North Jersey Notes: Knollwood, Clifton, NJ

I was recently going through my emails, getting rid of junk mail and whatnot, when I came across an email that I must’ve overlooked. The email was simply titled “New Local Band,” so I opened it up. A kid named Johnny Knollwood, who wanted me to check out his band Knollwood, wrote the email. The unique thing about Johnny, which I found very interesting, is that he is the son of a guitarist who is currently on the New Jersey club scene. His dad’s band is one that I’ve featured before called Flight Of Time. The thing that I find interesting about this is that this would make Johnny kind of a second generation musician on the NJ music scene, and after listening to this music, these were some pretty powerful genes! Johnny Knollwood is a shredder and this young man can play! By the way, as I write this, I am feeling older and older!

So, I logged onto Knollwood’s link to hear what they sounded like and the only thing posted was two live instrumental tracks, but those two tracks got the point across as to what Knollwood as a band is capable of. Johnny’s fret board work is amazing for a kid of his age. He reminded me of a young Steve Vai (or a young Steve Bello for that matter!). Johnny Knollwood, who also sings, and original drummer John Glass, who is no longer with the band, formed Knollwood only in September 2008. Bassist Sid Rivers would join the band later to help the band perform at a local battle of the bands in which they placed second. The kids of Knollwood really have a classic rock background as Johnny claims Rush as one his favorite bands and Steve Vai and Joe Satriani as his favorite guitar players. Since the departure of drummer John Glass, Knollwood has added drummer Nikki Von Bang to their line-up.

Knollwood is currently working on a five-song demo, which they hope to have out by this summer. That’s when you’ll really get to hear how this kid shreds! You catch Knollwood live this Saturday night, May 30, at the Paramus VFW or Sunday night, May 31, at Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ. If you can’t make these shows, then log onto


The gang from Eden Star will be gearing up for battle this weekend! Turns out, they’ll take part in this year’s “War For The Warped Tour” battle of the bands contest, which runs through the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ this Saturday night, May 30 for a second time. For those with short-term memory loss, I featured Eden Star a few issues back, so go check your back issues if you can’t remember! The singer kind of looks like me but isn’t me! Anyway, for more info on Eden Star or for tickets to this show, log onto or

Good news from the With Daggers Drawn camp! Their song “Disillusions In Glass” was recently added to Sirius XM’s “Liquid Metal” Channel’s playlist thanks to metal deejay Jose Mangin! It looks the boys from With Daggers Drawn are getting a pretty good response from their music, which is creating even more spins for them! So, good for them! With Daggers Drawn is currently in their own studio in Clifton, NJ, finishing up their next opus. They have a bunch of live dates coming up, so catch them live while they’re busting their asses to keep putting out some great metal! Find out where they’re playing next at

And finally, don’t miss heading down to Hoboken, NJ, this Saturday night, May 30, as Saint Caine returns to O’Donoghue’s! So, singer John Kosco might be related to the owner! Saint Caine rocks this pub every time they play it. Get down there early because this house will be packed fast and as you all know, parking is minimal in Hoboken. Kosco also hints that a there may be a special guest that may ‘Godsmack’ you in the face when you see who it is! Find out more about this gig at

That’s all for now! And remember, 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!

NJN Concert Calendar:
5/28—A True Story—Jimmy’s, Moonachie, NJ
5/29—Eve To Adam—Sullivan Hall, NYC
5/29—Jet Lag Gemini—School of Rock, South Hackensack, NJ
5/29—Atom Strange—The TriTone, Philadelphia, PA
5/29—A True Story—The Fireside, Denville, NJ
5/29—Evan Toth and the Excuses—Mexicali Blues, Teaneck, NJ
5/29—With Daggers Drawn/Black Market Hero—Don Hill’s, NYC
5/30—Shadows Lie—Crash Mansion, NYC
5/30—Kosmic Daydream—The Cornerstone, Carlstadt, NJ
5/30—A True Story—O’Harra’s, Jersey City, NJ
5/30—Saint Caine—Saints and Sinners (O’Donoghue’s), Hoboken, NJ
5/30—Eden Star—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ
5/30—Knollwood—Paramus VFW, Paramus, NJ
5/31—Black Water Rising—Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ
5/31—DJ Cloak and Dagger—The Verve Lounge, Somerville, NJ
5/31—Knollwood—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
6/6—Mercury Morning—Rock the Mountain Music Festival, Tuxedo, NY
6/6—Ippy and the Project—Dublin Pub, Morristown, NJ
6/6—Diablo Royale/Charetta—Crash Mansion, NYC
6/6—Only Living Boy—Bar 46, Hackettstown, NJ
6/6—Evan Toth and the Excuses—Rockin’ Joe Coffeehouse and Bistro, Caldwell, NJ
6/6—DJ Cloak and Dagger—Rock the Mountain Music and Arts Festival, Tuxedo, NY
6/7—HelenaMaria—Somerset Patriots Ballpark, Bridgewater, NJ
6/12—Hybrid Dawn—Doc Watson’s, Philadelphia, PA
6/12—Black Water Rising/Mean Venus—Crocodile Rock, Allentown, PA
6/12—Echofission—Krogh’s Brew Pub, Sparta, NJ
6/13—A True Story—Shannon Rose, Clifton, NJ
6/13—Evan Toth and the Excuses—Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ
6/13—Echofission—The Thirsty Toad, Lodi, NJ