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Feature for July 2014


The Brigantines!



Band Name: The Brigantines

Genre: Surf-Pop

Geographical Area: New Jersey

Interview with Vincent Minervino (Guitar, Vocals) by email on 7/2/14


1. What is the current line-up of your band?

Vincent Minervino - Guitar, Vocal

Aaron Leonovich - Bass

Scott Saint Hilaire - Guitar, Vibe

Dan Tojeira - Drums



2. How and when did you get started with your band?

Aaron and I started the band in the summer of 2011. We spent all of our free time at the Asbury Park beach that summer, having a great time. One day I forgot to take my Ray-Bans off before I dove head first into the water. They flew off, but luckily I was able to find them! We all joked about how tragic it would've been to lose them in a wave and it turned into a silly idea for our first single, 'Ray-Bans'. Aaron, Scott and I wrote, recorded and released the Next Summer EP in August 2011 and have been writing, recording and playing live regularly ever since!



3. What bands or music have influenced you most?

I grew up listening to classic surf. Dick Dale, The Beach Boys, The Lively Ones, The Challengers, and The Centurions are some of my all-time favs. There is also a lot of great modern Surf music out there. Los Straitjackets, Messer Chups, Threesome and The Fathoms just keep getting better with every album. We are also very into British Pop like The Smiths and Echo and the Bunnymen.



4. What is the break down of cover vs. original material in your live shows and/or recordings?

We throw a handful of covers in, but I’d say 90% of the set is original. We actually recorded a version of The Crystals "Then She Kissed Me" for our album "Vacation!". We also do a Ramones cover live. The Beach Boys "Stoked" is always a fun one to get the crowd involved!



5. What recording have you done?

Here’s The Brigs discography so far:

2011 - "Next Summer" - EP

2012 - "Take You Home" - Single

2012 - "Sunset Motel" - Single

2012 - "Vacation!" - LP

2013 - "Ocean Park" - Single

We also have a brand new EP coming out next week called "Last Chance To Dance!" It will have 4 new instrumentals. Stoked!


6. What kind of gear do you use?

Vincent - DiPinto Galaxie 4 through a Fender Princeton Reverb

Aaron - Gibson EB Bass through a Kustom 200

Scott - Gibson SG Custom through a Fender Vibrolux Reverb

Dan - Gretsch Catalina Club Jazz kit



7. What is your band’s favorite food/beverage?

Some of our favorite shore spots to grab a bite are Surf Taco, Mogo, Fin’s, and Wonder Bar. We also love our summer beers like Carton Boat, Kane Head High, Shiner Ruby Redbird, Brooklyn Summer Ale. The sangria at the Asbury Park Yacht Club is incredible. We also drink a lot of Modelo and Modelo Negra at practice - depending on the season!



8. How do you get gigs?

We try and get out to shows as often as possible to support other bands and make new friends. The upcoming Asbury Park Surf Music Festival lineup is made up of bands that we have either played with before, or seen live and got to know them after the set. In fact, Aaron met Mike (Rosado of 9th Wave) at Roxy & Dukes, which is how we got involved with NESMA!

We also keep a close eye on the artists we love and when they book New Jersey dates. We’ve had then chance to open for Dick Dale, Los Straitjackets, and Igor & Red Elvises just by asking.

We’ve also been fortunate to have the support of many local promoters - namely Jenn at The Lanes, Christine at Dark City, Tony at UMT, and Kyle at The Stone Pony. They’ve seen us work hard promoting our shows and keep inviting us back for more!



9. What are the difficulties you find playing your kind of music in your area?

It can be challenging in the off season. The Jersey shore kind of goes into hibernation from October to March. But in the summer, it’s the absolute best place in the world to be!



10. What positive attributes does your band have that sets you apart from other bands (of any genre)?

The Brigantines have an old fashioned work ethic. We hang our posters ourselves, pass out flyers, drop off CDs to the local record shops, record our own music, do our own design work, etc. A lot of bands these days just rely on internet marketing to reach their fans. We believe you have to go out there and connect. Luckily weve made tons of friends along the way, so its just becoming a big family!



11. What have you found to be the single most effective promotional tool you’ve used to further your band’s musical path?

Self-labeling ourselves as New Jersey’s Number One Surfing Group! We joked about it when we first started the band because all the old Del-Fi bands had a catch phrase on their album covers. We thought it’d be fun to come out of the gate with that and see if people believed us. It’s all in good fun.



12. What’s the most interesting performance experience you’ve had? 

Supporting Los Straitjackets at Havana in New Hope. The venue had assigned  seating, so the crowd was SUPER attentive and gave us roaring applauses in between songs. It was surreal. And of course, sharing the stage with Los Straitjackets was a dream come true for us. They brought the house down that night!



13. What do you hope to get out of being a NESMA member?

We just hope to make more friends so we can continue to  grow the New Jersey and East Coast Surf Music scene.



14. Anything else?

Thanks for inviting us to be a member of NESMA! It is an honor! We’re really looking forward to getting everyone together for the Asbury Park Surf Music Festival on July 12! Hopefully this will be a fun summer tradition we can carry on for years.


Archived Interviews

June 2014 - International Surf Music Month

May 2014 - Unsteady Freddie revisited

April 2014 - Bongo Surf revisited

March 2014 - Turbosonics

February 2014 - Blue Wave Theory revisited

January 2014 - Regional Surf Band listing

December 2013 - TarantinosNYC revisited

October 2013 - Rip Chords revisited

September 2013 - Double Crown Records

August 2013 - Mister Neutron revisited

July 2013 - Supertones revisited

June 2013 - International Surf Music Month

April 2013 - Meteor Men

March 2013 - Balboas

January 2013 - Derangers

December 2012 - Brief History of Surf Music

November 2012 - Del Rio Bandits

October 2012 - NESMA 10th Anniversary

September 2012 - Oxford (OH) Battle of the Surfing Bands

August 2012 - Surf Guitar 101 Convention

July 2012 - Blue Demons

June 2012 - International Surf Music Month

May 2012 - Thee Icepicks

April 2012 - Instro Summit

March 2012 - Mystery Men?

January 2012 - Clams revisited

December 2011 - Aqualads

November 2011 - Monterreys

October 2011 - Beachcombovers

September 2011 - Kill, Baby...Kill!

July/August 2011 - Big Tiki Dude

June 2011 - International Surf Music Month

May 2011 - Trabants

April 2011 - Instro Summit

February 2011 - Urban Surf Kings revisited

January 2011 - Matt Heaton & the Electric Heaters

December 2010 - Spytones

November 2010 - Serfs revisited

October 2010 - Sharkskins revisited

September 2010 - 9th Wave revisited

August 2010 - Big Wipeouts

July 2010 - Tsunami of Sound

June 2010 - International Surf Music Month

April 2010 - AmpFibians

March 2010 - Daikaiju

February 2010 - Atom Bumz

January 2010 - Big Surf


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