Grounded Till Tuesday

High School, Hungry Lyrics And The Jersey Scene

The original music scene has been hit with a swarm of new young high schoolers with smooth, developing chops. For them, opportunities continue to open up that weren't present previously. Yet, it still remains an accomplishment to play out on a steady basis.

Grounded Till Tuesday, a band of youths from the Matawan and Hazlet areas have developed a sound reflective of budding proficiency and hungry lyrics. The band's sound incorporates current popular rock with hints of some classic influences.

They may still be young, but their uncanny tightness and ability to harmonize vocally makes them one to watch out for.

GTT recently played a show in memory of bassist Andrew Rodriguez's sister Ashlea, who passed away from natural causes. The show on Feb. 7, 2003 at Matawan Regional High School where she once attended, and Andrew still does, was proof of GTT's ability to play with poise at a meaningful show in front of a huge crowd.

The grasping of the moment as well as professionalism of GTT was evident. While the show's band list ranged from young musicians to professionals that have played around the world, GTT held its own.

Chorus and Verse recently asked GTT about how it has survived in the legendary Jersey music scene.

How did GTT form? How long have you been together? What were some of the circumstances behind your forming?

Justin Gallo (guitar/vocals): GTT came about when I started two separate bands with Jon Cabrera (guitar/vocals) and Anna Dillulio (vocals).

Jon: Then a friend introduced us to J.P. Favara (drums) and Andrew Rodriguez (bass).

What are some of the groups you listen to? How do you incorporate their styles into your music?

Anna: A lot of the lyrics are inspired by Eve 6.

Justin: The guitars and bass are inspired by Yellowcard and Finch.

J.P.: A lot of my drumbeats and fills are based on Blink 182 and Finch.

How much have you played out and what has that experience been like?

Jon: We play out about three or four times a month. It was hard playing the first couple ones, but we learned how to work the crowd.

Anna: Yeah, when we first started playing live shows, we were real scared, but now we get excited and have fun with the music.

Are there any other bands you like that are in the current local scene?

Justin: Dingus and Socratic Air are great bands.

Andrew: I love Gibbler because they're a really tight band live, and their style is not like any other local band's around.

J.P.: I think Down By Nine has a great high-energy live show.

Anna: My favorite is Jup!

I know you played at the Stone Pony, what was that like? Are you aware of some of its history? Did playing in a place with that type of history reflect in your performance or was your focus mainly on playing the show?

Andrew: Playing at the Stone Pony was like a dream come true. It's the kind of place that you picture in your mind when you think of playing at any venue. I remembered walking around inside looking at all the pictures of Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi and thinking if we could ever reach that far with our music.

J.P.: We really just went out there and played our hearts out. Plus, it was an extra boost to be playing on the same stage as some of the greatest rock acts of this generation.

We were aware of the history of the Stone Pony and it made us feel like we accomplished something to play there. Our parents are proud of us.

As a young band what do you feel is most needed for a good music scene?

Andrew: For a good music scene, I think that not only us, but all bands, should be exposed to people that listen to all types and styles of music in order to get an opinion that can help the band grow and develop into [a] better band.

You need criticism, too, because it encourages us to write better. I also think that bands should always play where they're not known and play with better bands to get an idea of what they do in shows that makes the crowd feel like they're a part of something for the short time you're on stage.

Anna: Yeah, I'm going to agree with Andrew on that one. He's pretty much got everything.

Jon: Friendship between bands is important too. Everyone has to remember that it's all for the music.

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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 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.