Listen Close are starting to create quite a buzz in the New York and New Jersey music scene. They played last summer’s Bamboozle Festival in Asbury Park, and have been hitting venues throughout the region while growing their fanbase and letting their sound evolve. The band includes Mike McGarry on guitar and lead vocals, Tom DeCillis on bass and backing vocals, and Chris Wurglics on drums and backup vocals. I chatted with Chris and got the scoop on the latest with the up-and-coming group.
How did the band originally get together?
Really was just a fluke thing. Mike and Tom were always jamming in their old band, which had two other high school friends, Alan Martin on lead guitar and Ben Pinolla on drums. I wanted to play with these guys regardless if I didn’t know any instrument! They just told me, back in high school, if I’d pick up the drums then I’m in. It took time but after two or three months, we went into our first live performance, which was mainly just Chili Pepper and Jimi Hendrix covers. It was only months later that we were all clashing different ideas in new original songs that were featured on our Dead End EP.
Where have you played?
Jeez, we kinda wander wherever we can go. We love to play local shows on Long Island, like Ollie’s Point, The Vibe Lounge, 89 North Music Venue, and The Crazy Donkey, all the way over to the New Jersey scene, like The Saint, The Crossroads, the first-ever Souper Groove Music Festival, and best yet, this year’s Bamboozle Festival in Asbury Park.
How would you describe the music that you do?
Well, we really ride it out through the jams, and they really get either super amped up or really chilled out. We just play whatever feels right, and it’s unbelievable that we know where to come in, where to pause, and how to pick it up. If we had to describe our music, it would be a combination of everything. We love every type of music and each song has its own influence from different genres. But we were once described as Sublime with a bite.
Who does the writing, and how does the writing process work for you?
As far as lyrics, that would be Mike. He puts all real life experiences in each of the songs. For the music part of it, there isn’t much to it. Mike will bring a certain riff and the music comes naturally, where they really just stick after we lock all the parts smoothly. “Tonight” and “Come With Me If You Want To Live” are perfect examples of how organic our song are.
Who are your musical influences?
There can’t even be enough room in this magazine for that! It goes all over, from classic rock to old school hip-hop. Every element from each band or artist really just gets reflected in our work. Our main influences are really music in general. We just love to play, and appreciate every type.
Are there particular songs that are favorites of fans or yourself?
“Streetlights,” “Come Inside,” and “Tonight” are requested almost every single show, so I’m guessing those are their favorites. As far as the band, our new favorite is “Lucid Dreaming,” which unfortunately isn’t on the EP. Hopefully in the future we’ll get that out there.
Where does the name of the band come from?
Listen Close definitely took some time to come up with, believe it or not. The type of work finding the right name for your band seriously sucks, but once we thought up Listen Close, we knew it was perfect. We want our music to represent how organic and raw it is, and wanna show how different and unique we can actually be.
What are your goals, both musically and professionally?
Of course, it’s the cliché thing to say, “I wanna get big and famous,” but it goes way beyond that. As a band we mainly just want to play for thousands of people, and have all of them have a kick-ass time seeing us live. Watching big bands, and local unsigned bands, always made us wanna push harder and harder to make a career out of something we all love. We all can agree that music is something we were meant to do.
You can find out more information about Listen Close, including upcoming shows and releases, at facebook.com/listencloseny and reverbnation.com/listenclose. Follow them on Twitter @ListenCloseBand.