Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bangstrum: Rock & roll never forgets

The band then and now.

By Meredith Deliso

A majority of teenage boys at one point or another live the fantasy and play in a band. As these things tend to go, the band forms, you break up, everybody moves on.

That was the case for Vince Lisi. Growing up in Nassau County during the 1960s and ‘70s, he and his buddies jammed to the music of their time, getting gigs at places like their 8th grade school dance and parties nearby in Queens, playing under the name Obsidian Glass.

After high school, they all went their separate ways, moving on to different bands and different lives. Lisi himself moved to Brooklyn, where he’s been for over 30 years. He stuck with music, playing guitar just for himself. It seemed like those band days were behind him, until, thanks to the powers of the Internet, one of his former bandmates found him. After a reunion at a barbecue, the band was back together.

Since reuniting two years ago, this time under the name Bangstrum, they’ve been playing pretty much the same music they played as kids – ‘60s and ‘70s classics, as well as some more obscure tracks. After a few gigs around Long Island and Brooklyn, including a block party in Lisi’s neighborhood of Prospect Lefferts -“I felt like a local celebrity for about 24 hours” - they play Southpaw on February 6 (see footage of the block party show below).

Lisi was in the Park Slope a couple months ago for a neighborhood kid’s band, made up of his 8th grade buddies (“You could tell that took me back,” says Lisi), when he reached out to the venue shortly after about playing there.

“Long Island’s got a big scene but it’s different,” says Lisi, whose other bandmates have remained on the island. “They’re all excited about coming to Brooklyn because it’s a cool place. Twenty years ago they said, ‘You’re crazy, why are you moving out there?’ Now they know it’s a cool place.”

In Bangstrum, Lisi plays the bass, with Paul DiPaetro (also in the band Inner Child) on guitar, Frank Boccia on guitar, and Joe Pesola on drums.

“We do more harmonies. I think that’s one thing that brought us together – we enjoy singing and blending our voices together,” says Lisi.

For the Southpaw show, the band looks to play songs by The Eagles, The Who, The Beatles, The Allman Brothers, U2, The Doobie Brothers, and The Good Rats, a popular Long Island band.

With a handful of gigs under their belts since reuniting, the band’s eager to get out there, including some more gigs at Brooklyn venues.

“We’re just trying bars and some of the other bigger clubs,” says Lisi. “Then we’ll take Williamsburg by storm.”
Bangstrum play Southpaw (125 Fifth Ave.) February 6 with The Windsor Terrors at 5 p.m. Tickets are $10. For more information, call 718-230-0236.


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