In a time that can arguably be called the Electronic Age of Music it is refreshing to see a group of young musicians leave the monotony of the mainstream and turn to rock as their major influence. Strange Brew is the self proclaimed “Funky Hard Rock” five-piece hailing from Staten Island, New York, with the stage presence and attitude to bring along a loyal fan base wherever they jam. With few “Brewpies” missing any performances and with packed out venues every show, it is hard to argue Strange Brew’s success. Between writing original lyrics and playing covers from the likes of Billy Joel, Avenged Sevenfold, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, with an album release in the summer of 2012, it is amazing how much the band has accomplished in the short time they have been together. Since their start in the summer of ’09, Strange Brew is an ever-evolving musical tour de’ force composed of Armand Lane as Lead Vocalist and Keys Player, Johnny Baldofsky and Mike D’Ambrosi each playing Guitar, Matt D’Ambrosi slapping the bass, and Justin Salud rounding out the band with his Drums.
I recently got to sit down with Strange Brew and talk to them about where they see their band going and what definitive plans they have for the future; I also got an inside look at how the band manages stage performances, practices, and produces their distinctive funking sound.
Prior to the interview Strange Brew was unsigned, working on their own dime and playing shows when they could, but as of January 18 they have been signed onto the Broken Records Collective music label. Armand Lane says, on behalf of the band, that “We’re incredibly excited to be part of this collaboration. We feel that it is a huge opportunity to be a part of something bigger than us…We can’t wait to start playing some shows with all the talent involved.” On top of this great news for the band, fans have gotten some exciting news about the aforementioned album release this summer. The band promised a full length 10 song album of original music and lyrics. The whole album is being recorded, mixed, and produced by Strange Brew but has yet to be titled.
I started the interview by asking how the band practiced on their down time and how they went about writing their original songs. Strange Brew began by saying that “what starts as a practice will turn into a 2-3 hour jam session.” For their original song and lyric writing the band says that usually a member will approach the band with a sample of music (what guitarists Mike and Johnny did with what eventually became Strange Brew’s new single “Born To Please”), then work around the sound and churn out the bands next hit.
Speaking of their new single, “Born to Please” was first showcased during the Friday the 13th show at the Bitter End in Manhattan, New York. This show has been Strange Brew’s most successful to date with the band bringing in just under a hundred people for their set. Lyrically the song is suggestive and flaunts it throughout; it was the perfect way to rally the crowd and get them pumped up for the next hour of Brewery. Strange Brew played flawlessly the whole show and got through every song on their set list, even after a broken kick pedal incident in which Justin kicked the bass drum for a full song before another band graciously let them use theirs. Justin said, in regards to their music and how they perform live, that “Sixty percent is focused towards music. The rest is recovery,” a good analogy for their most recent show.
Strange Brew has natural talent with an ability to please and there is no sign of a slowdown; they have active accounts on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter that receive constant updates. For more information on the band and to try out their funky spin on hard rock go to each website’s respective page and end it with a /StrangeBrewNY (ex. Youtube.com/StrangeBrewNY).
You can also email the band at StrangeBrewRocks@ymail.com. At the close of the interview the band wanted to give a shout out to Airistotle, The Brew Crew, The Brewpies, and all the other friends and family that have supported them through their career in music. They would also like to thank The Bitter End for inviting them to their stage and allowing them more than a full hour of play time. Be ready for a potential summer tour with their new label-mates, prepare for the full album release, and brush up on your Brew by visiting their web pages. The last thing Armand Lane had to say before the end of the interview was “Expect us.” Don’t worry Armand, we will not forget.