North Jersey Notes: Another Distraction, The Compulsions, Seas Of Wake and More!

You have to love it when a really good rock band comes across your desk. You also have to love it when sites like Facebook allow you to connect with these bands. A couple of weeks ago, I got a private message from a kid named Antonio Staropoli, whose opening line was, “Quick question, are you the same Tim Louie that writes for The Aquarian?” My response was, “Depends who is asking.” It turned out Antonio was a friend of my high school pal Chris Hawkins from Tarpit Boogie, and he told Antonio to contact me about his new band, Another Distraction, whom he plays drums for. I wasn’t prepared for what I was about to hear. Antonio sent me a link to an advanced copy of the band’s debut EP, Nothing Left To Say, which featured the songs “Waiting For Thunderstorms,” “The Dying Words,” the more mellow “Seven Years,” “The Last Of You” and my favorite tracks “Bed Of Lies” and “First Degree” because they both start off with bass licks. You have my full attention when that happens. The music is just straightforward commercial rock and singer Chris Drako’s voice is absolutely superb on these tracks.

Another Distraction formed only four years ago, but their original intent was to become a cover band. After realizing that the state of New Jersey was already saturated with bad cover bands and not wanting to be added to that statistic, the members of Another Distraction decided on a different tactic and tried combining their influences to create original music that was new. This new music that they wrote would blend post-punk, alternative and grunge with hard rock. Like I always say, “No need to reinvent the wheel, just write good music! If it’s good, people will listen!” That’s what Another Distraction did here. Founding members including drummer Antonio Staropoli, guitarists Chris Fiduccia and Giuseppe DiSalvo and bassist John Frega are all North Jersey natives, but singer and newcomer Chris Drako traveled in on his horse and buggy from Pennsyltucky to join the band in late 2012, when their original singer left the band for personal reasons. I would say it worked out in Another Distraction’s favor.

Since the addition of Chris Drako, the band found a new momentum and new material began flowing out, local and out-of-state shows being booked, on air radio interviews and live radio sessions, Another Distraction began to announce that they were here to stay. According to the band, their greatest achievement to date was their successful crowdfunding campaign that allowed them to record and self-release their debut EP, Nothing Left To Say. The EP is out now, so look for it on iTunes and wherever CDs are sold. Check Another Distraction out now at and make sure you keep an eye out for these guys. They’re for real! And remember I told you so!



I recently received an e-newsletter from The Compulsions with a link to check out their new song “Evil Bastards” off of their highly anticipated upcoming CD, Dirty Fun. I have to say that I know Rob Carlyle and the boys to have this sleazy New York street sound, which I still think that they pull off in “Evil Bastards,” but there is something funky and refreshing about the song. I actually really liked the track a lot and can’t wait to hear the rest of the Dirty Fun CD. If you’d like a taste of The Compulsions, log onto And yes, that is Richard Fortus and Franky Ferrer from Guns N’ Roses and Sami Yaffa from Hanoi Rocks in the band. What can I say? They’re all New Yorkers.

Speaking of new music, the boys from Seas Of Wake are back in the studio working on their upcoming new CD, Depth Of The Marrow. They headed into Backroom Studios in Rockaway, NJ a couple of weeks ago to begin whittling away tracks and hope to have Depth Of The Marrow out sometime this summer. The boys will be back at Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ on Aug. 9 with Thanatotic Desire. If you can’t wait that long for your dose of Seas Of Wake, check out this seven-minute pre-production clip of them in the studio,, or log onto

And finally, yes, my “and finallys” have been very bad news the last few weeks, so why should this week be any different? In case you haven’t heard, after eight years of supplying this music scene with an amazing rehearsal facility, Aarius Studios in Sayreville, NJ closed its doors at the beginning of May. Owners Joe and Crystal Cattano, who brought you popular internet reality shows like Project: American Studio, started to notice their business falter between 2012 into 2013 due to the help of Superstorm Sandy. They reached out to local musicians and friends to help raise money to save the studio, which kept the studio afloat, but then the winter of 2013 to 2014 happened and that was the nail in the coffin. Thanks to the abundance of snow, studio cancellations killed their business. Joe and Crystal have decided to liquidate their business by selling everything left in the studio from gear and equipment to furniture and fixtures. If you wish to see what they have for sale, email them at

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:

6/13—Audio Empire/Honor Among Thieves/OXZANA/Tempest City—Mercury Lounge, NYC

6/13—Don Jamieson—Tenth Street Live, Kenilworth, NJ

6/14— The Catching/Flowers To Flames/Alex English—The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ

6/14—Wrath Of Killian/Sinners/Dirty Stayouts—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

6/14—Blue Food—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

6/14—Decypher—The Delancey, NYC

6/14—Thank You Scientist/Handsome Karnivore/The Downrights/New Politicians—Tenth Street Live, Kenilworth, NJ

6/15—Trouble/Meatplow/Season Of Mourning/Sins Of Magnus/Custom Power Ride—Finnegan’s Wake, Philadelphia, PA

6/18—Narrow Hearts/Lakota De Kai/Gatherer—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

6/20—Morningside Lane/Smalltalk/Dollys/Pour The Pirate Sherry/NGHTCRWLRS–Court Tavern, New Brunswick, NJ

6/20—Vajra/Mystic Haze/Judge The Fallen/Answer Infinity/Isaacs Horizon/Close2Death—Tenth Street Live, Kenilworth, NJ

6/21—SixToEight MathematicS/Kosmic Daydream/BORGO PASS/Audio Empire/Killcode/Long Gone Day—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

6/21—Scott Stapp—The Emporium, Patchogue, NY

6/22—Along The Way/Decypher/Brosef Gordon-Levitt/Eunoia—The Legendary Dobbs, Philadelphia, PA

6/22—Whiplash/Sinners/Shat/Psychoprism/Thanatotic Desire/Ogre/The Unknown/The Dirty Stayouts—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

6/23—Black Flag—The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ

6/26–Darrow Chemical Co./Johnny B. Morbid/Thanatotic Desire—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

6/27—Meatplow/We Our War/Lifesblood—Shady Katie’s, Somerdale, NJ

6/27—Hyngd/Saliva—The Chance, Poughkeepsie, NY

6/28—Saint Caine/Mother/Jaded Past/Caustic Audio—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

6/29—The Stationary Set/Fire And The Romance/Like KENYA/Weirdface/Ready For Nothing—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

6/30—Day In Day Out/Meridian/North Runner/Adversities/Save Face—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

7/4—Hoobastank/End Of An Era/Donovan’s Devils/Beyond Visible—Fubar, Bayville , NJ

7/5—Morningside Lane—The Bitter End, NYC

7/6—Lost Years/Transfer Switch/Over The Years—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

7/13—Farewell My Love/Jamie’s Elsewhere/Famous Last Words/Lionfight/The Blessing Of This Curse/That Of A Lion/My Finest Regards—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

7/17—Blameshift/Dive/Brendan Starr—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

7/18—Another Distraction—Tenth Street Live, Kenilworth, NJ