Interview: Airacuda

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Airacuda is (Band Members & Instruments They Play): Matt Menges – Lead Vocals, Fern – Guitar/Bass, Phil Marflak – Bass/Guitar, Eddie Ruddick – Guitar/Bass, Roland Greco – Drums/Percussion, Andrew Ho – Drums/Percussion

We’re Based Out Of: We are based out of Holmdel, NJ which gives us access to the scenes in Asbury Park, New Brunswick, and New York City. We just came back from four years in Boston.

The Story Behind Our Name: We were originally called Westland Walls until we received a cease and desist letter from a band with a similar name. We came upon Airacuda,  a terribly designed WWII plane for the USA. We liked the way it sounded and looked on paper. We get many people doing their best Nancy Wilson “Ooohhh Airacuda” when we first tell them our name.

You’ve Seen Us Before In Other bands: You may have seen various members in groups like The Seventh Sound, Lesser Animals, Sensory Hoverload, and Butt Stuff.

New Music Coming Out: We have been working on our second EP “Daydreaming” for a long time and will be releasing it this winter. We just finished recording a song for Speak Into My Good Eye’s 24 Songwriting Contest, called “Looking Back And Laughing”, which will be released in the next couple weeks.

Our Sound Has Been Likened To: Others words work best here

 “Berklee alumni Airacuda has cooked up a surprisingly unique fusion of contemporary indie and classic rock elements.” – Sound Of Boston
    “Their [Airacuda] self titled debut LP tracks themes of chasing dreams, love, and everything in-between with an up tempo Spoon sound delicately cross bred with the wistfulness of The Gaslight Anthem.” – Speak Into My Good Eye
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Can you talk about your inspirations? What person in your life inspired (or encouraged) you as a musician? What artists inspired your sound?

We are inspired by beautiful women that break our hearts and our individual mental issues. Each member has had different music teachers and mentors that have inspired them. Musically we are inspired by the rock and roll legends like Led Zeppelin, The Doors, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and so on. Our families all support us and inspire us.

How much did you learn as musicians being at Berklee School of Music? Was it as transformative as everyone says it is?

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Berklee was most important to us as a group because it is the reason we crossed paths. As musicians we all grew tremendously there. The access to practice rooms and studios from the school helped us function as a band while living in the city. Many of our school projects turned into Airacuda songs.

You opened up for Blues Brothers Band in Chicago…so that’s AMAZING. How did this happen? Were you fans of the original movie?

We were hired by a company to perform at the event. Most of us were fans of the movie which made it pretty surreal to share the same stage as The Blues Brothers and meet them.

You worked with Grammy winner Dom Morley. What did he bring to the table? What did you learn from him?

Dom Morley is the reason we were able to pull off our LP. We were a young ambitious group that wanted to tackle 9 songs in five days doing live tracking. Dom was able to make us comfortable and calm our nerves in order to get the best sound out of us. It was a transformative experience working with someone who possessed so much knowledge and experience.

There are so many bands in the Asbury Park scene right now and coming through there, what separates you from everyone else?

Asbury Park is a great scene that we will continue to establish ourselves in. There is so much variety between artists. I think we bring a variety of sounds in one energetic set, which is pretty unique to us.

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If someone has never heard you before, what song would you recommend they check out in order to truly understand what you’re all about, and why?

I think to truly get what we are going for people should come see a show. If you can make that much of a commitment checkout “Cannonball” or “Nightlife” on Spotify.

What do you love most about being in this band?

We lived for four years together so we have become a brotherhood. It’s a great feeling to work towards a common goal with your best buds. We have had some great gigs together, written some good music, and have travelled around meeting some great people along the way. We can only hope to continue our journey.

What’s your plans for the rest of 2015?

We have a few gigs lined up, including a trip to Montreal. We want to continue to make waves in the scenes that surround us. Our main focus at this point is to finish the Daydreaming EP and all that comes along with it. We want to put out some music videos for our fans.

Airacuda performs tonight at Happy Mondays at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park along with The Vaughns, Pepperwine and Pistol Charmer.

Bill Bodkin is the Owner, Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Pop-Break. Most importantly, however, he is the proud father of a beautiful daughter, Sophie. He is beyond excited that Pop-Break will be seven years old in 2016 as this site has come a long, long way from the day he launched in it in his bachelor pad at the Jersey Shore. He currently works as a project manager in the telecom world, and is a freelance writer for NJ.com. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites