The Weight Band Comes to SOPAC in New Jersey on December 9th

Interview by Danny Coleman

“That’s Band fan territory so we’re really looking forward to it,” says Jim Weider, one of rock music’s most admired guitarists and member of The Weight Band as he discussed their upcoming 7:30 p.m. December 9 show at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, their new album and more.  

Fixed with the task of replacing guitarist Robbie Robertson when the The Band reformed in 1985, Weider says that he was, “Excited” yet rather, “Comfortable” slipping into the role due to a familiarity with drummer Levon Helm and bassist Rick Danko 

“Ya know, it was very exciting and I was in awe of the guys but I had been working with Levon and the All Stars in previous years and then I had started working with Levon and Rick and so by the time that I went out there, even though I hadn’t played those big giant stadium shows with Crosby Stills and Nash;  I still had to kick those songs up a bit. I was already kind of comfortable as far as the music went because it was ingrained in me and I’d been playing some of that stuff with Levon and Rick so when I got to the point of joining of course It was very exciting but I was a little more comfortable than most guys would have been because I had been working with those guys a little prior to that individually.” 

Since the group’s dissolution, he continued working with various members of The Band but with the eventual passing of perhaps his closest band mates and allies, Helm and Danko; he felt a determination to carry on the music and the legacy while continuing to solidify his place as a songwriter and performer.  Weider explains the February 2018 release of, “World Gone Mad” as if it were almost a necessity to establish the group as more than just a tribute to The Band.  

“We did it because we were like, OK we can’t just be covering the Band’s songs, it’s just not enough. I wanted to write an original record and make the group an original group while carrying on that music and sound. We’re the only group that can basically legally do The Band tunes because I was actually in The Band. All of these other bands that do them are just tribute bands so I wanted to do an original record so that we’d be known for our music and so far it’s working out good.” 

“It’s been a long journey and I’m continuing the journey, continuing to play roots rock music; The Band’s music has made me a living for many, many years and we’re trying to keep that sound alive with this new album and these great musicians. We’ve got a new addition, Matt Zeiner a vocalist who worked with Dickey Betts Band and he’s an amazing keyboardist and vocalist; so it looks like we’re going to have to do another album (laughs). This album has Michael Bram drumming and singing and he really has the sound of The Band and Levon’s drumming style down; so people will feel the music especially when we do a Band classic they’ll really feel it and of course it comes natural to me. Brian Mitchell who played with Levon Helm is on the record; we cut a Dead tune, “Deal” and we did it in a band style so it sounds a little bit like, “Ophelia,” you know, that kind of groove. We purposely wanted the album to sound like another Band album so that we could put them in the show as we’re doing and not have it be a big difference. We’re not doing, “Jessica” from the Allman Brothers then going into, “Cripple Creek;” although that’s not a bad idea (laughs).”  

With such a talented line up and years of recording and performing experience, one would think putting this disc together would come relatively easy; not so says Weider. The challenges came in the form of creating certain nuances that would keep the overall sound in line with that of The Band. 

“It was really hard to get really good songs that are up to The Band standard. A couple of the tunes I co-wrote with Levon Helm and a buddy so I brought them back and re-wrote them and Brian Mitchell re-wrote, “Never too Old to Rock ‘N’ Roll” which I co-wrote with Levon and Joe Flood and he added a new verse and updated it; we’ve got some updated stuff but all of the new stuff was really a challenge to make it sound strong and be up to the level of The Band’s music. We absolutely took advantage of the newer technology out there today but we really tried to record the album with as live a sound as we possibly could; that’s the way The Band always did it.” 

No strangers to being on the road, The Weight Band does a mixed repertoire of artists, most or all of which having had connections to The Band over the years but in doing so; does Weider ever miss his buddy Helm and does it affect his performance in anyway? 

“It’s kinda ingrained in me now from playing with The Band for so many years,”  he said with a mild laugh. “It’s just that I naturally feel that kind of music; plus playing with Levon for over 30 years with him sitting next to me on the drums always helps too but on this tour we’re doing a little bit of everything.We’re doing songs off of our brand new record, “World Gone Mad” and we’re doing some classic Band tunes and some Dylan tunes; this thing kind of changes up. We’ll do some of the classics and mix it in but because I was in The Band we’ll do, “Remedy” from the,“Jericho” album that I did and wrote; we’re carrying on the music.” 

Many classic rock acts of today band together and go out on the road with reduced sets as they play a greatest hits type of show, playing only their popular hits while not recording any new music. Weider says that is not the case with The Weight Band’s concerts and feels that not writing and/or releasing new music can lead to stagnation. 

“That to me, I can’t do that; that is boring for me,” he stated with conviction. “I’ve always got to be doing new stuff and writing, otherwise you become stale. You’ve got to keep creating, that’s what you get into music for and you’ve got to keep creating that’s all, that’s all I know. You’ve got to keep moving forward because once you start doing the same old thing you lose your inspiration and you always have to be inspired to make music.” 

Weider also reflected back on his youth a bit, starting as a young musician he was akin to a sponge; taking in whatever he could with multiple influences that still stick with him today.  

“Boy I’ll tell ya, it started early with The Ventures and Scotty Moore and Elvis, “Ain’t nothin’ but a Hound Dog” and the Yardbirds and the English people coming in, I just loved it all. I tried to soak up as much as I could and when I heard Roy Buchanan and The Band and that Telecaster playing; I was a Tele player in the mid-sixties I always loved them.”  

Along with the aforementioned song selection, Weider says that those coming to SOPAC on December 9 can expect to get their money’s worth both in tunes, length of show and a little anniversary. 

“Oh yeah, an hour and a half to two hours; we’ll play. They’ll get a big dose of the new album, some Dylan stuff, some stuff from, “Big Pink” since it’s the 50 year celebration and they’ll get some Band tunes.” 

To discover more about The Weight Band and/or purchase tickets to the show, please visit www.theweightband.com or www.sopacnow.org

Danny Coleman (Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 10 p.m. EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.)

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Vintage Trouble Rock the Troubadour in Hollywood

Review + Photos by L Paul Mann

November 15, 2018 | Hollywood, CA – Vintage Trouble came home to Hollywood to rock a sold-out crowd of adulate fans at the Troubadour nightclub. Lead singer Ty Taylor sang and danced like the ghost of James Brown, while guitarist Nalle Colt, bassist Rick Barrio Dill, and drummer Richard Danielson jammed blues rock like ZZ Top. Well, that might be a stretch, but not much of one and you get the idea. The band features a retro sound full of classic R&B, Soul and Blues rock riffs. 

Fans packed the venue early on, mostly longtime fans that have been following the group’s 7-year career. The band that has been mainly under the radar of radio play despite three solid albums and a brand new EP. But the group has cemented their fan base with relentless global touring presenting a dynamic live show. Three generations of golden-haired English women sat at the bar chatting before the show. One of them offered her take on the band. “This is a fantastic group. I saw them in Hyde Park in a festival with the Rolling Stones. The singer is amazing he usually jumps all about into the crowd singing and dancing. I don’t know if he will do it here it is such a compact venue.” The band’s personal photographer standing up in the second level balcony had more to share about the band. “Yes, the crowd seems older tonight. But in other places like Asia, they have a much younger audience. They seem to appeal to multiple generations of fans.” 

The band hit the stage right on schedule opening with what appeared to be a spiritual bonding,  gathering in a huddle with their hands clasped together. Then the group tore into their blues laden retro rock music, augmented by a pair of back up singers and a keyboard player. Taylor led the group like a cheerleader, bouncing off the musicians and prancing about the stage before breaking into classic dance moves reminiscent of James Brown himself. Each member of the power rock trio took their turns as solo performers, and the crowd responded with wild applause. 

True to the English fans prediction, Taylor began diving into the crowd urging everyone to dance, at one point dragging a fan onstage to dance with him. During the next song, the animated singer crawled all about the club even climbing between to two upper story seating areas and hanging precariously from the balcony, much to the chagrin of the security guards. 

Later the band was joined by singer Countre Black, who is also featured in a video for “The BattlesEnd.”  The song is a call to activism and is featured on their new EP Chapter II EP 1. Black sang several duets with Taylor before the singers took a break and allowed the band to show off their jam rock skills. Taylor returned to the stage to close out the nearly two hour set with a searing finale that wowed the hometown crowd.

VINTAGE TROUBLE

VINTAGE TROUBLE

VINTAGE TROUBLE

VINTAGE TROUBLE

VINTAGE TROUBLE

VINTAGE TROUBLE

VINTAGE TROUBLE

VINTAGE TROUBLE

VINTAGE TROUBLE

VINTAGE TROUBLE

VINTAGE TROUBLE

VINTAGE TROUBLE

For more information on Vintage Trouble, please visit:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vintagetrouble/

Photos appearing on this page is the property of L Paul Mann. They are protected by U.S. Copyright Laws and will not be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of L Paul Mann. Copyright 2018 L Paul Mann. All Rights Reserved.

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Friday Inspiration, Vol. 159

A short film about the handful of people who race each other to be the No. 1 redistributor of New York City’s bikeshare bikes (video):

Neat story about running, but more about generosity, in this Twitter thread

Fashionable Outfits For Working From Home

I’m teaching a writing class on a raft trip on the Salmon River next June 23-28—it’ll be accredited by the University of Montana (but you don’t have to be a college student to sign up):

Pretty simple idea here: instead of writing a negative review about something, write a positive review of something else

Has anyone else read Haruki Murakami’s book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running? I’m halfway through it and loving it. I just found this list of quotes from it, which capture a lot of what he writes in the book.

I have been following Amerigo Gazaway since he mashed up Marvin Gaye and Yasiin Beye in 2014, and he just released this mix of Nina Simone and Lauryn Hill.

I made a list of 100 of my favorite things and added to the website here (also, it was pretty fun, I’d recommend doing it yourself sometime).

—Brendan

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31 Things Skiing Can Teach Us About Life

There was hardly enough room for two cars to pass each other at 50 mph, let alone a car and something much bigger than a car. On a curvy, narrow road with no shoulder (and often no center line) on the Isle of Skye, I was a little gripped. Driving on the left side of the road, manual transmission with the shifter and pedals switched from American cars I’m used to driving, you might say it was far from a relaxing drive along the coast. Every time a car approached from the other direction on the really tight parts, I felt my arms and core tense up, and then relax again as the car passed.

But then, of course, a bus came flying around a curve. Were its wheels on the center line? Oh, they’re over the center line. This’ll be exciting. Don’t hit the bus, Brendan, don’t hit the bus. Instead of watching the bus’s tires to see how far they were in my (already narrow) lane, I stared at the edge of the road on my side, hoping my left tire had a few more inches of asphalt over there. I probably held my breath. Don’t look at the bus don’t look at the bus don’t look at the bus. The bus passed.

But then, later, more buses. Trucks. We were on the island for five days, and every day was a new thrill for me, in the driver’s seat. I never hit anything with that pristine little rental car, because someone a long time ago told me the secret to skiing in the trees: Don’t look at what you don’t want to hit. If you don’t want to hit a tree, don’t look at the trees. Your skis will go where you look.

This idea, I found, also works in mountain biking, and in life in general: Look where you want to go. Obsessing over all the bad things that could happen doesn’t mean you’re going to run into those bad things (like when you’re skiing trees), but it’s a waste of time. It’s better to obsess over the things you want to happen (and work to make them happen).

We often think of skiing as a break from our normal life, as a vacation. But if it’s worth doing, it’s probably worth learning from. I started thinking about all the things I’ve learned from skiing—the value of earning your turns, you wear a helmet not because you’re a bad skier but because other people are bad skiers, don’t try to teach your partner/spouse to ski, the value of always trying to make better turns [LINK: https://semi-rad.com/2016/02/the-search-for-the-perfect-turn/ ] — and thought other people might have some ski-gained life wisdom as well. So I asked. Here are some of their answers.

“How to live in the moment. And embrace it. As humans, I think we rarely do that. Also, on the chairlift, how to listen to hear, not respond. Lot to learn if you just let people talk.”

—Peter Kray

“The longer you stare over the edge, the harder it gets to actually drop in.”

—Danielle Tarloffski

“Skiing has taught me a key principal of safe urban bike commuting (and general situational awareness): Head on a swivel! Keeping as close to 360 visibility at all times by constantly looking around is important when skiers and snowboards are bombing downhill from behind you, just like cars speeding past on the road. I bet you that bike commuters who also ski are in less accidents than bike commuters who do not.”

—Jaeger Shaw

“You should always trust your gut. When it’s telling you not to do something, it’s usually right.”

—Kristina Ciari

“Complaining about the weather is a waste of energy. Just smile about it. You can’t get hurt going fast—it’s the sudden stop that gets you. And nobody cares if you’re accomplished at x and they value y.”

—Ben White

“During first lesson, my instructor said, ‘Don’t stare down the whole mountain. It’s intimidating. Just look at where you are standing and do what I tell you. When we get to the bottom, you can look back UP the mountain and be proud.’ Man. Has that turned out to be valuable life advice.”

—Barbara Neff

“Here’s what skiing has taught me to apply to the rest of my life:

Happiness = Reality-Expectations.

I went skiing in Japan a few years ago with my husband, it was everything they say it should be. So, two years later, I brought a few friends back to Japan with me. I had inflated what skiing in Japan was like and then over-inflated that expectation to them. When we arrived and there was 2-3 inches of snow and somewhat warm temperatures, we were all SUPER bummed. But how stupid is that? We were with our best friends, in an INCREDIBLE place, in what on any other day would have been super fun conditions, yet, we had chalked it up to be something magical and were disappointed when it wasn’t. It’s a tough practice, but I’ve learned to set those expectations aside and just remind myself that I am there for the adventure, no matter what happens, and that I can find nuggets of happiness anywhere.”

—Sam Kilgore

“Backcountry skiing taught me to slow down and communicate with others. To speak up and often to keep that door open regarding decisions and risk.”

—Dan Ives

“Get excited about what’s next, not fearful.

The difference between adventure/fun and an epic/catastrophe is having a partner. Suffering is a solitary, singular venture. Comedy is community perspective. Think about it, hiking a ridgeline in a whiteout, wind blowing a bajillion miles an hour is a brutal shitshow on your own. But with a pal, it’s a ‘what the hell are we doing here’ giggle fest. Same is true in life.

Also, don’t ration your passion. Express and trumpet your happiness, your stoke. If you’re having fun, tell those around you. Psyched on the line your skiing? Whoop-n-holler during and hi5 after. Stoked that you just landed that job, paid your bills, made yourself dinner, went on a great date with that special somebody? Deploy your barbaric yawp.”

—Paddy O’Connell

“Ski the turn you’re in. Regardless of how far or hard something is, you can only do the thing you’re doing at that moment. Doing those small things, like a single ski turn, over and over are what make up big things, whether it’s work or an adventure. You need to be mindful of where you are in the ever present moment. Secondly: You have to make the turn. You can’t be passive. If you sit back and let stuff happen to you, you end up getting bounced around, go off-course, and it can end badly. You need to be dynamic, take control, and commit over and over.”

—Alicia MacLeay

“As a ‘recovering’ tele skier, every time I thought I had my tele turn perfected I found the hard way that I didn’t. Same with life. Get back up and keep working to get better.”

—Patrick Stoneking

“When I was quitting my last job, I kept thinking about standing on the edge of a cornice before jumping. Everything I’d done to that point had prepared me to jump: I’d jumped off little bumps, then rocks, then jumps, I’d practiced landing and knew that even if I fell (because I had before) I could pick myself up, brush myself off, and laugh about it later. I knew the snow was soft, but ultimately I still have to take that deep breath and slide forward. Quitting my job felt the same, standing on the edge, having an idea of what my future could feel like but not knowing for sure, and having the confidence that I’d be okay no matter how I landed. It was scary to jump, but jumping turned out to be the most important thing I ever could have done.”

—Elizabeth Williams

“Backcountry skiing and splitboarding have taught me to plan everything better, to scope the whole scene and be prepared for everything. My example: being in too big of a rush to get to the toilet without scoping the whole scene and not having TP …”

—Reid Pitman

“One thing I’ve learned through skiing and other adventures like rock climbing, is to take risks and be less scared. The bad outcome usually not nearly as bad as you envision.”

—Russ Rizzo

“I’ve fully embraced the ‘the last one down’s having the most fun’ mantra. Sliding down snowy mountains is just fun, and life should be too. So don’t take this shit so seriously.”

—Maro LeBlance

“#1: Don’t leave good snow for the chance of better snow. This is not the opposite of ‘you deserve better’ or ‘treat yo self.’ It’s more about taking the moment to appreciate what you’ve already worked for, and how good you’ve got it. I think Moses may have said this first as don’t covet your neighbor’s wife.

#2: Happiness in the moment is directly correlated to the expectations you set previously, and you’re 100 percent in control of your expectations. The only shitty ski days I’ve had are when I just ‘knew’ it was gonna be a sweet powder day with tons of vert, and then it wasn’t. I’ve also had amazing ski days of 1000’ vert in the rain, because I was expecting 500. This works for buying houses, getting jobs, cooking dinners, etc.

#3: Skin tracks are better when you keep your chin up and look around, keep your heart rate low enough to breathe, and make your kick-turns razor sharp. AKA, don’t burn out and take the time to do a good job you’re proud of, or else the reward from your job won’t even be worth it.”

—Peter Wadsworth

“Even something as fun as skiing can very dangerous—it will kill you if you’re not super careful and take the time understand the dynamics of the medium on which you are playing.”

—Graham Zimmerman

“While being the best is fun, it’s not always the most important. Knowing that someone (or lots of someones) can send it harder and better but having the courage to do it alongside them anyways can be just as rewarding.”

—Claire Rabun Storrs

“When things get too fast and out of control, sit down.”

—James Larkin

“If you’re not falling, you’re not learning anything.”

—Drew DeMarie

“Things are not always as they appear. The Imperial Express Superchair looks insane but once you get up to the top, it’s not that bad. Conversely, after that run, the Horseshoe Bowl doesn’t look scary at all until you drop in and ask ‘WTF am I supposed to do now?’ because it’s so steep.”

—Joe Engels

“It’s nice to have a sandwich with you.”

—Mike SanClements

“What has cost you more in life, patience or impatience?”

—Rob Coppolillo

“There are a lot of ways to enjoy the snow. Not all of them are the same way you enjoy the snow. Other people choosing to enjoy something you love but in a different way is ok. It even can make it better. Skiers would have never had halfpipes and snow parks without snowboarders. So moral of the story: let other people enjoy life. They’re probably making your life richer for being around them.”

—Jesse Finch Gnehm

“Backcountry skiing has taught me a ton about life. Primarily the uphill part. It’s relatable to life in that nothing just happens. You don’t just have this divine moment to where you’re able to say you’re at the top. It’s small continual steps that get you there, that came by planning, working your ass off in whatever the conditions may have been and keeping a positive mindset that you’d make it. I guess the flip side of it all is that as soon as you’re to the top it’s only a matter of time till you’re working on something else.”

—Andrew Petersen

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Photos: Blondie guitarist, Chris Stein, release new book, POINT OF VIEW

Chris Stein book discussion

POINT OF VIEW

November 30, 2018 | The Cooper Union, NYC

Photos by Joe Ryan

For more information on Blondie, please visit:

Official website: http://www.blondie.net/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Blondie/

Photos appearing on this page is the property of Joe Ryan. They are protected by U.S. Copyright Laws and will not be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of Joe Ryan. Copyright 2018 Joe Ryan. All Rights Reserved.

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Review of Guns N’ Roses at AsiaWorld in Hong Kong

Review by Scott Murphy

November 21 & 22, 2018 – AsiaWorld, Hong Kong

Who knows what’s in the water they drink these days, but whatever it is, it’s working for Guns N’ Roses. Their three hour (!) 25 song show at Hong Kong’s sold out AsiaWorldExpo showcased a veteran LA rock act now in their fifties bidding to become an iconic touring band in the vein of The Stones, and without a doubt, succeeding.

The original trio of lead singer Axl Rose, guitarist Slash, and bassist Duff McKagan has been augmented by four more members (including keyboardist/backup singer Melissa Reese) who competently fill in for past original bandmates who have fallen by the wayside. Gone is much of the group’s wild spontaneity. In its place is — save for a few random comments by Rose — a well oiled touring machine that’s done stints in Vegas and most of the world’s major cities.

So what you get is the group opening with energetic renditions of “It’s So Easy” and “Mr. Brownstone” from their debut, helped by well produced animated video clips that serve as artistic pieces in their own right throughout the show. Slash changed guitars as often as Rose changed T-shirts (at least five times) and on third song “Chinese Democracy” he let loose on his green Les Paul with some crunchy riffs. “Good to see you again. I notice you brought a few friends this time,” quipped Rose, a sly dig at his last low-key appearance in the city a decade ago (which was sparsely attended and which caught much of the city unaware).

And then it’s off to the races for the group — and the crowd loved it. “Welcome To The Jungle” was followed by “Double Talkin’ Jive”, “Better”, “Estranged” and a cover of the Wings’ Bond theme “Live and Let Die”. Rose’s vocals became noticeably stronger as the concert went on, and he was complemented by Slash’s superb guitar work which serves to shape, propel, color and turn the group’s already energetic rock songs into something to truly marvel at.

It’s worth noting that the majority of the group’s set consists of songs from studio albums that are now either 30 years old or approaching that date. While they hold up for the most part, the group’s selection of covers lends a much needed sense of uniqueness to the set. On this night, their cover of Velvet Revolver’s “Slither” (Slash’s post-Guns’ band) sizzled, while their offbeat renditions of Glen Campbell’s countrified “Wichita Lineman” and The Who’s raw “Seeker” showed potential new directions the group is now capable of.

This was a concert that simply rocked and is, essentially critic proof. The crowd — filled with Chinese mainlanders and an international audience — came to get their ya-ya’s out and went home satiated, thrilled and most likely, exhausted. It’s the kind of gig that everyone should see at least once. What happens from here really depends on whether the group records new material again and wants to grow, as opposed to merely cementing their legacy via repeated victory laps.

Guns N Roses

Guns N Roses by Kennevia Photography

SET LIST

IT’S SO EASY
BROWNSTONE
CHINESE DEMOCRAZY
JUNGLE
DOUBLE TALKIN’ JIVE
BETTER
ESTRANGED
LIVE & LET DIE
SHADOW OF YOUR LOVE
SLITHER
ROCKET QUEEN
YOU COULD BE MINE
ATTITUDE
CIVIL WAR
COMA
SWEET CHILD O’ MINE
WICHITA LINEMAN
NOVEMBER RAIN
BLACK HOLE SUN
HEAVEN’S DOOR

NIGHTRAIN

**********
PATIENCE
DON’T CRY
SEEKER
PARADISE CITY
**********

Guns N Roses

Guns N Roses by Kennevia Photography

Guns N Roses

Guns N Roses by Kennevia Photography

Guns N Roses

Guns N Roses by Kennevia Photography

Guns N Roses

Guns N Roses by Kennevia Photography

For more information on Guns N’ Roses, please visit:

Official website: https://www.gunsnroses.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gunsnroses/

Over the past two decades, Scott Murphy has talked to many of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, in addition to vital up and comers. As a long-time producer at MTV-Asia and Channel V, he created several programs and produced many long-form documentaries on such acts as U2, Metallica, Madonna and more. He’s also been published in many newspapers and publications around the world. Currently, he’s a Creative Director at Dragon 8, a Hong Kong based auction house.

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“98° At Christmas a Holiday Tour” Heading to the East Coast

Interview by Danny Coleman

“If we have to be away from our families we might as well make it count so it’s a collection of our best stuff,” says Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees as he discussed their current, “98° At Christmas The Holiday Tour,” the band reunion, their new release, “Let It Snow” and their upcoming Mayo PAC and Borgata shows here in New Jersey.   

Formed by Timmons in 1996 along with Justin Jeffre and brothers Nick and Drew Lachey; these four lads from Ohio broke the typical, “Boy Band” mold and went on to become one of the largest selling acts of the late 90’s until they stopped performing and recording circa 2002.  

Unlike others of their ilk, 98° was different in that they were not formed by a label but were signed by one after they formed on their own. With sales of over 10 million records, eight top 40 hits and a trail of broken hearts; they were a force to reckon with until they took a needed yet much longer than expected break.  

“When we took the break, we really didn’t know what to expect,” explained Timmons. “Nick had the television show and Drew was on, “Dancing With The Stars” and things just kind of went on from there. We never lost touch with one another and we didn’t have some huge feud, we just went about our own lives.”  

The break was more than a decade long and as they grew from young men in a, “Boy Band” into more mature artists; ironically enough it was another band from their past that helped get them back into performing.  

“Yeah, wow, an 11 year hiatus,” he said with a tone of disbelief himself. “We weren’t sure what would happen when we got back together at the, “Mixtape Festival” in Hershey, PA back in 2012; we figured we’d try it and if it works we’d see where it went and it went well. I don’t know if it’s because we’re all from the Mid-west but we are all pretty grounded, there’s no egos involved and I think that’s because we all had gone in different directions and grew as artists and people so we were very happy with the reunion and we realized that we still had an appetite for it and wanted to do it. Then our friends in Boyz II Men were on a summer tour and asked us to sign on along with New Kids on the Block and it all came back full circle.”  

The band has seamlessly picked up where they left off and the hiatus is in the rear view mirror but was getting back into the swing of things, especially with such signature harmonies as easy as they make it sound?  

“When we got back together, as I said we didn’t know what to expect; has the music evolved or would the harmonies be hard to find? It was pretty easy for us once we got acclamation with our tones; it was just trying to find out where our voices fit in the vocal stack. Once we figured that out it was pretty easy to move forward.”  

The tour kicked off on November 1 and will come to a close on December 21 and has served as a celebration of both the band’s 20 year anniversary and the holiday season.  Timmons says the band is enjoying themselves immensely and experiencing, “A resurgence” in their fan base while making new ones along the way.  

December 7 sees the band bring their 90 minute solo performance to the Mayo PAC in Morristown and December 15 they roll into The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and Timmons says that they are rather excited to be in the area.  

“It’s going to be great to be back in the Northeast,” he stated enthusiastically. “When we were first signed we spent a lot of time in the tri-state area and we really enjoy performing there. New York City, northern New Jersey, Connecticut and then around Philly have all been really good to us so we look very much forward to coming back.”  

So now that they are reassembled and have released new music; what’s next after this tour concludes?  

“I guess we will take it day by day. I know that we really enjoy performing in the summer so maybe we’ll do a tour then; who knows? We’ve got some things in the works so we’ll be taking it day by day.”  

To discover more about the, “98° At Christmas Holiday Tour” or to purchase tickets, please visit www.98degrees.com 

 

 

Danny Coleman (Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 10 p.m. EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.)

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