Lives Or Levels
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Lives Or Levels

Band Rock Alternative


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Lives Or Levels rising to the top"

Dan Iucci lives in the music studio. Literally.

The 20-year-old's basement bedroom in Dumont is the full-time rehearsal
space for rock/metal band Lives or Levels.

Soundproofing foam hangs from the ceiling. Guitar and bass amplifiers hide
whatever wall space is not plastered with music posters. Iucci's bed is
somewhere behind his massive drum set.

Iucci likes the setup. But Lives or Levels may soon be too big for the

The five-member rock group is a finalist in New Jersey Shows' sixth annual
Battle of the Bands.

On Saturday, Lives or Levels will play Sayreville's Starland Ballroom -
before an expected crowd of 2,500 - for a chance at a $4,000 first-place
prize and label interest.

The band, whose members all hail from Dumont High School, would use the
winnings to go on a nationwide van tour.

"We wish we could wake up to practice every day," Iucci said during a recent

"The goal is to play music to pay the bills," said Mike Morgan, the band's
19-year-old singer - better known by fans as his face-painted stage persona,

If they win this month, Iucci, Morgan, bassist Bryan Bischoff, 23, and
guitarists Justin DeCrescenzo, 21, and Jim Corless, 23, will be much closer
to that dream.

Already, the contest has distinguished the group as one of the best bands in
the state. Nearly 200 bands entered the competition last year.

Lives or Levels is one of only four left in the age 18-plus category.

Elimination shows began in February at various venues throughout the state,
such as Montclair's Bloomfield Ave. Stage and Café and Asbury Park's The
Saint. All bands were judged on sound, appearance and performance by
anonymous three-person panels culled from a variety of independent record
labels, radio stations, professional bands, music publications and
management companies, said Dan Fulton, owner of music promoter Jersey Shows.

There have been more than 70 shows related to the competition. The last was
at the Starland Ballroom on July 24.

That night, Lives or Levels performed before several hundred people.

"I never really look into the audience, but I had to that night, and my
smile just came on," DeCrescenzo said.

"It was the biggest stage we ever played," Corless said. "It was like time
didn't even exist when we were up there."

Until that show, the band performed weekly at smaller venues -such as North
Jersey American Legion halls and churches and Manhattan bars.

"We did the Bergen County high school tour earlier this year," Bischoff
said. The band called the experience their "Spinal Tap Tour," after the
faux-documentary film about a declining metal band forced to play dances for
the elderly.

In the past, Lives or Levels shows were attended mostly by fellow Dumont
residents. But at the Starland Ballroom, the band played before hundreds of
strangers and - even more thrilling for some band mates - family members.

"Our families are starting to believe in us now," Iucci said.

"Which is good, since some of us didn't do so well in high school," Morgan
added, laughing.

"It was sometimes worse if you did do well in school, because then you had
to hear, 'Why are you doing that with your life?'" Bischoff said.


Copyright 2005 North Jersey Media Group Inc.,
All Rights Reserved
The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

September 2, 2005 Friday
All Editions


LENGTH: 72 words

HEADLINE: Dumont band triumphs in state competition

BYLINE: Catherine Holahan, North Jersey Media Group

They came. They rocked. They won.

Dumont-based Lives or Levels won the Jersey Shows Battle of the Bands on

The rock band beat out nearly 200 New Jersey bands to take home the
competition's $4,000 prize in the 18-plus category.

"When they announced it, everyone went crazy," said band guitarist Justin
DeCrescenzo, 21. "It was pretty exciting."

The band has opened an account and plans to save more money to go on tour.

- The Record August 26 2005


Lives Or Levels Self Titled: 05



Lives Or Levels creates a transcendent
blend of forward thinking music that explores
a vast palette of emotion and ideas. We have
gained an immediately loyal following by creating
music that contrasts with the local scene.
With a full-length album recorded and a followup
nearly complete, we are ready to reach a
wider audience through aggressive touring and
promotion. Lives or Levels is a five-piece band that has been playing together for five years. The resulting music is a culmination of five different attitudes and backgrounds. Each individual brings a different set of influences to the table, which results in a truly uncompromising and meticulously criticized creative output. In late August 2005, Lives or Levels won a six month long competition based on ticket sales, visual presentation and musical content through We placed first out of 200 bands from throughout the state through monthly live competitions. This competition has helped us get press in publications such as The Aquarian and The Bergen Record. The past two years have been extremely busy and productive. The prize money from the Battle of the Bands helped us finance a van and recording equipment. This has enabled us to reach a further audience on tour helped us make important connections with college radio
stations, club owners, promoters, and most importantly,new audiences in the eastern and lower eastern states. We finished recording a full length CD in late 2005 and independently distributed the CD at our shows. The experience of recording our first album has changed our perspective on songwriting and also gave us insight on the recording process. Currently, we have finished recording a new set of
songs, and are working on mixing and album art, while aggressively pursuing more shows as well as the next level of success . . . signing with a reputable record label.

Lives or Levels recently played @ the SXSW festival in Austin Texas.