pop-break unveils a new column: Watermark Wednesday …
Asbury Park is steeped in musical legend and lore. It’s a city-by-the-sea on the Atlantic Ocean in New Jersey where the dreams of young men like Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi first came to fruition. It’s where we first learned to live on a prayer and where we were born to run.
Today, the Asbury Park music is scene is as alive and vibrant as it was during the famed circuit’s height in the mid-20th century, when Tillie still smiled over us from atop Palace Amusements. And we’re here to tell you all about it.
Pop-Break and the internet radio station ShoreAlternative.com are dedicating themselves to shining a spotlight on the independent music scene in New Jersey, and we are doing so together with The Watermark Wednesday Interview series.
Every week, ShoreAlternative.com presents a three-band showcase at the beautiful lounge known asThe Watermark, located on the boardwalk in Asbury Park. We at Pop-Break will interview at least one of the bands featured at these shows each week. We hope this will help you discover new music and maybe even inspire you to come out and see the show.
This week, we debut our column with Those Mockingbirds who will be performing, today, March 16th along with Elevator Art and Accidental Seabirds. Pop-Break’s Bill Bodkin recently spoke with Adam Bird, lead singer of Those Mockingbirds.
Band Name: Those Mockingbirds
The Line-Up: Kevin Walters — drums
Adam Bird — vocals, guitar
Jon Gianino — guitar
Rob Fitzgerald — vocals, bass
Tory Daines — vocals, violin, keys
We Formed In: 2010
We’re Based Out Of: Montclair, N.J.
Find Our Current Music (online, in stores at):
New Record To Be Released: TBA
Our Sound Has Be Likened To: Smashing Pumpkins, Arcade Fire, Silversun Pickups
We’ve Performed With: The Gay Blades. And we have played on Fearless Music TV on FOX.
Bands You’ve Seen Us In Previously: Perfuma, Hero Pattern, KISS.
Pop-Break: What’s the origin of the band’s name?
Adam Bird: “Mockingbird” came from my last name (Bird) after a suggestion from a friend. We incorporated that with one of my favorite songs, “Those Thieving Birds” (from Silverchair’s 2007 album Young Modern]. BAM, band name born.
PB: You recently shot a video where you kidnapped the YouTube sensation known as the Numa Numa Guy. This video is currently one of the most played videos on the Tosh.0 website — can you explain the concept behind this video?
AB: We met Gary (the Numa Numa Guy) at our old rehearsal room, and he dug what we were doing. So we asked if he was willing to lend a hand with launching the first single, and the idea was born.
PB: Your EP No Symmetry debuted at #1 on Amazon.com’s Movers & Shakers chart. Can you explain how one gets onto this chart and how it feels to be a #1 seller on one of the biggest websites in the world?
AB: That was a pretty mind-blowing experience, actually. The Movers & Shakers chart tracks jumps in sales. We just happened to jump the most that week.
PB:Your cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” has gotten a lot of press recently. Why cover such a classic? Wouldn’t the band want to release an original song for people to experience?
AB: We covered this song because my mom loves Fleetwood Mac and always played them in the house and on the car stereo when I was a kid, so they are a special band to me. I always wanted to cover one of the songs from [their classic 1977 album] Rumours. We had recently put out our first EP just a few months prior, so we do have original music out. We started covering “The Chain” on tour because at the time we only had the five songs on the EP released and felt it would be good to have another song in our set that people would know. It seemed to go over well, so we recorded it and decided it would be the perfect thing to put out as a free song to ring in 2011.
PB: We’ve asked you who people have “likened you to,” but we want to hear it from the band themselves. For someone who’s never heard you but might be interested in seeing perform at The Watermark on Wednesday, how would you describe the sound of Those Mockingbirds?
AB: Take one part rock ‘n’ roll, one part pop (real pop, not Auto-Tune bullshit pop) and one part classical — and put the three in a blender, and you get us.
PB: In the same vein, what can they expect from your band in terms of live performance?
AB: Lots of energy, and lots of entertainment. We are not a dull live band in the slightest.
PB: What dynamic does have a female singer in a predominantly male group bring to the table for you guys?
PB: Well, I think it adds more to our ability to be both rock and classical … or soft and loud … or mean and sweet. Having both male and female vocals really enables a full conversation to happen within a song, instead of simply the male perspective.
PB: There are an innumerable amount of independent bands out there for the musical masses to check out — why should they take a chance and give a listen to Those Mockingbirds?
AB: Because most of those bands are doing the same thing. We are not.
PB:The show is taking place in Asbury Park, a mecca for original music in New Jersey. What’s your opinion on the current state of music coming out of this once bastion for emerging artists? Do you feel there’s a musical rebirth going on this city?
AB: I think Asbury Park has been a really exciting place in the past few years. All of the bands we’ve played with from the area have been great. The shows we’ve been playing there are fantastic, and the vibe from the city is just all-around positive. I’m excited for what’s to come from Asbury Park.
PB: What lies in the future for Those Mockingbirds in terms of the creative (i.e. new songs, new recordings) and in terms of touring and publicity?
AB: We are writing A LOT of new songs right now. So expect lots of new music from us this year, and quite a few tours.