Bands From Different Lands:
This Month’s Spotlight Shines All The Way To New Jersey To Find A Ska/Punk Band That, Because Of Their Extensive Touring, Feels Like The GArden State Isn’t As Homey As It Used To Be
By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine
Aug. 27, 2014 — Brother’s Henry and D. Jay Menzel are the heart and soul of Blairstown, N.J., based ska/punk band Survay Says!. While other musicians in the group seem to be playing a game of musical chairs, Henry on the guitar and vocals and D. Jay on the trombone and vocals have been stalwart fixtures in the Survay Says! lineup, and it’s obvious they are doing something right.
The group has toured with big-time ska bands like Big D. and the Kids Table, Reel Big Fish, and Less Than Jake. They have also spent time on more than a few noteworthy festivals including the Vans Warped Tour, The Fest, and they are scheduled to play Riot Fest in Chicago on the weekend of Sept. 12.
The group has been through Phoenix three times in the last year and are quietly starting to build a following for their late 1990s style of ska mixed with pop punk. The way they are building that following is the old fashioned one: putting rubber to pavement and playing all over the country as often as possible.
According to the Menzel brothers, they have spent the last three years living on on tour. They said they can hardly call New Jersey home anymore and that it’s just where they filed the bands LLC papers. But that’s how it needs to be done if a band is looking for that big break.
It’s not all about touring, however, for the “Jersey based” quintet. Since their formation in 2008, they have released three albums and two e.p.’s. Their latest offering being Observations of the Human Condition which was released in early 2014.
The Mensel brothers may be the driving force behind the band, but it took the entire five-piece to produce what is absolutely their best album to date by a large margin. The current membership consists of Michael Fenton on saxophone, Ricky Coates on trumpet, and Brent Lawrence Friedman on drums.
The group is currently signed to Asbestos Records and are pounding the pavement on their Ska Revival Tour. With Riot Fest right around the corner who knows who may pick up on the ska-punk five-piece.
Then who knows — just look at the wonders Riot Fest did for Kongos.
Jeff Moses a senior contributor at Modern Times Magazine. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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