By Sonia Schnee | Posted Thursday, December 20, 2018
What are you doing tonight? At 8pm, you could be enjoying the first-ever kick-off show of the “True State Presents:” concert series, at The Wooden Spoon in Bloomfield, NJ. Performing acts include pop-punk band Boy Blue, alternative rockers Wave Break, alternative/emo/shoegaze band Rémis, and Dover/Rockaway rock band Champ. Admission is free. Check out our interview below with concert series organizer Derek Garabedian of the artist development company True State Management.
What's your name, where are you from, where are you based now?
My name is Derek Garabedian. I am originally from Massachusetts, and I am now based in Mountainside, New Jersey.
You run a management company, True State Management. When did that first start? What bands are on the roster, and where are they from?
True State management started only about 6 or 7 months ago (early summer 2018). The bands we have on roster right now are Hang Tight (@hangtightband), Black Caddy (@blackcaddynyc), The Summoned (@thesummoned), and Cat in the wall (@catinthewallband). All the bands are different genres — pop punk, hip hop, prog metal, and indie rock, in that order. The reason we are working with all genres is to expand our reach as much as possible. We are learning a lot within in each genre and it allows us to be in tune with everything going on. We believe in working with talented people, and talent exists in all genres of music.
Tell us about this new Bloomfield concert series. What is it about Bloomfield that attracts you?
I think North/Central Jersey in general is lacking in live music venues especially for local bands. Bloomfield is a city that has so much going on and is a very diverse place. The opportunity to have different genres and bring a lot of different people together is very appealing to me.
What inspired you to want to do this? What are your goals?
The reason I am starting the “True State Presents:” concert series is to help create a thriving music scene and community, while at the same time expanding my network to make everything True State is doing reach a larger scale. The goal of the concert series is to create scene that is willing to help each other and bring excitement about local music!
How often are the shows?
We are scheduled to one show a month right now but will be expanding in the near future.
What kinds of bands do you hope to participate?
Right now we are starting out with Pop-Punk and Indie style bands. With that being said, we are looking to book for all genres in the future. If anyone out there is interested in booking with us please reach out, we would love to talk!
What kind of audience do you hope to reach?
I would love to bring in all types of passionate and contributing music fans.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get started with music? What's been your personal journey?
The way I got started in music is a pretty typical story, I think. Me and a bunch of friends used to skateboard and listen to music. We all decided to get different instruments and start a band. The rest was history; I never stopped playing.
My journey is that after years of playing in different bands, I was lucky enough to end up with a record deal and got to tour the country. After that fizzled out and I got a little older, I started a family and took some time off of music. Eventually, I missed music too much and since I can’t tour myself I wanted to use what I learned to help other musicians on their own journey, by using the things I experienced in the past. Now we are here doing what I hoped to accomplish: helping bands!
What words of advice or encouragement would you give to someone who wants to follow a passion similar to yours, or is maybe facing obstacles similar to what you've faced?
Our biggest hurdle was to just pull the trigger and get started. I have been working on ideas for a long time, years even, on how to execute and what kinds of paths to take. The key is to just do it and roll with what comes your way. Utilize your passion to help others and make yourself happy.
Finally, how can people find out more about you/the Bloomfield concert series/True State Management online? (Website? Bandcamp? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, etc.?)
You can find everything about our bands, us, and our shows on our website www.truestatemanagement.com and our socials (@truestatemgmt) on all platforms.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
The thing I always stress to our bands and music fans is to always support in any way you can and to work as hard as possible to make it happen. I always tell bands, you should be trying to work harder than us (it won’t happen), but that should be the mindset. Help other bands get shows, go out to shows, even if you aren't playing (I know it's a crazy concept). The more friends you make and the bigger the network you have, the better you will do!