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Q&A With Local Band Road Kill

Madison resident's band plays 54 Main, other nearby venues.

Local band Road Kill appears at area bars and events, with members are Glenn Metcalfe (bass), Rob Paganus (guitar), Freddie Auferio (drums) and lead singer Matt Gardner. Patch conducted a Q&A with Gardner.

Patch: How did Road Kill get together?   

Gardner: The band in its current configuration has been together about 13 months, although Fred and Glenn have been playing together for quite a bit longer than that. I  joined in December of 2009, and Rob Paganus in April of 2010. We mostly found one another through Craigslist, although Fred and Rob knew each other from the neighborhood. We're a pretty simple act, with lead guitar, bass guitar, drums, vocals and a little harmonica.   

Patch: What's your musical specialty, who are your influences?

Gardner: We are a straight-up classic rock 'n' roll cover band, with most of our tunes coming from the late Sixties and early Seventies. We try to cover the great bands and artists such as Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Cream, Traffic, Eric Clapton, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Doors, Rod Stewart, but not their most popular songs. We would never play "Stairway to Heaven" or "Freebird" or "Hey Jude," preferring instead to go with songs like "When the Levee Breaks" and "Gimme Three Steps" and "And Your Bird Can Sing." One of our most popular numbers is our show opener at 54 Main — "Light Up or Leave Me Alone" by Traffic, which a lot of people know but haven't heard in 40 years. We are working to put in some Nineties rock, and will be playing some Nirvana, Jet, Black Crowes and Tom Petty on Saturday night. 

Patch: Whom do you like among the current crop of bands/musicians?

Gardner: It varies amongst my bandmates, some of whom don't care at all for the current crop and some of whom like it all. I don't expect us to incorporate any of today's popular music into our show anytime soon, though — it's amazing how much our crowds seem to enjoy the hard-driving classic rock we play. Our crowd runs the gamut from kids in their twenties to folks in their sixties. 

Patch: Where do you typically play in the area?   

Gardner: We play regularly at the River Grille in Chatham (formerly The Chatham Towne Tavern), and, in fact, have a gig there on June 10. We always draw a great crowd there. We have played places like Tierney's in Montclair, Paddy's Place in Union, and others. We have a gig lined up at the Rattlesnake Ranch Cafe in Denville in September, and we play all varieties of private parties as well. The summer is kind of slow for us (by design), but we are looking to pick up some private parties either locally or down the shore to keep us sharp for the fall. We'll also use the summer to rehearse new material.

Patch: Have you ever made a CD?

Gardner: We rehearse every week at Soundwaves Studios in Union, and in fact are cutting a demo CD (six to eight songs) there next week. We expect to get some great footage from Saturday's gig at 54 Main that we can upload to YouTube and also to our website (www.roadkillrocks.com).  If anyone at the show records good clips, they can feel free to upload them to YouTube!

Patch: What kind of day jobs do you guys have?

Gardner: Freddieowns Mr. Mike's Auto Coach in Montclair. Glenn is a partner in a graphic design company called Alchemy Graphics in Linden. Rob is a plumber with Air Group, and I am an insurance broker in Short Hills.

Patch: Madison is a great town for the arts, what's it like playing here?

Gardner: The people in Madison have been really supportive of the band, and they usually come out in droves to see us at local gigs like 54 Main and River Grille. We have been working hard to interact a lot more with the crowd during our shows, and encourage Madison's rock 'n' roll fans to come out to 54 Main on Saturday night, grab a tambourine or a microphone, and get in on the fun. 

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