When you grow up on an isolated strip of land known for summer vacations, rich folks and a shark attack that inspired Jaws, what else are you going to do but fall deep into the spell of rock and roll debauchery? Such is the story of New Jersey’s Long Beach Island natives – The Off White.
As Ween sang:
“I got a good friend knows to get the good peach pie
On Long Beach Island
He’s got the tunes cranked up and now I’m feelin’ high
On Long Beach Island”
I don’t know about the peach pie but I bet the tunes that Ween’s “good friend” had cranked up were from The Off White.
The Off White play stinking, scuzzy, fuzzy, psych inspired garage rock in its finest form. Their newest – Don’t Take Kindly – is a disheveled helping of psychedelic acid garage rock. It sounds effortless, like they rolled up Roky in a big spliff, passed it around sharing with Ty Segall, John Dwyer, and Jack Oblivian. The drums crash, the guitars jangle, the bass fuzzes and the choruses sound like drunken karaoke.
Summer is here and the time is right for wrestling in the street!
Sean Jones on guitar, Mike Bongi on Bass, Pat Bones on Drums and Justin Jones on guitar. We all sing.
People say we sound like… Darby Crash buttfucking Nancy Sinatra.
We are originally from… Long Beach Island NJ but we’re also in Philly too. Kind of Back and forth.
How did you become The Off White! and what’s with the name?
Our original bassist, Hans, came up with the name actually. We’re all white but we come from an island full of annoying rich white people so we liked to call ourselves off white.
What music has had an influence on your sound?
We’re influenced by late 50’s early rock n roll, mid 60’s psych and garage, late 70’s punk, and some mid 90’s attitude.
Tell us about your live show…
I think were considered a live based band. we just reciprocate what the audience gives to us. Sometimes we’ll go completely nuts if the people are going nuts and sometimes its fun just to get a rise out of people if they are just standing there and being boring. There might be bodily fluids, there might be a fight, Sean might take his pants off, sometimes we just play our music. We don’t know until we start playing.
The most difficult part of being in a band is…definitely the money and finding practice time. A lot of the time it’s usually between having money for food for the week or getting to the show.
How does the city’s musical history, or landscape influence your sound?
Long Beach Island was a very weird place to start a band. It’s a complete tourist town, I think the population goes from 200,000 in the summer to 10,000 in the off-season or something like that, so there is really nothing to do for most of the year. we would usually get stoned and jam in pats room during the embryonic periodic of the off white. but I think subconsciously we decided to go for something other than a jam/cover band just to strive to be different but there was almost no original music on long beach island. We have maybe played 2 shows on Long Beach Island and we have been together for about 3 years now. No one wants punk bands on LBI.
What influences the band lyrically?
Anything can influence us lyrically. We got songs on the new record about STDs turned into dances, school girls in cults, getting too stoned and passing out, we just poop songs out like its nothing.
Our most memorable gig ever was…
I don’t know what our most memorable gig was but we got to play a prom one time and that was pretty cool. Actually the biggest prom in the country. We busted out the classic 50’s rock ‘n’ roll vibes and the kids were diggin’ it which was awesome. Sean didn’t take his pants off at that show. We also played a waterpark a couple of times.
If you could pick any time to travel back to for music, where would you go and what year would it be….
We would probably travel to 1958 to start our own biker gang and beat up all the squares and carry switchblades and start a punk band but before punk was punk but that’s when punk was most punk. If you’ve ever seen Crybaby starring Johnny Depp you get it.
Growing up, at home we listened to…..
Growing up we listened to Black Sabbath, Black Flag, The Ramones, Adolescents, The Clash, A lot of Syd Barrett and early Pink Floyd once we started smoking a lot of weed, and then we started getting deeper from there.
What tunes are currently on heavy rotation for you…
The Fall, Dead Moon, Shannon and the Clams, The Spits, the Growlers, The Reatards, 13th Floor Elevators, just to skim the surface
If you could open for any band right now who would that be and why?
It would be cool to open for Thee Oh Sees or Fat White Family, they are definitely the best live bands today.
If you could only bring ONE record (you can all answer if you like) in the tour van what would it be?
Pat -Face to Face by The Kinks
Bongi -Meddle by Pink Floyd
Sean -Easter Everywhere by 13th Floor Elevators
Justin -Muswell Hillbillies by The Kinks
When you’re not playing and have some time off, where could we find you…
You can usually find us fuckin around Philly or more commonly at 227 w 8th St. Ship Bottom NJ 08008 THE GATEWAY. or if you can’t find us there that means we popped off and took the gravy train to popperville.
The one thing we want you to remember while you’re listening to our music….
We recorded our whole album while watching WWE and WCW pay-per-views on silent, so you might have to be a wrestling fan to get it. Its more of a wrestling soundtrack than an album.