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Meet the Band

STEVE CAFARELLI (drums & vocals)

A popular "drummer joke" goes as follows: "What do you call a guy who hangs out with musicians?" The answer, of course, is "a drummer." But Steve may not be your typical drummer.

"We have a drummer that sings and writes… and he has his own keys and credit cards and everything!" Scott jokes. "No, but he's excellent, he's a very talented guy, and this whole band was his idea."

"I've always been a band guy, a play-for-the-song guy." says Steve. "My background is in original music and, while I love drumming, from the very start, my interest was always in writing songs and helping to steer the ship. Being a creative contributor a band situation always appealed to me more than being a 'chops oriented' drummer or doing drum solos."

In October of 2009, after having been away from an active band situation for a year or two, Steve looked up an old musical partner, Scott, with the idea of getting back behind the drums, ideally to have an outlet to play some original songs of his own and others. And that's when Monkey Grip basically started.

Steve began playing rock music in high school in the late 1980s and has a long résumé of original bands that have been near and dear to his heart. Included among them are favorites like National Scream (previously called "Destiny" and "Legend"), Gadfly, and Breakpoint, among others. "I also played previously in bands with Scott. He joined us backing up a writer we know named Tom Palminteri in a band called Redd, and then that evolved into us doing a project with another guy (Mike Doonan) that was called Rainy Day Minstrels."

Steve's influences are varied but he loves country-infused-rock and acoustic guitar driven stuff best of all. Anything with great melodies and vocal harmonies is what excites him most.

(Favorites: Poco, Eagles, Sloan, Kiss, Buffalo Springfield, Bottle Rockets, Raspberries, Clover, the Flying Burrito Brothers, UFO, Beatles, Fools Gold, Kasey Chambers, Jellyfish, Billy Joel, Long Ryders, Outlaws, Patty Smyth, and many more.).

 

SCOTT KUCHLER (guitar & vocals)

At the nucleus of the Monkey Grip configuration is Scott.

"He's kind of the glue that holds it all together or the grease that makes the engine move," is how Steve describes him. "He's a great lead singer and harmony vocalist, and he plays guitar very intuitively and can pick up on music and musical concepts very easily. So he's an ideal musician to play with. Plus he can write, play leads, and come up with good guitar parts."

Scott's probably the closest thing in the band to being a non-degreed musicologist, having a strong knowledge about so many different music types and independent artists. He loves acid rock and 60s electric blues as well as folk music and singer-songwriter stuff and even avante garde and art rock. This variety serves the band well, and assures that he crosses paths with every member of the group in some respect.

Scott past bands included the Opium Connection, White LIghtning, Fluxedo Junction, Green Roof, and many others. He also is the only guy in the band who works full-time in music, and has a strong interest and background in promotion, which serves the band well. After interning on "The Howard Stern Show," he worked at KOCH International, where, at the end of his 5-year tenure, he had worked his way up to the position of Label Manager for the KOCH Progressive imprint.He was a co-founder of A&R Unlimited and the former host of The Indie Revolution on WMIR-FM/Long Island.

(Favorites: The Beatles, Fairport Convention, Paul Simon, Velvet Underground, Yoko Ono, and many more.)

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JIM FALACARA (bass)

To sum Jim up as a bass player: He owns lots of bass guitars and the cat can play!

Jim's not one of those guitar six-string guys who is playing the four-string because the band needed a bass player. He's a dyed-in-the-wool low notes guy. His bass work attracts attention when you hear him play, as he digs in with all fingers and moves around the neck with grace and skill.

He also has an affinity for instruments themselves, owning no less then fifteen bass guitars at any given time.

Jim has been doing this a long time and he plays as often as he can and with anyone looking to make good music. By his own description, he's got "a big mouth," and all the Monkeys can attest to that.

(Favorites include: the Who, John Entwistle, and many more.).

EVAN GOLD (guitar & vocals)

The latest addition in Monkey World is our co-lead guitarist, Evan Gold.

Evan brings to the band dedication and dexterous fingers that only help to enhance the Monkey sound. He's also introduced a third writer into the picture, joining Steve and Scott by contributing his original compositions to the group. And he'll be the first to tell you, he loves being aboard the good ship Monkey.

"This is the perfect fit for me," he says. "I've found the spaces in between the notes to fit right in." Evan is another long-time veteran of the music scene, and he has "lived 10 lives," according to his biographical composition, "Popeye's Lament," and it has all brought him to a place where he has an absolute love-affair with music and art.

"Everything has shaped me; music has saved my life," he informs. "I'm a loose cannon who's not too loose and not too tight."

What does that last line mean? "I'm not sure," says Steve. "Evan's a character, and he's verbose and never short of a quotable-quote, and I already told him that I don't always understand what the heck he's talking about! But he's a good guy, a great talent, and we're really glad to have him aboard."

(Favorites include: The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Steely Dan, Hot Tuna, the Beatles, Jayhawks, Miles Davis, Peter Tosh, Van Halen, Blind Melon, Led Zeppelin, the Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones, Warren Zevon, and many more.).

Special Thanks

MARK ALTSCHULER (guitar)

Mark's pictures can be found all over this site, and why not? He was Monkey Grip's talented lead guitar player for the last two years and a valued member of the band. He will always be a significant player in the history of Monkey Grip.

Mark has moved on to pursue other musical interests that are more tuned-in to what he wants and needs and, although we'll miss his contributions, we support him in his decision to focus on his own musical goals. We look forward to crossing paths with him on the scene and will continue recognize his place in the Monkey Gip family.

TIM GORMAN

While Monkey Grip searched for a permanent bass player, several able bodied musicians helped us out by filling in the low notes at our rehearsals. None as often as Tim Gorman, who also joined us on stage for several shows.

OTHERS

Other folks who deserve thanks include Noelle &ammp; Amber Kuchler (who have sang with us), Paul Giachetti (our official photographer, some of whose work can be seen throughout this site), Pete Ippolito (who always has everything set up just right down at rehearsals), Susanna Cafarelli (who is always drafted into videographer role when she comes to shows), Jamie Malinowski (Jack Cassady aficianado # 1), Mike Doonan (who has helped on bass), Will Angeloro (who has helped on bass, sat in on guitar, etc.), Dave and Magge Drew (for working with us, for their support, and for their terrific work down at Bartini's), Jackie at Bartini's (for taking good care of us and our friends), Tom Palminteri (who guested us at the Spoon show), Donna Boughton (videos, pictures, and tambourine), Joe Falacara (pitching in with video duties), Rich Handley (also pitching in with video duties), Rob "Roby" Young (filling in on bass for us at the Dylan Tribute), Eddie Havoc (filling in on lead guitar for us at the Dylan Tribute and lots of other stuff), Vicki Liotta (Sharing the drums and other stuff), Lisa Commander (video and pics), Marbles Mahoney (Charle's Avenue Café), Aenora Tawaji (video), Paul Casper (video), and everyone else we should have mentioned, but haven't. If you belong on the list, contact us.

Friends of Monkey Grip Gallery

There are only four guys in Monkey Grip, but there are a whole lot of others who help make it fun. Some of you join us on stage, some of you ask us to join you, some of you help us out, and some of you just come down to hang out with us. You're inner folks on the Monkey Scene and you all should have a picture on the site. This is not a definitive gallery of the whole Monkey Scene by any stretch, but merely the folks we have pictures of at the ready. As we obtain more, we'll post more up! Come on down to the next event and tell us to add you to the friends gallery!