North Jersey Notes: SPiRiTZ, Weapons of Anew, Brand of Julez, and More!

I was wondering what happened to SYKA guitarist Gregg Sgar after the band seemed to disappear after having a nice run. The last time I heard anything about Gregg, he was playing guitar for my buds, One Hundred Thousand. Well, out of the blue, I got a Facebook message from Gregg telling me he’s alive and well, and still playing with One Hundred Thousand. The reason for his message, though, was to tell me about his new project, SPiRiTZ, which he’s been working on for over a year since the demise of SYKA. I only got to hear one full song so far and it was called “The Perfect U (Messenger).” It’s definitely not what I expected from a rocker like Gregg, but definitely different and refreshing. It had more of an ’80s pop feel to it in the vein of Duran Duran meets INXS. It wasn’t my cup of tea, but I was still digging the vibe in this track.

Friends at a very young age, Gregg and Matt Mitchell were musicians from North Jersey. According to their bio, both men enjoyed a wide variety of music when they were younger and even latched onto it as inspiration for the untamed sounds that would come to define their youth. Over the years Matt and Gregg spent their time trying to master their own individual sounds. Eventually, they discovered themselves in toxic situations, trapped working for other people’s visions as opposed to their own. Once they realized this, they knew they had to create and head down their own paths and combine forces. At the beginning of the summer in 2016, the duo worked in complete solitude, away from social media in order to focus on their sound and message. Inspired by the sounds of what molded their youth, Matt and Gregg looked to evolve and truly transcend the musical landscape as we know it.

On September 6, SPiRiTZ will be releasing “The Perfect U (Messenger)” to the masses with a full EP in production featuring the songs “Show U Better,” “Ghost Symptoms” and “Block The Sun,” which I only got snippets of, and believe it or not, reminded me of Pink Floyd a little bit too. The snippets also gave me a better idea of the direction Gregg and Matt are heading with their music. What I am really curious about, however, is if they will be taking SPiRiTZ on the road as a live band. That is something I would like to see. For more on SPiRiTZ, visit




My bass brother and fellow Saddle Brookian, Alex Zadoroznyj, who has played with North Jersey acts like Hollywood Kills and King Kelly, has laid some bass down on a new project called Obstacles. The band also features members from Kill Her Smile, Forever Her Nightmare, King Kelly, and Me With Creeps. Now, according to the band’s Facebook page, Alex is only listed as a bass performer, so I’m not even sure he is part of the band, however, he did post the band’s new music video for a song called “Escapist and Scramblers,” which he performed on, and the song rocks! Singer Jenny Torres is a screamer, but her singing voice is pretty amazing too. For more on Obstacles, visit

I know I mentioned these guys last week, but the news keeps coming out from them. So, my bros from Weapons Of Anew, featuring my old bandmates singer Ray West and drummer Chris Manfre, were recently added to the Tesla tour, which they will be joining at the Santander Performing Arts Center in Reading, PA on Sept. 19, only four days after the release of their long-awaited CD, The Collision of Love and Hate, which I just got done listening to in its entirety, and this CD is so badass, I can’t wait for people to hear it. For more on Weapons Of Anew, visit

And finally, speaking of awesome tours, my little brothers from Brand Of Julez, hot off of their tours with Otep and Doll Skin, have just signed on to now hit the road with Bobaflex and Beitthemeans starting in September in Texas. This is a great gig for my boys, so a huge congrats to them. Brand Of Julez are becoming road warriors! Catch them live at the Lucky 13 Saloon in Brooklyn this Saturday night (8/26) with my band Rahway, Drella, Lethal Affection, and Crimshaw before they hit the road. For more on Brand Of Julez, 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:

8/24—Ixion Lux/Dissentience— Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

8/25—Rahway/Greta Van Fleet/Goodbye June—Chandelier Lobby in the F.M. Kirby Center, Wilkes-Barre, PA

8/25—Bumblefoot/The Last Internationale/Anthems for Autumn/Steve Bello/War for the Crown—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

8/26—Rahway/ Drella/Lethal Affection/Crimshaw/Brand Of Julez—Lucky 13 Saloon, Brooklyn, NY

8/26—Ride for Dime Inaugural East Coast Event—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

8/26—ANAKA—Steeplechase Beer Garden, NYC

8/27—Rock Against Dystrophy featuring Ashes Of Your Enemy/Diesel America/Broken Past/Psychoprism/Rock Against Dystrophy All-Stars 2017—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

8/30—Eye Hate God/Cro-Mag/Neve Shatter/Sunrot—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

9/1—Flatleaver/Over The Mountain—Paul’s Tavern, Lake Como, NJ

9/8—Jersey Campfires Production Presents: Another Distraction/Gathering After Ashes/Corevalay/The Components/Arc’d Angel—Mexicali Live, Teaneck, NJ

9/8—ANAKA/Zakk Sabbath—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

9/15—Firehouse—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

9/15—Jaded Past—Roxy and Duke’s Roadhouse, Dunellen, NJ

9/16—Rahway/Toothless/Defy The Tide/Red Hymns/The Hill You Die On/Behind the Grey/Bear In The Woods—The V Spot, Scranton, PA

9/16—Helmet/Super Snake—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

9/17—Midnite Hellion/Obituary/Exodus—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ