Cheezy and The Crackers
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Cheezy and The Crackers

Millville, New Jersey, United States

Millville, New Jersey, United States
Band Rock Reggae

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By VINCENT JACKSON, Staff Writer / Posted: Sunday, April 25, 2010

When you're in a band, coming up with a cool and unique name for the group can tax the brain as much as writing original songs or figuring out how to land a label deal.

Unless you get some assistance from a helpful pimp.

That's how Vineland's Charles Stahl came up with the name Cheezy and the Crackers for his band.

Stahl has gone by the nickname Cheezy since middle school. About five years ago, he and a couple of friends made a trip to Chicago.

The trio stood on the street and saw a fleet of vintage Cadillacs pass them on the way to a club.

Stahl and friends stopped by the venue and hung out at the back door, where cocktail waitresses came out to smoke. Suddenly, Chicago pimp and hip-hop artist Archbishop Don "Da Magic" Juan walked out of the club with a mink coat draped over his shoulders.

Stahl walked up to him and said, "Hey, I'm Cheezy, what's going on?"

After hearing Stahl's name, Juan looked at him and his two friends, grinned and said, "Who are these two, the crackers?"

The group was in the formative stages. Stahl thought Cheezy and the Crackers beat the other ideas they thought of for a band name, including Doctor Dirty and the Toxic Shocks and Rathole.

"That's a crazy name," said Stahl of Cheezy and the Crackers. "If you see it up (somewhere), it will stay with you."

In the Internet age, it is easier to know if a group accomplished the goal of coming up with an original name. Previously, bands with the same name on the East and West coasts could exist without one knowing about the other. Now, an Internet search will turn up Web sites, MySpace pages and other indications that a name has been taken. That leads the newer act to try to come up with something else.

With the explosion of musical acts working on an independent level, New York-based entertainment attorney Renata D. Lowenbraun advises groups to do a search to see if another entity has claimed the name they want.

It can help a group defend against a claim of intentional trademark infringement easier, Lowenbraun said.

"At least do a regular search on the Internet. If you have a budget, do a trademark search of your band's name across federal and state trademarks and common-law searches. This is cost prohibitive for the average band," said Lowenbraun, who added bands should print out and keep the Google searches they did to help confirm their name was original.

When the Atlantic City indie and classic rock trio Qatsi adopted its name, the members didn't know there was a band from Brooklyn with the same moniker, said Brian Z. London, Qatsi's drummer.

"We went to their (MySpace) site. Their last update was back in 2008," said London, who added his band has existed for the last 18 months.

Qatsi is the first and only name of the group. Bassist and vocalist Kristine Holt were talking about the nature documentary "Koyaanisqatsi" and its accompanying soundtrack by American composer Philip Glass. All three members shared a love of his music.

"We had been playing together for about six weeks when we were asked to play a gig ... so we needed a name. We threw out some ideas, including ‘Koyaanisqatsi,' but thought it was too long and too hard to spell. After some discussion, including considering squatsi, we shortened it to Qatsi, the root word," London said. "From the language of the Hopi people, the word ‘qatsi' means ‘life.' We liked the meaning."

Fuzzy Bunny Slippers struggled to come up with a name for their group, and this was before widespread use of the Internet.

The band formed in late 1992 in Wildwood. The group had been choosing names for months only to find that when they would all agree on a particular name, it was already taken. The group had it first gig lined up and still didn't have a name. The promoter of the show wanted to advertise the gig and told the band they needed to have a name by the end of the day.

Founding member and guitarist Joe Furey, now retired, said, "Why don't we just pick something real stupid like Fuzzy Bunny Slippers. We can change it later."

Even though there have been lineup and style changes during the last 18 years, the name is eternal, said bassist Ignatious "Iggy" Schiavo, 35.

"We get folks that haven't seen us in 10 years (who still remember the group)," said Schiavo, of Philadelphia, who added there are no original members left in the group. "There is no reason to change. A name change hasn't come up."

Kickin' Bear, five 2005 Ocean City High School graduates, who now live together in West Philadelphia, almost faced a conflict with their name.

A band named Kicking Bear existed during the 1970s, but they failed to produce an album. Only a photo of them can be found on MySpace, said Rob Swift, 24.

Swift, lead guitar and co-lead vocalist of Kickin' Bear, suggested the name of the group to his other band members.

"Kicking Bear was part of the Lakota tribe. He was an Ind - Press Of Atlantic City


Discography

Put This In Your Pipe & Smoke It 2007 http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/cheezycrackers/from/viglink
Don't Talk about It. Be About it 2011

The "Mike Tyson" Mixtape $5.00/Al Gore Rhythms $5.00 - Contact us: crackersmanagement@gmail.com
Purchase MP3's at:
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=557379
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/cheezycrackers/from/viglink
http://www.purevolume.com/cheezythecrackers
http://www.garageband.com/artist/cheezyandthecrackers
http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/20-after-4/id368740559?i=368740567&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
http://www.reverbnation.com/#/cheezyandthecrackers
http://www.myspace.com/cheezyandthecrackers1

Photos

Bio

Cheezy and the Crackers is a Fusion/Alternative/Reggae group #based in New Jersey. In 2005, the band started out playing at local bars and clubs. During these shows, they would showcase their original material, which created a steadily growing fan base in Southern NJ. Quickly building a following, and with the immense amount of positive feedback towards their original material, the band was motivated to record their debut album, "Don't Talk About It, Be About It..", which released in April 2011. Selling over 1,000 copies in 6 months, lead singer Cheezy McNasty, with the help of the Crackers, released the material that they complied while recording 'Don't Talk About It...', titled "Cheezy McNasty for Mayor" in December 2011.

With a unique style all their own, Cheezy and the Crackers are broadening their horizons by playing many types of shows, festivals, and private parties throughout the Northeast, as well as up and down the East and West coast. As a result, this continentally touring act has had songs played on 93.3 WMMR & 94 WYSP Philly, WSJE 106.1 NJ, Wild94 Tampa, a number of college radio and indie radio stations all over the U.S. and Europe, as well as securing shows with artists and bands such as Less Than Jake, The Wailers, Juelz Santana, Badfish (Sublime Tribute), Cracker, The Goo Goo Dolls, Jo Dee Messina, a headlining slot at the 2010 Surfrider Treasure Coast International Surfing Day Festival in Florida and the Surf and Song Festival in Ft. Myers, Fl in the Spring of 2012.

Wherever they go, the Crackers are sure to sell out merchandise and make a ton of new fans and friends in the process! In support of their 2 full length albums, the band has toured nonstop throughout 2012, to the West Coast twice, and up and down the East Coast every 3 months. Also, Cheezy and the Crackers were hand selected by Sublime with Rome to be featured on Guitar Center's Fresh Cuts Vol. 7 sampler, being picked 1st for the CD, right after Sublime as the 2nd track. You can get your free copy of the sampler at any Guitar Center location nationwide! Extensive touring scheduled throughout 2013.

Cheezy and the Crackers are about having a good time, being an individual, and being original. We feel it, and we hope you do too!