A Relentless Attack On The Music Industry

Hard work, banging on industry doors and a little luck have gotten the name in.spite.of to top industry reps. The group now looks to make a final push and ink a deal.

The band's brand of moody funk caught the interest of producer Sal Villanueva (Thursday) who produced its latest effort, and is expected to continue to work with the group on their next studio release.

The band keeps a tight instrumental groove over melodic compositions that contain a varied emotional range. The band's sound is balanced and focused and the style is unique.

Part of the band's tightness, evident on the recording, may come from its history, years of playing together which dates back to grammar school. Many of the members have known each other and played together since then.

The individual members have still done enough growing on their own to inject their own styles into the music, resulting in an original overall sound.

The band also continues push its sound out to audiences at area clubs like Aberdeen's Cue & Brew and Asbury Park's Saint.

Chorus and Verse recently asked the band's bassist, Raj, about its history, goals and future.

How did in.spite.of form?

In July 1996, four high school friends formed Turnstyle. In January 2000, we changed our name to in.spite.of.

Why did the band form? What previous bands were you in?

In high school, Davin, Joe, and Raj were in the band Legacy, while Jeff was in the band Pelican Tribe. Also, in grade school, Joe and Jeff were in a band from 5th grade to 8th grade called Infinity, while Davin and Raj jammed on a regular basis. As you see from the band's history we have a long background together as friends and as musicians.

A couple years after high school, Davin, Joe, and Raj looked to form a new band, this time with a new musical direction. As luck may have it, Joe ran into Jeff at a Friendly's [restaurant] shortly thereafter, and found he was also looking for a band. Two days later, we jammed and today, seven years later, we are still playing.

In the beginning, after a few years of not playing music together, each member's musical tastes went in completely different directions. This diversity is what fueled the band's drive to invent a new sound. The band went through several different stages until January of 2000, where we created the style of music we now live and breathe.

This style change brought about our new name. We were fed up with everything around us. We were fed up with the scene, and we were fed up with the bull that people continued to feed us. January of 2000 was our rebirth and we went on with everything in spite of all that happened around us: the world, the industry, and the clubs. And, hence the name in.spite.of.

What were some of your goals as a band starting out?

We wanted to leave our high school bands behind and look to form a new unique blend of sounds.

Have those goals been met?

Absolutely. Over the years, we have experimented with a variety of funk-based rock, from hard to soft, from power riffs to melodic ones.

We pretty much made this band into an open forum. Someone would throw out an idea, and we all would help shape it and take it to the next level. In time, we truly polished our differing styles into one, and created in.spite.of.

How has your following developed since you began?

Over the years, we have gained a very large loyal fan base. When you walk into an in.spite.of show, fun is the word to describe the mood. That is our objective - to have a good time. Don't think of it as a show. Think of it as one big party where everyone knows your name and everyone is happy to see you. It's all a high-energy experience.

How did you go about getting people to your shows?

Heavy promotion. Flyers, emails, CD samplers, word of mouth, our street team, etc.

What can we expect from the band in the future?

A relentless attack on the music industry and what it stands for. We will bring back fun and do our best to breathe new life into, what is considered by most, a stifled period in alternative rock.

We released our newest CD on March 8th, 2003. This CD was recorded at the legendary Big Blue Meenie Studios. [That's the] studio where bands like Rage Against the Machine, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and so many others recorded at. Under close supervision of our producer, Mr. Sal Villanueva. We hope to be back in the studio by June to record another project with Sal and the folks down at Big Blue.

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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.