NJ Music in the 80’s–part six
In 2017, we published an article I wrote in 1983 about the NJ music scene in New Brunswick. We published it in 5 parts. You can read all 5 parts here. Five years later, we’ve got a sixth segment for you!
Here’s a never seen 1983 interview with Al Schnitzer, lead guitarist for JP Gotrock. Al is now known as Al-Vis, and will be doing a holiday show and single release party for his new Christmas song, “Rudolf Where You Been Last Night?” at Backward Glances on Sunday December 11th.
At the time of this interview, J.P. Gotrock has been together for two years.
NEW MUSIC IN NEW BRUNSWICK: Bonus Interview
Meet JP Gotrock: Neal Schwartz (bass) David Shearn (keyboards) Tim Cusack (lead vocals & guitar) John Fitzpatrick (drums) and Al Schnitzer (lead guitar & vocals)
They are Court Tavern regulars, having played weekly for several months, and performed the New Year’s Eve show. They have also played at Patrix. Their age range is 21 to 28. Two members of the band are from the New Brunswick area. Three members are from Asbury Park, and they have a practice studio there. They have also performed many times at Big Man’s West in Red Bank, and the Stone Pony. But Al says the Court Tavern is their favorite place to play:
“I think the New Brunswick music scene is the best around except for New York City–Greenwich Village. I’ve never seen anything like it. (New Brunswick) is a lot more intimate. There’s not as much pressure on you. It’s outside the regular club scene. More relaxed. I think it’s pretty inevitable that some of the bands will break out of the circuit. There are so many. Some of them will go places. There will really be some good things happening for some bands.”
Gotrock’s 3 song EP “Out of Control” has been out for about eight months. Al lists his musical influences as Otis Redding, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and early Rolling Stones.
“We’re on the edge of things. We’re not really original enough to play some places, and not enough cover for others. We get caught in the middle. There’s only one direction for us to go. Showcases. I’d like to get more into New York. more into the showcase scene. It means more originals. When we started out we didn’t have any originals; now we have about fifteen. We don’t want the copy side to get lost, but we want to push our originals.”
Want to know the rest of the story? You can read Al’s e-book, “The Story of JP Gotrock“. It’s a great read; the true tale of a life of music in Asbury Park and New Brunswick in the 1980’s and beyond.