IN CONVERSATION: Goalie Fight Talks Meeting on Craigslist, The NJ DIY Music Scene, and Putting Together Their Excellent New Record On Ice!

Mark Dempsey was not sure where to turn when he started to put together his band Goalie Fight’s second record. He had been able to cobble together their first record, Roy Orbison, thanks to pandemic era stimulus funds providing him just enough for a sublet in Pittsburgh and time at Very Tight Recordings, doing everything on the record himself except drums, mixing, and mastering. He had been on an emo revival kick, particularly listening to the early 2010s bands that made Philly the epicenter of the scene like Glocca Morra and The World is a Beautiful Place and I am No Longer Afraid to Die. Roy Orbison is as morbid and catchy as the emo revival records that inspired it. The record is opened and closed with “Roy Orbison Thesis” and “Roy Orbison Denouement” two gargantuan tracks that use the Traveling Wilbury himself as a representation for putting your all into your art every day so regardless of when things end you can end on a high note. The closing track “Denouement” takes pieces from several of the album’s previous tracks for a monumental closer that reminded me of Titus Andronicus’ opus The Monitor as much as it did any emo record. Much like Titus Andronicus at the end of The Monitor, Mark found himself back in his native New Jersey after his Pittsburgh sublet ended. He was excited about the reception he had got to Roy Orbison but knew that he wanted more from the Goalie Fight project, particularly some bandmates who understood and could help further build out his vision. Mark wasn’t finding anyone that seemed like a good fit, so like many Americans searching for people right under their nose he turned to Craigslist, the classified advertisements website that has not updated its aesthetics since it went live in 1995 and that has remained as useful as the day it went live thanks to its creator and owner, Morristown, NJ’s own Craig Newmark, never selling the site out. Mark found guitarist Dan Taggart, who’d been playing in emo and punk bands across the Garden State for a few years, and realized the two shared some major artistic sensibilities. Next was Sam Van Heest on the drums, and finally Joe Visconti on the bass, a Hartford native who Mark found after he replied to Sam’s Craigslist ad. After the four had sufficiently passed one anothers tests in Mark’s parents’ garage, they moved their operation to Backroom Studios and got to jamming. The process of putting together the second Goalie Fight record, On Ice!, was everything Mark hoped it’d be when he uploaded that Craigslist ad. While all four band members came from an emo or punk tradition, they each had a different flavor that they brought to their stew. The band would often jam and slowly piece tracks together based on what was working in the session, making this quite a sonically diverse record in the end. Dan in particular advocated for harmonies all over the record, which helped bring out Mark’s love for gang vocals, as is evident from the very first track. Album opener “Kid’s Table” is the track that reminds me most of Goalie Fights first record. They kick into overdrive with the gang vocals a minute and a half into the track, setting not just the tone but the pace of the record. The album’s lead single “Harden Your Heart” reminded me of the Britpop of the 2010s, The Futureheads and Hot Hot Heat in particular, though Mark and the gang said they were aiming more for Franz Ferdinad from a decade earlier. “Hey There Sports Fans” is the most freewheeling track on the record, flying through a bevy of styles and even finding time for Cheem’s Skye Holden to lay down some turntable scratching; It is a track every bit as fun and chaotic as a good game of hockey. Goalie Fights’ new members took the helm on a few tracks as well, which are among the tapes best. Dan Taggart wrote and sings the albums’ second single “Whirlpool” which sounds like the Gin Blossoms played at 1.5 speed, where bassist Joe Visconti helmed the early album jam “Forward Thinking”. My favorite track on the record without a doubt however has to be “Corbeau” which starts with an American Football like creep before building into some gargantuan Pet Sounds/Smile-era Beach Boys conjuring vocal harmonies. No band they play with will have a track that sounds anything like “Corbeau” and nobody will leave the venue forgetting Goalie Fight as a result. The most exciting aspect of On Ice! is the record just feels like the start of things for Goalie Fight. Dan mentioned while he loved how sonically diverse the record is that they still have some soul searching as to exactly what their “sound” will be. However, they sound more excited by the proposition than daunted by it. Some of the best tracks on On Ice! came about as a result of band jam sessions, where they’d noodle ideas and seeing what sticks with what. While Goalie Fight was excited to share On Ice! with the world and couldn’t be happier with how the record sounds, they seem just as excited to keep jamming together, to keep putting bits and pieces of songs together, and to keep bringing the best out of one another.
I had the chance to talk with Mark, Dan, and Joe from Goalie Fight about the NJ DIY music scene, finding one another on Craigslist, and the process of putting together their excellent new record. This interview was edited and condensed for clarity. 

GSC: What are your names? Where do you hail from? And what do you do in the band Goalie Fight?
MARK: My name is Mark Dempsey. I’m from Morristown, New Jersey. I founded Goalie Fight, I play guitar and  I sing on most of the songs.
GSC: I have four brothers who went to Delbarton so I spent a lot of time in Morristown, I am a big Cluck-U guy.
MARK: My parents didn’t want me to go in there. I didn’t realize that it was a play on a naughty word until like high school honestly.
JOE: They were sheltering you Mark. I’m Joe Visconti. I play bass and I’m from Newton, New Jersey.
DAN: I’m Dan Taggart, I play guitar and I sometimes sing. I’m from I’m originally from Rockaway, NJ, but I live in Randolph.
GSC: So two Morris County members and a Suxxex? I grew up in Summit in Union County. 
MARK: I hope you spent a lot of time at Scottie’s Records in Summit!
GSC:  I did, and the movie theater that used to be right next door RIP, but I am so glad that Scotty’s is still kicking. 
MARK: They still have that tiny movie theater under the ShopRite in Chatham. 
GSC: Where they do indie flicks! Next to Marie’s, who closed too.
MARK: They used to be indie but they went broad, I saw them advertising Barbie there when I passed by. 
GSC:  If I recall the first time I remember anyone going there was when my Mom saw Brooklyn. Mark you have a Pittsburg connection as well, right? The Steel City Death Club called you a former Pittsburgh music scene Meme King. What was that past life?
MARK:  I went to Carnegie Mellon University. I was briefly involved with the music scene out there before the pandemic. I had a band at CMU called Heavy Lobster. I guess it was fair to call it a ska band, we only had three songs and only one of them was a ska song, but we did have a sax player. So it depends on on how you want to define ska. We only ever played shows on campus and most of my interactions with the rest of the Pittsburgh scene were me being a fan of these bands. Fast forward to 2021, I really miss the city, I get a summer sublet in Pittsburg partially as an excuse to get out of my parents basement and partially as an excuse to go and record the first Goalie Fight record at Very Tight Recordings in Sharpsburg, PA. Being in Pittsburg, I was just like this place is blossoming. This scene is really happening. There’s a lot of really cool spots that are reopening. There’s a lot of really cool bands that are flourishing in the scene, you got friggin Feeble Little Horse. You got Gaadge and Silver Car Crash are popping off right now, so Pittsburg definitely has a phenomenal music scene right now, glad to see my friends doing so well.
GSC: Shout out to all the Yinzers, Pittsburgh is a sneaky beautiful city on the rivers with those bridges. What are your earliest music memories? Who was playing music around the house? What were they playing?
MARK:  My mother never had a record collection because she was always with roommates because she was a nurse in the city, so she would use her roommate’s record collection as her record collection. So when we got an iPod in the house in like 2007, or whatever, it was my dad’s CDs that he would upload onto the iPod. It was a lot of Eagles, Styx, Poison, lots of Rush, lots of Queen. Anything arena rock and big in the late 70s to the 80s was on there which also means that I had a huge gap in my musical knowledge starting around 1989. The only post 90s acts that were on that pod were Suzanne Vega, and REM.
DAN: I kind of just listened to top 40 stuff. I really liked movie soundtracks, Star Wars and anything John Williams did. Eventually I wanted to play guitar after hearing Guns and Roses in like sixth grade. My dad was really into the Beatles and I didn’t get it until sixth grade and then I became the Beatles kid at school. I got into classic rock and like Mark, I didn’t listen to anything past like 1989 until I got to Nirvana. That kind of got me into alternative stuff, Pixies, Animal Collective.
JOE: Growing up, my dad played piano and guitar. I remember being very very little and thinking he had written some of the songs that were like, a Billy Joel song or something. When that dawned on me, I remember being like, oh, it’s a whole business of people writing songs and getting them out there. I had the classic rock diet for sure from just like growing up around Hartford. And in just about high school, I’m a little older than the other guys, The Strokes album came out. Knowing there was cool new music out there being made, that started my goal to get to New York City for college. I digested the Rough Trade, 4AD world of punk, post punk. I loved the cultness of it. I love knowing there’s a song I never heard before on a random reissue or CD bootleg, and hearing the stories and collecting the records. That’s what led me to wanting to play.
GSC: You beat me to the punch, did you guys have a moment when you knew you wanted to play rock? It sounds like you all did.
DAN: Like I said, Guns N’ Roses. I fell in love with vocal harmonies with the Beatles and Beach Boys too.

JOE: I had a buddy who was a guitar player, he’s gone on to become like a professional jazz player. I think I was trying to learn the F chord at age 12 and it wasn’t working. I was like, I think I’m going to try the bass, I just really liked the rhythmic element of it, and it’s served me well since. 
MARK: I have the dorkiest origin story of the three. I learned how to play guitar, because of the computer science intro class in college. The the final project for that particular course you had to make a program in Python. I was struggling to come up with an idea for something to do, and randomly told my professor I guess I’ll make a guitar tuner. Then I was scrambling around asking my friends, “Hey, can I borrow your guitar? Can I ask you for a guitar so I can actually test this guitar tuner that I’m programming?” One of my friends, Meg Thomas, had a guitar that had been sitting in her attic for a decade, because she has a very much older brother, who just left there, so shout out to Meg and her brother. I used that guitar for the project and I taught myself the basic chords. The summer after I was trying to teach myself Suzanne Vega and Kurt Vile songs because “Walking on a Pretty Day” was on the radio at the William Paterson University station. 
GSC: You are the third person I’ve talked to this year who ended up getting into music through a college course, believe it or not, shout out to FiFi Zhang and Square Loop too. 
JOE: Hang on, Mark, you ad some experience with music before you started doing guitar, right?
MARK: Oh yes, I played clarinet. In high school.
JOE: The man knows his tones, let’s make sure it’s understood.
MARK: I did piano lessons and stuff like that. I didn’t want to write anything until the later half of college. We had essentially a jam band club at CMU called the Independent Musicians Organization. So I got the chops from there, from sitting in, faking chords until I actually learned the chords.
GSC: What was your earliest exposure to the DIY scene in New Jersey?
DAN: I got booked by a group called Rat Brain Records, my first gig was the Meat Locker. Madison from Ogbert the Nerd, their earlier project, OK Friends, was also playing. We played BooneTunes a bunch and knew the guys from Godcaster, they’ve played under a couple names. We played with Fire is Motion, a ton of great bands.
MARK: For me, New Jersey, specifically, it was Crossroads because I didn’t know about BooneTunes at the time. I went to see Whale Bones, which was a post hardcore band. I was just like, oh, what’s the next concert that’s here, I’ll go, and it happened to be Whale Bones. The next show I went to there was the breakup show for The Moms, they were a great country-influenced punk band. I think America Part 2 and Milkmen were there. Milkmen, their whole jazz punk thing is super, super special. 
JOE: I got most of music experience in New York City, moving to Jersey in 2019. In 2021, I went to see a show at the Daily Planet which rarely has shows. There were two local North Jersey bands Jug & The Bugs and Shinner. It was a four band bill and the other two groups were from the Detroit area, The Stools and Toeheads. I finally got to the Meat Locker with Goalie Fight after hearing a lot about it in my New York City days.
GSC: We need to get it some sort of landmark status. Mark, Goalie Fight started off as a solo project. Now clearly it is a proper band. How did you all meet? How did it go from a solo project to a collaborative one?
MARK: We met through Craigslist. I put up an ad. Though later Joe put up an ad and I answered his ad, because I was having a difficult time finding the right people. I was getting a lot of guitarists, and not a lot of bassists and drummers. We got Sam Van Heest who came in on the drums. He was the first drummer that we auditioned, and he and I instantly clicked musically. Then Dan auditioned, and I really liked the way that he interpreted our songs, and the way that he did the solos on the cover songs that we prepared, so he was in. Then I answered Joe’s ad to have him come out and play bass. He brought a really good foundation, a level of groove to the band. We did all these auditions in my parents garage and started doing stuff at Backroom Studios in Rockaway.
JOE: I’ll believe in Craigslist forever based on lived experience. Hearing the material Mark had from the first album, I remember thinking this is something I would like to hear more of. I really enjoyed learning the few songs for the auditions. I really was looking for a project to feel invested in that was doing something different, and I felt like Mark had something different in that first tape. 
GSC: Mark how did you come up with the band name? Are you a big Martin Brodouer fan?
MARK: Brodouer was an excellent goalie. He changed the league, they have a rule in the book named after him. Those French Canadian goalies are really just built different. There’s something in the water up there, or the ice up there, that makes you really good at playing defense specifically. If you look at a list of the top 10 ice hockey goalies of all time, I think two of them are Russian and eight of them are French Canadian. For a province with less than 10 million people. That’s crazy. 
GSC: My little brother is a lacrosse goalie, you really have to be wired a certain way, not entirely crazy but…
MARK: Just unhinged enough. 
JOE: I was sold when I heard the band name. I definitely thought they meant soccer and I’ve pushed for that angle but it hasn’t taken.
MARK: We joke around with The Goalie’s Anxiety at The Penalty Kick which is slowcore band from Philly, and Goalkeeper which is a pop punk band from Philly, and Goaltender which is pop punk band from St. Louis, about putting together like a Goalie Fest that has not materialized yet. 
GSC: Or a split!
MARK: Split seems like a nice angle. Worst case our band can just cover all their songs until we force the issue.
GSC: Mark, what was your life like when you were recording Roy Orbison? How does it sound listening back and what does it make you think about?
MARK:  At that particular time, I was in a sublet, I didn’t have a car. I was getting up at seven o’clock in the morning to catch the bus across town to a practice space made out of a storage unit that I was renting out, because they’re allowed to put electrical outlets and storage units there. On the bus I’d reflect on what I was aiming for. I was looking to put together something that I could be proud of that was more emo than my last band, because that was what I had started to really enjoy starting in 2019 2020. I was listening to a lot of emo revival stuff, not the 90s original emo, Midwest emo bands or the DC hardcore true emo scene. At that time. I was listening to a lot of Modern Baseball and Glocca Morra and the Glocca Morra’s successor band Spirit of the Beehive and to Death Cab. Two Pittsburg bands that really inspired me were SAME, who are a Pavement-y band out there, and TVs Norm, who are more singer songwriter 90s type vibe. 
GSC: The song that really sticks with me most on the record, is that closer “Roy Orbison Denouement” it is a real epic closer. What did you mean when you said “You wanna die like Roy Orbison?” What is that song about?
MARK: Thank you. I knew I wanted to do something dramatic and bold at the end. I had the song “Roy Orbison Thesis” but I didn’t know how to finish it. I had what would become the main chorus of “Denouement” and the end of “Thesis”. I said if I break this part off of “Thesis” and add in some other parts from the rest of the album, I can do an overture. So that’s what I did. The song is about a misremembered version of how Roy Orbison died. Roy Orbison died on on the upswing. He had been a big, huge star before the Beatles came to the US. He was the face of a particular kind of dramatic high budget country music with an orchestra his song structures were long and winding. But his career started to decline in the 60s. In the 70s he was in a lot of debt, then his career popped back up in the 80s Thanks to the Traveling Wilburys, and to a couple of like, syncs in movies and television that made people remember how good Roy Orbison was. He died on break from tour after a long fun day with family and friends out of nowhere, just in his sleep. So that song is about knowing that you could have done more but being okay that you didn’t. Coming to terms with the limited time we have on earth and ending on a high note.
GSC: Moving into this record, On Ice!, you have the same skeleton fella on this cover as the last. Is he the team mascot?
DAN: We’ve been referring to him as Bones Wilbury, he’s like a zombie version of Roy Orbison. I don’t know how blasphemous or disrespectful that is so that might not be an official name. I don’t know how long we’re going to continue with that, I just think it’s some cool imagery. My friend from college was the guy who did the art for the first record and I just hit him up and said, Hey, can you do another one? I’ll print it on heavy cardstock and run out into the snow and plant it there and take some pictures. And that’s what I did.
GSC: This is a very sonically diverse record, where every song has a different range of influences. What ties this record together?
MARK: The lyrics definitely tie it together, our lyrical sensibilities. The main focus of this record from my perspective was to try and build a band that wasn’t just like Mark Dempsey and his backing band. Dan has writing credits on this record, Joe has writing credits, both have lyrical singing and musical instrumental writing credits, every member plays on every track. I was trying to thread that needle of having all of these fun influences, all of the things that we each bring together to the band, and shoot through it with a narrative through line of the anxieties of life and the hope on the other side of that coin.
JOE: Definitely that dealing with the bad and the good of the moment, we poured that into the record. I think we were all facing coming out of the pandemic and the hope on the other side but the lack of faith at the same time, and trying to talk about feeling both of those at the same time. Omicron even cut our first tour, Roy Tourbison, short, which was a shame, but we had a couple good shows.
GSC: Dan, what do you think ties the record together?
DAN: I’d say it’s probably Mark. We were doing a lot of soul searching, and we still are, about what kind of band we want to be. While I celebrate that there’s so many different styles I also understand that we have to have a sound, a reason to check us out other than just good songs or whatever. Mark was producing the records and crafting the world of this record. 
GSC: I love the opener “Kid’s Table“. It feels the most Glocca Morra emo inspired of any of the tracks on the record. How did that song come together and how did you know it was the opener?
MARK:  *Mark runs and gets a guitar to play the riffs he describes* I did discover this riff at the bottom of the neck. Shortly after I discovered the riff, I thought to myself, Oh, no, that sounds like… a major key version of Enter Sandman! I wanted to use “Enter Sandman” as an opposite pole. If “Enter Sandman” is slow and heavy I wanted to be fast and light. If “Enter Sandman” has raspy vocals, I want to have shouty heavy swinging vocals. It was a southern star to walk away from if that makes sense. We did want to start the record with something that sounded familiar to the old record, that felt more emo inspired, than the rest of the record.
DAN:  I thought it was very funny, the “Enter Sandman” thing, but I like how it’s more than a gimmick, “Oh, check this out. Isn’t this funny?” It’s just a good song on its own. I how it goes to the major seventh chord immediately after the main riff, you know? It’s nice. I like the ending chord, which I think was my idea. We were doing gang vocals, everything in unison, and I think I instinctively did a high note or something. And we’re like, Marks like “That sounds good. Let’s do that.” I really like how that song turned out.
MARK:  Dan definitely has the mind for harmonies.
DAN:  I’m in my beach Beach Boys shirt, which I got recently and it’s one of my favorites now. Their harmonies were definitely an inspiration, even if we’re doing something completely different with ours. 
JOE:  Last word on “Kid’s Table”. I definitely think if you were to lay down the last track of Roy Orbison right up against the beginning of this album there’s a connection sonically and thematically that brings you from one into the next. “Wind Blows Out from Bushwick” ends with the gang vocals in a similar crescendo feel as this one starts. Mark was like, I got a band, time for some gang vocals.
GSC: The first single “Harden Your Heart” I heard Hot, Hot Heat, The Wombats early 2010s Britpop, maybe I’m totally off base. What inspired that track?
DAN: Wind it back like 10 years and then I think that’s what Mark was going for with that one.
MARK: Yeah, I was going for Franz Ferdinand and The Strokes with some music theater. More Roy Bittan than Bruce Springsteen.
JOE: Yea Mark brought it as a demo and I love how we built it out. I remember early on all of us agreeing that it was going to be on the record and would be a highlight.  I don’t think there is anything in our repertoire quite like it.
MARK: We can fix that!
GSC: I love “Hey There Sports Fans” it is the most freewheeling track on the record. I love that you have that record scratch moment in the middle which felt very 90s. What was the thought process behind that track?
MARK: I wanted to write a song about the Hartford Whalers, because theoretically, we do have a hockey name.  We’ve got a guy from Hartford in the band. We might as well lean in a little bit. There is a band from Hartford, Cheem, who really inspired me in the experimental aspect. I’ve seen them go from emo to neu-metal and everything in between. They are as adventurous as a band can be, even if they often terrify me with some of their experiments, I always come around in the end. That actually is Skye Holden from Cheem doing the scratches, I was so hyped to have them be a part of that track and this record, it was an honor. There was also a Texas emo band Red Animal War who inspired us to bring those ska and reggae rhythms into the track, so shout out to them too.
GSC: I also love “Do What You Like” it felt very 80s. What inspired that track?
MARK: That was the first song that we wrote together. I was trying to play “Forgetting” the ambient track on the previous record, and I ended up playing a slightly different riff in the same key. Then Dan started immediately playing his riff on top of that, and we did that riff jam for like six minutes. The next practice, we said we got to make this into a song, which we slowly did.
DAN: It was tough to get that one right. I was chasing that initial jam the whole time, and we kind of had to jam it out to nail that one down.
MARK: We bring in a song that’s 80% done on one of the parts and 0% done on the other three and say, “Can you other three band members fill in the other three parts?”  That’s also why all of the songs sound different, all three of us come from very different places. When we sit down and jam together, we have an amalgamation of sounds we’re drawing from.
GSC: I think I can see jammy dad’s really getting into that one. I always joke about the Wilco dads. They’re a big market. “Reap” really caught me.It felt as halfway between Texas Is The Reason and REM How did that come about and what were your actual sonic influences?
MARK: This one is all Dan except for the bridge lyrics, from the singing to the writing. 
DAN: We were like jamming once and I hummed that melody, knew it was something.I wrote my two songs, that and “Whirlpool” at the same time, just recording as I wrote. I usually keep my lyrics simple, general and relatable. That track feels very 90s radio rock to me. “Corbeau” I love, its vocal harmonies are so massive. What brought about that track?
MARK: I wanted to write something I could use to practice double picking something that I wrote on fingerstyle and then wrote, transitioned it into something that I can practice picking with impact picking rhythms across the strings. Then I realized, hey, this sounds good as a song, I might as well use it. I modeled it after Tragically Hip.
JOE: That definitely felt like another gear.
GSC: “Whirlpool” is a blast of a track it reminds me of the Gin Blossoms played at 1.25 speed. How How did that track come about?
DAN: I was fooling around in alternate tuning. I had the riff for a while and I was wondering “Is this a Goalie Fight song?” and I realized anything can be a Goalie Fight song if you play it fast enough. I have a million demos of this song from my voice notes to jamming to recording and every demo gets a little faster and a litter faster. It needed that speed to give it some oomph.
JOE: “Whirlpool” goes down smooth. Its a great single because I think its a great first impression for someone finding Goalie Fight. I found myself playing it back on a Google File just as we were making it happen.
GSC: Who are some of your favorite acts that you think not enough people are paying attention to?
MARK: Moss Tongue, this melodic post hardcore band from Mass we’ve played with a few times are incredible.
DAN: I like 54 Ultra a lot. Cigerette Youth we play with a lot too.
MARK: I have heard they might break up and I really hope they don’t because nobody is doing the sound of third wave emo like them, they’re so good and so unique. 
JOE: Painters are a really great band, darker, post punk. We’ve played with them before and they can really get a crowd dancing.
MARK: We have a DIY venue that I booked for called Bruce’s, and Painter’s headlined two of the three shows we booked so far and killed them both.
GSC: I gotta check them out. What are your favorite places in the Garden State?
MARK: Scotties Records, Factory Records, Tunes Hoboken.
DAN: In terms of places to play Meatlocker is a classic.
MARK: Rest in peace Red House, we played one of thier last shows.
JOE: As far as places we’ve played in Jersey, I think Crossroads was probably the best venue. Its a really nicely run place and we’ve had a great experience going there a few times. Factory Records, definitely dig that spot. We did a show there. They fixed my shortwave radio. That was pretty dope, they’re lowkey good with stuff like that.
MARK: Do you have your ham license or no?
JOE: Totally. It wasn’t one of those though, it was just a shortwave. Places to eat, Pollos Pucalor in Dover is fire. Up in Newton. I really like Mi Rancho, Best tostadas I’ve had in NJ.
GSC: I’m kind of shocked to not hear a pizza place nor a bagel place matches.
DAN: I think we just have so many amazing options that you almost take it for granted.
MARK: Madison Bagel Cafe is the one that I go to regularly. Strictly the best bagel, though, is Bagels For You in Summit. They do it right. The breakfast sandwiches are as good as you can get without getting like the Summit Diner grease. My pizza place is Nonnas in Florham Park, but I got a shoutout Romanelli’s in Madison because these guys really like that one, and so did our previous drummer.
GSC: What are your favorite places to play outside of New Jersey? 
MARK: We’ve played a couple of city shows, which are difficult logistically. It is almost as much work to put into planning playing Philly and Pittsburgh as it is to play Manhattan and Brooklyn. 
JOE: I’ve played it with other bands but I love TV Eye in the city, can’t wait to play that venue with this band. Our Wicked Lady is a great venue as well. Really good local music at the Footlight in Queens. I thought Government Center in Pittsburgh was awesome. The Roboto Project was a lot of fun too. But Government Center was a platonic ideal, like a record store with a bar and a coffee shop and the stage?? How is this possible.
GSC: What is something outside of music that brings you joy that might surprise people or that people just generally don’t know about you?
DAN: Video games and movies.
GSC: Have you played or watched anything good lately?
DAN: I watched Barbie and really enjoyed it. I still have to watch Oppenheimer. I saw Asteroid City which is pretty good. I saw the Mario movie and it was okay. I watched a brand new movie called Return of the Jedi that was doing a limited run at the theater, that was fun. 
MARK:  Speaking of Wes Anderson movies, we had our first ever band photos taken by Jared Gilman who played Sam Schakowsky in Moonrise Kingdom.
JOE: I just harvested some tomatoes from my garden and that makes me feel as Jersey as I think I could possibly be at this point in my life. 
GSC: What are we using those tomatoes for? You got a sauce recipe?
JOE: I’ve literally just been slicing them up and eating them. It is another dimension of flavor. I have a garden where we’ve got some beets and some kale. Had some peppers that I didn’t take, but I have a little variety.
MARK: Well, I don’t know how secret it is necessarily, but I love hockey. I also really love professional wrestling, though I’ve only taken the dive in the past year or so funnily enough.

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