North Jersey Notes: Swampbox, Ides Of God, Panzie*, and more

SWAMPBOX—Bridgeton, NJ

One of the bands I always wanted cover, but was a little reluctant to because they’re really a South Jersey band (but I would like to see them get some gigs up here in North Jersey, because I think you guys would really like them) is a group by the name of Swampbox. My band was supposed to compete against them in Atlantic City a couple of weeks ago for a chance to open for Skid Row and Kix this weekend, but Swampbox had to drop out due to a couple of injuries in the band. They sound like a sports team! Anyway, as I listened to them on Spotify, like I did all of our competition, I really enjoyed their music off of their recently released CD, Weight of Millions. They’re a riff-driven band supported by thunderous drums and aggressive hard rock vocals from singer Michael Shaw.

Swampbox is a four-piece alternative hard rock band from the South Jersey/Philly area. According to their bio, the band was formed by a bunch of longtime friends on the local music scene. They quickly gained attention from international radio, local venues and promoters. Swampbox consists of seasoned musicians who are no strangers to the music scene, boasting members from popular South Jersey/Philly acts like Faith Or Fear, Robert Hazard And The Heroes, Rough Toyz, and Drastic Measures. Combat Records recording artists Faith Or Fear, being the most popular of the bunch, had drummer Edward Schwegel as their drummer during their “heyday” back in the ’80s. The band regrouped in 2010 with Ed on drums, but in 2013, Ed left the band for personal reasons. He started playing again with some other projects, which led him to his old buddies now known as Swampbox. The band was originally a cover band, but realized they had a lot of original songs in them and Swampbox was born. The band is made up of singers and guitarists Michael Shaw and Paul Kuntz, bassist John Digue and drummer Edward Schwegel.

Swampbox was quickly picked up for distribution on Toil Records, my old band BlackOcean’s label. The Swampy ones recently released their first full-length CD, Weight Of Millions, featuring the songs “4 AM,” “Breathe,” “Dodging A Bullet” and the title track. Weight of Millions is the follow-up to the band’s critically-acclaimed 2013 EP, The Bomb. Swampbox is currently in rotation on more than 30 radio stations internationally, and interest in the band is quickly growing across the globe. Don’t you think it’s time to at least bring them up to North Jersey? For more info on Swampbox, visit



My brother Dennis Kimak and bass brother Oddie McLaughlin, both from Black Water Rising, have a new side project called Ides Of God. Dennis says that it’s more of an Oddie solo project, where they rehearsed three times, spent two days in the studio and shot a music video for their song “NYC,” which rocks! You can almost hear the Black Water Rising influence fused with some Metallica influence. Rounding out the rest of the band is drummer Frank N Schtein. You have to check this new project from half of Black Water Rising, while we wait for more music from them. For more info on Ides Of God, visit

My boys from Panzie* make their triumphant return to New Jersey next Friday night (11/18) at Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ opening for Skold featuring Tim Skold of Marilyn Manson and KMFDM. This will be Panzie*s first show in Jersey since my bro Jasin Cadic started fronting the band. So, if you haven’t had a chance to check out Panzie* yet, but have heard about them, then get your ass down to Dingbatz next Friday night. For more info on Panzie*, visit

And finally, my brothers from Negative Sky will finally be releasing their long-awaited CD, The Dark Unknown, this Friday (11/11). This CD has been in the works for quite some time and the band is finally ready to release it with all of its unicorns! Right, George? You can also catch Negative Sky live down at Mojo 13 in Wilmington, DE next Friday (11/18), where you’ll be able to pick up a physical copy of The Dark Unknown. Trust me, you want to see these guys live! For more on the guys from Negative Sky and their new CD, The Dark Unknown, 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:

11/9—The Penthouse/True Will/Frontline—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

11/10—Felix Martin/The Fine Constant—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

11/10—The Cause and The Cure/Blue Lizard/Threeve—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

11/11—Lyken21/Gathering After Ashes/Soul Sworn/Dead Girls Don’t Say No/Purple Pam and the Flesh Eaters—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

11/11—A Balance Between “Record Release Party”/Control/Reese Van Riper/Cicada Radio/Archie Alone—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

11/17—4Karma “EP Release Show”/Bad William/Lunatic Fringe—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

11/18—Barren—Roxy and Duke’s Roadhouse, Dunellen, NJ

11/18—Skold featuring Tim Skold of Marilyn Manson and KMFDM/Panzie*–Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

11/18—Empire Fallen/Legion/Circuitry/Mikell’sPlot—Al Cibelli’s Restaurant and Bar, Perth Amboy, NJ

11/18—Negative Sky—Mojo 13, Wilmington, DE

11/19—Incognito Theory/Ryder/Endall—QXT’s, Newark, NJ

11/19—Wet/Demo Taped/Aerial East—Webster Hall, NYC

11/19—Enuff Z Nuff/TRNZPRNT/Steve Bello/Love in Vein/Scotty Dunbar/Matt Mendillo Comedian/Sister All Star Band— Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

11/20—Old James/Anaka/Metalfier/Diamond Head—The Marlin Room at Webster Hall, NYC

11/20—Randy Garcia/Michelle Gorman/Nicholas Colavito/Monument of a Memory/Soul Sworn/Reapers Solace/The Company Kept/Strive— Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

11/23—Buckcherry/Rahway/Brand of Julez—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

11/25—Joe Lynn Turner/Rahway/Fragile Sky—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

11/26—Full Scale Riot/Homicidal/Me With Creeps/Ego Destroys/Robots and Monsters/Silence Equals Death—The Blue Room, Secaucus, NJ

11/29—Battlecross/Allegaeon/Necromancing the Stone—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ


11/30—Left Behind/Skincarver/Attack Attack!/The Emtila Strain/A Wake in Providence/Abhorrence/Monument of a Memory/Jynx/P-Slur/Habits—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

12/3—Ted Poley’s Annual Holiday Bash with ROCK KANDY/Ted Poley/American Angel—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

12/10—Jersey Campfires Production Presents Rahway/Proud Parents/Surrender The Night/Collective Man/The Chills—The Boneyard, Atlantic City, NJ