The VeeVees
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The VeeVees

Brooklyn, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Brooklyn, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Rock Rock




"The VeeVees. In Art, there is no judgment"

The VeeVees – In Art, there is no judgment.

A cabaret singer, Berklee School of Music graduate and former filmmaker are the nucleus of the New York-based rock force, The VeeVees. A creative and cohesive unit, the group share a very easy and natural rapport onstage with visible knowing smiles and glances exchanged onstage and they seem totally in synch with one another.

The stylish and outrageous band fronted by the dynamic vocalist/provocateur Sophia Urista from Detroit, MI, shook and jolted their audience out of their apathetic, jaded L.A. cool with elements of surprise, spontaneity and shock which inspired a recent show at The Viper Room. Possessing boundless energy and nerve, the group also including Garrett Cillo, singer/songwriter and guitarist and drummer Andrea Belfiore, never let up during the 11-song set including "Main Squeeze" and "Groovin Swoon."

Sophia Urista is the perfect foil for this visual assault of the senses and never backed down from the challenge. Rocking a fro-hawk, clad in a black leather leotard with leather, wearing hot pants, thigh-high stockings and towering matching stilettos, the audience couldn't take their eyes off her and one would imagine they would talk about her long after the show ended.

Urista did whatever it took to get your attention: humping the stage floor, drums and speakers. It seems liked she was channeling Prince or Jimi Hendrix. Nothing was off limits or taboo. At one point, she talked to the crowd about cum being all over the floor (real or imagined?) and ejaculation. She occasionally shouted out to the women in the crowd calling them "her bitches."

Not to be overshadowed by Urista's theatrics/antics, Cillo made a mark of his own jumping off the stage at one point into the audience. Though more a traditional approach and less subdued, it was entertaining and fun, too. Dressed in a black polka dot shirt, rust-colored pants and glittery silver loafers, he wailed on guitar pulling out searing riffs and power chords in tandem with the explosive, groove laden rhythms generated by Andrea Belfiore.

The biggest disappointment and drawback to the entire set was the sound mix that buried all the vocals making it very difficult to tell each song apart therefore blending them all together. Unless you listened to the songs before the show on You Tube or through song clips on the band website, you were lost at this live show.

The VeeVees have good, catchy songs. They have a great, interesting flair, showmanship and the chops to pull it all together but more care and attention is needed in the live setting to getting the material audibly across that cements the foundation of their entire package.

Q&A with Harriet Kaplan of Punch Records and The VeeVees....

PR. How did you come up with the name VeeVees for the band?

VV. Garrett Cillo: I was doing filmmaking in New York. I was mainly focused on writing. One of the characters in one of my scripts was called VeeVee. She is basically the epitome of a perfect woman. So essentially, VeeVees means beautiful woman. It's as simple as that. It's kind our drive to as why we are in the band.

PR. What's the most unique or weird thing that has happened to the band on tour?

VV. Garrett Cillo: To be honest, we don't go on the road much. This is our first time coming out to L.A. We went to Italy last year, last Summer, which was great. The most surprising thing to us when we go anywhere is how welcomed we are with the audiences. I mean rock and roll is definitely an underdog these days. It's refreshing to go to a place that is not expecting rock and roll. Then we show up and people are really into it. That's the most gratifying thing and it's weird in a way because you don't expect that. Somebody expects an indie band or a pop band to come onstage. Then you come onstage and bring out the guitar and loud drums. You get people moving. It's a good feeling.

PR. Tell me about the Arezzo Wave Festival. How did The VeeVees get chosen and why? What was the experience performing there like? How has the festival helped the band's career?

VV. Garrett Cillo: We didn't know why we were chosen ourselves. It was a strike of luck. We went through Sonicbids. It's an internet site that connects you to different show opportunities. We just thought we would submit our music to a few things. We submitted our music to the Arezzo Wave festival in Italy on a whim and they actually chose us. We were grateful but we didn't know what drew us to them. Once we got to
Italy, we met with the operators of the festival. They said out of 200 bands they listened to every single piece of music every band had submitted and then they listened our music and enjoyed it so they asked us to come over. It was nice to go over to Italy because I feel Europe appreciates rock and roll a bit more than the American public
does. We met a lot of people over there and made connections. We got exposure. We got more fans after we played the festival. We did a few radio shows. We are going to take any opportunity to expand the band to have audiences hear us. It was very beneficial for us.

Sophia Urista: Europeans appreciate live music in a different way period. No matter what type of music it is. There is less of a celebrity culture I feel abroad. Here people are less apt to get excited about you because you haven't done this or that thing. Unless
you're famous, people say, I'm not going to wait in line to see your band. I'm not saying that all American audiences feel that way but going abroad people do appreciate the exotic nature of American bands more.

PR. What's the band's strategy? What is the benefit for The VeeVees to come to L.A.? How is the homegrown approach working for the band versus touring out of state?

VV. Garrett Cillo : A homegrown approach to me is hitting it hard in New York City. Get your name out to all the clubs. You want to go to a bar, and when people have heard about you, you know you have doing something right. It's a lot of work and more beneficial than doing a random tour because more people are going to know about you in your home city than if you toured in some random state. It's more helpful in that sense. The reason we came to L.A. Most importantly was one of Andrea's friends, James Saez, he's an amazing producer and he offered to work with us on one of our new songs.. That was the biggest opportunity for us to come out here. And since we were coming out here, we decided to book a few shows. Just play while we'redoing the recording and do as much as we can while we're out here. Other than that, I don't think we would have come to L.A. for any other reason. It's most important to get a base of fans in your area. It's like a gang. You just expand out from your home state. That's the
best way to do it.

PR. Do you feel you and Andrea are kindred spirits, have a shared vision and interest in music? Is that why you the two of you got together to form the band?

VV. Garrett Cillo: I think the thing that was most attractive was we kind of listened to all the same music and it's rare for our generation and in this day and age because a lot of people are listening to electronic music. A lot of people want to be pop stars or start an
indie band. Not many people have that classic rock and roll love. That's the thing that attracted me most and was refreshing to be around somebody that listened to the same music as you. With music, it helps a lot because you have the same influences and the same track of mind as to what you want to do and play as a musician. When you
incorporate rock and roll, you have The Doors, Cream and Jimi Hendrix, we are both influenced by and we mesh well musically. This was 2011. We started out jamming and clicked musically. We decided to play more and more and we thought: hey why don't we try to write some songs, and from there, play some shows. It happened gradually. Nothing was forced and I think that's very important. You can't be in the mindset of I need to do this or that. You have to let things happen naturally, believe in your talents and your aspirations.

PR. Can you tell me about the well-known engineer or producer you got to work with and how that experience recording with him went?

VV. Andrea Belfiore: He worked with some of the greatest people such as Paul cCartney, Mary J. Blige and P.O.D. He also mix some Michael Jackson's records. I showed Roy some of our songs. One was a live performance of the song Brunette Babe. He really liked our song and hasn't really been working with rock bands lately.Unfortunately there isn't much rock music out there.

Roy invited us in legendary Studio A at Avatar Studios NYC and we tracked the whole song in only four hours. Garrett even wrote some of the lyrics during the session. It was magical to work with Roy in that room. Garrett directed the music video for the song.

PR. How involved are you in making the videos and creating the concepts? What is your inspiration for them?

VV. Garrett Cillo: I actually have a filmmaking background that's why I originally moved to New York City. I had been doing that stuff for years and then the music. For the videos, I thought of fun, silly ideas. I don't like bands that take themselves too seriously. The first one was for Dog Day Revel where Andrea and I are strippers. I thought it would be funny to objectify men. Usually women are being objectified. I thought it was a nice little twist. For the second one, it was a narrative not really anything that has to do with band. It was a little bit of a short story. I love Michael Jackson's videos that have a story behind it. I wrote, directed and produced all of them. It was kind of my day job and I got to mix work and play. As much as I love music videos, it's becoming a lost art in this day and age because there is so much online. It's kind of over saturated. We like doing them and got positive feedback but I don't think they are a game changer.

PR. How did you find Sophia? Has adding her to lineup changed the band's dynamics? Is the band's image changing or expanding?

VV. Garrett Cillo: I met Sophia five years and we become friends and it was fun. Later, Andrea and I started the band. I had always wanted to work with Sophia. I was fascinated by her energy, performances and her voice. I saw her at this little spot like a
Chinatown speakeasy she would sing at.

Sophia Urista: I thought Garrett had a crush on me for the longest time. I was thinking: does he have a crush on me? Garrett was always staring at me (laughs, joking). He never really spoke to me. He would just watch me and there would be some small talk.
Andrea Belfiore: The funny thing is I met Garrett at the same place in 2011 on Halloween. I also saw Sophia sing there a few weeks later. That's where I met both of them. Years later, we wound up in a band together.

Garrett Cillo: The image of the band definitely changed. You go from two men to adding a very sexy, incredible female vocalist. You definitely get a little more appeal. That wasn't the main drive for me because as a two piece we had a couple of guest performers/musicians. I really wanted to work with Sophia because I listened to some of her solo stuff and I asked her to jam with Andrea and I. She actually performed with us before she was even in the band. We had a conversation about working together and then she joined the band. I'm always looking for creative people to work with.

Andrea Belfiore: Garrett wanted to work with Sophia and I was also a fan of hers. Sophia came to some of our shows as a duo and she said she really liked us. There was mutual respect and admiration. We also had chemistry. That's why it's working. The first show we presented Sophia as a band member was in a May.

PR. Why did you join The VeeVees? What's it been like so far being in the group? Can you tell about your background as a singer and experience prior to getting into the band?

VV. Sophia Urista: I have never been in a band that was a cohesive unit on its own before. Everything I've ever done before has been for a specific event or show I was doing. I haven't been singing very long. I never knew how to get people together to do my stuff. Everything else has been work for hire. I quit teaching and I was singing at an
open mic. I won a karaoke contest and my friend said you should start singing. I woke up one night and felt I should sing and that was it. I started doing open mics and things started happening really fast but I had no experience. It seemed like I had experience but I really didn't. I reached out to random people. I wanted more of group dynamic
that was stable and I reached out and manifested it and it came to me in the form of The VeeVees. It's been really great. We don't do covers but original songs. Rock is my favorite genre of music. I like female vocalists that kick ass and put it out all onstage. There is something compelling to me about being the front-woman that is honest and naked. We all like the same music and have the same playlists. We have come together
and rock out and it's an interesting journey and very new.

Andrea Belfiore: Musicians always think about the future and are a step ahead of what is going on now. What we are focused now is to grow as a band and put out the new songs we have. When we rehearse, we all bring all kinds of stuff to the table. Sophia might say: why don't you do that on the drums? Or she may say to Garrett: why don't you do that on the vocals? These are contributions to the music, and at the end of
the day, we perform together. Be yourself and put your shit out there. Don't worry what people say. In art, there is no judgment. - Harriet Kaplan

"Spotlight On: The VeeVees"

There are lots of benefits to being a Sonicbids artist, from the convenience of EPK management to the opportunities to book gigs you wouldn’t normally find yourself on the bill for. That’s what happened to New York rock 'n' roll duo The VeeVees last year, when they were one of two bands selected through Sonicbids to play Arezzo Wave, Italy’s largest rock festival. While they were there, singer/guitarist Garrett Cillo and drummer Andrea Belfiore discovered another, unforeseen benefit: instant star power.
“We’re based in New York City, and we play dive bars and venues, but we don’t have sound guys and lighting guys and all that. When I walked onstage at Arezzo Wave, I had two guys waiting to put my guitar over my shoulders. I was like, are they paying both of you to be here?” Cillo says with a chuckle.

The trip also afforded an opportunity for Belfiore, who is originally from Italy, to book a hometown show in Ancona.

"I know some people like to tour and go overseas and stuff, but I kind of like the homegrown approach."

Arezzo Wave was a rare opportunity for The VeeVees, who typically keep a local focus when booking shows. “We’ve had shows in Boston, Indianapolis, New Jersey,” Cillo, who also has a day job managing a branch of the New York Film Academy, says. “We’re just like every other new band, in the sense that we’re trying to find a nice base of people who really enjoy our stuff. I know some people like to tour and go overseas and stuff, but I kind of like the homegrown approach. We want to have a nice New York fanbase and grow out.”

That effort seems to be paying off. A couple years into the homegrown approach, The VeeVees are finding a community of others who share their desire to keep the glory days of rock 'n' roll alive and share their affinity for a “grooving, infectious, and heavy” sound and engaged, exhilarated crowds.

“If you were to ask me this question three years ago, I would have said I was worried for the state of rock 'n' roll. But over the past year or two, I’m seeing more and more rock bands pop up. There’s a good scene right now,” Cillo says, citing compatriots like Butchers of Sky Valley and young guns The Skins as bands who give him hope for the future.

“They’re really young," he says. “My friend is the oldest person in the band, and she’s 21. They range from 15-21, and they’re so sick!”

The VeeVees’s raw, sexy swagger is pretty sick itself. At Arezzo Wave, they glimpsed the real rock star life, but they’re not necessarily looking for it back in New York. For now, they’re content to build a community and keep the snarling spirit of rock alive. Whether or not there’s ever someone waiting at a Stateside show to hang Cillo’s guitar around his neck, he and Belfiore will be there to drop the “beautiful bomb” of rock 'n' roll all over the city they love. - Sonicbids

"The VeeVees - "Brunette Babe" Music Video"

As the story goes, after hearing Brooklyn based rock band The VeeVees song ‘Brunette Babe’ from an iPhone video, iconic producer Roy Hendrickson asked the band to record the song the following day.
The VeeVees recorded ‘Brunette Babe’ in legendary Studio A at Avatar Studios in NYC. Check out the fresh new visuals for the track now, and if you hadn’t put The VeeVees on your music radar. - GroundSounds

""The VeeVees are my rock’n’roll love affair.""


The VeeVees are my rock’n’roll love affair.
They make me want to look cool. I’m sure if I was an impressionable teenager my mother would ‘tsk’ and side eye Garrett while warning me about the dangers of alcohol and smoking. The strange thing is that they are just two sweethearts making amazing music together. I don’t think they’ve even thrown a television out the window yet.
We have these expectations of rock ‘n’ roll, but essentially we all want to be a little rock’n’roll, even if it results in us buying a denim jacket, or daydreaming about our own electrifying stage performance.
Garrett and Andrea are the real deal, but they also possess a unique quality that makes your eyes widen and your heart race a little faster. Okay, i’ll admit it...I’m a little smitten with them.
Mama, when I grow up I’m gonna be a rockstar.


What inspired The VeeVees and who/what are you influenced by?
I’m going to be honest, and with no animosity, I just don’t feel like answering this question and I don’t know why.

How would you describe The VeeVees?
The VeeVees is a rock and roll interpretation of life, death, and love, guided by the hand of past and present soulful, musical inspirations.

How do you feel about working in a duo, as opposed to a group?
The minimalism presents the struggle of trying to create more with less. Struggle is a key component to creativity; it forces yourself to grow much faster. Although, I do enjoy playing music with a large group of friends, I feel that a duo suits me well because it feels more personal.

What was it like to take part in the Arezzo Wave Festival?
We were honored when we heard the festival runners had personally chosen us to perform. It was such an unrealized dream to be a part of something so magically kinetic. We were very fortunate and grateful.

Did they respond differently to your music in Italy?
Italians usually don’t hear the type of rock and roll we play. Yet, they were very welcoming and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I will go back anytime to rock that boot.

Your music video Dog Day Revel explores classic expectations of rock ‘n’ roll star. What was your intention by incorporating these elements?
Yes, there were many beautiful girls in the video, and yes, there was nudity. But the nudity was from us, the band, and it was the women who were being celebrated, male-objectification included. No real intention, just some fun, interesting visuals to put to one of our songs.

What kind of feedback are you receiving from those in the music industry?
Well no one has told us to piss off yet, so that’s positive. We get mostly compliments, but compliments don’t matter until someone with the power takes a chance on a band. But don’t forget; there is no industry without the music.

What has been the most unexpected response or result of your music?
Not sure if it’s unexpected, but whenever we’re put on an eclectic bill at a venue and there’s a slew of bands playing, you know, indie-pop, electronica, whatever it may be. And then when we get on and start playing our rock and roll, and you see one or two people leave! Like our music makes them think, “What the hell is this? I need to get outta here”. It is satisfying that they respond that way because we’re not trying to make music for those people.

What is the dynamic like between the two of you?
Our dynamic is very simple. I am an introvert and Andrea is very much an extrovert. So together we are the fullest spectrum of emotions and power. We are a cohesive team.

If you could spread a rumour about the band or your bandmate what would it be?
Rumours are for assholes, and Fleetwood Mac.

Can you tell me two truths and one lie?
Evil fears unity. Death is a friend. Love is a first hand experience.

Do you believe an online presence changes the dynamic between musicians and fans?
It could, if you choose to indulge in the online presence. But I don’t believe artists should concern themselves with that. Media interaction is a giant river that must flow on it’s own. It’s the artist’s job to kick the canoe from land while anyone else jumps aboard along its travels.

How do you believe a music video effects a band?
The only real effect a music video can have for a band is to attract more fans in a visual sense. Music leads even the visual sense.

Ideally, how could you see The VeeVees progressing?
Gradually and steadfast. We will make all the music we can until we’ve felt expired with our form. And then, we will look onto doing something greater than what we’ve already done.

How do you go about constructing a song?
Any song is meant to evoke a specific emotion or feeling. Depending on which emotion that is, I would enfold
within it, lock myself in a room, and not leave until the sound has a face. Short answer: Within a spontaneous, guttural haze.

How do you want The VeeVees to make people feel ?
Better than sexual love.

How do - The Eek (Australian Magazine)

"Video: The VeeVees"

Long hair, don’t care has a whole new meaning when you listen to Brooklyn band, The VeeVees.
Garrett Cillo and Andrea Belfiore are the pair that make-up The VeeVees. The duo just released a new video, ‘Dog Day Revel‘, which clearly puts the rock in rock n’roll. This is a band you can easily envision selling out shows and displaying nothing but electrifying energy while on stage. If you reside in the music mecca of NYC (unfortunately I don’t), then I’d suggest going to check out The VeeVees for yourself at Arlene’s Grocery. The band plays a gig there tonight, March 27th at 10pm.
Let your hair down, grab your moto jacket and rock out with The VeeVees.
- Mad for Music Blog



1. Snake In Arabia
2. Daisy Rose Josefina
3. Vintage Til I Die

Written and Performed by The VeeVees
Recorded by Dan Bricker at Belfiore's Bedroom
Mixed by Garrett Cillo at Cillo's Bedroom Studios


1. Tell Me It's Electric
2. Homemade Voodoo
3. She No Disco
4. Only The Lowly
5. Save The Soul

Written and Performed by The VeeVees
Produced by Ben Rice & The VeeVees
Recording and Mixing Engineer: Ben Rice
Mixed and Engineered at Degraw Sound, Brooklyn, NY.
Mastered by Randy Merrill at Masterdisk, NYC, NY.

MARCH 2013 - 'DOG DAY REVEL' single (featured music video)

Written and Performed by The VeeVees
Produced by The VeeVees & Ben Rice
Recording and Mixing Engineer: Ben Rice
Recorded and Mixed at Degraw Sound in Brooklyn, NY
Mastered by Randy Merrill at Masterdisk, NYC

A collection of all the songs recorded by the band.

OCTOBER 2013 BRUNETTE BABE single (featured music video)

Written and Performed by The VeeVees
Produced by Roy Hendrickson and The VeeVees
Recording and Mixing Engineer: Roy Hendrickson
Recorded and Mixed at Avatar Studios (Studio A) in NYC, NY.


Written and Performed by The VeeVees
Produced by Ben Rice & The VeeVees
Recording and Mixing Engineer: Ben Rice
Recorded and Mixed at Degraw Sound in Brooklyn, NY
Mastered by Randy Merrill at Merrill Mastering, NY

MARCH 2014 - 'GROOVIN' SWOON' single

Written and Performed by The VeeVees
Produced by Ben Rice & The VeeVees
Recording and Mixing Engineer: Ben Rice
Recorded and Mixed at Degraw Sound in Brooklyn, NY
Mastered by Randy Merrill at Merrill Mastering, NY


Written and Performed by The VeeVees 
Produced by The VeeVees
Recording and Mixing Engineer: Aaron Bastinelli
Recorded at Converse Rubber Track in Brooklyn, NY
Mastered by Michelle Mancini at The Mastering Place, NY


Written and Performed by The VeeVees 
Produced by The VeeVees
Recording and Mixing Engineer: Aaron Bastinelli



"Soulful, persistent, raw. Do pay attention to this excellent , creative band!" - Mick Rossi (Pianist/Drummer/Composer - Paul Simon, Philip Glass)

"Everyone should check out THE next big thing in rock music: The VeeVees are the real deal!!!" - Tone Def (Producer/Engineer - Green Day, Santana, Outkast)

"The VeeVees are the most vibrant, creative new rock I have seen in a long time, loads of energy and great songs! These guys ROCK!" - Roy Hendrickson (Engineer/Producer - Paul McCartney, Cheap Trick, Empire Of The Sun, Mika)


The VeeVees are Detroit bombshell Sophia Urista with the wails, roaming poet Garrett Cillo strumming strings and Italian powerhouse Andrea Belfiore on the skins.

There was a time when rock and roll wasn't just another musical genre, it was an attitude. A way to give voice to the voiceless in times of despair, passion, heartbreak, and rage. It was the limbo that guttural sex and violent drug abuse danced in through a reckless journey to a loud decay. It was a beautiful bomb. As Dylan would say, "the times they are a-changin'". And although it's not likely the world will ever see another Hendrix or Zeppelin, there are still those who believe in the dark glory days of rock.

Yearning for those dog-days is The VeeVees. This rock band from Brooklyn has little concern for anything other than creating raw, truthful, visceral music.

Frontman Garrett Cillo first met powerhouse drummer, Andrea Belfiore, at an underground masquerade on Halloween night in New York City's Chinatown, circa 2011. Cillo, being an avid songwriter, was immediately drawn to Andrea's incredible adaptability with any composition thrown his way. 

The duo hammered on, quickly garnering an exciting ten song set. From that set, the band pushed for their debut EP, hooking up with versatile Producer/Engineer Ben Rice of Degraw Studios. The VeeVees along with Mr. Rice arose from the studio with a strong debut aptly titled, "Tell Me It's Electric". The sound of the EP emulates a grooving, infectious and heavy nature, setting an exhilarated mood. It's one you can turn on late at night in the confines of your own bed to visualize and replay your own personal fantasies. This original soundtrack seems to be the mere kickoff to a long, prosperous journey among The VeeVees' rocking vessel. If "Tell Me It's Electric" is any indication of what's to come for these vicious Brooklynites, then hold on to your sanity and keep your arms and legs inside the coaster at all times. "Tell Me It's Electric" was released August 10, 2012. 

The EP was followed by the release of the duo’s first single ‘DOG DAY REVEL’. The song’s music video was entirely written and directed by Garrett Cillo.

On April 11th 2013, after hearing the song ‘BRUNETTE BABE’ from an iPhone video, producer Roy Hendrickson (which credits include Paul McCartney, James McCartney, Mary J Blige, POD, Cheap Trick) asked the band to record the song the following day. The VeeVees recorded ‘Brunette Babe’ in legendary Studio A at AVATAR STUDIOS, NYC on April 12th 2013 in a 4 hours session. 
"Brunette Babe" was released October 25th 2013 followed by its music video premier directed by Cillo.

On July 13th 2013, the band made their first overseas trip to play at the AREZZO WAVE FESTIVAL, one of the biggest rock festivals in Italy. The VeeVees were one of the only two bands selected out of over 200 submissions (through Sonicbids) from Canada, United States, Brazil, Japan, France, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Hungry and others. 

The VeeVees released single
"MAIN SQUEEZE", on December 23rd 2013 and single "GROOVIN' SWOON" on March 6th 2014.

The Rock n' Roll trio

Nearly two years after headlining over 100 shows across the US and internationally as a duo, Cillo and Belfiore asked their good friend and incredible vocalist Sophia Urista to have a simple jam together one day. "It was so electrifying that not asking Sophia to join the band would have been a wasted opportunity", Cillo adds.

Her collaborations alone include legends such as Ashford and Simpson, and Quincy Jones.

The "new" VeeVees recently debuted on the west coast by playing two electrifying shows at The Mint and Viper Room in Los Angeles. Soon after the shows, the band was invited to record a track by renowned producer James Saez. "Now now" will be released in April 2015

In Novemeber 2014 the band got selected by Converse to record a song at Converse Rubber Track Studios in Brooklyn. "Gold Blooded" was released few days after the studio session and it's the first song featuring Sophia on vocals.

The VeeVees are now working on their second EP and constantly performing in NYC. 

Band Members