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Low Flying Jets

By Gary Wien


Low Flying Jets have been tearing up the New York City clubs for over two years now. Based in Jersey City, the band has been successful in bridging the gap between NYC band and Jersey band by holding steady gigs in New Brunswick and Asbury Park as well.

The band's origin's actually stem partly from the Jersey Shore. Jeff Plate, the band's drummer, and Sam Crowell, the bassist, used to play together in a band called Mothermania which was signed to Drive-Thru Records and had a bit of success in the Asbury Park scene.

"That was when we were in high school," explained Jeff Plate. "We took a couple of years off from playing in bands and just kind of messed around. When Sam got back from a trip he took to London, he entered an ad in the paper and we met with Brad (York) and Brian (Leopold) who were friends since they were in middle school or even earlier. So, Brad and Brian had been childhood friends and me and Sam are childhood friends and when we got together it kind of mixed well."

While some bands struggle to get gigs in New York City, Low Flying Jets had gig offers literally thrown at them after their debut show. Their first live appearance was at the Luna Lounge and from there things kind of snowballed to Don Hills, CBGBs, etc.

"It was like word of mouth started getting out," said Plate. "Clubs just started approaching us to play. I think the Mercury Lounge was the only one we actively tried to get into. Everything else on the Lower East Side just got in touch with us and asked us to come down. It was really great!"

The buzz largely came about from the band's live show. Plate says that when the band first got together, the live show benefited because the music and experience was still new to the band as well as the audience. "Everybody wanted to get us on the stage and sort of see what happens. It was really just a fresh scene that was happening so people wanted to get us into the room."

Low Flying Jets has built a sound of their own by incorporating a myriad of musical influences into something which doesn't really sound like anything in particular but itself. The band knows that a unique sound makes it hard to let people know what to expect so they list bands like The Clash, At The Drive In, Joy Division, U2, New Order, Radiohead, The Mars Volta, and The Pixies as their influences. They hope it helps people get the idea that their music simply sounds unique.

Plate says that the band hopes to begin touring outside of the tri-state area. They've been talking with management agencies to set up a plan to book cities and start placing themselves on the national scene.

"It was never our intention to book a show and get a bunch of A&R guys in a room and then all of a sudden you're on Rolling Stone," added Plate. "We want to tour because we want to tour. We want to go out and meet the kids, play at colleges and get a chance to sell some albums without the whole press propaganda machine going.

"It's not like we got together and said let's start a band and get on a record label and go out on tours. We just really liked playing music together. We love the energy that we bounce off each other in the band and off the audience. It's like the perfect moment when everything kind of comes together."



Gary Wien has been covering the arts since 2001 and has had work published with Jersey Arts, Elmore Magazine, Princeton Magazine, Backstreets and other publications. He is a three-time winner of the Asbury Music Award for Top Music Journalist and the author of Beyond the Palace (the first book on the history of rock and roll in Asbury Park) and Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists. In addition, he runs New Jersey Stage and the online radio station The Penguin Rocks. He can be contacted at gary@newjerseystage.com.


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