Tuesday, October 25, 2016


The Moms - "Snowbird EP" (September 16, 2016)

Bar/None has always been known for its close association with the Hoboken music scene, but The Mom's,  one of the label's most recent signings, is better described as the quintessential New Brunswick band.  The power trio formed at Rutgers when its members weren't old enough to get into bars yet and honed its talents in the Hub City's fabled basement-show scene. Once the band started performing, the boys never looked back, hitting the road and releasing early recordings on two small labels.  The Moms'  Bar/None debut EP "Snowbird" was co-produced by Pete Steinkopf (Bouncing Souls) and Brett Romnes (I Am The Avalanche) and mastered by Jon Marshall (Misfits, The Front Bottoms, Murphy’s Law).  The EP  ("six short sharp bursts of discordant punk rock that should improve your day immensely and keep a smile on your face" - The Punksite) offers just a taste of what to expect from this up-and-coming combo, composed of Joey Nester, and brothers Jon and Matt Stolpe.

Joey Nester: The Moms formed in the closet of my New Brunswick apartment on 16 Central Ave, where I had my amps stacked up among my clothing. This is the place that most of the early Moms songs came to be. It wasn't, however, until after I left Rutgers after two semesters that we began to play shows. Our first drummer Don and I had girlfriends that lived at 63 Plum St and we coerced them into throwing shows in the basement, a haven on which we bestowed the name "Dickland." I have a fondness in my heart for New Brunswick basement shows. It is a scene unlike any I have witnessed across the country due in part to the sheer amount of shows that occur all year round. These shows embody a spirit that is distinctively Rock and Roll. They are subversive, all inclusive avenues for young people to express themselves without worry of jaded promoters or age restrictions. It is arguably the only scene in New Brunswick outside of the library where there are no ulterior motives of violence or girl/guy ratios - just good clean appreciation for music, fun, and the community where it thrives. New  Brunswick basement shows are a good example of what i believe to be a good slogan for Rock and Roll - "everybody's invited!"

In today's day and age, there are plenty of places that will not allow underage bands to play. This restriction is hardly an issue in New Jersey because there are plenty of places to play where age is of no concern - basements, VFW halls, all-ages venues like Montclair's Meatlocker, etc... When The Moms embarked on our first tour, I was underage and this posed a concern as several of the shows on that tour were 21+. My solution was a money order to China that resulted a few weeks later in a fake ID. That got me through a few years at out of state venues where I technically should not have been allowed to play. As we've gotten older, I realize that there is a shift in the crowd. Younger fans at a bar show are only concerned with the music being played, whereas the older crowd has a partial motivation for the booze. This past September, we had a big issue at our "Snowbird EP" release show in Morristown. We had booked the venue far in advance with the promoter's permission to make it an 18+ show. We had talked about the details and logistics of having underage people in the crowd and the bands and it was all well and good - until we showed up to play. Much to our surprise, the owners of the bar had put a kabash on the 18+ rule at the very last minute and at 10 PM, the bouncers swept the crowd and purged the room of anybody underage. It was a ridiculous shortsight of the staff that left a very bad taste in our mouth for the venue. Corrina, Corrina was told that they couldn't even go back into the bar to get their gear! Fortunately, nobody that was forcibly removed from the bar held it against us. We're still figuring out how we're going to make it up to those people.

One of our favorite places ever to play was The Asbury Lanes - a sentiment shared with many, many people in the NJ Rock and Roll scene. Leave it to government to use eminent domain as an excuse to bury one of the greatest institutions for punk in the whole country. Perhaps it wasn't as iconic as The Stone Pony. Or maybe it was because the only ones that voiced an objection to its closing were "just a buncha punks," but the scene lost a good all ages venue in Asbury Lanes. Other venues worth mentioning are Swayzes in Atlanta, Buzzbin in Canton, Churchill's in Miami, The Cavern  in Russellville,  AR, and basically any place anywhere with good, passionate bands full of solid people.

As for crazy stories, there are many - like the time we were robbed in Cincinnati, only to get everything back a few minutes later. Or the time Jon pooped his pants on stage. Or the time I drank too much whiskey and hopped on a freight train in Lexington, KY. Or the time I drank too much whiskey and got a firm talking to from Steve-o of The Holy Mess, or the time we played one of the most unexpectedly great last minute show in Shitsplat, Nebraska to a bar full of Moms fans, or the time we ended up at a diner in Japan with good buddy from home Dwyer, or the time we got pulled over in North Carolina and Jon had to eat all the weed, or all the times when we DIDN'T get pulled over, or the time we had to change an alternator on the side of the road in Long Island and still made it to the show in time, or the time we had to drive through the Rockies on 5 of 8 cylinders, or the time we drove 16 hours between Bismarck and Boise in a blizzard, or the many, many times where we were almost murdered with alcohol by the bar we played in, or the time we were almost robbed by a guy with a sword in Connecticut, or the time we saw a vagrant with a rifle and had to take shelter behind a church, or the time Matty literally went crazy. The list goes on and on... to live in a van and play in a rock and roll band is to open yourself to a wide array of hairy experiences.

Listen To The Moms:
The Bottom
Seen Enough 
Road Soda 

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