Bionic Twitch
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Bionic Twitch

Band Rock Alternative


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The best kept secret in music


"Band turns out to celebrate teen girl's 15th birthday"

Band turns out to celebrate teen girl's 15th birthday

Bionic Twitch cranks out the tunes for Melanie Scalero on a Sunnyside street

Sunday, August 14, 2005


Just call her the "Bionic" teen-ager.

Melanie Scalero of Sunnyside celebrated her 15th birthday in style yesterday, courtesy of a free concert from her favorite rock band, the Staten Island-based Bionic Twitch. And she didn't even have to leave home.

The band cranked out originals and cover tunes for two hours, transforming leafy Alpine Avenue into a mini-rock arena.

"It's great. I can't believe it," said an excited Miss Scalero, a Notre Dame Academy student, moments before the rockers jammed underneath a tent in her family's side yard.

She donned a Bionic Twitch guitar pic on a necklace for the show -- appropriate since she takes guitar lessons from the band's lead guitarist, Mike Forlenza, 33, of New Brighton.

The rest of the band includes 30-year-old lead singer Matty Manuzza of Elmont, L.I., bass player John Esposito, 26, of Silver Lake and guitarist Rudy Vilardi, 27, of West Brighton.

The group, which has been around for a year, played its own songs and at least one cover from the band Green Day. They said they usually play in Manhattan, New Jersey and on the Island -- and will soon visit Japan.

Some 45 guests -- including many teen-agers -- showed for the concert.

"It's fun to play for younger fans," Manuzza said.

Miss Scalero's mother, Laura Langworthy, distributed fliers to tell neighbors about the show. She got no complaints.

One neighbor, 92-year-old Mike Augustyne, who danced to the music like a teen-ager, praised the mom for allowing the special day.

"It's wonderful for a mother to do something like that for her daughter," he said.

Robert Gavin is a news reporter for the Advance. He may be reached at
- Staten Island Advance


Self Released Album - As You Lie on the Floor

Single "Shine on Me" - getting regular airplay at various college radio stations including WERG (Erie, PA - #2 the week of 11/5/04); WCWP (Brookville, NY); WCVM (Morrisville, NY); WKUMM (Morris, MN)

Single and Video for "Shine on Me" - getting regular airplay and videoplay on -

Selected as finalist in Jagermeister Buzz Band Search 2005. Winner to be announced on May 26, 2005 at Crash Mansion, NYC


Feeling a bit camera shy


Matt writes the words and sings the songs. He has even been known to pick up the guitar on occasion. Not a classically trained musician, Matty writes from the heart and shoots from the hip. His words flow directly from the music he hears. He pours out what he feels and what the music says to him. It is a creative process fueled by pure adrenaline and more than a few Heinekens.

Mike writes the music and plays the guitar. He started playing the guitar later in life but has approached it with a passion and vigor that can only be found in musicians who play simply because they want to – because they love to. Mike’s songs are the product of many days and nights of being tortured by dreams of success and fears of failure. The music speaks for Mike, it speaks for us all.

Rudy is the band’s rhythm guitarist. Like many of the band’s other members, he is also a self taught musician. Rudy is that guy we all know who is constantly singing and is just genuinely moved by music. This manifests itself through his guitar, and when that is not available, just through his motions. Yes - Rudy is the band’s most accomplished “air musician”. Rudy’s carefree attitude and balls out personality are a welcome addition to the band.

John Raschella plays the drums. John has been playing for over 15 years and is also essentially self-taught. John, a member of various other bands before joining Bionic Twitch, brings a lot of experience and knowledge to the band. Although somewhat hidden behind his drums, John’s role should not be underestimated. His drums provide the backbone for the songs, while his passion and excitement provide a beacon for the band.

John "Spo" Esposito plays the bass. John is the newest member of the band after recently joining in late 2004. Although he's the newest member, John is not a stranger to the band. He did time at Wagner College with Rudy and has known Mike from the local music scene since 2001. John has received training from some of Staten Island's best, namely Ron Thal of Bumblefoot, Ed Brown, and Richie Castellano of Blue Oyster Cult. Although a guitarist since 1994, John's interests turned to the bass while in college. This is his first gig holdin’ down the low end and he hopes he can hit the brown note.