jeanne crump looks at one of the top Jersey Shore bands as they head to The Downtown …
The Amboys Are: C.M. Smith, Manny Castanon, Connor Effenberger, Dan Effenberger
The Amboys Formed In: 2008
We’re Based Out Of: Asbury Park, N.J.
Any Records Coming Out Soon? We just put out an album this past August. It called Led Into the Woods. It has had many positive reviews in the last few weeks. We have another one coming out early next year, along with a vinyl release of our last to EP’s.
Our Sound Has Been Likened To: We have been compared to Modest Mouse, Wilco, Social Distortion, and Johnny Cash on a binge.
You’ve Seen Us Before [In Other Bands]: CM Smith (The Chilling Details, The Poconos)
Famous/Awesome Bands We’ve Performed With Before: The Growlers, Donovan Frankenreiter, The Gay Blades, Those Darlins, Frontier Ruckus, Jonah Matranga (Far, Onelinedrawing) Jesse Malin (Dec. 10 at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park)
Pop-Break: How did you become a part of The Downtown’s M.A.D. series?
CM Smith: We’ve played M.A.D. Wednesday several times now. We always feel at home there and its great to have DJ Jeff Raspe spinning all night long. Personally, some amazing and surprising things have happened on nights that we have played. Amazing revelations, new friends found and I even wrote a tune there a few years ago standing in the crowd at someone else’s show. I can’t wait to see what this Wednesday will bring.
PB: What kind of inspiration/ideals are behind the name of your band?
CMS: I was looking for a name that did not carry a stigma behind it. Sometimes you hear a band name and you may or may not have already stereotyped what kind of band they are. I was sitting in my history of New Jersey class a few years ago, and we discussed the area of New Jersey known as The Amboys. I figured it was catchy and general enough to be memorable. Plus, it keeps our roots in New Jersey.
PB: What musicians or groups have influenced your song making the most?
CMS: I have found that our friends have had the strongest influence on us lately. There are a great bunch of bands around us that we are lucky enough to call friends — Mad Feather Group, Thomas Wesley Stern, Elevator Art, Accidental Seabirds, Wreaths, Thee Vampire Bats. And I could go on for days. We are surrounded by so much talent that we always feel pushed to create the most original and creative music we can. We thank our friends for that.
PB: Are you planning any kind of tour in the future, or just keeping it local?
CMS: One of our members is taking a well-deserved vacation/life journey come mid-December into the new year. We will be working on the final touches to the new album, putting together a vinyl version of the album, trying to find a booking agency to work with, getting into new media outlets and creating some new tunes. As soon as they get back we are back to the grindstone, which will mean both a tour and haunting our favorite local venues.