Asbury Park – The members of Garden State Line consider themselves a bunch of class clowns who make music, so they can’t get over the fact that they have been named the new house band at the legendary Stone Pony nightclub.
“We’re still pinching ourselves,” lead singer and guitarist Tam Garcia said. “It’s very exciting to be part of the Asbury Park music scene, but it’s a lot to live up to. We’re grateful to have this opportunity.”
Garden State Line consists of Garcia along with Derek Tranchina on guitar, Andrew “Beats” Radice on drums and Tom Farley on bass. They met when Garcia was playing acoustic guitar with a rapper, opening for Radice’s band.
“Andrew jumped up on stage with us and we’ve been playing music together ever since,” Garcia said.
Garden State Line first played The Stone Pony in 2009, following a bunch of metal bands during a mid-week show.
“We knew somebody who knew somebody who got us in,” Garcia said. “It was really cool to play on that stage. There is so much history behind that club.”
The alternative-rock band has already opened for George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, John Eddie, the Smithereens and Yellowman.
“To be in the same space and share the energy of those people is very cool,” Garcia said.
Garcia writes most of their songs, citing Sublime, Incubus and the Foo Fighters as some of their influences.
“It’s as if those bands had a love child,” he said. “It’s party music. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. We just want to have fun and keep the party going.”
Serving as the house band means that Garden State Line will play several times a week this summer and also appear at special events and after-parties.
“The band has a fresh new original sound with a reggae edge,” said Kyle Brendle, house promoter for The Stone Pony. “A lot of people asked that they play more dates here. Everyone has a good time at their shows. It’s a fun, genuine sound.”
All four members have day jobs. Garcia and Radice work at VIP Honda in North Plainfield. Farley attends school and works in the grounds department at Rutgers University, and Tranchina is a math teacher in Long Branch. But like most musicians, they hope to be able to play music full-time one day.
“It’s every aspiring musician’s dream to make a living doing what they love,” Garcia said. “We’re all very lucky. We have a really great support base with our friends and family. Nine times out of 10, we have family there in the audience. Whatever crazy ideas we have, they have our back.”
Garden State Line will be hosting a kickoff party on Friday, May 23, at The Stone Pony featuring several of their friends’ bands, including Milan and the Sour Goat, Big Wake and PFunk North. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.
“The Stone Pony was really cool,” Garcia said. “They let us put the roster together. It will be a great show at a great place with our close friends. I hope it sets the tone for the rest of the summer – just one big party.”
Garden State Line released its first full-length record in December called “The Send Off.” It is available at their shows and on iTunes.
“If you live close enough, we will even deliver it,” Garcia said.
Vibe writer Mary Ann Bourbeau can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.