North Jersey Notes: Sundown Conspiracy, Black Water Rising’s Lawsuit and More!


My bros from Romulus X Records had a really great band on their roster that caught my attention after hearing a few tracks on their ReverbNation page. The name of the band is Sundown Conspiracy, and they totally rock! They’re heavy, they groove and their harmonies are simply fantastic! After hearing the songs “Don’t Look Back,” which was my favorite, “Illusion” and “Worst Of It All,” I was absolutely blown away!

In 2002, Sundown Conspiracy was formed in some Newton, NJ, basement by drummer Mike Inga and bassist Bob Casteel. They spent countless hours writing and rewriting the songs in that basement. After a year, Sundown Conspiracy decided it was time to let the public hear what they’d been doing so they headed into a local recording studio to record a three-song demo, which they took to the streets right away. After playing a few local gigs, Sundown Conspiracy was finally making a name for itself, as well as garnering a decent local following. The next few years brought on many shows and more visits into the studio to record more music to promote their brand.

Today, Sundown Conspiracy is made up of lead singer and bassist Bob Casteel, guitarist Jeff Hamilton and drummer Mike Inga. Mike’s brother Mark Inga was the second guitar player, but sadly, Mike told me that his family lost his brother Mark this past May in a tragic motorcycle accident. So, the band will continue on as a three-piece. Sundown Conspiracy has been working with Romulus X Records, so look for a new release from these guys coming soon! For now, you can check them out at



The boys from Dead Fish Handshake will be opening for former Live singer Ed Kowalczyk and Collective Soul at the Union County Fair Music Fest, next Friday afternoon, Sept. 16, at Oak Ridge Park in Clark, NJ. What a great gig for Dead Fish Handshake! For more ticket info or any other info on this event, log onto

My bro, Jimmy Gnecco from Ours has a new project with A-Ha guitarist and songwriter Paul Waaktaar-Savoy called Weathervane, which also happens to be the name of the band’s first single. The song “Weathervane” will also appear in the upcoming movie Headhunters. You can check the video out for “Weathervane” on YouTube or log onto to hear a sample of the track.

And finally, my bros from Black Water Rising have been making headlines with their lawsuit against the New Jersey Devils. It turns out the Devils have been using Black Water Rising’s song “Rise” as part of their pre-game video for their home games at The Rock in Newark. Though the boys from BWR were really excited about it, the song was used without the band’s consent, and they weren’t even credited for the use of the song during the video. This is a big no-no in the copyright world, and since singer Rob Traynor is well versed in the copyright laws, he decided to go after the big fish. Rob seems to have stayed on the Devil’s front office and now there’s a $30 million dollar lawsuit against the New Jersey Devils.

As local and unsigned artists, I feel we need to unite and support Black Water Rising here. This can happen to any of us who have music under lock and key, supposedly protected at the Library of Congress. Big companies like the New Jersey Devils get paid for what they do, so it’s only fair that we performers and songwriters should get paid for what we do, and not be taken advantage of. Show Black Water Rising your support on their Facebook page!

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!


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

Tim Louie is the author of S**t Happens.

NJN Concert Calendar:

9/9—Borgo Pass—The Pennant East, Bellmawr, NJ

9/10—Murder League All Stars/Darkness Descends/HYNGD/Malicious Tendencies/Bluesfield Drive —Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

9/10—Midnight Mosaic—Montville Music Festival, Montville, NJ

9/11—Long Gone Day—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

9/16—Sundown Conspiracy/In Disguise/Voodoo Terror Tribe/Seas of Wake—The Meatlocker, Montclair, NJ

9/16—With Daggers Drawn/Angel Vivaldi/Ashes of Your Enemy/Atom Strange—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

9/16—Dead Fish Handshake/Ed Kowalczyk/Collective Soul—Oak Ridge Park, Clark, NJ

9/16—Our Black Friday/ZO2—The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ

9/17—Fuel/Hoodless/No More Pain—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

9/17—IKILLYA/Demilitia/Ashes Within/Krystaleen—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

9/23—Boundalive—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

9/23—Borgo Pass—Juggs-N-Strokers, Merrick, NY

9/24—Scarlet Carson CD Release Party/Life Without Warning/The New Black/Jaded Faith/Dive/Set It Free—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

9/24—Midnight Mosaic—Kenny’s Castaways, NYC

9/29—Borgo Pass—Saint Vitus Bar, Brooklyn, NY

9/30—John Rango (acoustic show)—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ