North Jersey Notes: Sekond Skyn, Central NJ

My former Hostel Inc. bro, Jeff Hardee, was telling me about this band that he knew from Central Jersey somewhere called Sekond Skyn. Being the writer that I am, I was like, “Dude, you know that you spelled that wrong, right?” Apparently, that is the way that they spell it. He told me that they just got off of a tour with J.D.’s Cycle Of Pain, which impressed me, and this Friday night, Dec. 11, they’re playing with my boys from Black Water Rising at The Saint in Asbury Park, NJ. How can I not check this band out after those reasons? Even if they can’t spell! Anyway, after giving them a listen, I learned that Sekond Skyn can rock with the big boys! They’re a hard rock band with an excellent drummer in Tommy Spano. His thunderous drums are well colored-in by excellent riffs from guitarists Eddie Heedles and Mark Monjoy, while singer Jon Follet gives songs like “Heroin Within” and “Scorned,” off of their 2009 CD release, Addicted To Chaos, a nice aggressive feel. My favorite track was the cover of the Men At Work classic “Land Down Under.”

The year 2005 was the perfect time for former members of a local band named Backhand to join forces with a charismatic young singer named Jon Follet after this band Blind broke up. The newly formed Sekond Skyn started performing as a five-piece experimental hard rock band where they quickly developed a thriving, loyal fan base with their aggressive and dynamic live performances earning them opening slots with national acts like Korn, The Deftones, Stone Sour, Godsmack, Mudvayne, Slipknot, Evanescence, Sevendust, etc. You get the idea! They’ve even earned a slot on The Vans Warped Tour. In 2006 and 2007 their hard work earned them the WRATfest Opening Act Band Search title in back-to-back fashion for local radio station WRAT. Sekond Skyn is made up of singer Jon Follet, guitarists Eddie Heedles and Mark Monjoy, bassist George Pond, and drummer Tommy Spano.

In December 2006, Sekond Skyn released their first full-length CD, Let The Fire Burn, which was mastered by Danny Schuler of Biohazard. In 2008, the band released a self-titled EP as an appetizer for their next full-length CD titled The Blue Album. Partially based on the EP’s success, Sekond Skyn was named the Top Hard Rock Act of 2008 by the Asbury Music Association; a coveted title to be held by any New Jersey musician. This past March, Sekond Skyn released their third full-length CD, Addicted To Chaos, which can be purchased on the band’s MySpace page, You can also catch them live this Friday night, Dec. 11, with Black Water Rising down at The Saint in Asbury Park, NJ.


My bros Brett Aveni and Ron “Q*Ball” Scalzo will be returning to action in 2010 with their project Return To Earth featuring Chris Pennie from Coheed And Cambria on drums! Their highly anticipated upcoming CD, Automata, is the follow-up to their 2007 debut, Captains Of Industry. The band is just waiting for Chris Pennie to finish up recording the new Coheed And Cambria CD out in L.A. before they start promoting the new CD. For now you can download the new single, “You Will Be Replaced,” off of Automata on I just finished listening to the track and it is mind blowing! Look for Return To Earth in 2010! Speaking of Q*Ball, that bald freak just collaborated with Guns ‘N’ Roses guitarist and local legend, Bumblefoot recently to record an acoustic version of Q*Ball’s song “Second Chance,” which is available now for download on*Ball. Q*Ball also says that he’s hard at work on some new material which he also hopes to have out in 2010. That’s, of course, providing Return To Earth doesn’t miraculously take off! To find out more about Return To Earth and Q*Ball, log onto, where you can actually get info on the whole Bald Freak Music roster.

I recently got a text from my old Smoke Star singer, Ivo, who is now fronting his own great band Mercury Morning. I’ve mentioned them a few times in this column. Well, it turns out Ivo is trying to add to Mercury Morning’s already stellar line-up. He’s looking for another guitar player who will also be a co-writer on new material. Basically, he’s looking for someone to add some more juice to the band’s music. If you can play and write or knows of someone who can play and write in the vein of Mercury Morning, contact them at where you can also hear what they sound like if you don’t already know.

And finally, just a reminder, this Saturday is BlankFest 2009 at Bruxelles in Nyack, NY. For those of you unsure about what I’m talking about, Chuck DeBruyn and Kenn Rowell, to help New York City’s homeless stay warm back in 1997, started BlankFest. The festival is an all day event filled with live music and the only price of admission is a blanket. Past performers included Marc Rizzo from Soulfly, Mickey Leigh (Joey Ramone’s brother), and Bobby Steele from The Misfits. This year, Bobby Steele is back and so is folk singer, Patti Rothberg. For more info on this event, log onto

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! Also, if you haven’t checked out my podcast yet, do it now at

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

NJN Concert Calendar:

12/11—Black Water Rising/Sekond Skyn—The Saint, Asbury Park, NJ

12/11—Serotonen—Alphabet Lounge, NYC

12/11—The Doughboys—Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park, NJ

12/11—Borgo Pass/BioHazard—Crazy Donkey, Farmingdale, NY

12/12—Beatrix Kiddo—7 Day’s Bar, Union Beach, NJ

12/12—Lieder—Otto’s Shrunken Head, NYC

12/12—Psychostick—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

12/12—Killcode/The Dirty Pearls—Gramercy Theater, NYC

12/12—Kix/Z02/Lyken 21/TRIMM—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

12/12—Black Water Rising—Jugs-N-Strokers, Merrick, NY

12/12—BlankFest—Bruxelle’s Restaurant, Nyack, NY

12/12—Audacity—Post 282, Harrison, NJ

12/18—Black Water Rising—Station 58, Syracuse, NY

12/18—Marc Rizzo Band—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

12/19—Christine Martucci—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

12/19—Black Water Rising—Monty’s Krown, Rochester, NY

12/19—Sekond Skyn—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

12/19—Marc Rizzo Band—Popeye’s Pub, Courtlandt Manor, NY

12/20—Black Water Rising—The Lost Horizon, Syracuse, NY

12/22—Sekond Skyn—The Trash Bar, Brooklyn, NY

12/26—Sekond Skyn—High Velocity, Beachwood, NJ