North Jersey Notes: Dead Fish Handshake, With Daggers Drawn, Sekond Skyn, etc.


My bud, Rob Ferreira, formerly of the band Downshallow, whom I’ve written about a number of times through the years, has found himself a new home with his new project Dead Fish Handshake. Rob told me about them a while back, but I never had a chance to check them out until now. I have to say, “Wow!” They were not bad at all! After giving the songs “Safe Place” and “Changes” off of their upcoming CD, Across State Lines, a listen I couldn’t believe how heavy they sounded. Singer Matt Tortorella’s vocal performance was strong, only he kind of reminded me of Chad Kroeger from Nickelback. Both songs had great riffs and near perfect arrangements with hooks that you won’t be able to get out of your heads.

The unique story about Dead Fish Handshake is that their songs were written across state lines. That’s right. After sharing the stage on numerous occasions with their former bands, singer Matt Tortorella and guitarist Rob Ferreira set out to start something new. The only problem was that Matt lived in Rhode Island and Rob was here in Jersey. They did their best to continue writing music together and the final product is a hooky, melodic, and riff-driven collaboration. Joining Rob and Matt in Dead Fish Handshake are bassist Darren Furman and drummer Matt Biehl.

Dead Fish Handshake’s debut single “Changes” has received much airplay throughout the country, but the band is not done working yet. This quartet is working hard towards the release of their debut CD, Across State Lines, which is set for later this year. If you want to give Dead Fish Handshake a listen or want to find out where they’re playing next, you can log onto


I just got an email from the With Daggers Drawn camp. Besides performing the two upcoming 40 Below Summer reunion shows, the boys are working on tons of new music and have even started tracking two brand new songs. If you need your dose of With Daggers Drawn right away, though, the boys have released a 4-song “2010 Summer Sampler” available now for free download on

You’ll be able to download “Amnesiac”, “Behind a Faded Star”, “Four Year Term” or “Whipping Boy”. Best of all, it’s FREE! So, log onto now for your “2010 Summer Sampler from With Daggers Drawn.

The boys from Sekond Skyn parted ways with singer Jon Follet shortly after inking a deal with Dirt Bag Music. They’ve since been writing new songs and auditioning singers up the wazoo! Though, I’ve heard that they might’ve found their man, they will be playing a few shows as Vice with Living Colour’s Corey Glover on vocals and a few shows as Sekond Skyn also featuring Glover. You can catch Vice live this Friday night Sept. 24 at Santos Party House in NYC. For more info on Sekond Skyn, log onto

And finally, speaking of Sekond Skyn with Corey Glover, they were recently added to the bill of Black Water Rising and my new band, Sik Twisted Smile, at Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ this Saturday night Sept. 25. I have to admit, without sounding biased, this show is going to rock! So, get your asses down to Dingbatz! For more info on the show, log onto If you want to hear my band’s brand new songs “Revolution” and “If U Died Tomorrow” before you come to Ding Batz, log onto

That’s all for now! If your band is from North Jersey, and you want some exposure, send your press kits to Arts Weekly, c/o Tim Louie P.O. Box 1140 Little Falls, NJ 07424, or you can email me at, where you can also let me know where you’re performing next. No cover bands, please! Also, if you haven’t checked out my podcast yet, do it now at!

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

NJN Concert Calendar:

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—Vice (feat. Corey Glover from Living Colour)—Santos Party House, NYC

9/24—ZO2—Gramercy Theater, NYC

9/25—Sik Twisted Smile/Black Water Rising/Sekond Skyn (feat. Corey Glover from Living Colour on vocals)—Ding Batz, Clifton, NJ

9/25—Dead Fish Handshake—The Cup Complex, Linden, 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

9/30—Steve Brown—Firehouse Eatery, Rahway, NJ

10/2—With Daggers Drawn/Dead Men Dreaming/40 Below Summer/God Forbid/Disaster Fantastic—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

10/3—Kindred Souls—Millburn Street Fair, Millburn, NJ

10/7—Long Gone Day/Corrosion of Conformity—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

10/7—Murder League All-Stars—Ding Batz, Clifton, NJ

10/8—Diablo Royale—Bridgewater Pub, Bridgeton, NJ

10/10—Kindred Souls—Summit Street Fair, Summit, NJ