New Jersey is famous for its awful drivers and incredible music scene. Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi: High-ranking music titans that made being from the Garden State, well, cool. Our next Jersey up-and-comers? Boy Blue.
Boy Blue is a New Jersey-based band that takes inspiration from the early emo scene (lest we forget, My Chemical Romance was a Jersey band, too). GIGsoup was able to catch up with the band’s lead singer, Chris Ortiz, to talk music, inspiration, future plans, and everything else in between.
Tell us a bit about yourself. When did you get your start, and, also, how’d you come up with the name “Boy Blue”?
Our band started about 10 years ago in our first drummer’s basement where we played Blink 182 and Sum 41 songs every day after school (we sucked, but it was a blast). Steve Moretti (Rhythm Guitar) had an older brother, Joe Moretti (Lead Guitar), who at the time wasn’t in the band, but would critique us and give us songwriting tips which at the time pushed us into the mindset of becoming a “real band.” There were a lot of really bad ideas we had that he guided us away from. After playing a backyard party and a couple small local shows as a four-piece, we entered into the punk scene with an energetic, youthful, skate-punk sound.
In 2011, we released our first full length album “American Failure,” which was produced and recorded by Joe in his and Steve’s basement (that album is no longer available, but we plan on re-releasing it one day for fun). At the time our name was “Two Step with Marlon Brando,” who I’m a huge fan of, but in late 2016, the same year Joe Moretti and Anthony Cafaro (Bass) joined the band, the name was changed to “Boy Blue” because of worries about any potential copyright issues with the “Marlon Brando” name.
Who did you as a band draw influences from? Additionally, what inspires a song for you/what type of stories and subjects do you like to express?
We draw influences from everywhere, and listen to all kinds of music. I personally grew up listening to a lot of Good Charlotte, Maroon 5, Blink, Slipknot, Eminem, and Lady Gaga. Endless inspiration comes from our extreme love for music as well as life experiences; our lyrical content is usually inspired by something as simple as a fun idea or something more complicated like our personal experiences. Steve and I are the main songwriters of the band, with Steve writing the majority of our music, but all of our members hold their own and put in ideas while we are creating a new song. The music would be nothing special without the group effort: I feel like our songwriting really takes off when two or more of us are working on an idea.
Your sound is very early 2000’s pop-punk–do you find that punk days are actually over? Or do they have a shred of a future?
We do like a lot of music from that time era: Our song “Punk Days” was inspired by us graduating high school a few years back. We lost a lot of friends, supporters and the band even split up for a little while in early 2015. It was nobody’s fault but our own. Our first drummer had quit and we were so used to how we did shows in high school that we didn’t know how to continue or social network to keep that same fire burning after graduation.
At some point, rather than feeding a dead fire, we decided to spark up a new one. In late 2016, we got the band back together with a few new members. It took some time to break back into the scene and find our footing but our shows as of recently have been some of the most memorable to us. We owe that to our supporters! The band is in the best place it’s ever been, so I’m convinced the punk days are not over!
Where are you looking to go as an artist? Have anything new coming up audiences can look forward to?
We are headed into the studio this month to bang out a few more songs and release an EP to hopefully be out mid-July. I can’t wait for people to hear the new music. Our next show will be the Bayville V Music Festival, down on the Jersey shore on June 15th with our friends Green Knuckle Material, Jean Pool, A Boy Named John, Sonoa, Tula Vera and a few more. We’re also playing an Emo Night at Debonair Music Hall with our friends, Angry Pirates, on July 27th; we’re even planning out a Birthday show in Bloomfield for our guitarist Joe in August, which should be wild. We will release more info on all of this stuff as the dates get closer through our social media, so keep an eye out for that!