done and you listen back to each of the finished songs for the first time. It’s always amazing to see how much work we put into it and how happy we are with the final product.”

“Danny Says!” is certain that fans will not be disappointed with the new music either! You can buy The Icarus Account’s new EP, “Keeper of Your Heart” on iTunes now, and stream their music at facebook.com/theicarusaccount.

Be sure to catch The Icarus Account on tour with Rookie of the Year and The Mechanical Kids!

Garden State Heroes

By Lauren-Olivia “Liv” Simister

Hailing from Ocean County, New Jersey, Garden State Heroes is a three-piece alternative-rock/pop band comprised of Tyler Smith (bass/vox), Mike Henninger (guitar/vox), and Sean Johnson (drums/”random yelling”).

Despite their relatively new formation (January of this year), Garden State Heroes have an undeniable chemistry that is easily spotted onstage and wonderfully showcased on their self-titled EP. “Mike and I met several years ago at youth group and I knew Tyler in high school. So I asked him to come to band practice one day,” explains Sean. “We rushed into recording so we kind of had to pull it together quickly but overall we’ve always worked well together from day one.”

In March, Garden State Heroes released their EP to the ears of extremely happy fans. “Generally people like us; we’ve had a really good response so far and couldn’t be happier with the way people have reacted, especially at shows,” says Tyler.

The EP is refreshingly honest, highlighting both the musical and lyrical talent of the band.

Despite the hastiness of the recording, the album, mostly a collection of love-songs and break-up anthems, is like a piece of nostalgia from the earliest days of pop-punk. The EP itself is only six songs, but fans can expect much more. “We’ve already begun writing songs for our full-length and plan to record it within the next 6 months,” the band claims.

The influences of Blink-182 and New Found Glory are not only easily detectable in Garden State Heroes’ music, but also in their energetic live performances. “We always act [like] ourselves on stage, which just happens to be a bunch of goofballs running around acting crazy,” laughs Sean.

In order to keep this “Energizer Bunny” of a group going, the band sticks to their pre-show ritual. “We rehearse our songs right before a show, Sean puts on really skimpy outfits, Tyler and I drink lots and lots of water, and we always huddle together right before we go on and say we love each other,” says Mike. This ritual must work, because Garden State Heroes are a hit with concert-goers.

However, to keep touring and keep said concert-attendees happy, the band is more than just talent—it’s effort. “We work other jobs and go to school.  The only thing that it has hindered is touring; however, we have all agreed that we would drop everything for the right tour,” they chime earnestly.

Garden State Heroes are a diverse group of strong personalities and limitless talent. If you’d like to see them live, please go to Facebook.com/GardenStateHeroesNJ. “You’ll see and hear lots of energy and profanity, [as well as] Sean in booty shorts, sweating more than any human should, and catchy music,” the band assures.

Also be sure to check out their EP “Garden State Heroes,” which you can purchase at gardenstateheroes.bigcartel.com

Let’s Pack Up And Move Out West

By Lauren-Olivia “Liv” Simister

Move Out West is a pop/rock band from Hartford, Connecticut comprised of Eben Wares (vox/guitar), Brian Hadsell (guitar), Cyrus Thomas-Walker (bass/keys), and L.J. Bunker (Drums). With a catalogue of catchy, bare-all songs, these guys are making their way to the top, having already played alongside seasoned musicians like Simple Plan.

“When my band broke up I auditioned for LJ, Brian and Cyrus’s band (at the time). We ended up all doing other things for about eight months but ended up coming back and working together afterCyrus and I recorded some demos,” explains Eben.“We all really wanted a fresh start. We wanted a project that each of us could call our own and that is Move Out West.”

We’ve all heard the phrase, “move out west” before, especially in classic movies where the protagonist is desperate to escape the clutches of a dead-end town. Even the four-piece find it difficult to resist the temptation of the glamorous west. “I have always wanted to move to California and have music be my life,” Eben says.“I feel like a lot of people in my generation have a fascination over the rich, ‘California’ life-style. I believe moving out west is the new American Dream.”

The “new American Dream” takes a lot of effort, if the hectic schedule of Move Out West is any indication, especially without a label taking some of the pressure off of their shoulders, especially cost-wise. “We are all lucky enough to have jobs whenever we are home. We tour and when we’re not, we all work day-jobs. Since we have very little money, we aren’t able to have big advertisement, but I believe touring is the best thing an underground band can do. It shows how hard you are willing to work, and you get to meet so many people.”

Despite the lack of funding, the band has managed to promote their debut EP, “On The Run,” via their Facebook and Purevolume. Being accessible through the web has shot the band into the spotlight, earning them fans from all over the world. Getting to these people face-to-face, however, is a different story. “When we’re touring, it can be tricky to get a good night’s rest. We typically sleep in a conversion van and we bring out our Tour Manager and Photographer, so there are six people in total. Sleeping sitting up all night is no good,” Eben admits.

You would never know Move Out West was sleep-deprived considering the energetic, up-beat performances they manage to pull off. “We will most likely say and do something stupid on stage, and we’re always down to hang and talk with people. We also rock out super hard, if I do say so myself.”

If you’d like to see Move Out West live, you can catch them on November 11th at Marlboro Rec Center in Marlboro, NJ.  If that’s not near where you reside, and you want to find out when they’ll be stopping by in your town, please check out Facebook.com/MoveOutWest

2011 Asbury Music Awards

The 19th Annual Asbury Music Awards will be held on Sunday November 13th at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park.  I (Danny Wreck) have once again been nominated for “Top Journalist In Support of Live Music”.  I’m more than honored but I can’t take credit for Danny Says! While my name is in the title, if it weren’t for all my contributors I would not have a zine or a blog.  I want to thank Lauren-Olivia “Liv” Simister (who does way more and better journalism than I), Jenine Clancy, Jen Lopes, Scurrow, Mark Mariano, Skippy Rodman, and the people at Jersey Shows (whom I would definitely not have a zine without).  This nomination is for all of us!

On to some of the nominations, the Top Young Band nominees are:

Aurora, The Political Party Crashers, The New Royalty, These Sightless Eyes, Closetalker, As You Wish, Transit Radio, Government, Around The Circuit, and The Micromachines

Some Danny Says! story alumnis up for awards include The Day Will Come for Top Heavy Act, Calamity Menagerie for Top Avant Garde, Blacktop Kids for Top Punk/Ska,  and The Waffle Stompers who are up for three awards- Top Punk/Ska, Top Live Performance, and Top Multi/Other Instrumentalist (Adrian Brown).

You can see all the nominees here:


The Stereo State


By Danny Wreck

Punk music in the form of pop-punk has seen a lot of over saturation in the past few years.  Every once in a while a band comes through that is actually true to the spirit of pop-punk, or not to put them in the same genre as a lot of the garbage out there should I say punk-pop?  Massachusetts’ The Stereo State is one of those bands.  I got to ask vocalist Andy Frongillo a few questions about the band.

DS: How long has The Stereo State been a band for and how did it form?
SS: We technically started early in 2008 after my former band, McClane, came to an end. Pretty much right off the bat, I begin to talk with Matt about joining Five Across The Eyes as the lead singer. Both bands met in 2006 and actually toured in the summer of 2007 and there was an instant bond between myself and all of the dudes in FATE. We than became the Spinal Tap of Western Mass in regards to going through bassists until we decided to go the route of a 4 piece to record our first 7 inch.

DS: You have a new album coming out “Have All My Friends Gone Deaf” on Creator Destructor Records.  Have you put out any albums previous to signing with the label? Tell us about the new album.
SS: We’ve done 2 demos and released our first 7 inch “Caffeine, Beer & Quoting Movies” on Neutral Territory Records prior to our first full length, all of which can be downloaded on our bandcamp site, www.bandcamp.com/thestereostate. We are all beyond proud of this full length, it’s explores more of our influences beyond old Fat Wreck & Epitaph bands. We took alot of time and eventually got around 16 or so songs down to 10 tracks. All of us grew up with blues, soul, r&b music so it’s not like we only have always liked skate punk exclusively…although we do love it!!

DS:What was your experience working with producer Trevor Reilly from old school hardcore band A Wilhelm Scream? Had you worked with a producer before and was it a learning experience?
SS: Working with Trevor “T-Balls” Reilly and Mike Supina was amazing, they really took there time with us and saw the vision we had for this record, we are better  musicians as a result! It was truly a humbling experience that we couldn’t of been happier with the result.

DS: It seems pop-punk has not gone away, it just’s become more pop than punk in recent years.  Now it seems there are more and more bands coming out that are more true to punk.  It’s like the 20 year rule, the 90’s are the new retro thing and it seems like there are more bands citing Dinosaur Jr as an influence more now than people that actually were fans when they first came out or in some cases before they were born.  How do you think your band fits into the genre and do you see a wave of more punk and alt bands coming out in your local scene?
SS: We are just trying to do our own thing and not pay attention what’s cool, we are tool old to really care about that. At this point in the game there are no bands out there doing anything completely different, let’s be honest here! All we are trying to do is be honest with the songs that we write, we were our influences on our sleeve but we try allow for those bands, writers, etc., to influence us and not completely steal form them. It’s nice there is such variety out there though, alot of bands are doing it because they love making music. We are never going to be a band who is able to tour for 3 months straight, be home for a week than back for 4 months, we just can’t! We all have full time jobs, Matt is married, i engaged and just bought a house, if anything we lose money. Make sure to listen to Great Lakes, After The Fall and Daybreaker!

DS: Have you guys played New Jersey before? What is your impression of the garden state?  
We have only played once somewhere in Northern New Jersey, it was not what we expected. It was this quaint little woodsy community, very quiet and not like Elizabeth! But in all seriousness we’ve been dying to play New Jersey, there is such a history and quality to the punk/hardcore/metal coming out of New Jersey. One of my favorite bands out right now, Banquets, hails from the Garden State. Plus where else are we going to be able to get those huge, fatty sandwiches from other than Rutgers?

The Stereo State are performing on Friday October 14th at Marlboro Recreation Center in Marlboro, NJ with Rust Belt Lights, On Your Marks, Seasons, Petrifried Minds, and more

Jersey Shows 11th Anniversary Show

by Danny Wreck

On October 8th, Jersey Shows will be celebrating 11 years of booking and promoting local independent original music.  Throughout the  years, Jersey Shows has booked Four Year Strong, The Ready Set, The Ataris, World/Inferno Friendship Society, Ozma, and many more notable acts as well as thousands of local unsigned bands.  Their anniversary show at The Saint in Asbury Park, NJ will feature bands that are veterans of the New Jersey music scene as well as some new faces.  Danimal Records’ most recent signing The Day Will Come will be appearing with eleven year scene veterans The O>MATICS, xylophone and accordion folk punk Calamity Menagerie, former Solfege Radio members’ new band The Moms (maybe they’ll play “Eleven”?), 2011 Philly Real Deal winners Endless Sacrifice, Freehold pop/rock Cascadence, Jersey Drive (formally The Fallen Line), and rockabilly rockers Bird Bath.

The Freshman 15 You Won’t Dread Hearing About

By Lauren-Olivia “Liv” Simister

“The Freshman Fifteen,” is a term we’ve all become accustomed to hearing. It is every college-freshman’s worst fear (other than completely bombing the first exam). In 2002, in Gainesville, Georgia, that term was redefined when Freshman 15, a pop-punk quartet, formed.

In their early years, the band was named “Xzamen,” and featured a line-up of Davey Fortner (vox/guitar), Jeremy Smith (guitar/vox), B.J. Formella (bass/vox), and Breck Blanchard (drums). However, in 2007, the quartet reemerged with both a new name and a new line-up. At the time, the band included Dave Tantao (formerly of We Are the In Crowd) and Rob Felicetti (currently part of Patent Pending and The Ataris)

Currently comprised of Fortner (vox/guitar), Mike Baker (guitar/vox), Davey Hoogerwerf (bass/vox), and Leo Teran (drums), Freshman 15 boasts fast-paced songs with undeniable energy flowing through every note.

This high-flying energy has captured the hearts of fans, and, in 2008, the ears of Standby Records. After working tirelessly on their 2008 EP, “Five Ways To Get To Third Base,” Freshman 15 finally signed on to release their debut full-length.

In January 2009, “Throw Your Hands Up For One Night Stands!” was released. The cheeky, tongue-in-cheek album was well-received in a sea of vicious critics, and seemed to mesh well with their desired audience, shooting the band into a well-deserved place under the national spotlight.

Despite the planned release of the 2010’s, “Talk of The Town,” the EP was never released, much to the disappointment of restless fans. In a modern day of instant-gratification, listeners have grown impatient. Of course, the fans of Freshman 15 simmered down once news of a possible full-length broke. However, the EP is set to be released on August 3rd.

In 2011, the band, despite having not released any new material since 2009, won a place on the Ernie Ball Stage at the Vans Warped Tour.

Fitting into the overall energy of Warped Tour quite nicely, Freshman 15 seemed to be a success with concert-goers. Their music, with rapid drums and intense guitars, as well as witty, speedy vocals, present the perfect opportunity for moshing and fist-pumping, as many concert-goers enjoy participating in.

If you would like to experience that energy for yourself, you can catch them playing at Station 36 in Waretown, NJ alongside Divided By Friday and New County!

For more tour dates and music, please head over to myspace.com/freshman15rock

New County

By Lauren-Olivia “Liv” Simister

Philadelphia has become world-renowned for their music scene, including being the origin of Valencia and The Wonder Years. Now, Philadelphia is also known as the home of the pop-rock trio New County.

Comprised of Tony Rodini, Joe Flack, and Tyler Lyons, the band boasts a unique, collective sound that is sure to make its way onto your iPod.

After drifting in and out of bands, Rodini and Flack finally hit the big-time when they joined The Goodnight Anthem. However, when that all ended, the duo found a new direction to take, which resulted in New County.

The band recently released their self-titled EP, which was well-received by critics and listeners alike. “The reactions to the EP have been great! People have shown an enormous amount of enthusiasm towards us during shows and even on our social networking page,” the band claims. The EP was recorded in New York City with a new producer called Cristian Medice (Weatherstar), and have used the EP as a chance to write about life experiences. “The good and the bad [life experiences],” the band states. “Music is very important to us and is a perfect outlet for the things we go through.”

With influences ranging from The Maine to Third Eye Blind, and even Jason Derulo and Taio Cruz, New County gives each listener a different experience in the form of melodic verses. “Listeners need to approach our music with open ears and allow themselves to understand the things we have gone through,” Rodini says. “I think out of everything in today’s world, people tend to ignore the fact that what people go through and talk about can help them in the long-run, be it creatively or otherwise.”

Currently on tour, New County have played to many a dedicated fan, including Deebo. “We had a homeless person named ‘Deebo,’ come from New York all the way to Connecticut just because he wanted to see us play again,” laughs New County. “We took him form show to show, which was really cool.”

Other than fan support, the band agrees that the basic necessities for the road come in the form of Doritos, frozen meals, gas, and some good music. “We need an iPod for definite,” they say. “We listen to a lot of hardcore music like Sleeping With Sirens and Of Mice and Men…and even a little Michael Bolton.”

With a passion for music, both as listeners and as artists, New County is a driven, hard-working band. “We are so passionate about what we do; our goal is to let people understand us and our experiences and connect to what we’re saying,” Lyons states admirably.

“We want to keep touring and we hope that we can sustain ourselves and have fun while building a larger fan-base,” says Flack.

Accessing a larger audience will be no challenge to New County, who, like many of today’s musicians, use the Internet as a perfect out-reach. “It helps to get a lot of our stuff out there, and when we meet people, it’s easy to lead them to our page to check out tour dates and such.”

If you’re interested in their upcoming tour dates, please check out their Facebook.

New County will be playing at Station 36 in Waretown, NJ on September 16th!

The After Party

By Lauren-Olivia “Liv” Simister

Many bands have gone straight from school desks and homework to touring and becoming a fan-favorite for music lovers everywhere, or at least, many bands have dreamt about it. For The After Party, a four-piece pop band from Kansas City, Kansas, that scenario quickly became more than a school-day fantasy.

Comprised of Kenny Greeley (vox), Andy Bell (guitar), Brandon Stewart (bass), and Alan Bell (Drums), The After Party has entranced listeners with their melodious tunes.

“Since my twin brother and I graduated high school in December of 2009, we have been 100% focused on the band. Up to this point, we have done everything completely on our own and half the time we had no idea what we were doing,” Andy said. “We just concentrated on building our fan-base in any way possible, and writing really catchy songs. So far things have progressed fairly quickly, and we will continue to push ourselves even further!”

Tour has been romanticized as being a huge party on the road, with no rules and no limitations. For many high school students, that is the lifestyle they crave. The After Party considers their first touring experience as “an eye opener.” Prior to touring, they also had imagined the touring lifestyle as fun and games. “We quickly realized how demanding and stressful it actually was, and we learned a lot in the first few months of being on the road,” Andy expressed honestly.

However, touring is not all work and no play! There’s still a considerable amount of fun to be had. “Recently, we had a little boy named Anthony come on stage with us in Minneapolis, MN and introduce the band at the beginning of the set. He was so nervous, and didn’t want to go on stage, but we finally talked him into it and he was beyond perfect,” laughs Andy. “All the girls were going wild for him, and it was probably the funniest and most awesome thing that I have ever seen.”

For an upbeat band like The After Party, live shows are always full of excitement, especially when approached correctly. “Normally when we show our music to random people, they listen to it with low expectations and are pleasantly surprised to find that our songs are actually good,” he laughs. “I would like listeners to approach it with an open mind, and even if it’s not their style to appreciate the work we put into it!”

Along with playing to excitable crowds, The After Party have also played with established acts like Cartel, making themselves more well-known across the states as a unique and positive band. “There are several things that make us unique, but most importantly we truly love our fans. After shows we go out to eat with our fans, go to movies with them, and just talk with them about life. We really try and make a positive impact in their lives, because they truly have changed ours. I’ve met so many incredible people because of this band, and I can honestly say I am a better person because of it.”

If you like what you hear at facebook.com/theafterpartymusic, go check out their tour dates and see when they’re coming to you!

Jamie and The Magic Torch

By Lauren-Olivia “Liv” Simister

It’s rare when someone can balance a band and a side-project, never mind three bands! But for the guy we all know as Jamie O>Matic of the O>MATICS and Calamity Menagerie, it’s apparent that almost anything is possible. Now whether it comes from his amazing talent, the limitless energy that earned him the nickname “Jumping Jamie,” or both, it is undeniable that this guy has to be one of the most organized people in the world.

Deriving the name from a 70’s British children’s program, Jamie & The Magic Torch have a wonderful, pure sound, encouraging your creative side to make an appearance. “Growing up, I was often teased by other kids that Jamie is a girl’s name, so I loved the fact that Jamie from this show was a boy,” Jamie states proudly. “His magic torch is actually a flashlight, which guides him into this fantasy world with all these odd characters.  The show inspires imagination which can be translated to some of my lyrics for the listener to interpret or being that I’m solo acoustic they can imagine other instruments playing with me!”

The musical style of Jamie & The Magic Torch is very different from the other two bands Jamie is a part of. The acoustic, self-described “mainstream vegan rock,” is full of beautiful guitar-melodies, and can only be compared to early-90’s soft-rock, with almost haunting vocals; they often follow a story line.

“I’ve always had songs that didn’t quite fit with either band.  I would write them on acoustic guitar and often felt they sounded best while still acoustic.  That list of songs kept on growing until I created something that sort of stood on its own apart from my other projects,” Jamie says. “About two years ago, a friend of mine asked me to do music for a film he was making, so I thought it was time to finally record a song and give this project a name.  His film was called “Between Waking and Dreaming,” about somebody who was trying to stay up as long as they could, so I used my song “How Do You Sleep?” A lot of my earlier songs are sad and depressing; in fact, I recorded an eleven-song album that I never released because I feel like the whole thing is just too dark.  Since then many of my songs are optimistic, one of my current projects is a complete 180 from that album, all being about ‘animals that do extraordinary things.’ My girlfriend is a really talented artist (facebook.com/colbykrolakstudios) and we wrote five silly songs together that will go along with art that she has done.  The first one we have done is about a puffin that runs away from home because he wants to be a penguin.”

Along with being a separate creative-outlet, Jamie uses his solo-project to do numerous a task! “Being in two other bands with several members, there’s always schedule conflicts at some point.  Being a solo artist, the only person you have to check with is yourself!  I will usually try to include an O>matics song and Calamity Menagerie song in my set as to try to cross promote all my projects.  As far as The O>matics, Mark has his comics (Mypalmark.com), Chris has his webshow (The Chris O>matic Show which I’ll be on August 8th), and more music is my life aside from The O>matics.  It’s liberating in a way, I’m able to play more of a vast variety of shows in different regions.”

No matter what region he plays a show in, many fans are reeled in by pure curiosity; specifically, pure curiosity about what “mainstream vegan rock” is. “I’ve been vegetarian most of my life and have been vegan for two years now.  The pre-conception of who a vegan is, from my experience has been broken into two different stereotypes.  The number one stereotype is that a vegan is a hippie, they wear tie-dye, they listen to jam bands, and they do drugs.  The number two stereotype is that a vegan is a hardcore scene kid, they listen to old school hardcore, and they draw Xs on their hands, and are into violence.  I’m nothing like either of those stereotypes and neither are most vegans that I know,” Jamie assures. “I made sure to include quotes for mainstream and vegan so that the music is not thought of as being labeled mainstream rock.  What would mainstream rock be? Alter Bridge? Seether? Nah I’m nothing like those bands! My lyrics will sometimes include references to veganism and I’ll have vegan literature at my shows, but for the most part it’s to try to break the mold of people’s pre-conceptions and in some rare cases inform them what vegan even means.”

While the live shows of The O>Matics and Calamity Menagerie may seem like they may be more energetic, Jamie is quick to dismiss that thought. “I play music with an acoustic guitar, but it can be loud, fast, and energetic. I’ve played cafes before that have asked me to tone down, as I’ll often stomp along to keep a beat to the point to where stuff falls off the wall and the neighbors complain. I often get the audience to participate whether it’s singing or clapping along. I’m just Jamie, without the audience there’s no ‘Magic Torch!’  I’d like the audience to be able to, for that short amount of time feel uninhibited. Whether or not they can sing or have rhythm, they can be part of a rock band.”

Whether you know him for The O>Matics or Calamity Menagerie, be sure to check out Jamie & The Magic Torch at Facebook.com/JamieAndTheMagicTorch

Tour Dates:

8/19- Goodbye Blue Monday- Brooklyn, NY

8/20- Trocadero Theatre- Philadelphia, PA

8/23- Lucky 7- Jersey City, NJ

8/28- Crossroads- Garwood, NJ

8/29- The Canopy Club- Urbana, IL

8/30- Abbey Pub- Chicago, IL