North Jersey Notes: Fleece

FleeceI was recently logged onto since I haven’t been on there in a hot minute, and heard a band that just blew me away. The name of the band is Fleece and they’re from Bloomfield, NJ. Now, you can’t get anymore North Jersey than that! Fleece is an alt-rock band with a Christian rock feel that reminds me of a Seven Mary Three or a Creed. Singer/guitarist/founder Big John Fleece’s voice is so deep and powerful. I can totally hear tracks like “Pull Me Through,” “Follow Me,” and “Trade for Your Life” on a Z100 or a K-Rock. The songs were that good. I can’t say enough about singer Big John Fleece’s voice! Wow!

Fleece formed back in 2006 when legendary R&B producer Troy Taylor discovered Big John Fleece and described him as a star who just didn’t know it yet. Big John’s career began when Troy and his wife just so happened to be in the audience at a church when they heard and witnessed Big John move listeners to tears with his song at the piano. Troy would immediately invite John into his home to record his material to put it on CD. John would use this time to continue to write and perform, but he would soon realize that he needed a band to do justice to his growing set list. Starting out as the John Fitzpatrick Band and eventually evolving into Fleece, they’ve changed band members on numerous occasions to enhance their sound, and find the right fit. Today’s lineup includes Big John Fleece on vocals/guitar, Billy ‘The Kid’ Van Cleef on lead guitar, Danny De Jesus on bass, and Jeff Sargent on drums.

Fleece’s melodies and energy level at their live shows has fans of all ages singing along and growing by the numbers. They also have a CD for sale at their gigs called Against the Wind. Check Fleece out at


My fellow bass brother, Mikey Driveby from the band Blinded By Anger recently sent me an email saying that the band finally finished recording their first demo as Blinded By Anger. The CD was recorded at Sweetfire Studios in Brooklyn, NY, and was produced by Candiria singer Carley Coma, who didn’t stop at producing. He’s also featured on a killer track called “From the Ledge,” which was my personal favorite! You can also hear two other new thunderous tracks like “The Rogue Divinity” and “A Moments Stare” on the bands myspace page,

Speaking of Carley Coma, he and his Candiria cohort, Ken Schalk have formed a new band called Hope Kills Fear, which incestfully enough, also includes Mikey Driveby’s former guitarist Steve Richards, bass player J. Alexander, and guitarist Julio Arias. Steve, who turned me onto the new project, also toured with Candiria as their guitarist on their last two tours. This new project Hope Kills Fear sounds a little bit more commercial for the Candiria boys, but it sounds incredible! If you want a taste of Hope Kills Fear, log onto to hear tracks like “Save Me,” “Move,” and “All You Need.” You won’t be let down!

And finally, the boys from Life Without Warning have parted ways with their guitar player Pete. They are currently playing out at as a four-piece, but are in the market for a new lead guitar player. Check them out at, if you’re a guitar player, and if you’re interested e-mail them via myspace or at

That’s all for now! If your band is from North Jersey and you want some exposure, send your demos and press kits to Arts Weekly, c/o Tim Louie P.O. Box 1140 Little Falls, NJ 07424. No cover bands, please!

Just remember… We’re all in the same boat, so every little bit of exposure counts!