North Jersey Notes: Going Dark, Apathy, Sturla and More!

You have to love when you get a CD from a bunch of kids because you want to see how they measure up in talent as you did when you were their age. Well, Going Dark out of Livingston, NJ, really pushed my measurement to its limits. These kids sound like they have some talent to them. The songs were well written and well performed, but the thing that worries me is that singer and bass player, Oliver Shaw, is only 12-years-old. What happens when he hits puberty? Will he be able to handle the voice transition? Well, listening to the way that he sings, it sounds as if the boy has vocal training. I think he will be just fine! I got to hear a few tracks off of their debut CD, Play Your Game, and the songs that shined for me were “Virus,” the title track, and “I Am.”

Going Dark is comprised of lead singer and bassist Oliver Shaw, guitarist LJ Militello (14) and drummer Alex Fogg (15). In May of 2009, Fogg met Militello while they were playing in rival bands. After parting ways with their bands, the two quickly decided to get together to jam and felt an undeniable chemistry. A year of writing music together, Fogg and Militello caught Shaw on a YouTube video, believe it or not, and reached out to him in May 2010, completing the lineup of Going Dark. The power trio continued to work together and loved the direction that their original material was heading. In June 2010, they were introduced to producer John Ginty, who engineered and produced Play Your Game, which they released this past January. Going Dark looks at John as the fourth member of the band and feels fortunate to have John as their mentor. His impressive resumé includes work with Santana, Jewel, Matthew Sweet, Sheryl Crow, and Citizen Cope.

In their short career together, Going Dark has already won “The Break” contest at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ, where they earned a spot on last year’s Bamboozle Festival, making them the youngest band to ever accomplish such a feat. Back in September, Going Dark opened at Great Adventure’s biggest concert event of the summer, the Back To School Bash, featuring Big Time Rush at The Northern Star Arena to a sold-out crowd of over 9,000, and in November, they opened for former Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach at Irving Plaza for their NYC debut. That’s not too bad for a rookie season! Let’s see what 2012 has in store for these boys! If you’d like to know more about Going Dark or want to find out where they’re playing next, log onto



A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that the boys from Apathy had a new limited edition EP out called Factory Sessions, which the band recorded with live with a bunch of room mics. Singer Pete Wells emailed me a copy of the EP to listen to, and I have to say that it’s just raw, power metal at its finest. “Hell Is All We Have” and “Wounds Of War” are still ringing in my ears! Get your copy of Factory Sessions now on

Has anyone seen the “8 Days” video from the band Sturla yet? Wow! That’s some powerful stuff! The song was inspired by actual events that occurred during the war in Iraq, and directly affected the songwriter, Scott Sturla and his family. Scott’s younger brother, Staff Sergeant James Sturla, was severely injured in Iraq after he and his fellow Marines came under attack near the Al Anbar Province. After 27 surgeries and 24 months later, Scott’s brother returned to Iraq. The song explores his true emotions and respect for what his brother and all the men and women in the armed forces stand for. His family actually founded the Friend & Family For Freedom Fund to help support injured marines returning from overseas. Sturla is currently in the studio working on their new CD, Ten Years Of Therapy, which will be out sometime this summer. You can see the video for “8 Days” on

And finally, Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ, will be celebrating the life of one of North Jersey’s biggest fans, the late Ricky Rockit, who was killed in a tragic fire in Clifton a few months ago. They will be having a two-day concert series they are calling Rockit Fest. The two-day show will feature Famous Monsters, Gas NYC, DMZ, Damaged Goods, and Sardonica and Darrow Chemical Co. on the first day, and The Dirty Stayouts, SHAT, VoodooTerror Tribe, Fistacuffs and The Unknown on the second day. The event kicks off this Friday night, March 9, and ends on Saturday night, March 10. If you’d like more info on this event, 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!

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:

3/8—Hate Eternal/Cerebral Bore/Digested Flesh/SlasherThroat/Necroptic Engorgement/Doomsday Prophecy/Torturous Inception—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

3/8—Steve Brown and Dennis Zimmer—Sands Casino, Bethlehem, PA

3/9—“ROCKIT FEST Day 1”—Famous Monsters/Gas NYC/DMZ/Damaged Goods/Sardonica —Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

3/9—Steve Brown—Grasshopper Too, Wayne, NJ

3/10—“ROCKIT FEST Day 2”— The Dirty Stayouts/SHAT/VoodooTerror Tribe/Fistacuffs/Darrow Chemical Co./The Unknown —Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

3/10—Steve Brown and the Fallout—Beachcomber, Seaside Heights, NJ

3/10—Lords Of Mercy/Michael Schenker—Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ

3/11—Darkness Descends—Chill, Montclair, NJ

3/14—Steve Brown and Dennis Zimmer—Orange Lantern, Paramus, NJ

3/15—Slaine/JaySaun/Pryme Prolifik/Shrine Bloodjinn/Rick Whispers—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

3/16—Panzie*/Dizzy Reed—Ollie’s Point, Amityville, NY

3/16—Robbin’ Pain—Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ

3/17—Steve Brown and the Fallout—Elm Street Grill, Oakland, NJ

3/17—Mother—The Legendary Dobbs, Philadelphia, PA

3/17—Borgo Pass—Juggs N Strokers, Merrick, NY

3/17—ZO2—Arena Sports Lounge, Elmhurst, NY

3/18—Gotham Rocks Presents: Exist Trace—Hiro Ballroom, NYC

3/22—Scarlet Carson/Just A Memory—The Legendary Dobbs, Philadelphia, PA

3/23—Dispute To Flames/Empire Fallen/Hollywood Kills/One Brick Down—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

3/23—Richie Scarlet/Filter Effect/Kore Rozzik/Bluesfield Drive/Famous Monsters/Demon Boy/Gas NYC—The Blue Room, Secaucus, NJ

3/23—Lieder—Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ

3/23—Endall/Rock Rebel Rising/The Amatory Murder/Black Summer/Super Gravity/Twenty30/Last Stand For Lucy/The Mighty Pragmatics—The Delancey, NYC

3/24—Steve Brown and the Fallout—Grasshopper on the Green, Morristown, NJ

3/24—Sic Flux/Jaded Past—Blue Room, Secaucus, NJ

3/24—Mother/Ghosts Of Eden—The Gramercy Theater, NYC

3/29—Scarlet Carson/Burn Halo—The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ

3/31—Going Dark—Paramount Theater, Asbury Park, NJ