In 2008, a time when critics and fans alike were dismissing the idea of any new voices flourishing particularly those of high-energy, riff-based, horn-driven anthemic music. A motley sextet of Jersey boys set out to prove that they were worth some attention; a good thing they were so persuasive. Seven years later, with four full-length records, thousands of loyal fans, and an increasingly booked tour schedule that includes dates at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, NY and the iconic Middle East, in Boston, MA, Survay Says! has no intention of slowing the momentum they've worked tirelessly to build.
In Blairstown, NJ, amid vinyl recordings of Reel Big Fish and MxPx; brothers Henry and Dennis "D.Jay" Menzel put a project together with one concept in mind: Play music and have fun.
Without agency representation, and no studio to call home, the young players committed themselves to developing a sound that reflected their originality, determination and artistic integrity. Singable guitars riffs, syncopated horn lines and reflective self-critical lyrics soon garnered Survay Says! the attention of local promoters, club-owners and fans.
Though the players composed collaboratively and practiced faithfully, the struggle to play professionally beyond the tristate area without representation proved challenging. As maturing artists committed to their sound, the band refused to let a lack of resources prevent them from gaining exposure on the national circuit. They began promoting themselves by word of mouth and through social media outlets Facebook and Twitter, and in 2011 they managed to book themselves more than 100 dates across eleven states. As their sound developed, their popularity intensified, and by the end of 2012, Survey Says! had booked nearly 150 shows across 26 states, and landed a feature spot on the Hartford, CT Warped Tour.
In black t-shirts and baseball caps, tossing out syncopated patterns and elastic drum fills over familiar harmonic progressions, the band has grown notorious for delivering a uniquely thrilling performance every set. Currently playing more than 200 shows a year, Survay Says! has begun to collaborate with like-minded players, both on stage and in the studio. Their latest release, 'Observations of the Human Condition' (Asbestos Records), receives vocal treatment from distinctive voices David McWane (Big D And The Kids Table) and Joe Ragosta (Patent Pending).
Written entirely by founding members Henry Menzel (guitars/vocals) and Dennis "D.Jay" Menzel (trombone/guitars/vocals), the record features performances by current members, tenor player Michael Fenton, trumpet player Ricky Coates, drummer and percussionist Brent Lawrence Friedman and bass player Colin Keeley, and includes a track featuring guest keyboards player, JT Turret.
As their harmonies stretch and their hookup tightens, and their lyrics become—perhaps a bit more road-weary, the members ofSurvey Says! remain dedicated to their initial mission to play music and have fun. With dates booked through November, 2015 in the U.S. and Canada, the band looks forward to more domestic and international pursuits in the new year.
Observations of the Human Condition is available for purchase on iTunes and CDBaby. For more information, follow Survay Says! on facebook.com/SurvaySays; hear past recordings at SurvaySays.BandCamp.com and check out their tour schedule atsurvaysaysmusic.com.