The Via Ripa Interview

(left to right)
Drummer ………………Nick Marinelli
Bassist …………………Sean Cuddy 
Vocals/Guitarist…... Mike Pinckney
Guitarist/Vocals …….Matt Smentkowski 

Life is dynamic, always morphing, never static, much like the waves that crash on the Jersey Shore. The reason we love music so much is because of its ever changing nature. All of these words can describe this New Jersey band: Via Ripa.

Comprised of four members: Mike, Matt, Sean, & Nick; Via Ripa is the sonic equivalent of the Power Rangers coming together to make their MegaZord (or Voltron for you older folk). Each player knows their part and plays it well. Their unlikely chemistry allows them to each pull from their own respective backgrounds and influences, to then come together in a way that lends credence to the ‘more than the sum of their parts’ cliché.

Named after the surf spot, lead vocalist Mike Pickney would frequent, Via Ripa is the embodiment of a Taoist flow state. What many would describe as a ‘surfer rock band,’ Via Ripa proves that there is more below the surface. Their genre fluid music guides the listener through twists and turns. Beachy chords, with jazzy drums, & bluesy vocals, can easily divulge into alternative, punk, or even grunge rock riffs. Yes, they’re that hot lifeguard’s favorite band; but also so much more. Raw, yet controlled chaos can be found in tracks like ’13’ and throughout their first EP (the self titled) Via Ripa. Meanwhile, the band brings smoother swirls of colorful emotions on things like the Summer Is Dead double single, along with pieces of their other EP’s.

Their talent, and hard work won them the top spot at the Bamboozle Festival Break Contest, a competition featuring over 90 bands. In the festival’s past, bands like the Jonas Brothers have also earned the top spot at the Break Contest to then be propelled forward. So, although this year’s Bamboozle Fest fell through due to extraneous circumstances, Via Ripa stands tall with their entire future ahead of them.

A band truly worth your time, one whose shows take them up and down the Jersey Shore. Via Ripa is next in line for success, and I am ever so grateful to have been able to do my first interview with them at this station.

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