North Jersey Notes: Pierced

This week’s featured band is no stranger to North Jersey Notes. I’ve never written about the band before, but I have written about each band member’s former projects throughout my time writing this column. So, I guess I can call them an all-star band of local musicians who create some heavy, bad-ass music within the Jersey music scene. The band is called Pierced, and singer Rob Middleton—or Middlestein, depending on who you ask—likes to remind me that one of my former bands passed on him as our singer. Bad move on our part, because Rob is a metal singer who could probably kick all of our asses.

Pierced was formed back in August 2017 using former members of Division 1.1, Lion-Hearted, and Freak of the Day as its foundation. Initially, the band was the brainchild of Middleton and guitarist John Barone, who began writing music together in December 2016, after Rob walked away from Division 1.1. Rob and John started creating music they always wanted to play—aggressive, groovy metal with blistering vocals and riffs. The last piece of the Pierced puzzle was a punishing rhythm section. They brought in bassist Mike Thomas, whom they met from a mutual friend—David Cardenas from the band Rahway—and drummer Joe D’Aqui, who Rob found through BandMix. After the band’s first rehearsal, they knew there was something there. The chemistry was instantaneous from the first notes of a song Rob and John wrote called “Warchief.” From there, all the music initially written by Rob and John took on a life of its own. It was heavy, challenging, and well-thought-out.

Last summer, Pierced recorded their self-titled debut album, and mixed it with the legendary Eric Rachel at Trax East Studios in South River, NJ. It was recorded using an old school technique of full takes, no digital wizardry or “corrections,” under pressure, and with full on aggression!  According to the band, “What you hear on this album is what you will hear live.” The self-titled album, featuring the songs “911,” “Valhalla,” “The Fist,” and “Bound Alive,” was released on Dec. 29. The album is currently available for download at CDBaby, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify, and wherever you can download or stream music. For more info on Rob Middleton and his band Pierced, visit


These Wolves recently released a brand-new music video for their song “Holly Says Go,” featuring Chevonne Ricci from The Fuzz. Singer Darren Fisher stated on Facebook that, if it wasn’t for Chevonne and the Fuzz getting him back into songwriting after a long hiatus, he’s certain that These Wolves would not exist. Darren said that he started writing “Holly Says Go” back in 2005, and it was inspired by the journal entries of a friend who was a victim of abuse. Some of the lyrics to the song were lifted from the journal entries. Listening to Chevonne and Darren duet on this track is spine-tingling. Check out the video for “Holly Says Go” at…. Rickeroo Dunn and his new band The Infection, from New York City, recently dropped their new music video for their song “Consequences,” off of their recently released album, Time To Heal. “Consequences” rocks! I always loved Rick’s voice and thought he belonged in a great hard rock band. Simply put, the Infection is infectious! I can’t wait to hear the rest of Time to Heal after watching the video for “Consequences.” Check out the Infection and their new music video at…. And finally, Dave Incognito and his band Incognito Theory will be releasing a new EP this summer. Dave never tells me the titles, but he was excited to share with me that bassist Mike Lepond from Symphony X is back in the band, and so is former drummer Tim Protsman. On March 16, Incognito Theory hits Dingbatz, and Mark Petrick—who shot the band’s “Reckoning” video—will be following the band again and filming footage for the group’s upcoming video for the new track, “Tilted Whiskey Fueled.” For more information about the video shoot, 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:

3/8—George Becker Acoustic Solo—Stoney Brook Grille, Branchburg, NJ

3/8—Jersey Campfires Presents Empire Fallen/Deth Kaktus/Another Distraction/Paulus Hook—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

3/9—Tilted/Sister Salvation/Dokken—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

3/13—Jackyl—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

3/14—Devil’s Bubblegum/OrsiniFour/Jenny and the Felines—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

3/15—Jaded Past/Motochrist—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

3/15—JOHN 5/JARED JAMES NICHOLS/Dead Girls Academy—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

3/16—Vendetta Rose—The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ

3/16—Infinitus Mortus/Arc’d Angel/Incognito Theory/Adder—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

3/16—The Fuzz CD Release Party/N.A.S.H./Foster and The Pranksters—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

3/17—Mike Tramp and John Corbi/Reality Suite/Rory D’Lasnow/Scotty Dunbar—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

3/21—Kore Rozzik/Attempted Revenge—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

3/22—Mikell’s Plot/Steve Bello/Warrant—Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ

3/22—Borgo Pass/Stryctnyne/Sweet Tooth/My World—The Rail, Smithtown, NY

3/23—Janet Gardner of Vixen/Corners of Sanctuary/Zero—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

3/24—Rust N Stardust/The Ghost Rodents/Unkle Skunk—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

3/29—Jake E Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel/The Brian Rigby Band/Resurge/Ryder/Blud Red Roses—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

3/30—Reaper/Mindrazer—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

3/30—Christine Martucci and the Band of Love—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

4/5—Dog Eat Dog/Robots and Monsters/Ogre/Rest Assured?/Chaotic Realm—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ

4/6—SCAM/Honor Among Thieves/Thornes—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

4/13—Flaw/The Mendenhall Experiment/Black Water Rising/One Day Waiting— Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ

4/14—Flaw/The Mendenhall Experiment/Black Water Rising—Championship Bar, Trenton, NJ