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Wicked to Cast Their Spell at Salty's Beach Bar


By Danny Coleman

originally published: 04/23/2024

Wicked to Cast Their Spell at Salty

"We're so excited. The band is just poised and ready to hit the road and rock out and get this album out to the masses," laughed the man simply known as "Danny" as he discussed his band Wicked, their new album "Sunburn" and their April 25 show at Salty's Beach Bar in Lake Como, NJ. 

Rooted in upstate New York, Danny and the other members of Wicked developed a go for broke mentality years ago; some may say, they are inseparable.

"We're from Rochester, NY and we've been together for about eight years as a full unit, the four of us," he began enthusiastically. "It all kind of started with my brother Chad and I, we were growing up as kids and wanting to bring back what we felt was missing out there with that style of shock rock, power pop, arena kind of rock 'n' roll. We were lucky enough to find the other guys; there are some pretty funny stories about finding our guitarist Scotty; I was on something like Myspace but it was called Glam Nation and the story goes from there. Gunner was in our backyard, he was kind of the drummer that finished the puzzle for the band and it's really cool because I always say what makes us unique for a rock band in 2024 is that the four of us guys live together under one roof. We've been living together for about seven years so, it's old school. We are friends, we're family, we write together, we play together; it's a full-time gig. I'm fortunate and I know the other guys feel the same way that we are lucky enough to have this kind of combination and thing going on." 

Living and touring together, that's a lot of time spent with one another but according to Danny, they are very "Close knit" and they all like it that way; especially on gig day.



 
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"It's pretty cool," he laughed, "We have a small team but a tight team. We have a couple of guys who do everything from sound to roadie and they are always with us and our sound engineer, Nacho Molino, he's got like 10 Grammy Awards but fortunately for us, he has taken a deep respect for the band and is working with us very closely. We have ladies who come out and do merch and so that keeps it easy on the eyes and us boys, we get amped up the minute it's go time, show day we are hyping each other up and getting ready; it's funny because everyone has their nuances.Our lead singer Chad, he's got that lead singer disease; LSD right (laughs)? He's always the last one ready, he has his quirks that he has to do; almost ritualistic. Scotty V our lead guitarist has that attitude like, nothing can bother me, I'm on top of the world. We always call him, "Snotty Scotty" because he's got that kind of like, "I'm the coolest" type of attitude (laughs). Gunner? He's a road dog man. He drives the van, sets up gear, does whatever he needs to do to help out and still plays the drums like a thunder cannon. Me, I'm like the band dad; right? I'm herding the cats man, it's always about keeping everybody walking the same path and then showtime, we hit the stage and it's like a bomb going off, it's so cool."

"Sunburn," their latest release, is somewhat a change of direction for the band as they feel they've kind of removed some barriers or as Danny says, "It shows how they have grown." 

"Sunburn" is 11 tracks, we were going in the studio when COVID hit; we're glass half-full kind of guys with the way we think and when we really couldn't get out and play shows we were like, let's record some music. So, we put down our first album, "Last American Rock Band" and then we were writing and recording demos beyond that and kind of reflecting on ourselves and the years of playing and paying our dues as kids really. "Sunburn" was really like that, that notion of too much of a good thing. We laughed about it but we decided to put those experiences; pen them to some music and that's where "Sunburn" really came from' so it's kind of really a reflection album. It also was a really cool time to finally say to ourselves, hey look, let's not be afraid to bring in other influences. I think when we were kids it was like, "You have to pick a genre. You gotta be one way" and we kind of broke down those barriers and we brought in the influences that make us happy right now, that speak to us and make us feel like we're being our most honest selves for ourselves because at the end of the day, we are the ones who have to like the music and if everyone else likes it; good for them and that's a bonus. So, we're super excited about this group of songs and we've even got a little treat at the end of the album. A total left turn and it's kind of more like an acoustic style song. We actually wrote that one a little bit more from the heart for our late grandmother that we used to spend all of our time with. We would go to shows and it didn't matter if we were in New Jersey, we would drive back upstate so we could be there on a Sunday to see her. So, it was kind of a little different look behind the veil at who we are as a group of guys as well."

"We have a close knit team and we like to keep it that way; have people we can trust around us," he said as he continued explaining the record's origins. "We actually recorded "Sunburn," get this; in our house. Like an old school, '70's style approach. We've got these big cathedral ceilings and we actually set up the drums right in the living room with that and we built a studio with Nacho in the basement; with our mixing board that we have, we were able to record everything. Today, you stand back and listen to it; was that done in L.A.? New York? You can't even tell but we did it like an old school band. Like the Chili Peppers when they were in one of those big houses in the Hollywood Hills or something like that."   

Wicked to Cast Their Spell at Salty

The show on April 25 was originally scheduled for the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville and those tickets will be honored at Salty's Beach Bar; Wicked will be joined by Vicious Rumors, Lutharo and their road warrior buddies; Raven. 

"This is a pretty cool thing about how touring with Raven came about. We did a couple of dates last year with them  Gunner goes way back with the Gallaghers; there is a picture of Gunner as a baby in John Gallagher's arms and believe me, we are going to pull that picture out and get it blown up for the tour (laughs). We did a couple of dates, reconnected a bit but they were one-off gigs and the Boston one was incredible and they were like, "Hey, we'll give you a shout if something comes up" and sure enough it did and it was perfect timing with "Sunburn" coming out. Those guys in Raven are real salt of the earth kind of people, really fun to be around and really great entertainers and musicians so we are really stoked. We are looking forward to having that energy and being on the road; it's a real road dog tour. pretty much every day we are in a different state so this is no luxury cruise. We are really gonna go and rough it and do it in a very old school rock 'n' roll style." 



 
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It's that "Old school" style and mentality that has served them well; thow in the willingness to deviate from their comfort zones and the chatter surrounding them and you've got a recipe for success. So, what will those at Salty's; a venue definitely far more intimate than the Starland Ballroom have to look forward to?

"It's the whole crew and it's gonna be exciting," he said with a laugh. "Listen, you're talking about several bands here that really bring that hard rock and metal. We're gonna bring our own version of that, it's high energy rock 'n' roll. It's watching a band playing rock 'n' roll with riffs like Thin Lizzy, the heavy backbeat like Led Zeppelin and vocal melodies that are gonna catch you and you're not going to be able to forget'em. So, between those things, us jumping in the air and running around on stage; I'm telling you right now, you've probably never seen anything like this. Grab your tickets, come on out, it's gonna be a blast, we're all about having a good time; it's the escape from your day to day life and being one with a community of rock 'n' rollers." 

Salty's Beach Bar is located at 1705 Main Street in Lake Como, NJ and for tickets or to discover more about Wicked, please visit https://www.wickedrocknrollofficial.com 



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Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 7:000pm EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.

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