Keeping it live

Catching up with the other guys from EugeneEugene, Hoboken’s hardest working rock band, never takes a vacation. After finishing a busy 2003 touring season that included gigs at every virtually every venue in Hudson County, lots of shows in New York City and various dates in the region, Eugene comes back hard to Maxwell’s in Hoboken on Jan. 23. The show is a homecoming and CD release party. They have spent time in the recording studio finishing tracks and polishing tunes. Eugene’s alt-rock sound has received praise from music enthusiasts, and their fanbase grows after each performance. The Current featured Eugene last fall, but focused more on the band’s vocalists Jaime and Dominick Della Fave. We now catch up with bassist Ed Smith and drummer Drew Berman.

EM – Where are you from?

DB – New Jersey, nothing exciting.

ES – Disneyland. No, really, I’m raised and born in Hoboken. Operation Ivy wrote a song about me.

EM – Who are your influences?

DB – From Duran Duran to Van Halen to Frank Zappa…anything that’s good. I like all different styles and types of music.

ES – The Beatles, Jane’s Addiction, Aerosmith, Demo.

EM – Why did you become a musician?

DB – My dad was a drummer and my parents own a music store, so it kind of seemed right.

ES – The Ladies.

EM – Where have you performed?

DB – New Jersey, New York, Boston, basically the tri-state area, England with Ed in our old band Sound of Skin way back when. I once played at Disneyland with my high school marching band. I hung out with Pluto and Goofy.

ES – I toured England three times, once with Drew, various places throughout the tri-state areas and my room. I once played at a Laundromat.

EM – What is your favorite day of the week?

DB – Probably Sunday, because it’s my day off. If I didn’t have to work Saturday, Saturday would be my favorite.

ES – Tomorrow.

EM – What are the last three CDs you bought?

DB – Missing Persons, Blink 182, and Bel Biv Devoe.

ES – I rarely buy CDs. My sister Irene buys them for me.

EM – How would you describe your music?

ES – Barnstorming rock and roll, baby.

DB – When we started out, we played more rock with a folk background, but as of late, I think we’ve moved onto more rock with a bit of an edge. The last few songs we’ve written have been a little heavier.

EM – Are you looking for mainstream exposure?

DB – Yeah, of course. It would be awesome to be able to play Eugene music and get paid for it. To be able to do something you enjoy and make a living off of it is ideal.

EM – What professional plans do you have for the future?

ES – Contributing to my own documentary.

DB – Playing music and making a living would be the ultimate dream come true.

EM – What is the best part about your job?

DB – The excitement you feel when you’re up on stage. It makes you feel like you’re important. It’s nice when people look and listen to your music and are supporting your music…you feel like you’re apart of and have done something important.

ES – Walking on stage.

Eugene performs at Maxwell’s at 1039 Washington St. in Hoboken on Jan. 23 at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7. For information call (201) 653-1703 or visit q


“It would be awesome to be able to play Eugene music and get paid for it.” – Drew Berman


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