There are a lot of reasons to like New Brunswick, NJ. Even though its only 6 miles big its a central hub of jobs, education and culture.
It’s home to Rutgers University, Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb and a whole host of hospitals and medical learning facilitates. One of the very first public readings of the Declaration of Independence took place there on July 9, 1776.
Many famous people have come from New Brunswick including Michael Douglas, Robert Wood Johnson, Joyce Kilmer Jim Norton, and Ted Kubiak. It’s also the home to the fictitious characters in the 1980’s sitcom Charles In Charge.
But that’s not what we are here to talk about today. New Brunswick is also known for a pretty intense history in the music scene, namely punk, indie, hardcore and metal. The Gaslight Anthem, The Bouncing Souls, Midtown, Lifetime, Thursday and God Forbid are just a few examples of the bands that called New Brunswick home.
The latter 2 both share a history with another former New Brunswick resident; me!
In a former life, before I was the marketing and food dude you know now, I spent 11 years in the music business running a couple of different agencies, primarily focused on artist management. I had an amazing time, met a lot of incredible people and accomplished some really unreal things all while learning how to develop products, run businesses and managing people.
It was an experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. The bands I worked with, my business partners, my employees and team members of the band’s I represented had a lot of fun and have incredible stories to tell.
Doc Coyle, one of the 2 guitarists of God Forbid now has his own podcast called The Ex Man. On the show he talks to other band members and music business professionals about the challenges of the ever changing music business. Often times, the conversations pick apart things that happen in the past with an eye on learning how to effect the future.
Doc invited me onto the show to talk about the time we worked together. The bulk of the conversation is an autopsy on 4 years of my career where I took an underground band from being unsigned to playing on Ozzfest in under 4 years. We talk about everything that went right and everything that went wrong including why at the height of the bands career I chose to stop working with them.
They were an absolutely incredible 5 piece metal band that blended old school US thrash, European technical metal, NJ hardcore with a fire burning passion to drive forward. The music was incredibly heavy and melodic while remaining technical and yet still catchy. Their live show was crushing. They knew how to command a room. They were 5 of the funniest people I have ever met and their story is incredibly unique.
Click to listen to Rev Ciancio on The Ex Man Podcast.