Last week, the on-again and now off-again legendary Hoboken venue Maxwell’s hosted a final evening of live music featuring longtime crowd pleasers Deaf Rhino, The Skullers and more. What does the music scene look like in the cities on the other side of the Hudson in 2018? Stick around for an interview with Deaf Rhino below Mike Petzinger‘s photos from Maxwell’s below.
Chevonne And The Fuzz
Jaime Rose Band
Liam Brown And The Pounds
One Hundred Thousand
Please tell us a little bit about yourselves for those that may be unfamiliar with Deaf Rhino. Where are you based, style, etc.
We’re a rock and roll band from Northern New Jersey. Four piece, guitar driven sound. I suppose most of our songs are centered around riffs, pocket grooves and big choruses. We were touring hard for awhile in the North East, we probably have played your local bar more than once.
You guys have just headlined the final show at the most recent incarnation of Maxwell’s, along with a number of other local artists. How did this evening come about?
I know you have been taking it easy from shows lately. We were asked a week out before the show, from what I gather it was a bit of a crap shoot if they were going to be able to host the last “goodbye” show. We had some personal items that required us to take a step back from being full bore locally touring outfit for a minute..fortunately everything has panned out well for the band and the individuals it is comprised of. We’re writing and recording music now. Just focusing on making something we love before we get the gears turning on the show machine again.
I have photographed Deaf Rhino at Maxwell’s several times over the past few years – including the sold out opening night in 2014 and a multi-week residency in 2015. You have obviously had a great relationship with the venue. How did you first land on the radar at Maxwell’s?
Email baby. Anyone who is in a DIY local band, business, venture etc knows you have to lead the hustle yourselves. We saw they were returning to a live music venue, we reached out and promised to deliver a packed house. Once we did it became a solid working relationship for us…also saved us the tunnel and Bridge fair for gigs.
With all of the shows in the past few years, what is you favorite moment from performing at Maxwell’s?
Good question. We hosted a gig with our boys The Battery Electric in 2017 where Dave (the house manager) helped us orchestrate an entire light show for our set. To me – having that production value was something fun and different. People stage diving, people getting it on in the bathrooms…. Shenanigans all in all – for whatever people make of the recent owners and their relationship with the past is fair –to us, it was a great room that gave us a chance to have a home venue and host some ridiculous parties with our friends.
Now that Maxwell’s is closing again, Hoboken is losing its last large live music venue (also again.) As locals, what are some of your other preferred venues in the area to play at, or even to just go take in some live music?
Jersey City is becoming a hotbed of smaller venues with a little more variety to the musical flavors than Hoboken had going on (its like 1,000,000 times geographically bigger.) We were NYC cats before Maxwell’s resurfaced. I imagine we will return to playing Arlene’s Grocery, Piano’s and whatever comes of the Webster Hall basement when we start gigging. Fortunately there is Asbury Park so from a club perspective there is still a vibrant and growing live music scene in NJ for fans and artists.
As I had mentioned, you have been taking a bit of a break from shows in the past month or so. What is next on the horizon for Deaf Rhino? Might there be new material or a tour in the works?
Honestly – we made a super expensive record and hated the finished product. Shortly after that a snowball of personal shit hit us square in the face and kind of derailed the momentum…most likely for the best (now that everyone and everything is “normal” again.) We needed a little room to breathe a bit and reassess what were doing as a band. We’ve been jamming regularly and have a ton of material. Were going to take our time recording and explore how we can grow our sound and all that good stuff…the art stuff. Once we have sufficiently “arted” we will slide our way back onto the stage of the NJ and NY markets. All in time..all for the music.