North Jersey Notes: Burning Of The Witches, Dead Fish Handshake, Lords Of Mercy and More!

I recently received an email from a new friend about his new project, Burning Of The Witches. It’s always interesting making new friends through social media. You really find out how small this world really is. For instance, Burning Of The Witches guitarist Cesar Hernandez, who’s actually the one who reached out, emailed me that he was friends with my best bud, Roy Brunston, from Audio Empire. In the same breath, he told me that Dan Gomez is the lead singer for this project and if I may remind you, Dan was the original singer of Audio Machine, which became Audio Empire. See how I did that? Everything comes full circle. Anyway, I gave Burning Of The Witches’ new CD, Fire, a quick listen, and I like it. Then again, I like everything Dan Gomez sings on. The title-track, “Do It Right” and “Tonight” were huge standouts for me on this CD.

Burning Of The Witches started out as a studio project by Cesar Hernandez, but when he realized that friends were really digging the songs he was writing, he decided to find band members to continue the vision. This led to him finding former Gothic Slam singer Dan Gomez, whom I know was looking for a band because he’s reached out to me looking for bandmates for one of his projects. Joining Cesar and Dan in Burning Of The Witches are former Attacker members, bassist Jon Hanemann and drummer Mike Sabatini. Cesar is really excited to be working with these guys and to have their support because he’s been a fan of their past works.

Cesar says that this CD, Fire, is special because of the extra songs included, which feature Dave Chavarri of Ill Niño/Gothic Slam and JT, bassist of Gothic Slam. What makes these songs even more special is the fact that these “extra/bonus” songs were done years ago and have now been revised with Dan Gomez from Gothic Slam singing. So, it’s kind of like listening to a Gothic Slam reunion in a way. Anyway, you have to check out Burning Of The Witches. They are definitely a band to watch moving forward this year. They have a great sound and they have Dan “Ghetto” Gomez. Check them out now at



My bros from Dead Fish Handshake have leaked a clip of their upcoming brand new single for their songs “Nothing Stays Gold” and “All Time Low.” From the 30-second clip, I can tell you that these songs sound awesome! My bro Rob Ferreira’s guitar work sounds amazing as always. Look for their single “Nothing Stays Gold” to drop any day now. You can catch Dead Fish Handshake at Tenth Street Live in Kenilworth, NJ with Waking Heroes, Syrens Calling, Sins Of Heaven, Woods Of Arden and House Of Thieves on Sept. 13. For more on DFH, log onto

Speaking of Sept. 13, my bro Zipperhead from Zipperhead Productions is putting on another one of his big shows at The Brighton Bar in Long Branch, NJ featuring Rory Kelly’s Triple Threat, The Battery Electric, Champagne Black and the recently added The Dirty Stayouts, who replaced Buzzard Wagon. This is set to be one filthy, dirty, and swamp-assy of a show, so get your asses down there; especially now that my bros from The Dirty Stayouts have been added to the bill. For more info on this show, log onto Zipperhead’s Facebook page,

And finally, it looks like my bros from the Lords Of Mercy will be heading out on tour this fall. In October, they will be heading out on the road for some local dates with the legendary Anvil. They will be hitting Long Island, Syracuse, Jersey, Buffalo and NYC in a span of five days. This is pretty big for the guys from Lords Of Mercy, so a huge congrats to them. For more info on these tour dates and more on Lords Of Mercy, 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:

8/20—Everyone Dies In Utah/The Paramedic/Sirena/Illuminate Me—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

8/20—Audio Empire/Brand Of Julez/Bodyface/Briana And The Boys—Arlene’s Grocery, NYC

8/21—The Dirty Pearls/Killcode/Mother/Ten Ton Mojo/The Threads/The Liza Colby Sound/J And The 9s/DJ Ian El Dorado—The Bowery Ballroom, NYC

8/22—40 Below Summer/Dizneyfist—Slake, NYC

8/22—Fuel/End Of An Era/PLANESIDE/Donovan’s Devils/Paris Under Fire—The Headliner, Neptune, NJ

8/22—Any Everyday/McClinton/Sonic Reign—Rhythms NJ, Manville, NJ

8/22—Swampbox—Old Oar Irish Pub, Millville, NJ

8/22—Devil Kitty—Clock Tower Grill, Brewster, NY

8/23—Lethal Affection/Syka/Donovan’s Devils/Roulette/Through The Grey/ Feeny—Roxy and Dukes, Dunellen, NJ

8/26—Straight Line Stitch—The Legendary Dobbs, Philadelphia, PA

8/30—Darkness Descends/Gyre/Stagger NJ/Ashes Of Your Enemy/Seas Of Wake/Paralysis/Shadows Of Dawn/As Glory Fades/That Of A Lion/Passing Of The Sky—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

8/30—Tarpit Boogie/Gypsy Eyes/King Dead—The Clash Bar, Clifton, NJ

9/5—The Hallowed Roots—Langosta Lounge, Asbury Park, NJ

9/6—Kore Rozzik/Saving Abel—Blackthorn 51, Elmhurst, NY

9/13—Life Of Agony—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

9/13—Goon Saloon/The Dirty Stayouts/Sinners/Ogre/The Unknown/Natural Born/Losers/Jaded Past—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

9/13—Dead Fish Handshake/Waking Heroes/Syrens Calling/Sins Of Heaven/Woods Of Arden/House Of Thieves—Tenth Street Live, Kenilworth, NJ

9/13—Rory Kelly’s Triple Threat/The Dirty Stayouts/The Battery Electric/Champagne Black—The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ

9/19—Murder League All Stars—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

9/19—Don Jamieson/The Donner Party/Psychoprism/Dying Eyes Of Sloth/Scars Of Envy/Flowers To Flames/Xero Gravity/Words Never Spoken/Answer Infinity/Oceans Of Exile—Tenth Street Live, Kenilworth, NJ