Long Branch-based The Carousers will help kick off Makin Waves Fest on May 17 at the Brighton Bar. PHOTO BY ANTHONY VITO COSENTINO
In preview of the opening “Joey Nite”of Makin Waves Fest on May 17 at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch, Joey Affatato chats about his deep relationship with each act on the bill: Christine Mitchell, The Carousers, The Mighty John Caseys and The Cryptkeeper Five!
Joey Affatato is one of the hardest- working people in the New Jersey music scene. He plays in two bands – The Carousers and The Mighty John Caseys – and manages others as a staff member of Dimm Entertainment. They include one of my favorite Jersey acts, The Cryptkeeper Five, whose founding front man, Johnny Ott, is Joey’s band mate in The Mighty John Caseys, as well as his uncle.
In tribute to this hard-working guy’s dedication and lovable, uplifting personality, the opening night of Makin Waves Fest unofficially but affectionately has been dubbed “Joey Nite.” The evening on May 17 at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch will feature all three of the aforementioned bands, plus an opening solo set by Joey’s GF, the lovely ‘n’ talented Christine Mitchell whose emerging duo with Joey will be a force with which to be reckoned.
Joey will play featured in three sets that night with Christine, The Mighty John Caseys and then The Carousers before CTK5 close out the night. I recently spoke to Joey about this performance, his close relationship with each of the evening’s acts and the upcoming plans for each. For The Carousers, that includes a June 22 show at Roxy & Dukes in Dunellen with Infinitus Mortus, Steel Spade Syndicate, Jernee Mill, and Jag One.
As a band, do you live up to your name by drinking excessively together or does it have another meaning related to the band?
(Laughs) Mainly just a name, although we all had our fair share in college!
How did The Carousers get together, were you in any bands together before that, and what other bands were the three of you in before The Carousers?
We met in college. All of us went to Monmouth University and studied in the music program. Cassidy’s wrapping up her senior year!When will you be following up your 2017 self-titled five-song EP and with what?
We’ve been writing for a long while now. Definitely have some great stuff, but it’s definitely all about quality over quantity for us. Expect a new single or two in the coming months.Any details you can share about that, such as the status of the project, where you are recording it and with whom, and anything else you would like to share?
Nothing as of yet! Keep on lookout on our socials for announcements.
The Mighty John Casey are Joey Affatato of The Carousers, left, and his uncle, Johnny Ott of The Cryptkeeper Five. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MIGHTY JOHN CASEYS
My uncle has been my biggest inspiration! He started teaching me how to play/sing/write songs when I was around 11. I’m pretty thankful the way he taught me since it really put my songwriting first and my instruments secondary. I’d really consider myself a songwriting rather than a singer-guitar player, and it’s pretty awesome to learn from the best I’ve ever known. If ya’ have a sec, go check out the CK5’s new album, The Stronghold, and you’ll see what I mean.
What do you like most about working with Johnny as both manager and band mate?
He’s super creative. Probably the most creative person I know! He knows pretty well what he’s going for and is able to execute. Not many people can do that. It blows my mind.
What do you like most about working for Dimm?
Our slogan ‘Where Artists Are Family’ pretty much sums it up.
Are there any acts besides TCK5 that you handle for them?
I help with all the bands!
Are there any other music gigs you have besides your bands and Dimm? If so, what are they and what do you do?
I’ve been dabbling in graphic design if anyone needs help! Hit me up! www.joeyaffatato.com.
For a while, you were running Lakehouse’s label, MOTO Records. What did you learn most from that gig?
Definitely learned how to wear a lot of different hats well while working with a deadline. It gave me the chance to get better at my craft and develop new ones. Super thankful for the whole Lakehouse team and MOTO Records. If you have a opportunity, check them out!
Jersey Shore singer-songwriter Christine Mitchell, left, and Joey Affatato of The Carousers in a screen shot from their Facebook video covering Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.” PHOTO COURTESY OF JOEY AFFATATO
Your girlfriend, Christine Mitchell, is very talented. Any plans to collaborate with her live and/or in the studio?
(Laughs) We’ve been jamming for sure! Maybe sometime soon? We’ll keep that one a surprise.
You performing with Christine, The Carousers and The Mighty John Caseys, who are sharing the bill with TCK5 on May 17 at Makin Waves Fest at an event I affectionately have dubbed ‘Joey Nite’ as a salute to your impact on the local music scene at a young age. What do you think of Joey Nite and what are you most looking forward to about it?
(Laughs) I appreciate the recognition! It’ll be a fun night for sure with a lot of great talent. I hope a lot of people come out!
If you could, what you do to make the New Jersey music scene even better?
I’d put a soda machine in every venue!!!! (laughs). I think the NJ scene is pretty great. Adding more DIY spaces would be cool. Also, I think more networking events could be cool to help bring more musicians together besides playing gigs.
What else are The Carousers and Mighty John Caseys up to this spring and summer?
Hopefully recording? I’ve been working diligently with both projects, stay tuned!
As the manager of The Cryptkeeper Five, what else is up with them?
We’ve got a few small tours in the works. New music cooking. Be on the lookout for a very big announcement coming next month.
Is there anything I didn’t ask on which you would like to comment?
Thanks again for putting on this show, Bob! And for your dedication to the scene and Makin’ Waves!
Bob Makin is the reporter for MyCentralJersey.com/entertainment and a former managing editor of The Aquarian Weekly, which launched this column in 1988. Contact him at email@example.com. And like Makin Waves at www.facebook.com/makinwavescolumn.