Jersey Beat Music Fanzine

by Jim Testa

I love songs about New Jersey. So when I heard "Fuckin' New Jersey" by the Trenton-area Gravity Centered, I wanted to learn more about this band. Turns out they're fairly young, but had already released two EP's before following up with their debut album Monica earlier this year. While most of the tracks offer blasts of aggressive guitar/bass/drums punk rock, piano drives the impassioned ballad "The Moon's My Ride Home," the pop-rock of "Flare," and the sophisticated blend of rock and jazz on "Fool." I was impressed. I think you will be too.

Q: Please introduce yourselves to our readers.

We are Gravity Centered, a three piece from Hamilton NJ. Dano Malik (18) plays guitars and keyboards, Henry Miles (18) plays the drums, and Steven Snyder (19) plays the bass. Lead vocals is Dano. Henry and Steve both do backups as well. Dano and Henry met in 7th grade and played our first show as Gravity Centered at the winter band concert in 2013. They met Steve four years later in 2017, when Steve’s old band, The Deplorables opened for Gravity Centered. Gravity Centered is going on six years, however, the current lineup is about 15 months old.

Q: Finding gigs is always a challenge for underage band. I know you play Mill Hill Basement in Trenton regularly. What are some other places where you play, and what’s it like trying to find shows? Have you broken into the New Brunswick house show scene?

Dano: Mill Hill is definitely a great place to play. My favorites include the Youth Warehouse in Pennington, the PAC in bordentown, and the Foster Home in Hamilton. As far as New Brunswick goes, we have not done much around that area. For most Trenton bands, I feel like the heavier ones do gravitate towards Philly while the rest venture into the Asbury Scene. For us, we love playing anywhere we can, for any audience, but we also love the challenge in really trying to make a name for ourselves by starting projects such as turning the Youth Warehouse into a place that will hopefully have tons of shows every year.

Henry: Mill Hill and Champs are the main show spots in Trenton. The Foster Home, Robs Place, and Flemington DIY are awesome to play as well as attend. We have yet to play in New Brunswick, though we hope to get up there soon. It seems like (for the most part) bands in Jersey play shows in Jersey. There’s a bunch of local promoters, and it seems like every few months there’s a new DIY space for shows. Asbury Park also contributes a bunch for venues and shows.

Q: Your band features a piano, which is such a great underused instrument today. How did that become a part of your sound?

Dano: Our first gig was actually in preparation for my piano recital when we were 12, so I really think our inclusion of piano is a core part of us that gives us our identity. We wouldn’t even be playing together without it. The knowledge of the piano allows us to be more thoughtful when writing something because it gives us the ability to include more sounds and different dynamics in every song.

Q: What would you say are your biggest influences and inspirations?

Dano: My biggest modern, lyrical inspiration, is probably Max Bemis of Say Anything. Musically, Showbiz era Muse is most likely my core inspiration, at least when I started writing some of these songs, specifically, “Fool”, “Flare”,and “Town”. If I could open for any band it would definitely be Bayside.

Henry: My biggest influences would be Cloud Nothings, Title Fight, Tigers Jaw, Mom Jeans, Turnover, and Sum 41. Without a doubt, I’d open for Title Fight.

Q: This is the question that bands always hate. But for people who haven’t heard you, how would you describe what you sound like?

Dano: We always have trouble narrowing our sound down to one or two words because the best thing about writing music is that you can literally do whatever you want. If I had to choose, I would say that we are more Alternative Punk than anything else.

Henry: It took us a while to find the right way to describe us to people. Eventually we said alternative punk, but we’re eager to hear what others think.

Q: High school bands often break up and go their separate ways after graduation. Have you talked about future plans?

Dano: We definitely want to play until we can’t anymore, and even then, still play. Fortunately, we will all be attending Mercer County Community College in the fall so that we can still get together every day to write and rehearse.

Henry: Since the beginning we’ve been talking long term and it’s what we want to prepare for. Playing our music for the people that care.

Gravity Centered will perform at the Meatlocker in Montclair on Monday, November 18.

Gravity Centered Links:

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