(via Upstart Studios)
Legendary places, events, and people in Hoboken, NJ are often at times too numerous to count. But some that immediately come to mind include the Birthplace of Baseball, home of Frank Sinatra, and the world-renowned music venue Maxwell’s. So it’s only appropriate that a local legend in his own right; performer, singer, and songwriter, Ed Smith, will be gracing this historic stage with his band Ed Smith & The Ego on Friday, June 19th, 10pm.
Ed Smith & The Ego features a number of other local rock heroes uniting as one to form Hoboken’s most promising Super Group. Chris “Gibby” Gibson (Frontman/Guitarist from High Speed Chase), Paul Guzzo (Bassist for Crewman Number Six), and journeyman drummer Nelson Pla (Clueless), are growing their raunchy style of tongue in cheek, post-modern irony rock and roll right in the heart of Hoboken.
Born and raised in the Mile Square City, Smith has been involved in bands around the area rock scene since he was 15 and grew up playing music through out the ‘80’s & ‘90’s. Remembering his first ever experience performing at Maxwell’s in 1991, Smith describes his new project as “one of the few bands left doing straight rock and roll.”
It all started for Ed with Fertile Turtle, one of Smith’s earliest bands. Soon after cutting his teeth in that project, it wasn’t long before Ed became a founding member of the well-established Sound of Skin. As he recalls, Smith would describe them as “a more Goth-sounding Nine Inch Nails.” Bearing in mind that Sound Of Skin’s singer was a British transplant, as a result; the band played a number of gigs in England, eventually traveling back & forth between performing in the U.K. and the Hoboken/New York City area.
“At that time, the Hoboken scene mirrored the London scene. It was more of a community,” Smith recalls.
In the early days of that blossoming landscape, Smith witnessed other local legends in the making. After watching bands such as Gutbank (as they transformed into Sex Pod), The Feelies, The Cries, The Individuals, The Bongos (who eventually went on to sign with RCA Records), and Sweet Lizard Illtet (who ended up with Warner Brothers Records), Ed was inspired to make his own mark in the scene. So, not to be outdone, Smith, with his fellow “born and raised” cousins Dominic and Jamie Della Fave, formed the band Eugene to add their voices to a newly rising Hoboken music culture in the early 90’s, eventually morphing into current local favorites The Fave of whom which he still plays bass for.
“Rock and roll bands are a middle class thing with plenty of people to create music within,” states Smith.
Even if he wasn’t “born & raised,” Chris Gibson practically grew up in the local Hoboken rock scene around that same time period after becoming a permanent resident back in 1984. After making the rounds in such bands as Rula Lenzka, The Big Picture, Crim, and Standbye, it was inevitable that he and Ed would cross paths and destinies. Gibson describes Ed Smith & The Ego as a “tribute to the purposely excessive themes of 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s bands.”
“Hoboken has no pretext here and local bands would go to everyone’s shows,” he adds.
And now, Ed Smith & The Ego are preparing to bring their unique take on rock and roll to a venue they all have great memories from and great praise for.
“Dave Entwistle always does a great of job of putting together multi-band line-ups. And the staff and crew really make you feel welcome. You get to see everyone’s band in one place, for one price—in addition to being treated with courtesy and respect,” says Gibson. He also states that a night at Maxwell’s is like a family reunion, “where you get a quality night for a few bucks and everyone gets to catch up. On top of that, the new, updated back room looks and sounds amazing!”
Longtime NYC legends Static Summer coming off of recent support appearances for Papa Roach and P.O.D. will hit the stage at 11pm, while touring band The Shift will be starting the night off with a bang at 9pm. Doors at 8:30, $10 cover.