Artist Profile :: Airacuda
By Patricia Rogers
Airacuda band’s lead singer, Matt Menges, sits down with Patricia Rogers to talk about their upcoming EP Daydreaming. Patricia met the band when they performed with Chelsea Carlson and Garden State Line at Hat City Kitchen in New Jersey’s Valley Arts District.
P.R.: Talk about your journey as a musician
M.M.: I started singing when I was a child in church groups. I got into singing in musicals during middle school. I fell in love with Rock 'N' Roll in high school and had a few bands through the 4 years. I started writing my own music in college and co-founded Airacuda in Boston with Matt Fernicola and Eddie Ruddick after a brief stretch in The Seventh Sound.
Who is Airacuda and where are you from?
Matt Menges, Matt Fernicola, Eddie Ruddick, Phil Marflak, Owen Flanagan. We are from Holmdel, NJ but officially formed in Boston.
Who are your biggest musical inspirations?
My biggest musical influences are The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, and The Doors.
How do you want your band’s music/sound to make an impact on the world?
I want people to connect to the music and the band. I want to fill a void in music that classic rock legends used to fill. Real live music that isn't strictly confined to one genre.
Describe your sound
Alternative/Indie Rock made by old souls.
What inspired your band’s name, Airacuda?
Airacuda is an American WWII fighter plane. We had to come up with a name after receiving a cease and desist letter for our previous name.
Where and who do you record with?
Telegraph Hill Records, with our good friend Joe Pomarico.
Talk about your upcoming Daydreaming album
The ideas for Daydreaming were conceived in Boston in 2013. It's been a long recording process and we've changed some members during it. It deals with our quarter life crisis of balancing being musicians and trying to become successful young adults. It's tough trying to succeed in a creative arts field while holding down a steady job and a steady relationship. Musically it was a step in a different direction from the first EP. It was exciting and we hope to continue to develop as a group for our future recordings.
What inspired some of the material on the album?
Mostly real life situations. It was us putting our worries and anticipations of what the future holds. We worked on the album with Aaron Kessler and Andrew Ho.
Where does Airacuda hope to be in 10 years?
We would like to be making sustainable livings as full time members of Airacuda. Our greatest aspiration is to tour the world playing sold out arenas.
What is your favorite era of music and why?
My favorite decade of music, if I had to pick, would be 1965-1975. I am a huge Beatles fan and the late 60s and early 70s provided the world with the most legendary rock 'n' roll.
Who are some famous bands you’ve been compared to?
Gaslight Anthem, The Doors, Young The Giant.
What are your favorite songs to perform and why?
I really enjoy our songs that involve crowd participation like "Looking Back And Laughing" and "Can I Get By."
Tell us something about yourself that your fans may not know
I have a third nipple.
Who has been instrumental in your career thus far?
My first rock performance was with cover band Brian Kirk & the Jirks when I was 14. The day after that I performed at a packed bar and people went wild. That's when I got caught the music bug.
What is some of the best advice you’ve gotten about music?
The best advice I received was to learn piano or guitar in addition to singing. It allowed to me to learn about music and how to write it.
Talk about playing Hat City Kitchen with Chelsea Carlson and Garden State Line
Our first time at Hat City Kitchen was for Chelsea Carlson's Broken Road CD Release Show. It was a packed house and we kicked off the show and got great energy from the crowd by the second song. Chelsea and her band were amazing as were Garden State Line, who closed out the show.
How does playing at Hat City Kitchen compare to other venues?
The difference maker for me was being able to get off stage and fill my belly with delicious, nutritious soul food!
How do you know Chelsea and the Garden State Line band?
Us and Chelsea went to class together at Berklee College of Music in Boston. We found out we were fellow New Jerseyans and we had played a gig together at the Jersey Acoustic Music Awards. We just found out about Garden State Line.
What is the most important aspect of being a musician and why?
I think it's most important to be a jack-of-all-trades in today's DIY music scene. Learn about social media, master live performance, practice writing, and most of all have fun with it and do it passionately.
Where and when can we see Airacuda perform?
Our EP, Daydreaming, will be released and celebrated at The Saint (Asbury Park) on February 26th. Our summer plans are to record and release a few singles and gig often.
What else would you like to add to this interview?
About the Writer
Patricia Rogers, #ValleyGirlNJ lives in New Jersey's Valley Arts District. The native New Yorker works as a writer, blogger and community activist. Starting Masconsumption Media in 2012 she has been passionate about capturing the stories of the vibrant up and coming Valley Arts District neighborhood through her blog, zine, events and more. She blogs for Jersey Indie, Luna Stage, Hat City Kitchen and offers many creative media services. Visit her blogwww.masconsumption.com and keep up with your favorite Valley Girl on her social media @zine_editor (Twitter / Instagram / Snapchat).