Interview: Deaf Rhino

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North Jersey comes to Asbury Park as straight-up, bad ass rock ‘n’ rollers Deaf Rhino (hailing from Bergen County), rumble into Asbury Park tonight for their first gig in the famed city by the-sea. We caught up with the band’s lead singer Adam Schlett to talk about the band’s gig at Happy Mondays at The Wonder Bar, their new record and selling out Arlene’s Grocery.

Deaf Rhino Is (Band Members, Instrument Played): Adam Schlett (main vocals/rhythm guitar) Bobby Weir (lead guitar/backing vocals) Tommy Scerbo (bass/backing vocals) Jack Biamonte (drums/percussion/shirtless-ness)

The Story of Our Name: We were originally called Easy Company. We built a following around that, but eventually got to a point where the songs we were playing did not fit with that name. Ergo, Deaf Rhino was born. Our songs are like a freight train going 1,000 miles an hour with no conductor. That’s what a Deaf Rhino is 😉

We’re based out of: Suburbs of North Jersey (Bergen/Morris County). We live in Hudson County now.

Any new music coming out: Our new album is out May 5th. Cinco de Rhino.

You’ve seen us before [in other bands]: We used to be Easy Company. Now we are not Easy Company.

Our sound has been likened to: Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Muse, Arctic Monkeys, Biffy Clyro.

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You sold out Arlene’s Grocery in NYC multiple times – can you talk about the feeling of packing a venue that has so much history to its name.

We dream of 175 cap clubs where we end up shaking our sweat into the crowd, stage diving, and enjoying the experience of having the crowd right in your face. Arlene’s has a history of being a stepping stone for bands and was a great venue for us to build our reputation around the live shows and the parties we were throwing there.

You worked with Brett “The Ratt” Romnes from I Am Avalanche on your new album – can you talk about how you came to work with him and what he brought to the table as a producer?

We met Brett by chance two years ago. He was helping someone else get into production and sat in with us for an EP we were going The original producer decided in Session 2 that music production wasn’t for them and The Ratt stepped in to help us finish our EP. It’s blossomed into a great musical and personal friendship.

happy february

When we spoke before this interview you said you were looking forward to getting your “start” in Asbury Park. Can you talk about what the Asbury scene means to you?

Asbury has history as well as a bustling music scene today. The scene we are building in the North is separate and disconnected geographically and figuratively, we’re excited to bridge that gap and play more shows down in Asbury and bring asbury bands up north to our crowd.

What is one of your favorite and/or most outrageous moments you’ve had performing with Deaf Rhino?

We had a group swim in a pool in Gettysburg. and we splashed even though we weren’t supposed to (scandalous!)

What do you love about being in Deaf Rhino?

We aren’t known anywhere outside our market so every show have the opportunity to leave people asking “who the f are those guys?”

If someone read this interview and never heard you before, but decided to check you out, what song would you recommend they listen to in order to understand what Deaf Rhino is all about?

That’s a good question. We feel that all 10 songs on the album come from the same place and tell a story. If we had to pick…..’Ghosts’ or ‘Infinity’ kick ass.

Deaf Rhino perform with Black Clouds and Humungous tonight at Happy Mondays at The Wonder Bar on Ocean Avenue in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Admission is free.

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites