Combining a punk ethic with good old rock and roll, The Break from Jersey is ready to write their own musical ticket. While some critics profess confusion, others find the music on their self-titled album a great departure from an oversaturation of emo and metal currently dominating the scene. After touring the US in DIY fashion, we spoke with guitarist Kevin about their two-year existence and their recent visit to LA and across the nation.

Where are you guys from and what is the music scene like there?

Originally from Central New Jersey. Jersey is a real interesting scene – it’s smack dab in the middle of New York City and Philadelphia, and there’s a ton going on here all over the State. On any given weekend, you can find three or four different shows going on. It’s a huge scene. It’s a little divided and cliquish. Your average kid you would see at a pop/punk show you probably wouldn’t also see at a metal/hardcore show. But there are a ton of kids here involved with underground music, whether it be in a punk rock/indie rock hardcore – there’s a ton going on here. Also we’re fortunate that we can be in Philly or New York in a hour or hour and a half.

You guys recently went on tour. What did you think of Hollywood?

I actually like the LA area. People probably say the same thing when they come to New York City – it’s got a certain vibe there that if you’re not local, it may be a little odd. But I actually like being in the LA area. I’m one of the people who I think could get use to having 70-degree weather year round, which you are probably spoiled by and don’t think about it day after day. But I like being in that area – Southern Cali is pretty positive. To me, it’s a unique place. You know, you go to so many different places on a tour all over the country, and by and large everything is kind of the same. But you find along the way there are certain places that have a character and some of that for LA was climate. Austin, Texas is another place I really like. Most of the time when you have a good time at a place, it means the show went well or you have some good friends there or both. But LA is particularly a place where I can actually see myself living. I can’t speak for the other guys in the band.

Could they find a smaller stage for you to play on besides the Alter-Knit lounge at The Knitting Factory?

Shit, that was kind of ridiculous. That was also a hard show for us to get on. A couple days before that, we played at USC. And that show was actually a pretty decent space. I thought we played better that night than we did at The Knitting Factory. That was an odd room to be stuck in, but we made the best of it that we could. Were you at the show that night?

Yeah I was. It was funny, because I also had tickets for Nevermore who were playing in the bigger room. So it was an interesting show – heavy ass metal in one room and The Break in the other. When we heard sound checks going on in the next room, we were like, “Oh, this should be interesting!” Hopefully it’s not bleeding through the walls.

You guys put on a good set though. Any chance of your band coming back to LA?

Oh definitely. We’ll try to be back there by the Spring. Right now, we’re gonna take a couple of months off. We had to part ways with the drummer and we’re figuring that situation out right now on who is definitely going to be the guy. We’re also just trying to write some new songs. Most of the songs we’ve been playing are kind of old for us and the record was recorded a year ago. So definitely the motivator right now is to be writing some new material and expanding ourselves – kinda growing a little bit. The stuff we have right now we’re very excited about.

Your bio said it took you a long time to find a vocalist. What took you so long and what were you looking for in that person?

It would probably help to get the background. Four of the original guys from The Break were in a band before that called Radar Mercury. And that was on Doghouse. We put out an EP and were in the process of recording an album. The guy who was singing in the band – he wasn’t the greatest singer and even more so, he was hard to deal with – real high maintenance. So we parted ways with that guy, and it was literally a year before we met up with John. We had tried out twenty different guys over the course of a year and no one really clicked the right way. And when John came in, he was someone who had a strong sense of melody and he was a great singer at the same time. He had this aggressive presence about him – the way he delivered his vocals stood out more. We were really trying to avoid finding a vocalist with the whiney kind of ever popular Seize The Day kind of thing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not what we were looking for – and that’s what a lot of the guys coming in were delivering. John stood out a little more to us as someone who would better suit as music.

I’ve read some reviews on the net where you guys have actually compared your band to Nickelback and 3 Doors Down. How do you feel about that?

I’d probably bash the reviewer in the head had I seen him in person. (laughs) It’s weird, because the person who wrote our bio said that we were a punk band. And in ideology we certainly are, but in public opinion we’re more of a rock band in our songwriting and all that. We’ve never thought about that, because we still operate the same way any of us did five years ago when we were in punk and hardcore bands. So people listen to our record and they’re reading a bio saying it’s a punk record – we’ve actually since changed the bio because it’s had this effect several times. But people seeing this bio had this expectation that we played a million miles a minute. And when we didn’t – we have songs that are structured like rock songs and John can actually sing – people were actually bashing it. Not everyone – we have a share of really good reviews – but I’ve seen five or six where we do get compared to the radio rock scenario. And if that’s what they want to lump us in with and call us Nickelback or 3 Doors Down, then they really didn’t listen to our record. I think reviewing records is one of those things where you have to pass a test as far as having actual musical knowledge. People are often way off in trying to find a place to categorize us, because we’re not the obvious just one thing or another.

So where did you get the name The Break? What are you trying to break away from?

Good question. Let’s see if I can come up with an okay answer. We were just throwing around different names. We wanted a name that would deliver a sense of urgency or tension. We didn’t want something like The Three Cuddly Bears to be our name – we wanted something that would definitely have a sense that the band was serious. So we were just throwing around different names and the word Break came up. It just kind of sat well with everyone so we went with it. Coming up with a name for a band is a lot harder than you would ever imagine – at least in our experience.

Was playing out here at The Knitting Factory the first time you had been in Los Angeles as a band?

Yeah. Before that we had never been much further than the Midwest. We just finished a five-week tour. We got to play a lot of new places. It was a little hard at times playing new places because we haven’t yet established fan bases in them. But it was definitely an experience that we were all looking forward to. And we’re looking forward to doing it again.

What’s up the next for The Break?

I think the main priority is writing a new record right now. We have a lot of ideas and songs that are coming together which we think are really gonna outdo the last album. You might find it’s going to be a little more rock and roll, but I think we’ve definitely figured out a lot more where we’re going as a band. We have some really great ideas for songs. We’re looking forward to piecing them together – getting in a good studio with someone who really knows how to bring a band like us to life. Outdoing the last record is our main priority. And hopefully we’ll spend the better part of the spring, summer and maybe fall doing the same thing all over going on tour.

Do you have any messages for people who haven’t heard of you but would be interesting in checking The Break out?

If you could, drop the web address in the interview. There are two mp3’s up there, so if people could please be so kind as to listen to us. We always try to encourage people to give us a listen and give us a chance. We definitely appreciate people who get it and have helped us along the way and for listening and supporting us. And come see the live show.

Be sure to visit The Break at and check out their debut CD on Doghouse Records!


THE BREAK: Their Official Home Page!
DOGHOUSE RECORDS: The record label for The Break!
THE HIGHWIRE DAZE HOME PAGE: Return to the Main Page!

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