North Jersey Notes: Martyrd

MartyrdI’ve been getting bombarded with emails lately from a band called Martyrd—they seem to be getting on some pretty big metal bills lately. They’ve opened up for Testament at B.B. Kings in NYC and recently opened for metal gods Raven at L’ Amour in Staten Island, NY, they’re opening for Overkill at the Penny Arcade in Rochester, NY, on Oct. 15, and for guitar legend Yngwie Malmsteen at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ, on Oct. 24. Now, with credentials like that, they either have a great booking agent/manager/PR guy or they’re really that good! I had to check it out for myself! I logged onto to investigate, and I have to say, incredible guitar work! I mean, if you want old school, and I mean old school metal, you need to check out Martyrd. Not sure where they got these songs produced, but the singer’s vocals were so far out in front of the rest of the band, it made it sound a lot like a demo. You kind of forget about the production, though, when you listen to the guitar work. Wow! I was totally blown away! I got to hear songs like “Seeds Of Vengeance,” “Harvest,” and my favorite, “Pressure,” which has a great opening riff!

Martyrd was actually formed by accident when guitarist Michael Andreas and a bunch of his friends threw a couple of Megadeth and Metallica songs together to compete at a Battle Of The Bands in their high school. They had such a blast that they didn’t want to do this music thing just for fun anymore. So, Michael set out to get some serious musicians and started writing original music. Together as a five- piece, Martyrd would practice and play out as much as they could. They recently released their debut CD, Maniac, which according to the band, was written over the course of their six years together. Making up the rest of Martyrd alongside guitarist Michael Andreas is singer Aaron Pollard, guitarist Dan Agapitos, bassist Kevin Nielsen, and drummer Adam Birula.

Martyrd is currently on tour in support of their debut CD Maniac. If you love that old school metal sound, you will love these guys! Even if you love watching and listening to some great guitar work, you’ll love these guys! Find out where you can catch them live next by logging onto .


Calling all North Jersey drummers! I just received a press release from my bud, Lisa over at Dexter’s in Riverdale, NJ, about a drum-off that is being hosted by the legendary drummer, Carmine Appice. The competition is being called The Carmine Appice Slamm Drum-Off Competition. To enter, you need to send a video or audio recording of yourself playing the drums to Dexter’s Entertainment Complex via email at or send it snail mail to Dexter’s Entertainment Complex, Attn: Lisa, 92 Route 23 North, Riverdale, NJ 07457. It doesn’t cost anything to enter and all entries must be received by Friday, Oct. 10. The competition will be held on Sunday, Oct. 19. For more info, log onto dextersentertainme

Ok, this will be my last reminder for this one huge event! I guess that would be because the event is actually taking place this Saturday, Sept. 27! Yes, I’m talking about the Ape Fight and Echofission Boat Bash! Three hours of live music by Ape Fight and Echofission, booze, dancing, eating, firetrucks, and lots of ****ing! Ape Fight chose to leave that last part for you to fill in the blanks!

Anyway, there are only a few last minute tickets left! If you still haven’t bought your Boat Bash tickets yet, then go to or to get them. The boat leaves NYC at 7:00 p.m. sharp, and it’s pretty close to sold out, so don’t waste time and get your tickets today!

And finally, it seemed that my column about the ticket selling policies struck a couple of nerves a few weeks ago. The feedback that I received was both positive and negative. Positive, in that many of my friends in bands agreed with what I wrote because we’ve all been here already! Why are we reverting back? All of us working bands just want to play! What the hell?

The only negative feedback that I heard, really— well, it’s not really negative—I mean, he agreed with what I wrote, but the email that he sent stated that after all of these years and all of these dreams, he was bowing out of the music rat race to concentrate on what mattered most to him—his family. He says that he will continue to write and record, but as for playing clubs, selling tickets, and dealing with drunk idiots late at night at a Jersey club on the weekend, he’s done. The musician that I speak of is none other than my bro, Steve Bello. Hey Steve, now who am I supposed to write about? I just wanted to wish Steve luck on whatever he does in the future and maybe one day we’ll see him grace a stage again in New Jersey somewhere!

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!