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The best kept secret in music


"The Star Ledger"

"Lead by charismatic and occasionally menacing vocalist, Dawn Botti, Slushpuppy was the most attention grabbing of all the acts."

- Lisa Rose

"The Asbury Park Press"

"Botti …has a humongous voice that she uses judiciously…[It's] pretty even when she screams." - Kelly-June Cotter


If you like bands like The Cult or AC/DC you will appreciate Slushpuppy. They produce a major label sound and yet keep the DIY influences alive. .... What first got my attention was the strong vocals of lead singer, Dawn Botti. This girl can flat-out sing and her voice will mesmerize you immediately. Combine those vocals with twangy yet super-heavy guitar licks and you have a sure shot at the big time. .... Listen to this if you like that feel of 70's nostalgia combined with the aggressive alternative sound of today." - Travis Shope


2000 "Unleashed" EP (15th most added to College Radio Charts the week it was released, in regular rotation on 350+ stations)

2001 "Red" Demo: Produced by John Agnello (Dinsoaur Jr., Screaming Trees)
featuring singles "Everybody Knows" (used in MTV's The Real World) and "See More" (featured on MTV's Spyder Games).

2002 "Blue" EP: Produced by Chris Gibson (Quicksand, Reach, Rival Schools)
featuring single "Second Chance" played on WRAT 95.9 (NJ) and featured on Mescino Rock Radio (

2003 "Genuine Parts and Accessories" (Band's first full length scheduled for release Summer 2003)


Feeling a bit camera shy


With the New Jersey hard-core and hard-rock music scene literally exploding in recent months (Thursday, Ill Nino, Dragpipe) it takes more than just decent musicianship to stand out among the crowd. Effortlessly gaining a rabid following and racking up a laundry list of accomplishments in two short years; including several tv and film credits, Jagermeister Sponsorship, two-time Asbury Music Award nominations (including “Best Rock Act”) and most recently joining the NBA's Rhythm and Rims Tour, the hard-rock outfit Slushpuppy must be doing something right.

Maybe it is the band’s music, which is at one moment beautiful and soaring and at the next, exploding with thunderous grooves, screaming vocals and shrieking guitars. Maybe it’s the soul-searching lyrics sung to intoxicating melodies. Or maybe it’s that Slushpuppy regularly shares the stage with the scene’s biggest up-and-comers like Shades Apart, Glassjaw, Dragpipe and The Kickovers. But it certainly is not because their lead vocalist and guitarist happens to be a beautiful, charismatic female. Dawn Botti's revealing get-ups, flailing long mane and shimmering lipstick are merely the icing on an already well-baked cake.

“This band is first and foremost about the music and about having a kinship and playing as a group,” says Botti, who attributes the start of the group back to the day that she decided to use her classical piano training to teach herself to play the electric guitar. “In the world of hard rock, the fact that I’m female is both a blessing and a curse.”

When Botti was ready to begin her search for the perfect band mates, she didn’t have to look far for drummer Gary Szczecina, her high school sweetheart turned husband. Botti and Szczecina grew up in “cow-country” 75 miles from New York City and were raised on a diet of classic and Top 40 rock. The couple’s long-standing passion and teamwork has been the secret ingredient behind the band’s fierce drive and perseverance.

Though the other members of the band also are originally from New Jersey, their upbringings and musical backgrounds are far from similar. Guitarist Rich Sarnicola was raised in the gritty, tough neighborhood of Cliffside Park where he experimented with many styles of music ranging from reggae to new wave. Bassist Cory Baker hails from the southern part of the state but cut his musical teeth in San Diego’s hardcore punk scene.

After recording a successful debut EP (“Unleashed”) that ranked as the 15th most added song to college radio the week it was released, the band returned to the studio to work with well-known producer John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Jawbox, Screaming Trees) for its second recording in early 2001. Several tracks have been licensed for tv and film including the first single “Everybody Knows” which was chosen as the title track for the full-length feature film “Baby Doll Forever” and later chosen by MTV for its “The Real World – Bloopers Home Video” (2002). The second single “See More” was also used twice on MTV’s Spyder Games.

2002 meant with a return to the studio for Slushpuppy to work with hard rock producer Chris Gibson (Quicksand, Rival Schools, Dragpipe, Adharma). The band has emerged with two new demos that once again showcase their unyielding dedication to creating infectious, powerful hard rock. Recently asked to join the NBA’s National Rhythm & Rims Tour, Slushpuppy will hit the road this summer, first on east coast for the Rims Tour and then for an independent southern stint in the fall.