North Jersey Notes: Negative Sky, Steve Bello, NoraStone and More!

I mentioned a few times in past columns that my bass playing brother, George Pond, is playing bass in a bone-crushing new metal band out of Asbury Park called Negative Sky. I first met George when he was still playing for Sekond Skyn and always admired his passion for music and playing heavy music. Not to mention, we’re bass playing brothers! I promised George that when Negative Sky were ready to go, I would feature them in North Jersey Notes since they plan on conquering all of Jersey. They recently released their new EP, Death Of The Sun, and after listening to it, I’m still trying to pick up my teeth off the floor. Wow!

Negative Sky was born from the ashes of the popular Long Branch-based metal band ANON, but they didn’t come into existence until the summer of 2009 by way of singer Dan Caputo and guitarist J.J. Sammataro. Caputo and Sammataro wanted it so badly that both vocalists performed their first show with a lyric sheet in hand, and according to their bio, completely blew the crowd away! As they continued to fine tune their energetic and aggressive live show, Negative Sky became a WSOU favorite amongst the station’s listeners. Although members of ANON were the nucleus of what became Negative Sky, the current members surrounding Caputo and Sammataro have been linked together in other projects like Slowdrown, Age 9 and Backhand. After a little over two years of reestablishing themselves on the music scene, Negative Sky finally solidified a lineup, which included my bro George Pond on bass and Tom Fitzgibbon on drums.

Just last month, Negative Sky released their EP, Death Of The Sun, which features the title-track as well as songs like “Bleed The Stone” and “Disasteroid.” 2013 is looking like a big year for the guys from Negative Sky, though most of it is almost over, making 2014 look even bigger for them! Keep your eyes and ears peeled for Negative Sky! Check them out at



My brother, Steve Bello, will be continuing his February and September world tour with a show at Roxy & Duke’s Roadhouse in Dunellen, NJ on Sept. 27. For those of you who didn’t get that joke, it means Steve doesn’t play out that much and the last show he had was in February. Are we all on the same page now? Steve says that bassist Joe DeMott is still the bass player for the Steve Bello Band, but filling in on drums will be Freak Of The Day drummer Kamran Vaziri. Freak Of The Day will also be playing this gig. Steve says he’s excited to play this show because it’s a benefit concert to promote and raise money for animal welfare. The show is being called “Pets Rock” and will also feature The Holy Goats, Rapid Fire, and Red Reyne. For more info on this amazing event, log onto

I recently received a great email from a band starting to make waves in the North Jersey and New York City music scene. I don’t know too much about them yet, but the name of the group is NoraStone, and they are not bad! After listening to a few older songs like “Subdermal,” “Lush” and “Dope Sick” off the band’s first offering, Hopeless Lives And Lullabies, I felt this was definitely an act that I would listen to often. The songs were filled with great guitar riffs and infectious vocal melodies. Expect NoraStone to be featured in an upcoming NJN column. They actually have a new EP coming out on Oct. 15 called Sounds Through The Hourglass. Check them out at

And finally, my bros Rob Ferreira from Dead Fish Handshake and Dave Marcus from Audio Empire teamed up with Crewman Number Six drummer Matt Birkelbach and original Downshallow bassist Ant Salcedo last weekend at Crossroads in Garwood to perform a set of Downshallow songs that we haven’t heard in quite some time. In fact, this might be the first time that I’ve ever seen a tribute band for a local group. Rob called the project The New Fashion: A Tribute To Downshallow. If you remember, Rob used to play in Downshallow with Ant before moving on to play with Dead Fish Handshake. The show was to celebrate Crewman Number Six’s 10th anniversary, but what Rob put together seemed so much more interesting to me without taking anything away from the boys from Crewman Number Six. Especially since Downshallow was one of the bands I used to write a lot about when I first started writing NJN. Keep an eye out for some YouTube videos of this performance.

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:

9/13—Collapsing From Within/A Gathering Of None/Shadows Of Dawn/Darrow Chemical Company/Seas Of Wake/Darkness Descends—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

9/14—Midnight Mob/Pyramada/Pocketful/Beyond Visible—Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ

9/14—Dark Matter/The Albatross/Negative Sky/Doomsday Diaries/Gyre/Wool Over Eyes/That Of A Lion/Eye Of Anubis/Half Witted Dogs/Killing The Messenger/Ashes Of Your Enemy/Darkness Descends—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

9/15—Hatebreed/GWAR/Iron Reagan/Dispute To Flames—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

9/19—The Devil In God/Raven/Mpire Of Evil/Midnite Hellion—The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ

9/20—Thank You Scientist / Ku’on / Mörglbl—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

9/20—Pralaya—Connolly’s Klub, NYC

9/21—Joe Lyn Turner—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

9/21—Neologic/Tarpit Boogie/Morningside Lane—Clash Bar, Clifton, NJ

9/21—Resurrected 1:16/Xero Gravity/44/Brand Of Julez—Sleepy Hollow Restaurant and Pub, West Creek, NJ

9/26—Rhino Bucket/Scattered Hamlet—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

9/27—Ashes Of Your Enemy/Ixion Lux/Stingy Jack/The Devil In God—Court Tavern, New Brunswick, NJ

9/27—Steve Bello Band/Freak Of The Day/The Holy Goats/Rapid Fire/Red Reyne—Roxy & Duke’s Roadhouse, Dunellen, NJ

9/27—Black Angels/DevilHaus/Looney Tunes—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

10/2—Eye Empire/True Becoming/Ghosts Of Eden/Statik Silence/Beyond Visible—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

10/2—Hookers ‘N’ Blow/Queen V—Bowery Electric, NYC

10/3—Hookers ‘N’ Blow—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

10/11—Dead Fish Handshake/Like A Storm/OneHundredThousand—Architekt Music, Butler, NJ

10/12—Statik Silence—Architekt Music, Butler, NJ

10/12—Gunfire ‘N’ Sodomy (Don Jamieson)/Sekond Skyn—Tenth Street Live, Kennilworth, NJ

10/14—Ed Roland from Collective Soul—Trinity UMC, Ewing, NJ

10/18—Audio Empire/Killcode/Long Gone Day/Raftree—The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ

10/19—Slander/Faith Or Fear/Evil Reign/BlackOcean/Decypher/ MeatPlow/Anvil Bitch/Citadel/Bone Devil—The Legendary Dobbs, Philadelphia, PA