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Interview with North Jersey Indie Rock Fest Organizers Frank DeFranco and Neil Sabatino

I decided to start N.J. Racket the Thursday night before the inaugural North Jersey Indie Rock Festival.  It was an impulsive decision, and I had no idea the depths of what I was getting myself into. If I had, given my attitude at the time, I probably would’ve been too intimidated to even try.  At the time, I was completely unaware of the story of what went into putting the festival together or even who was behind it.  The festival, even in its first year, was an impressive undertaking with twenty bands from Sniffling Indie Kids (SIK) and Mint 400 Records (M400).  A year later, I would find myself at the Tick Tock Diner interviewing the owners of those two labels, Frank DeFranco and Neil, having already worked closely with them for several months as a sponsor for the second annual event.

Interview with Dentist’s Justin Bornemann

One of the most high-profile artists set to perform at Saturday’s North Jersey Indie Rock Festival is Asbury Park’s Dentist, representing Little Dickman Records.  The surf rock outfit currently has two full length albums in their catalog, a self-titled release in 2014 and Ceilings which was released in the summer of 2016.  It will certainly be a treat to have the Jersey Shore band make a special trip up to Hudson county to grace the stage with so many other talented artists.  So much so that I made a point to reach out and get their thoughts on the event, the scene, and any plans they have for upcoming material.  Check out the interview with Justin Bornemann below.

Exclusive Interview with LKFFCT’s Brian Legentil

For anyone that hasn’t been paying attention, LKFFCT is one of the state’s premier indie bands.  For years now, the band has been captivating audiences with some of the most impassioned and energetic performances the underground stage has ever seen.  The experimental stoner punk band is preparing to followup their 2016 release, The Flower Investment Pawn, with a new LP, Dawn Chorus,  and have just released the first single, “Hatchling.”  As expected, people have already been losing their shit over it.

For this interview, I chatted with LKFFCT’s bringer of bass, Brian Legentil about the upcoming release, future tour dates, the upcoming North Jersey Indie Rock Festival, and what he thinks of people who like Aerosmith.

Interview with Ana Becker and Lyzi Wakefield of Fruit & Flowers

One of the bands I am genuinely the most excited to be seeing at the Second Annual North Jersey Indie Rock Festival this coming Saturday is Fruit & Flowers, a Brooklyn-based band who released their debut EP, Drug Tax, earlier in the summer on Little Dickman Records.  Fruit & Flowers brings a really unique surfy, experimental, noise-punk sound that is truly unlike anything else I’ve ever heard, while still expertly crafting infectiously catchy tunes.

I was absolutely thrilled to be able to speak with the band’s two guitarists, Ana Becker and Lyzi Wakefield, ahead of the indie fest about Drug Tax, touring, Little Dickman, their Audiotree performance, Twin Peaks, the importance of DIY, and Ancient Greek mythology.  Check out what they had to say and be sure to come check out Fruit & Flowers, along with the other twenty-three mega-talented bands, September 23 at the North Jersey Indie Rock Fest at Cathedral Hall in Jersey City. 

Interview with Désir Decir’s Mitch Cady, Looking Ahead to the North Jersey Indie Rock Fest

Well, the Second Annual North Jersey Indie Rock Festival is rapidly approaching so I wanted to be sure to take the time to actually speak with a few of the artists that are lined up to be performing and since there has been so much focus on the festival’s organizers, Sniffling Indie Kids and Mint 400, why not take the opportunity to spotlight one of the festival newcomers, Désir Decir, a Jersey City band on Killing Horse Records.

Interview with Alice and Ed Magdziak of You Don’t Know Jersey

This Friday night, Ed and Alice Magdziak of You Don’t Know Jersey (YDKJ) are teaming with two of my favorite collaborators Sniffling Indie Kids and Mint 400 Records to bring a totally stacked lineup to Stosh’s consisting of NGHTCRWLRS, Lowlight, The Brixton Riot, Rob Jennings, The Vaughns, and Fairmont.  To preface my interview with them, I reached out to Sniffling Indie Kids owner Frank DeFranco for a quote on the YDKJ couple, and what he had to say should just about sum it up for anyone unfamiliar with Ed and Alice.