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Getting Nude In Public Places
Screaming Nudes
We have a delicate balance in the way we arrange our songs that has really worked well for us. It's new and refreshing and people keep coming back for more! - Bernie Schaefer
by Josh Davidson
 [Chorus and Verse] Screaming Nudes
Bernie Schaefer as his alter-ego M.C. White Toast

The ability to reproduce other bands’ songs with accuracy is of high importance to a band in the congested New Jersey cover scene. When audiences have a lot of acts to choose from, a band’s ability to stay true to a song’s radio version may be a deciding factor.

The Screaming Nudes have mastered the art of reproduction, while keeping emotion in their music. The band has avoided the trap of loosing one of those characteristics while focusing on the other. The result equates to true-to-the-note depictions of the tunes with a personal Nudes feel.

The band’s attractive singer Marlaina DiPasquale leads the group with adrenaline pumping, range-jumping vocals. She is backed by the well-thought-out, ear-opening chops of her supporting cast.

Those ingredients alone will help the band thrive in the fast-growing cover scene; a scene where it seems like a new band finds itself at the forefront every day.

Getting your name on the marquee of a major club does not happen overnight, however. It takes legwork to spread the word and brainpower to keep the product up to par. The Nudes seem to posses those qualities along with heart and sincere love for its fans.

Whether playing original or cover material, a band with that much going for it only has success on its mind. Not the expected make up of a party band? Well, behind a good party is always some planning.

What do the Screaming Nudes do to make their song interpretations sound different than the other bands on the NJ cover band scene?

Bernie Schaefer (guitar/vocals): There are a lot of things that the Screaming Nudes do that separate us from other cover bands. I will focus on what I feel are the two most noticeable differences.

The first is just having Marlaina DiPasquale in the band, which requires little if no effort on the band's part! Marlaina belts out vocals from some of the heaviest male-fronted rock bands out there, and she still manages to dance and look sexy doing it. Her persona is truly magnetic and the rest of us are no slouches in the showmanship department either.

The second thing would have to be song variety. Over the course of a three-set evening with the Nudes, you can expect to hear hard rock, pop, dance, hip-hop, rap and 80s. We can go from Linkin Park and Disturbed into 50 Cent and Beyonce, and then move over to Bon Jovi and Warrant. The crowd loves it!

We have a delicate balance in the way we arrange our songs that has really worked well for us. It's new and refreshing and people keep coming back for more!

Marlaina DiPasquale

What have you learned from other cover bands and which cover bands taught you the most?

Schaefer: In the beginning, I would talk to Rob Monte from Dog Voices and Walter from Big Orange Cone and they conveyed to me how sensitive an audience is and how important it is to pick and play the right songs at the right time to keep a crowd going.

"The front person is all that matters," Monte said to me. "If the audience doesn't like him or her, you won't be successful."

They also tried to explain how most clubs and club owners were also very sensitive and different. They told me stories of their experiences that, at the time, I couldn't even fathom until I experienced them for myself.

I've found out it's a tough business with a lot of fragile, larger-than-life, artistic egos. Another big turn in the short but tumultuous history of the Nudes were the meetings we had with Steve Tarkanish of Stars Productions. He strongly suggested we add more modern hard rock to our set because, at the time, we had none. We took his advice and also added modern dance and rap as well and that's when things really started clicking between us and the crowd. Steve also suggested we get some tattoos, but Marlaina is way too girlie and pretty for that!

Do you have a team that helps you with off the stage activities like booking gigs and promotions? If so, how have they helped?

Schaefer: We do everything ourselves. Artwork, advertising, booking, live P.A., web site, recordings, merchandising. We have grown into a very efficient, tight unit. It's fun and fulfilling.

How do you learn and choose new songs?

Schaefer: We all submit our ideas after hearing something we like and then we run through a number of criteria in order for that song to make it into our set.

Some of the criteria [are]: Do we like the song? Will the audience like, know, or be able to relate to it? Tempo? Can we pull it off and do it justice when we play it?

All of the criteria are technically guesswork as to what we believe an audience wants, but it's working like a charm.

What do you try to keep from the original song when you cover it? Do you try to completely replicate it?

Schaefer: In most cases we do try to make it sound exact. There are bands out there that will take a rock song and play a ska version of it. I like that and I think it's cool, but it's something we just don't do.

Maybe one day we will.

Screaming Nudes

Do you try and add your own personal styles of playing to other group's songs or stick to what was originally on the album?

Schaefer: We do add our own style when we feel it works. Again, more guesswork.

What were the circumstances behind the forming of the Screaming Nudes?

Schaefer: Probably the same as every other band out there. We're a group of great musicians who like to be on stage and have fun with our friends.

We get to earn money for using the skills that took us years to hone and that in itself is very rewarding. Winning over an audience is the icing on the cake.

How long did it take you to build a following and how did you go about doing so?

Schaefer: We're still building a following through advertising and promotion and simply playing as much as possible. What we've done so far we are very proud of, but there's still work to do.

[ Website: www.screamingnudes.com ]

Josh Davidson
Josh Davidson has written music feature articles for Jersey Style and served as the Jersey Shore rock columnist for Steppin' Out Magazine. Other music writing credits include Aquarian Weekly, Jersey Beat, Backstreets and njcoast.com. He has written free-lance for the Asbury Park Press' Community Sports section and has written featured articles for its news section, as well as covering campus news and sports weekly for the Signal, the College of New Jersey's (formerly Trenton State College) student newspaper. He has worked as a staff writer for The Independent, and his work for Greater Media Newspapers has also been published in the News Transcript. He is a former beat reporter for the Ocean County Observer who presently is a news writer for Symbolic Systems Inc. supporting the US Army's Knowledge Center. His music writing covers a vast range of topics, from the current cover band craze, highs and lows of the original scene, to the early days of the Jersey Shore rock scene in Asbury Park. He is also a musician, having written hundreds of songs as a singer/songwriter, and playing them out as a solo/acoustic artist. He has also played with cover bands, including It Doesn't Matter, and several original bands, including as the guitarist for the solo project of singer/songwriter Dave Eric. He continues to work on solo material and is presently the guitar player for Jersey Breeze.
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