Open Till Midnight
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Open Till Midnight

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
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"Open Till Midnight Keeps Fans Rocking Till All Hours"

www.TheExaminerNews.com November 30, 2010

Open Till Midnight Keeps Fans Rocking Till All Hours

By Martin Wilbur

Pleasantville natives Matt Ballinger
and Jon Chamberlain know how valuable
friendships can be. So do their band mates
Mike Cook, Keith Gooberman and Ross
Deutsch.
Friendships are how the five musicians
came together to make up the rock group
Open Till Midnight. The band members,
all between 25 and 27 years old, have gathered
a growing legion of fans on the New
York area bar scene and came home--at
least for Ballinger and Chamberlain--to
Lucy’s Lounge in Pleasantville last Friday
night to play to a packed house.
Although a year apart, Ballinger and
Chamberlain have been friends since
childhood, having played youth soccer together.
It wasn’t until they collaborated to
win a talent show performing the Jackson
5’s “I Want You Back” while still attending
Pleasantville High School, that they had
an inkling they could have a music career.
“It was a major moment for me and Jon
as musicians because we were young but
had a good time playing together,” said
Ballinger, Open Till Midnight’s lead singer
who has also had extensive experience
as an actor on stage and in commercials.
“So when we had this opportunity to play
together again, it was really, yeah, it was a
good experience for both of us.”
On a parallel path were Cook, (rhythm
guitar), Gooberman (bass) and Deutsch
(lead guitar), who attended the same
high school in Manhattan. In 2000, they
formed the first incarnation of Open Till
Midnight. Since its inception some of its
members have changed, most notably
singers and drummers, as well as their musical
styles, but the three core co-founders
have managed to remain one unit despite
scattering throughout the Northeast during
their college years.
While Deutsch may have exaggerated
a bit when describing their music as “Tupac
meets Taylor Swift,” the
band has evolved over the
years, especially as Cook, the
group’s principal songwriter,
has experimented and refined
his style. Some of the
common influences among
the band members are Tom
Petty, Bob Marley and the
Red Hot Chili Peppers.
“I think Mike takes from
a lot of different kinds of
music, Gooberman said.
“He went through a hip hop
phase, he went through a
classic rock phase, he went
through a pop music phase
and Mike tries to extract
some of the quirky and cool
things (of each) and turn it
into post-college alternative
rock.”
“That’s the whole key,”
Cook explained. “You have
to feel as if you’re coming
up with tracks that are
yours and that doesn’t have
to do with anybody else. You
have to come into your own
style. A lot of that is just living
life. You’re 16, you’re 17
years old, you haven’t had
the actual heartache and the
great moments or the horrible
moments. You haven’t
really seen the full spectrum. As you keep
writing songs you learn how to draw with
your words.”
It wasn’t until after Ballinger graduated
from Tufts University that the band’s current
lineup began to take shape. Ballinger
was told by a college buddy that he had
friends that were looking for a singer for
their band. Those friends were Cook,
Gooberman and Deutsch, who were impressed
enough with Ballinger’s searing
vocals that they brought him in. Not
long after, Open Till Midnight’s previous
drummer quit and Ballinger immediately
recommended Chamberlain.
At that point, Chamberlain had been
working with a bunch of different bands
when he hooked up with his old friend.
“I did freelance stuff, freelance bands
and then I was working in the city and
Matt was like ‘Hey, our drummer quit.
Are you around?’” Chamberlain recalled.
“I listened to some of the tracks and it was
good, good rock music.”
Since the two sets of friends
hooked up nearly two years ago
Open Till Midnight has meshed
almost seamlessly.
“It was also the maturity of us,
we were just getting in stride with
Matt,” Gooberman said. “He’s
just a great drummer. There’s just
an energy there.”
They’ve gained exposure by
playing a full roster of venues
this summer and fall from Manhattan’s
Crash Mansion to Long
Island to Philadelphia. The highlight
of the band’s tour was playing
L.A.’s Viper Room in October.
But the best may still lie ahead.
They recently recorded 11 tracks
for producer Tony Black (who
has recorded artists such as Alicia
Keys and Natalie Cole) that
will be part of a debut album being
produced by Mark Swerksy,
who has worked with Joe Cocker.
It is being mixed by Mark Needham,
another major figure in the
recording industry.
“Right now he’s mixing the
stuff and he likes us and really
believes in us,” Ballinger said.
“We’re at this point now where
we’re waiting for tracks and
hopefully we’ll be able to do a big
showcase show. Nobody’s heard our stuff
yet. We’re kind of under the radar and
we’ll try to do it up.”
Ballinger said the key is to continue introducing
their music to those who haven’t
been familiarized and keep on working
hard and having fun.
“We want to reach as many people as
we can,” he said. “If that means getting a
record label we want that.” - The Examiner


"Interview with Open Till Midnight"

04/07/09 - "I thought I'd been through it all/ Seen the Twin Towers fall but I'm still just standing/ Beneath the lights of a city/That kept persevering when there wasn't any hope at all."

If these lyrics resonate with you-good, that was the purpose. The lyrics are part of the song "This is Our Youth," written and performed by the band Open Till Midnight, and this is just one of the songs showcased on the band's MySpace Web site. Five others are listed, and all are worth taking a listen to.

Open Till Midnight, composed of five guys in their mid-20s, is hitting the bar scene in New York and making a lot of noise.

The band has been through "several roster changes" says pianist and bassist Keith Gooberman, but the band is "completely confident in and committed to [its] present lineup."

So who is in that present lineup one might ask? Gooberman names his four bandmates as guitarist Mike Cook, guitarist Ross Deutsch, singer Matt Ballinger, and drummer Jonathan Chamberlain.

When asked what was so great about being a band together, the band's response was, "Believing in the same mission as all your best friends."

While only one of the five members, Chamberlain, majored in music, all have spent a majority of their life around music. Gooberman writes that "Mike started playing when he was 14," "[I] started playing piano at 5 and bass at 17," "Ross started playing guitar at 9," "Jon was 11," and Ballinger says, "I started singing as soon as I heard music for the first time. I would just sing to anything."

According to the band, Open Till Midnight played its first show together at a high school talent show in 2000. "Both the room and audience were small and the gig had many technical malfunctions. "Wrong notes got mixed into our performance like Oreos in a McFlurry," wrote Gooberman in an e-mail interview on March 25.

It appears the band has moved on up since its 2000 talent show gig, as it now plays in New York City bars such as the Annex and The Bitter End. Its latest show at the Annex, Gooberman writes was "overall flawless," and that they "had over a hundred fans in attendance." - Cigar Five Cent Rhode Island


Discography

Pass it Around Again (EP) 2010

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Bio

Pass It Around Again….

We like rock. We like girls. We like girls who rock. We like girls who don’t rock.

Girls like Matt. And Ross too (we’re not sure why). Jon likes girls who like the drums. Keith likes girls who like Keith. Mike likes girls who break his heart (Mike writes the songs).

We like the things a lot of people like. Rock. Hip Hop. Chicken Burritos. New York City. Tequila. The Hangover. Thursday night out. Friday night out. Any night out. Passing it around again, again, and again.

Mostly we like to rock out. Nothing beats that.

We’re Open Till Midnight.

Open Till Midnight is currently recording their first full-length album with production from Marc Swersky and mixing by Tony Black and Mark Needham. Shows are have been booked throughout the east coast, including Bowery Ballroom in NYC, Middle East in Boston, and North Star in Philadelphia.