Status Green has not only been one of the most popular bands along the Jersey Shore for several years, but they one of the hardest working bands as well. Their hard work definitely paid off this summer when the band landed great shows at the PNC Bank Arts Center, Jones Beach, the Warped Tour in Camden, and at the Florida Music Festival. It's always great to see local acts getting a taste of success, but sometimes the good stuff gets lost in the shuffle so I contacted Lou Montessano to hear his take on the band's recent successes and to see if there was anything else under the radar or in the future that people should know about...
Tell me about the recent show at the PNC Bank Arts Center. As local guys, I'm sure that show was something special. What was it like performing there on the main stage?
Being on that stage was epic! It's kind of like having an unbelievably dream. It happens so quick and then it's over. All the preparation, all the excitement and then it's done. Like a cheap drug or something. It leaves you desiring more. That's the only negative part. Everything else was amazing! We were treated top notch. Dressing rooms, dinner, we even got a sound check which we didn't think we would have. Nothing compares to those sound systems. I'm not hinting at anything here, but it would be hard to sound shitty playing through a system like that. That alone gives you all the confidence in the world to really kill it on stage. Not having to worry about your sound is a huge liberty for any artist. So yeah, playing the art center was a huge goal of ours. Now it's onto the next goal.
Considering how many states you've played in and all of the various venues, is it still something special to have gigs like the PNC Bank Arts Center, Wall Stadium, Giants Stadium - that are all basically hometown gigs?
There's nothing like a hometown gig. I'm sure anyone would agree. It's always the best chance to see your family and friends and that's what it's all about.
The band has always been confident (for example: winning the Bon Jovi competition just a few months after forming) but has the confidence actually grown over the years? It seems like confidence is a major part of what Status Green is all about as it shows in your live show, your marketing, and the steps you take to further the band.
I'd say definitely that our confidence has grown over the years. We've been busting our asses for 4 years now and in some ways its starting to pay off. We're getting on better shows, and getting many more opporunities. The song writing is also getting better. I can't wait to finish the next album. We've never been the kind of band with a sense of entitlement. We're too busy trying to make shit happen to worry about that.
At the PNC, you guys opened for Creed after winning a Sonicbids competition. Is the band always on the lookout for opportunities like that? Or are you all huge fans of Creed?
haha! That's funny Gary. I'd have to go with (A). We're constantly kicking down doors to land these kinds of gigs. Sonicbids has been an ace up our sleeve lately. I can only hope that we retain some of the luck for the future.
Tell me about the Jones Beach gigs. Who have you opened for and what were those shows like? Have those shows led to any further gigs in the area?
The Jones Beach run this summer was awesome for Status Green. We were contacted through a friend who associates with some Live Nation people. The band that was supposed to play the side stage for the Nickelback show couldn't make it so we were asked if we wanted it. Of course we would never turn that down so we excepted and the next day we were Long Island bound. After playing a great set for the Nickelback show, they asked us if we would be interested in returning for both Blink 182 shows in August. Once again we accepted and again had tons of traffic for the Blink shows. Especially the first show which had Fall Out Boy and Panic at the Disco on the bill. I'm sure we had 1500 people rocking out around our stage. The 2nd Blink show was only a few days ago. Chester French, Taking back Sunday and WEEZER were the openers. We hope one day to play the main stage at Jones Beach. It's one of my favorite venues.
You also had a big gig at the Florida Music Festival in Orlando.. The band been pushing Florida for several years now, right? Are the efforts starting to pay off?
FMF was a fantastic time and opportunity for us. Again, sonicbids led to this show and we played the main stage a couple bands before Filter headlined. To be honest with you, I think we have a lot of work to do for things to pay off down south. In my opinion, if you can't get down there every couple months it's really hard to cultivate the kind of following that I think we need down south. That's the cold hard truth.
I guess in a way Status Green has done as much along the Shore as it probably can do. Does the band have a set area you're trying to work for a tour these days? Are you focusing more on NYC and Philly? The midwest? or is the map always expanding?
We've recently teamed with a company out of Arizone called Static Management. They are very focused on gaining us much more west coast visibility. I believe this winter we will be heading out west with another band out of Pittsburgh on a university tour. Who knows what will happen but that's the plan as of now.
Personally, I love how Status Green has sort of changed the rules in the local music scene by playing clubs like the Stone Pony as well as traditional cover band bars like PK Shamrocks - not to mention even getting huge gigs at major stadiums and arenas. There's like an aura around the band that no place is off limits.
To be honest with you I think it's the fun up-beat swing of alot of our songs. The traditional 'cover band' bars hire us to do a originals because we bring a pretty good crowd wherever we play. I've actually seen some 'regular' patrons at the places we've played starting to sing along to our lyrics. So maybe to them, cover band or not, atleast they know the words now and that's the only reason people hire cover bands if you really think about it.
Quickly moving to some other things... I remember when a meeting of artists was held at the Hot Dog House sometime last year when you told me Status Green was working on a version of Auld Lang Syne for Scotland. Who did you work with on the project? How did it turn out?
That completely fell apart Gary. We went into the studio and did our parts. Chrissy Hynde from the Pretenders was also on board. Mick Mcneil of 'Simple Minds' was heading the project from Scotland and apparently once the tracks got back to him the project stalled, the engines siezed and the plane eventually crashed into the side of the mountain.
Other projects the band has been involved with include a Travel Channel episode on Atlantic City. How did that go?
The Travel Channel episode will be airing this fall. The date is still yet to be announced. They did a big story on the Jersey shore for Samantha Brown's "GREAT WEEKENDS" show. They wanted to tie in the rich musical history of the jersey shore. They did a segment about the Stone Pony and our friends at the Pony suggested we'd be a great band to highlight. The shoot was down at the Steel Pier Amusement Park in Atlantic City. We basically walked and talked with Samantha while getting to go on all the rides. We concluded the segment with a performance at the end of the Pier. It was a really fun day for us.
Finally, the band's next record is expected to be out in a few months. Are you still looking at an October release? How is the disc coming? Is it a full-length? Will you be setting up a far-reaching tour to promote the disc or is that down the line?
We are hard at work in the studio right now on this record. We're very excited about it. We HOPE to have it finished by late October or November. Predicting a record release when you're doing it on your own is touchy but that is our target time-line. It will be a full length LP. Once the record is nearing completion we'll determine the best marketing as far as touring and all that fun stuff. I don't wanna bite off more than I can chew right now.
Status Green Photo by Mike Black|
UPCOMING GIGS OF NOTE FOR STATUS GREEN:
SEPT 16th The Blender Theatre NYC 9pm. ALL AGES with Future Future.
OCT 1st The Dewey Beach POP Festival. (We play midnite @ the Rusty Rudder)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.