North Jersey Notes: Disaster Fantastic, Steve Bello & Gar Francis


UNION, NJ—My Sik Twisted Smile drummer, Jeff Hardee, recently told me that his nextdoor neighbor was in a hard rock band. Of course I salivated at the chance to hear a new rock band from North Jersey. The name of the band is Disaster Fantastic out of Union, NJ, and after giving them a listen, I thought that they rocked!

They reminded me of P.O.D. They rocked hard and they mixed vocal rap with some big hooky melodies. The songs “Shotgun Mrs.” and “Hidden Hand” are examples of this. Singer Rob Schrump proved that he wasn’t all rap, though, in the more mellow song “Down the Well”, where he proved that he can actually sing. The kid has a great voice, what can I say?

Disaster Fantastic combines an energetic and high-octane stage presence with some hard-edged, harmony-driven vocals. According to the band, they’re trying to bring excitement back onto the NJ rock scene. But they won’t be able to do it alone.

They bring their unique blend of rock, grunge, hardcore, and hip-hop to the forefront of their takeover the NJ rock scene’ revolution.


Local guitar hero Steve Bello and his new line-up recently filmed a live teaser video for his new song “Surfing to Venus” from his upcoming CD, Go Bezerk! Steve said that the band will be heading into the recording studio to professionally record the new songs sometime this month. The video was a rehearsal filmed at American One Studios in West Paterson, NJ. It is only being used by Steve to give his fans a taste of what’s to come. He also said there may be a totally different version of “Surfing to Venus” on the CD. To watch Steve Bello’s video for “Surfing to Venus”, log onto

Speaking of guitar heroes, it looks like Gar Francis, guitarist of The Doughboys, wastes no time writing and producing new music. He recently wrote and released Ballerina of the Bowery on Bongo Boy Records. The song features NYC rocker Jana Peri on vocals, which gives it that la femme/garage rock sound. Gar Francis’s Ballerina of the Bowery is available now on iTunes, Amazon and CDBaby. For more info, log onto

And finally, I recently learned that Beatrix Kiddo guitarist, Anthony Santora, has left the band. From what I heard, the kid just stopped showing up to band things and actually already started recording with another band!


9/16—Steve Brown—Firehouse Eatery, Rahway, NJ

9/17—Beatrix Kiddo—The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ

9/18—Steve Brown and the Fallout—The Grasshopper Too, Wayne, NJ

9/19—Disaster Fantastic—The Crossroads, Garwood, NJ

9/19—Kindred Souls—Hackettstown Street Fair, Hackettstown, NJ

9/21—Bern and the Brights—Van Gogh’s Ear Café, Union, NJ

9/23—Steve Brown—Firehouse Eatery, Rahway, NJ

9/23—Bern and the Brights—Northern Soul, Hoboken, NJ

9/24—Boundalive—Ding Batz, Clifton, NJ

9/24—ZO2—Gramercy Theater, NYC

9/25—Sik Twisted Smile/Black Water Rising—Ding Batz, Clifton, NJ

9/25—Murder League All-Stars—Love Sexy, Hoboken, NJ

9/25—Bern and the Brights—The Griggstown Pavilion, Princeton, NJ

9/25—Borgo Pass—Mr. Beery’s, Bethpage, NY

9/28—Bern and the Brights—Van Gogh’s Ear Café, Union, NJ