Echofission performs at the Sounds for Tsunami Relief benefit concert at the Crossroads in Garwood, NJ, on March 12
Whenever tragedy strikes, local bands always respond quickly to the call. Benefits for 9/11 still continue to occur throughout New Jersey, several years after the attacks. After a tsunami
struck Southeast Asia on Dec. 26, there has been no shortage of bands looking to aid the cause.
Saddle Brook, New Jersey’s Echofission is now kicking out the jams to raise money to help victims of the tragedy, which has claimed over 150,000 lives and destroyed numerous communities in locations
like Thailand and Sri Lanka. The band enlisted the help of the musical artists Souls' Release and Brian Fitzpatrick and hopes its regular routine of playing music for large crowds will bring some support
to the efforts of the American Red Cross to help rebuild the affected region.
The Crossroads, 76 North Avenue in Garwood, NJ, jumped on board to provide the venue and on March 12 bands and fans will be able to join the cause while hearing some of their favorite local music.
Formed in Sept. 2001, Echofission features lead guitarist John Rango, lead vocalist & guitarist Gebhardt Zurburg, drummer Jon Abate, keyboardist Ken Sidotti and bassist Lou Verile. Recently, the
band has continued to play shows while working on a new release in the studio.
Souls’ Release has spent its time as of late touring the Northeast, Southeast and Midwest regions of the United States. About one-year after its inception, the band released the four-song EP GO
The band plans to spend the early part of the 2005 at a secluded studio in northern New Jersey recording its debut full-length with veteran producer Bob Perry. The release date is set for mid-year. Artists
such as Mick Jagger, Peter Gabriel and Blues Traveler have recorded at the studio where the album is being made, according to Souls’ Release.
Fans looking to catch the band before the benefit, can do so starting in mid-February.
Fitzpatrick, who will perform solo/acoustic at the benefit, officially released his latest CD, Further Down the Line, in September. The West Milford, NJ singer/songwriter and former member of
hardcore bands Nastasee and One4One has appeared at clubs like the legendary Maxwell’s in Hoboken. Those looking to get a of preview Fitzpatrick’s music can catch him on his regular touring schedule
throughout New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts.
Chorus and Verse recently talked to the show’s presenters, Rango and Zerburg, about their hopes and plans for the show, along with what it took to put it together.
When and how did the idea originate? How did the line-up come about?
John Rango: A few weeks after we heard the bad news about the earthquake and tsunami.
Geb Zerburg: The idea originated with John and I wanting to play a gig that we could set up with the bands we wanted at a place we loved. We have always wanted to play a festival sort of show. We thought
that it would be very appealing to fans of all bands. So, we thought that since it might be a great draw, why not donate proceeds to the Red Cross Tsunami Relief Fund.
We can never know, no matter how much we empathize with their situation, so why not do what we can in the way we want.
How does it feel to be able to use your talents to support such a worthy cause?
Zerburg: Using music to support social causes like this feels really good. The world of music is many things at once: enlightening, exciting, fulfilling, as well as dangerous and ego-driven.
Echofission wanted to focus on the positive aspects, since we operate that way anyway. Attaching a social obligation to our talents is rewarding for everyone involved.
Rango: We all hope in some small way this will help make a difference. The bands are donating $500 to The American Red Cross Tsunami Relief Fund. Additional money will be added the day of the show through
a raffle. The rest of the proceeds are funding this event. It will be a great demonstration of helping people through music.
What type of set do you guys plan on playing? Will it be different from your normal one?
Zerburg: Our set will be long and diverse. The only differences between this show and previous shows is that we will be playing longer and we will have some special guests. We are giving the fans our
core songs, new songs, and a couple of cool covers. Our special guests? Well, come check it out!
How supportive are your fans during concerts like these?
Zerburg: Our fans have reacted positively to this call. We have people contacting us for tickets and looking forward to be a part of this event.
Rango: Our family, friends, and fans are excited for this event. This is an evening of great original music for a good cause.
Can you tell me a little bit about how much work and planning has gone into the show?
Zerburg: The work and planning involved in putting this event together was challenging and exciting. We had to find a venue that would allow us to take control of the event and could accommodate our
fans. We also have great people working for us like Kevin and Shawn taking care of web pages and promotional designs and production. In addition, the bands that are involved needed to be good and excited
about the cause. We found that with Souls' Release and Brian Fitzpatrick, both NJ gems.
However, selling the tickets is the big task. Ticketmaster is supporting us, so we are doing this all ourselves. I really give John Rango, my band mate, a lot of credit for making the big push for this.
Do these shows help bring bands and their fans further together?
Rango: Each show we play, the crowd seems to grow and grow. This is the first benefit we have done and certainly our biggest event we have planned.
Do you plan to play other charitable events in the future?
Rango: The bands are always willing to play for any positive event. These are three popular original NJ bands that are just here to play great music.
Advance tickets for Sounds for Tsunami Relief are $15. They can only be purchased through the echofission web site, www.echofission.com. More information can be found at www.xxroads.com. Doors for
the 21 & over show will open at 6 p.m. The show begins at 7 p.m.
[ Website: www.echofission.com ]