GLOPRY DAYS, Musicians - Interview

It’s Tuneful Tuesday (I’m not sure that’s really a Twitter hashtag, but maybe it should be!), and so another New Jersey-based band takes center stage on Rambling On.

Glory Days

Glory Days

GLORY DAYS consists of Andy Tongren (vocals), Dylan Scott (guitar), Julian Dimagiba (bass), and Steve Patrick (drums). I had the chance to chat with Dylan about the band’s influences and their sound.

 ANTHONY:  Hi Dylan! Thanks for taking the time to answer a few rambling questions.

DYLAN:  Awesome, thanks for having us.

ANTHONY:  I know you play around New Jersey, but where is everyone from and how did you come together?

DYLAN:  We’re all originally from NJ and grew up playing in different bands. With the exception of Andy who is originally from Ohio then moved to New York City to study music.

ANTHONY:  Has the band’s sound changed appreciably over the time you’ve been together?

 DYLAN:  Well yes, I wouldn’t say it changed drastically but the sound has definitely developed into something that we feel suits us as artists.

ANTHONY:  I don’t think I can pick a favorite song off of Living Room Sessions. What was recording the album like? How long did it take and where did you record? 

 DYLAN:  Recording Living Room Sessions was a pretty amazing experience for us. We were able to use various vintage instruments and had plenty of creative freedom on the product. We recorded a lot of the live stuff in a studio in upstate NY and the rest of it was done at a studio closer to home in Brooklyn. We did the entire record in under a week and loved every second of it.

ANTHONY:  What’s the song-writing process like for you? Is it a total group effort, or do you each bring completed ideas to the table?

DYLAN:  The song writing process is always different for us. Typically either Andy or myself will come with an idea for a song then bring it to the group and see what happens in an artistic environment. Various emails are sent along with phone calls, texts, and Skype sessions during the process.


ANTHONY:  For the songwriters in the group: how do you typically work? Lyrics first then music, or vice-versa? Or it is all sort of an organic process that changes with each song?

DYLAN: The songwriting process is definitely organic. We like to see the art through before it becomes something we release as well.

ANTHONY:  As a “Jersey Band,” does the rich musical history of the state influence you at all?

DYLAN:  The rich musical history of New Jersey absolutely influences us greatly. We may not sound like Bruce, but we felt comfortable enough with ourselves as musicians to take such a powerful character and lend homage to him through our bands name.

ANTHONY:  Your cover of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” has a different feel than the original songs off of “Living Room Sessions.” Why that particular song as a cover? Is it indicative of a change in the band’s sound overall?

DYLAN:  Bob Dylan is an American icon unlike any other. “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” is a song we felt could translate well to our sound. I don’t think it’s necessarily indicative of the bands sound overall, but it’s an eclectic effort towards greater change.

ANTHONY: What’s next for the band? New music on the horizon? A tour?

DYLAN:  Plenty of new music on the horizon along with tour plans. 2012 is going to be a very busy year for us.

ANTHONY:  My usual final question: for each of you, what’s your favorite book and what would you say to someone who hasn’t read it to convince them to read it?

DYLAN:  “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.” Read it. It’s fucking funny.

After we completed the interview and I inadvertently misplaced it for several months, Glory Days released a new EP which you can purchase on itunes: BROKE IN NEW YORK.

You can find Glory Days on Facebook and Twitter and of course on Youtube.

REVERSE ORDER, Singers - Interview

It’s MUSIC MONDAY, to steal a Twitter hashtag! It’s also the beginning of a week leading up to the one year anniversary of when I started running interviews here on my site. One interview every day, leading up to Saturday’s return interview with Evelyn LaFont.

Reverse Order

Reverse Order

Today’s guests are REVERSE ORDER, a local NJ band poised for great things. The band is composed of brothers John and Cruise Russo, Drew Katsock and Frank Spangler.

ANTHONY: Hello, Reverse Order! Thanks for taking a few minutes to chat with me. I’ve had the opportunity to see you guys perform live twice now: opening for Action Item at Starland Ballroom, and opening for Allstar Weekend at NJPAC. And I have to say: you guys have fantastic energy on-stage. So, how did the band form, and how long have you been performing together?

 CRUISE: The band was formed by John and I (Cruise) we are brothers.  We had been child actors (I was on the Soap, As The World Turns as Casey Hughes) then when we got to middle school we got interested in music.  At the same time the movie School of Rock came out, and my mom found out there was one opening in NJ so we were the first students (Mike the drummer from Hollywood Ending was also a student there, we are good friends).  Then we decided to start writing our own music and Reverse Order was born.  I’d say we seriously formed in 2008.  We had some band members change due to school, work, girlfriends but Drew has been with us a year and a half and Frank is going on one year.  We really like this line up.

ANTHONY: Where did the band name come from?

CRUISE: John and I were trying to come up with a name for the band for a school talent show and at the time he was being homeschooled and there was an Algebra problem and the words Reverse Order were on the white board in our house, after much brotherly arguing my dad said “Reverse Order” that’s your name.

ANTHONY: You describe yourselves as “pop punk / pop rock.” Who are some of your biggest influences, and what inspiration do you draw from them?

 JOHN: As we’ve matured our inspirations have changed. When I first got into writing I would re-write lyrics to Linkin Park songs along with some friends. As I started writing and building full songs with my own music, lyrics, and melodies, I started drawing inspiration from a wide range of both Pop Punk and Rock artists including the teen anthems of Blink 182, the wittiness and catchiness of Fall Out Boy, and the powerful honesty of Alice In Chains.

ANTHONY: I’m always interested in the creative process. So: who are the song-writers in the group? What’s your song-writing process like? Do the lyrics come first, then melody and instruments, or the reverse?

CRUISE: Up until 2012 it was totally John.  Now, I’m writing too and we’ll have sessions with Frank and Drew to try to come up with their parts.  John is still the main guy.  John will have some ideas and he’ll play them over and over and I’ll keep trying different drum beats sometimes we hit on something and it falls in place and sometimes we have some really good parts that never get finished because we’re missing something.

JOHN: Sometimes the lyrics come first, sometimes the music. I start with whatever comes to me first and then work from there. Sometimes I just sit there for hours until something comes to me.  Sometimes I have a whole song and it is just missing one part and I can’t finish it so I put it aside.  Sometimes months later Cruise will say remember that song you were fooling around with let’s try to do something with it. So there are so many different ways we approach songwriting.

ANTHONY: You’re from Hackettstown, NJ, firmly up in the northwest corner of the state. Has living in the more “rural” part of New Jersey had any impact on the type of song you write, or the way your sound has developed?

CRUISE: For John and I our parents always took us to new places and even to concerts and plays to introduce us to new things. Some of our first concerts were Kiss, Billy Idol and Bruce Springsteen. We were born in Lincoln Park, NJ and then moved to the rural area in middle school. We live in a rural area but we’re more beach, or suburb type guys.

ANTHONY: I have to ask: you list “dancing in public places” as a band interest. Does this mean we can expect Reverse Order “flash mobs” around northwest NJ? And is it really the whole band that loves breaking into dance, or one of you in particular?

JOHN: We all love breaking into dance, but I’d have to say Frank and I are the worst offenders. We realized this at an H&M clothing store when we were on tour in Michigan. Frank and I started to dance in the middle of the store while waiting in line. There is also a video on YouTube of myself dressed in an afro and pleather pants ‘dancing in the 80s’ haha.

Reverse Order

Reverse Order

ANTHONY: In terms of the band’s sound and energy: what does each member of the group bring to the stage that is uniquely “them?”

REVERSE ORDER: John is the front man of the group and has the ability to captivate an audience of any size. You can feel the power in every note he sings and plays. Cruise is the drummer but one of his greatest assets is that he is able to take over lead vocals as well. His drumming style is powerful and energetic and he draws from Pop/Punk greats like Travis Barker and Jason Lancaster. Audiences go wild for Drew as he struts the stage giving a dynamic and high energy performance, Drew and John really work well together getting right into the audience and grabbing their attention, they’re not afraid to do whatever it takes to make sure everyone is having fun and lost in the moment and Frank’s driving bass holds down the low end as he delivers a powerful performance.  Frank and Cruise hold everything together while Drew and John get the audience involved and pumped up.  Sometimes they just go right into the crowd.  One time recently the whole crowd just rushed the stage to jump and sing with them.

ANTHONY: You’ve got an album on itunes. How have sales been on that?

JOHN: Sales have been really good! It’s always exciting to get a new trend report every week, which shows where and when your music is being purchased or streamed. Sometimes we get really cool results and it says someone in Germany or Canada is listening to our music. It’s a great feeling to know you’re really getting out there!

ANTHONY: Is there another album or EP in the near future?

JOHN: There is another EP in the near future! We have been working very hard writing songs our fans will love. We have some really great ideas that we can’t wait to record and show the world! We were actually in the studio the first week of April to record. It should come out sometime in May J

ANTHONY: And my usual closing question: for each member of the band, what is your favorite book, and what would you say to someone who hasn’t read it to convince them that they should?

JOHN: I’m more of a wait till it gets to theaters kind of guy haha, but I do enjoy reading Graphic Novels and Stephen King books from time to time.  My song, Wake Me Up will actually be in this horror film “You Can’t Kill Stephen King.”  I love horror films so I can’t wait to see it.

CRUISE: Well I read a ton so it’s really hard to pick just one… But I’d say there are a lot of really good autobiographies from musicians. Both Clapton by Eric Clapton and The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Six from Motley Crue were hard to put down. The obstacles they overcame within the music industry, and just in life in general, are astounding and reading them was very insightful, I tell everyone to read them whether you’re a fan of their music or not.

DREW:  Harry Potter, I grew up with it so it is a very much a part of my childhood.

FRANK:  Don’t really have one.

ANTHONY: Okay, thanks again guys! Looking forward to catching up with you in person soon!

REVERSE ORDER will be playing this Friday, April 27th, as the headline act at The Croc Rock in Allentown PA and at The Canvas Clash in Boonton NJ on May 11th. You can buy tickets HERE. Tell them Anthony sent you!

You can find Reverse Order online on Facebook and Twitter. Cruise and John have their own clothing line, Just Dance Apparel. And of course they’re on Youtube. In fact, here’s their video for THESE SUMMER NIGHTS:

HOLLYWOOD ENDING, Singers - Interview

This special Thanksgiving Day interview is with the guys from Hollywood Ending. You’ll see why I’m posting on a special day near the end.

Hollywood Ending

Hollywood Ending

Watching them perform, it’s hard to believe the five guys in Hollywood Ending have only been performing together a few months. On stage, they’re in synch with each other in a way some bands that have been together for 10 years don’t manage. And they obviously enjoy performing and touring. Tyler Wilson sings lead with Cameron Byrd, who also plays guitar. Mike Montalbano is on drums, Chris Bourne is on the bass and backing vocals, and Dan Geraghty is on guitar and backing vocals.

I interviewed the band before the final concert on Action Item’s The Stronger The Love Tour. The venue is crowded and a total of eight bands were playing, so space was at a premium. I ended up interviewing the guys in their tour van and using my brand new digital recorder. As you’ll see, it was an hysterical experience. I’d gladly interview these guys again, any time.

Anthony: I do all my interviews by email so hopefully this thing is going to work. I’m just going to try to hold it flat. So the first question I wanted to ask you is one you probably always get…

Mike: Is the heater going to mess with the recorder?

Anthony: Oh, yeah, it might. I didn’t think of that. Thanks, Mike.

[Dan attempts to turn the heater off, but can’t find the right knob.]

TYLER, CAMERON, MIKE, CHRIS: No, to the left! The left! THE LEFT! Your other left! The other knob!

Anthony [pointing]: This one over here. [Dan turns a different knob and the heat goes off.] Okay, that one works too. [Everyone laughs] This is going to be fun to listen back to tomorrow, and be like ‘what was all of that?’

Dan: Sooooo stupid.

Anthony: Well, you didn’t manage to lock yourself into the front of the van, or out of the van, so we’re okay with that. Although I have to say, MY most embarrassing moment on tour … well, not on tour, but I travel for work … leaving the wireless microphone on when I went to the bathroom.

Band: Nooooo!

Anthony: Yeah, in front of like 60 people. Coworker came running in while I was at the urinal to tell me it was on. So Dan, I’ve out-done you.

Cameron: So one day one of us will top that.

Anthony: And then you’ll have to make sure you tell me about it. Okay, since I know we’re tight on time: You guys have been together for how many months now?

Band [almost in unison]: Four.

Anthony: How did the band come together? You’ve probably answered this question like ninety million times.

Tyler and Mike: [laughing] Yeah…

Cameron: Well, basically, we all knew each other from other bands and then our manager set us up with Chris here.

Chris: Through Skype.

Anthony: Through Skype? Cool.

Cameron: and it kind of started from there, and then NBT started…

Tyler: We got a slot on NBT and we decided that it was amazing exposure and it had to be, it had to work out. We all got along really well, we’re brothers, and it just really worked out really perfectly. A lot of luck.

Anthony: So: first time on tour for … any of you?

Tyler: Me and Cameron.

Chris: My first time on tour.

Dan: Mike and I have toured before.

Anthony: So what’s the toughest part about being on tour, for you guys who are new to it.

Cameron: Being sick.

Chris: Trying to sleep. Sleeping on tour is hard.

Tyler: I wish I could eat better, but there’s just a lot … you know, it’s tough.

Cameron: [coughs] I got sick after two weeks, and I’m still sick. So I’ve been sick for almost two weeks.

Mike: It’s all the things that you think would be hard.

Anthony: Yeah, the same stuff I have traveling around the country for my company, it’s just being in the van you’re in a tighter space dealing with it. So NBT, you’ve made it through to…

Mike: Third round right now.

Anthony: When does the voting end?

Everyone: Tomorrow [which was Monday, November 21st]



Anthony: Alright, good, because I did just tweet right before the interview, “you’ve got to make sure you vote for these guys,” not that I have a huge number of followers…

Dan: Thanks so much!

Tyler: Every little bit helps.

Anthony: I’d like to see you guys go through. Okay, the songs. Who are the song-writers in the group? Is it everybody?

Tyler: Everyone really writes.

Cameron: Everyone has their own thoughts on it.

Dan: Yeah, everyone really contributes.

Cameron: Like someone will come up with an idea then we’ll build off of it and we’ll all throw in our opinions so it’s like a big song-writing session.

Chris: Most songwriting sessions like sometimes Tyler and Dan will pair off and then me and Cameron will pair off and then Mike comes and checks out what’s going on and gives his input.

Cameron: And then we’ll go back in the end and we’ll edit stuff, so we all usually help.

Anthony: So it’s really a group effort, not like some groups that have just one or two members that write all the songs and everybody else just fills in with their instruments.

Cameron: And everybody is different, different approaches to writing, too, like everyone has their own ideas.

Mike: And everyone brings it together.

Anthony: A real group collaboration, that’s awesome. You’ve got the two singles out on itunes now, right?

Tyler: Yeah. “You Got Me” and “I’m So Over You.”

Anthony: More music coming soon?

Everyone: Absolutely.

Cameron: We’ve got a couple of songs that were recorded and are being recorded soon. We are very busy with tour as you can see, and we’re about to go on another one with All-Star Weekend soon. It’s hard on the road you don’t have the time to write or obviously record but as soon as that’s over with… Until then, we hope to write and record new songs.

Anthony: Those are the usual questions I think you guys probably get asked all the time.

Everyone: [laughing] Yeah.

Anthony: So I’m going to ask the one that I end my email interviews with and you can take a minute to think about it: because I’m a writer, I always ask everyone what your favorite book is, and what would you say to someone who hasn’t read it to convince them that they should?

Dan: “HOP ON POP!”

Anthony: How did I know you were going to come up with a Dr. Suess book? I don’t even know you and I somehow knew you’d be the one to answer Dr. Suess.

Dan: Dr. Suess is a legend! Oh, “Green Eggs And Ham,” too!

Mike: Do you know the book “Hi, My Name Is David and I’m an Alcoholic?”

Anthony: Yeah!

Mike: That book is great, I dunno, I read it in like 9th grade…

Anthony: And it stuck with you.

Mike: Yeah.

Anthony: So there you go.

Cameron: A book I’ve always loved, and the reason why I would tell people to read it is because I’m not a huge reader, I’ve never been a big reader, but I’ve always loved “Holes.” I’ve been able to read it like four or five times, and even when I was younger and I hated reading … I like reading now but I don’t do it that much, but when I was younger I hated it, but I would still read “Holes” over and over, so…

Tyler: I’m a huge, huge “Harry Potter” fan, and I think most people have read “Harry Potter,” but if you haven’t, please go do that because it’s an amazing book.

Anthony: I always love it when Potter gets the shout-out. All three Burnham brothers named the Potter series, too.

Chris: I’m kind of in the same boat as Cameron, I don’t really read, but I’ve made the effort to read some biographies of famous people that I’m really inspired by. Michael Jackson, titled “Moonwalker,” it’s a great biography, I’ve read that, incredible insight into his life, you know, and yeah, it’s just a great book.

Anthony: Yeah, you know, it’s funny, I ask that question and a lot of people will say, ‘well, I don’t really read any fiction so I don’t think I can answer the question,” and I’m like ‘no, it doesn’t matter if it’s biography, fiction, whatever … you’re reading.

Everyone: Yeah, true, right.

Anthony: Alright, well, I think that’s all the questions. I knew you guys were going to be strapped for time, so I didn’t come up with a million questions to ask, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a few of the ones I wanted to ask.

Cameron: Well, thanks a lot man.

Chris: Yeah, thanks.

Anthony: You know what, let’s just make sure this worked… [plays back interview] Yep! Great. Alright, well, I’m coming into the show to see how you guys do, and to visit with the Burnham family.

Mike: Really, cool!

Tyler: Thanks for sticking around.

Anthony: I’m sure a lot of interviewers don’t. I’ll be near the back, though. Let all the screaming teenage girls get up close.

Dan: [laughs] You mean you’re not going to be screaming?

Anthony: I will clap and yell, but I’ll cut down on the screaming. Thanks again, guys! I’d say break a leg, but the last time I said that to my nephews, they took me seriously. One broke his arm running after his sister, and the other did it during football practice.

Dan: How … ironic.

Anthony: I get the feeling Dan always gets the last word!

* * * * * * *

One of the several things I forgot to ask the guys during the interview was about an upcoming benefit concert they’re playing in NJ. So here’s the details: in association with School of Rock, Hollywood Ending will be performing at the Rockin’ Strong for #34 benefit on November 28th, 2011 at Saddle Brook High School. Doors open at 7:00pm and tickets are $10.00. Tickets can be purchased at the Saddle Brook or Waldwick NJ School of Rock locations. All proceeds go to help Tyler Vitiello, a Saddle River HS football player who suffered a severe neck injury during his team’s last regular season game in early November.

You can check out the band on Facebook, and follow everyone on Twitter: the bandCameronTylerMikeDan and Chris. They also post videos on their Youtube channel.


I haven’t signal-boosted for my musician friends in quite a while, despite all of my best intentions. (Okay, I haven’t signal-boosted for my author friends either, but that will have to be a different post.) So, because my old friends The Dalliance released something new today, here we go. Links to MUSIC YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING TO! (Because I said so, that’s why. Now stop asking why and finish your broccoli.)

The Dalliance’s new single is up on BandCamp for free this month. Darrell, Greg, Shawn and Barry are old high school friends of mine.

Singer-Songwriter Casey Stratton’s Store, where you can buy lots of great music, including his winter/holiday albums. (He’s also on livejournal as caseystratton and has become a good personal friend as well.)

Singer-Songwriter Phil Putnam’s Homepage, where you can buy lots of great music, and you can download the fun “I’m No Prize” single for free. Phil is a new friend, and I see the friendship only growing.

Musical-Brothers band Kropp Circle’s video for their newest single “Can’t Stop The Rain,” because their website is in a state of flux and this way you can hear it before you go to itunes and buy it. I’ve never met Sebastian, Remington and Emerson in real life, but I very much enjoy their music and their Twitter / Youtube content.

Singer Thomas Fiss’ Website, where you can pick up his new EP in a variety of formats. Something for everyone! Another artist I don’t know in real life, but feel like I know thanks to our short Twitter conversations.

I haven’t signal-boosted for my musical friends in a while, although I always have the best intentions of doing it. So there we go.

And even though he’s not a working musician (as far as I know), I’ll once again link you to Jordan Bean’s IT GETS BETTERvideo because I do think it’s cool.