I'm A Luzer, Baby, So Why Don't You ...

There is really no way to compare Luzer to any of its contemporaries. The Trenton, N.J. band's look, live show and sound is all about originality, something which today's entertainment industry surely lacks.

The band draws attention from music fans with its 1970's high school look, but keeps them interested with catchy hooks, skillful musicianship and stage theatrics that are reminiscent of Kiss and Cheap Trick.

"We're huge Kiss fans," said Timothy Sean Mahoney, the band's lead vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist. "We really try to be as theatrical as possible. We really just hope that everyone has a fun time when they come to our show."

Aside from Kiss, the band's influences also include Queen and the Beatles. The band learned a lot of modern rock songs when it began about six years ago, but found itself playing originals just a few months later. Luzer's music has changed from modern and classic rock to music which sounds more like pop, Mahoney said.

The band also includes Dan Seeth on drums, Chris Volk on bass and "Sally" on lead guitar, keys, and vocals.

The band categorizes itself as rock 'n' roll, Mahoney said. The Beatles and the Beach Boys, both of which were really the pop of their day, were also great songwriters, he said.

Luzer has toured extensively over the last few years playing weekend mini-tours and music conferences.

The band was anxious to get out and tour again after recording its latest EP, "Come On Mandy," Mahoney said. Released in late April, the EP includes the title track and three other songs. Luzer also has released a pair of full-length studio albums, along with a live album and 2005's "Live at the Recher Theatre" DVD.

The latest EP is completely self-produced with the help of an outside engineer. The band is usually very clear on the recording it wants to make prior to coming into the studio, Mahoney said. The band tries to record with a nice room sound and not too many effects, he said.

The band does use effects such as EQ and tries to sound dirty rather than clean, he said. The band compensates for Seeth's deep-sounding snare drum with crunchy guitars, Mahoney said.

A lot of sensitivity is present toward drum parts since both he and Volk once played the drums. "We spend a lot of time really working on our drum sound," he said.

Mahoney said that he sings ninety percent of the band's studio harmonies. Adding different vocal parts make a song more melodic and catchy. If the part is melodic, it will add another dimension to the song, he said.

The band spends a lot of time working out each guitar solo before it is used, he said. "The dual lead parts are completely Brian May (Queen's guitarist) inspired."

The band's songs are written by Mahoney. In some cases, when writing a song, Mahoney said he will add a small section to a four-track and let it sit for a few weeks or even months. He might then come back and add it to a different song. In other cases, he will just sit down and write.

Mahoney has known Seeth since junior high school and Volk since he was about four-years-old.

In terms of appearance, the band's members worked together to find an individual look for each member, Mahoney said. Volk, for example, tries to embody the rock 'n' roll image in his look.

"I think different people relate to each of us a little differently as opposed to all of us walking out in matching suits, all black or something else," Mahoney said.

The band plans to send its latest EP to college radio stations and continue to tour.

"Right now, we're just excited to play out as much as possible," Mahoney said.

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.