One of the truest testament's to our beloved local scene, New York has nurtured an incredible number of fearless musicians and bands, providing supportive communities open to embracing those who dare dabble in experimental song craft. In recent years, that's meant local hero status (and international acclaim) for many of our artists (you know the names), pushing rock experimentation to exciting new levels, thrilling music fans the world over with incredible, avant garde touches, and challenging listener's perspectives of what a song can be along the way. Yet through the sheer volume of these acts, it's sometimes easy to forget the beauty of those amongst us who embrace the classic roots of American rock...which is why we're so happy to have recently been introduced to The Cringe.
Filmed last Spring at Rachael Ray's Watch Entertainment Showcase at Piano's (the culinary superstar calls The Cringe's leading man John Cusimano her hubby), this enthusiastic performance channels classic guitar rock to an indie-centric room, reminding all those in attendance of the tried and true merits of strait laced, bar room rock and roll. Also featuring SNL House Band/session drummer extraordinaire Shawn Pelton on the kit, the band's performance provides an extraordinary opportunity to witness the deliberate craftsmanship of a group of skilled professionals all working together to thrill and audience all at once. We promise...there is nothing to cringe about.
John Cusimano - vocals, guitar John lives in NYC and grew up listening to Hsker D, The Ramones, Television, Sex Pistols, The Beatles, Coltrane, Bird, and too many others to list here.
Around a year ago, John met Rob while they were working at the same job in NYC. John had a handful of songs and Rob played lead guitar. John ran an ad in the Village Voice for a bass player and met Matt. Matt, Rob and John jammed and it sounded good. Matt, Rob and John met Shawn, who also happened to be the best drummer in NYC. More songs were written, lots of gigs were played and an album was recorded (at Electric Lady Studios) with a really awesome engineer named Steve.
In addition to singing for The Cringe, he plays drums and keyboards in three other side projects with Matt.
James Rotondi - lead guitar Cringe guitarist James "Roto" Rotondi brings a combination of retro-inspired tones and forward-thinking lead playing to the band's own mixture of the classic and the cutting-edge. Roto's impressive pedigree includes tours and recordings with Mike Patton's Mr. Bungle, French electro stars Air, trip-hop pioneers the Grassy Knoll, as well as collaborations, sessions and gigs with Santana's Michael Shrieve, horn gods Tower of Power, sax iconoclast Skerik (Critters Buggin) and pop legend Jason Falkner. An accomplished singer and keyboardist, Roto has also played, sang and co-composed on over 200 TV commercials, from Olympus to Lexus to Spagettios. His new solo EP, "The MiniLove EP," will be released digitally and on CD this July (myspace.com/rotovybe) and he continues to work on film music with his instrumental project, Jettatura (myspace.com/jettaturatheband).
Jonny Matias - bass On Bass, Jonny Matias is a producer and multi-instrumentalist who runs a successful studio in New Jersey. Matias was also a key member of The Crash Moderns, acting as singer/guitarist and producer/engineer for the NYC breakout Power Pop band, who made appearances with The Ataris, Bon Jovi, American Hi-Fi, and Lifehouse, and whose songs have appeared in films and television. Having appeared on a Grammy Nominated album, Jonny is also actively pursuing a career in session work. Matias is currently writing songs for a new project, while performing with a clutch of NYC bands.
Shawn Pelton - drums When he's not doing his thing for the Cringe, Shawn plays with the Saturday Night Live Band, Sheryl Crow and Rod Stewart.