North Jersey Notes: Last Days Of Empire: South Amboy, NJ

I recently received an email to check out a band from South Amboy, NJ, called Last Days Of Empire, and I have to say that the boys must have caught me in a good mood. Normally, I’m not a fan of mood rock, but the music of Last Days Of Empire really caught my attention. I heard great vocals, good guitar work, and unbelievable harmonies. Songs like “The Rose Garden,” “The Faceless,” and “Prizefighter,” off of the band’s debut CD, Black Armband Holiday, kind of blew me away.

Last Days Of Empire is a four-piece, unsigned, self-proclaimed ambient rock band from South Amboy, New Jersey. With layers and layers of guitar work, an explosive rhythm section, and distorted keys and beats, it’s only natural to be fronted by a powerful vocal section with singer/guitarist Michael Depko, who is also known for his transitions in between screams and singing patterns. Last Days Of Empire has often been compared to bands like Thrice, The Deftones, and 30 Seconds To Mars. Joining singer/guitarist Michael Depko in the band is guitarist Bryan Corigliano, bassist Rob Byles, and drummer Jay Bruner.

Last Days Of Empire is currently on the road in support of the upcoming CD, The Veronica Project, which I’m told is a conceptual CD about “a society at war and touches on such themes as love, camaraderie, glory and death.” This CD could be the Operation Mindcrime of our time! Who knows? I do know that this girl, Veronica, must be really hot to have a CD named after her! Give the boys of Last Days Of Empire a listen at


I just got an email from an old bud, James Di Gangi, guitarist of Will Killmore, and he wanted to update me on the band. It turns out Will Killmore will be finally releasing their debut EP, Oh The Humanity, in March. You can log onto their website,, to see the CD’s artwork and track listing. James also told me that Will Killmore recently secured an opening slot for Unearth at The Crocodile Rock in Allentown, PA, on March 21. That should be a pretty exciting show! As for the future of Will Killmore, James said that the band has a bunch of CD release shows in the works, a ton of new merch to sell, and they recently bought a 22-passenger bus to prepare to hit the road with. I have to admit, it sounds like James and the boys from Will Killmore really have their shit together! Again, check them out at

I just saw the first video footage of a rehearsal for the highly-anticipated Hades reunion on YouTube. The legendary Jersey band is reuniting for a couple of shows. The U.S. show being held at Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ, on April 21 will act as a warm up show because the band will fly out the next day to Germany to perform at the Keep It True Festival. If you check out their rehearsal video that I mentioned earlier for the song “Nightstalker,” it sounds as though singer Alan Tecchio already has his bags packed! Hades sounded great and it was incredible to see this line-up back together. Check the legends out at

And finally, at my recent gig opening for Sebastian Bach at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ, I introduced myself to ZO2 bassist David Z, whom I have to admit that I had all wrong! I thought that he was going to be this egomaniac, but ended up being such a down to earth and humble guy! ZO2 has created quite a name for themselves on the NYC scene, and even have their own TV show, Z-Rock, on the IFC Channel. I caught ZO2’s set and they were a bunch of solid musicians! They did an excellent rendition of Rush’s “Tom Sawyer,” and singer Paulie Z really knows how to get the crowd going. They were fun to watch! Check out ZO2 when they come to your neck of the woods or give them a listen first 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! 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:

3/3—Uncle Freak—The Whiskey Bar, Hoboken, NJ

3/5—Black Water Rising/Moth Eater/Piston Driven/Brand New Sin—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

3/5—ZO2/Kix—Crazy Donkey, Farmingdale, NY

3/5—Uncle Freak—The Clash Bar, Clifton, NJ

3/6—With Daggers Drawn/God Forbid/Kittie—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

3/6—John Rango and Friends—The Mason Jar, Mahwah, NJ

3/10—Charetta—Ace of Clubs, NYC

3/12—ZO2—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

3/12—Black Water Rising—Trash Bar, Brooklyn, NY

3/13—Uncle Freak—The Crossroads, Garwood, NJ

3/13—Rahway—R Bar, NYC

3/13—ZO2—The Cherrywood Lounge, Clementon, NJ

3/13—Apathy—Blue Room, Secaucus, NJ

3/14—A Midnight Tragedy—Velocity 17, Maywood, NJ

3/19—Our Black Friday—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

3/19—Lieder—Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park, NJ

3/20—A Midnight Tragedy—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

3/20—ZO2—The Mercury Lounge, NYC

3/21—Will Killmore—Crocodile Rock, Allentown, PA

3/23—Diablo Royale—Gramercy Theater, NYC