North Jersey Notes: The Blackfires, Voodoo Terror Tribe, Murder 1, and more


One of the local bands that really piqued my interest at this year’s Rock Carnival at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, NJ this weekend is a New York City band called The Blackfires. I can’t understand why there isn’t more press on these guys. Where did they come from? Where have they been playing? I mean, after visiting the band’s ReverbNation page,, I realized this was a band that belonged in arenas. With bands like The Struts keeping rock ‘n’ roll alive, we need bands like The Blackfires to keep rock ‘n’ roll strolling along. I got to listen to a few songs on their page like “Just A Thrill,” “Woman Walks,” and their music video for the song “Can’t Get Over You.” These songs kicked major ass and kind of brought me back to a day when music was dirty and rebellious. I missed this style of music.

According to their bio, The Blackfires can kind of be looked at as the United Nations of Rock, boasting members from the U.K., Russia, Costa Rica, Uruguay, and right here in NYC. Here’s the crazy thing that you’ll never typically hear from a rock band: “Between them they are PhD-educated holding degrees from Oxford and Columbia University, are trained in philology, music composition, film-making, and so on and so forth.” Leading the band is lead singer Andrey Chegodaev a.k.a. Cheggy from Russia, whose voice and onstage antics are most infectious in The Blackfires’ live show. On guitars is Englishman Anthony Mullin, who’s jammed with the best like Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford and Joe Perry, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson and Orianthi, to name a few. His scorching blues-based lead improvisation really draws in the listener. On the other guitar is Costa Rican-born Hector Marin, who carries his Iron Maiden and Thin Lizzy influences. All the way from Uruguay comes rock-solid bassist Grasebo Doe. And rounding out the lineup is the only American in the band, drummer Joe Mitch. Aside from delivering consistent and crushing rhythms on the drums, he also sings, which makes him a true asset to the band.

The Blackfires’ debut EP, Live From The Cutting Room, was engineered by Tom Gardner, who’s worked with John Legend and Danger Mouse, and mastered by Tony Gillis, known for his work with Iggy Pop and Prince. The EP really highlights the diversity of the band. They released the single for “Can’t Get Over You” back in September 2014. And as of July, they were putting the finishing touches on their upcoming debut full-length CD, which they are hoping to put out this fall. You have to catch these guys at the Rock Carnival this weekend! They play on Saturday! For more on The Blackfires, visit



            My brothers from Voodoo Terror Tribe will be releasing their new CD, The Shining Cold, on November 11. In anticipation of the band’s upcoming release, VTT premiered their brand new single and music video, “No Hell Like Home,” on their social media sites. The song is awesome, heavy, and extremely well-written. If “No Hell Like Home” is any indication of how the rest of The Shining Cold sounds, I’m all in. I can’t wait to hear the rest of it. For more on Voodoo Terror Tribe, visit

Anyone catch the Murder 1 reunion at Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ last weekend? My boy Jimi Schultz sat in on percussion, didgeridoo, and even sang on a couple of songs. Who is Murder 1? Man, you guys are young! Murder 1 was one of the first stoner rock bands to come out of Jersey. They used to be a staple at the late Studio One in Newark, NJ. Does this reunion mean there will be more shows for Murder 1? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Keep your eyes on

And finally, this weekend is the big Food Truck and Rock Carnival in Lakewood, NJ featuring the Alice Cooper, Halestorm, and the final area appearance of Twisted Sister as the main headliners, but the reason I mention it here in my column again this week is to promote the local bands that will also be performing the annual Jersey rock festival like my brothers from Killcode, American Angel, Cycle Of Pain, Trixter, Kore Rozzik, Experiment 34, Jester, Legion, Overkill, Monster Magnet, Out Of Bounds, Raftree, Bad Case For Big Mouth, Common Wealth, Empire Fallen, Strive, Baelfire, Atomic Beauty, and much more! This will be a great chance for you to see some of the local talent sharing the stage with some of the national talent. For more on this weekend’s Rock Carnival, visit

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:

9/30—Rock Carnival Day 1 (Alice Cooper/Clutch/Zakk Sabbath/Blue Oyster Cult/Kyng/Almost Queen/Alive 75/Kore Rozzik/Experiment 34/Funghoul)—First Energy Park, Lakewood, NJ

9/30—Jane Lee Hooker/The Mimi Nowak Project/The Hey Honeys/The Liza Colby Sound—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

10/1—Rock Carnival Day 2 (Overkill/Ace Frehley/Fuel/Monster Magnet/Texas Hippie Coalition/Shaman’s Harvest/Jackyl/Zebra/Cycle of Pain/Four By Fate/Jester/Killcode/American Angel/Simo/Colossal Street Jam/Out of Bounds/The Blackfires/Death Metallic/Know Your Enemy/Raftree/Retrofeelya/Hot Lips)—First Energy Park, Lakewood, NJ

10/1—E-Town Concrete/Candiria/All Out War/Negative Sky—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

10/1—The Mayan Factor/(Damn) This Desert Air/Ropetree/Bitter Crush/Engage—The Saint, Asbury Park, NJ

10/2—Rock Carnival Day 3 (Halestorm/The Used/Life of Agony/Sebastian Bach/Jim Breuer and The Loud and Rowdy/Cinderalla’s Tom Keifer/10 Years/Doro/Trixter/Citizen Zero/Bullet Boys/Dark Sky Choir/Legion/River Monsters/Apocalypse Blues Revue/Matt O’Ree/Bad Case of Big Mouth/Common Wealth/Empire Fallen/Strive/Atomic Beauty/Eli The Band/Baelfire)—First Energy Park, Lakewood, NJ

10/7—EDEN/Elohim—Webster Hall, NYC

10/13—Malevolent Creation/Incantation/Dying Eyes Of Sloth—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

10/14—SavFest 2016 (feat. Rahway, BoneDevil, MamaKidd, King’s Chamber)—Whiskey Tango, Philadelphia, PA

10/14—Michael Graves/The Flux Machine/Endall/Rochambeau/Criminal Syndicate/Empire in Descent—Blackthorn 51, Elmhurst, NY

10/15—The Fiendz/I.D.K./Satterthwaite/The Accelerators—The Clash Bar, Clifton, NJ

10/15—SavFest 2016 (feat. Mark Evans of Heaven’s Edge, Morningside Lane, Swampbox, Wretch, Power Theory)—Whiskey Tango, Philadelphia, PA

10/19—Jersey Campfires Production Presents Strive/Sunday Brave/Our Fears—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

10/21—Steve Bello Band—Half-Time Sports Bar, Newark, DE

10/22—The Black Clouds/Will Wood and the Tapeworms/Experiment 34/The Production/Vivi Noir/Gisella Rose/Amanda Zeiher—Roxy and Duke’s Roadhouse, Dunellen, NJ

10/22—Matt O’Ree/Whale Blue Eye/Cosmic American Derelicts—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

10/27—Puddle of Mudd/New Day Dawn/Knucklebone/Strange Eclipse/ELI – The Band—The Stanhope House, Stanhope, NJ

11/2—Jersey Campfires Production Presents Robots and Monsters/No Kings Among Wolves—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

11/5—Borgo Pass/John Wilkes Booth/Half Ton Session/Share the Burden—Revolution Bar and Music Hall, Amityville, NY