When members of the Scranton band, Black Tie Stereo, play cover sets, they’ll sometimes sneak in a song of their own. It’s an original ripple among the sea of sing-alongs, but it doesn’t go unnoticed. Audience members will ask them what that song was — you know, the one that was good but no one knew the words to. Their original material is garnering fans — including someone who wants to take the band to the next level.
In August, drummer George Pachucy sent emails to a number of music industry movers, shakers and taste makers, hoping to make a connection before Black Tie Stereo stepped into the studio to record its second EP. That list of names included Mark Mazzetti, Record Company in a Box founder and industry veteran, who counts John Mayer and Sting among artists he helped mold. When he heard Black Tie Stereo for the first time, he said he was “Blown away. Period.”
“When I clicked on the first two or three songs I heard Stephen (Murphy, vocalist), I heard the quality of the writing, I heard a vision that is always there with artists that have any merit,” Mazzetti said. “Any artist that’s going to define a place for themselves in the musical landscape always has some sort of distinct characteristic — I heard the kind of quality that I hear when an artist is at a level where they can make successful records and establish and maintain a long-term career.”
Pachucy, Murphy, bass player Aaron Kovalich and guitarist Jesse Morvan plan to travel to California to record a second collection of original songs with Mazzetti and his team of engineers. They’ve started an Indiegogo fundraising campaign to help cover expenses, offering a number of rewards in exchange for various donation levels.
“We’re really happy we’re hopefully going to be able to do it based on the fundraising,” Pachucy said. “We’re really excited about the opportunity and he’s a great dude. We’re really excited about what the future of this project is.”
For now, Black Tie Stereo still plans to play cover gigs in Northeastern Pennsylvania. To them, reaching a room full of people takes precedent over the contents of its setlist. Murphy said those types of shows help pay the bills, but he and Pachucy have played music together for a decade and both feel that — after running through a number of different bassists and guitarists — they’ve finally surrounded themselves with musicians on the same page. They finally feel ready to take the leap.
“If you really want to do it, if you really want to make this a career, you have to go for it with people who also want to make this their career,” Pachucy said. “It wouldn’t work if one of us didn’t want to do it and I think that’s our biggest piece of advice, surround yourself with people with like-minded goals and eventually it’s going to work.”
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts
Indiegogo to Los Angeles
Black Tie Stereo’s crowdfunding campaign looks to raise $25,000 to cover travel and expenses attached to their Los Angeles trip. Perks for donators range from a digital EP, sticker and thank you note for $25 to a $500 acoustic session and a $1,500 one-hour, full band set.
A full list of perks can be found by searching Black Tie Stereo at Indiegogo.com.