by Debra Kate Schafer, the Aquarian Weekly (8/8/18)
Hailing from Rutherford, NJ is See Plus, a rock group that is already much more than a high school band. They wrote, recorded, and released a stellar self-titled EP, they have a consistently growing fanbase, and they won Fort Lee’s annual Battle of the Bands this past May. Did I mention that all four members are under the age of 20? Because they are…and yet their charisma, skill, and comradery would make you think they’ve been at this for decades.
See Plus has been gaining a lot of momentum as a band as they cover more ground and acquire new fans. Their name has been getting a lot of attention around the local music scene, for not only are they one of the younger bands, but they are one of the most talented and most passionate. They intertwine their own original songs with outstanding covers during the sets of their live shows — and I mean that they’re covering truly memorable, classic songs like Green Day’s “Basket Case” and The Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop.”
These songs are by some of their favorite bands — the bands that inspired and influenced this foursome — and now they themselves are performing them all around North Jersey to crowds who may not always be coming out for See Plus specifically, but are surely leaving the show with a sticker of their soon-to-be iconic Illuminati-esque logo.
What are all of your names and ages?
Miles Dellaha, 16; Jake Linsalata, 16; Nick Tabakci, 17; Alex Fiume, 19.
Where are you from?
We are all from Rutherford, NJ.
How long have you been a band and how did you get started?
We have been a band for two years but have only been playing shows for one year. In eighth grade, Jake and Miles went to the same school and played together in a school rock ensemble. They played at many school functions and grew as musicians. The two went to different high schools but still wanted to play together. We talked about putting together a band and started jamming on Jake’s porch.
One day, our former music teacher introduced us to Nick who instantly showed good chemistry with the existing members. With three-quarters of a band complete, we needed a drummer and found one when Alex told us he needed a band to play at a town fundraiser. We practiced for three months for the gig only for it to get rained out and cancelled. We decided to keep practicing and wound up writing some songs of our own, which led us to where we are today.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
We’d describe our music as alt-indie rock. Our music has a sort of wide range to it because of the vast amount of music we are exposed to constantly through our personal music tastes and other great bands around us.
Let’s talk about your EP that dropped a couple of months back. What was the writing and recording process like? How did you decide what songs made the cut?
When we decided we were ready to record an EP, we knew that we had to have everything laid out and ready to go before we got to the studio so that we could do it as efficiently as possible. At that time, we had five songs written, but chose the three we thought showed our style the best. As the date for the studio approached, we practiced the three songs every day to a metronome, broke down each part, and reviewed the vocals and solos to make sure they sounded exactly how we wanted. Once the studio time came, we were able to relax and play the songs better than we ever had before onstage, the entire process was very exciting, and we even got to see a professional engineer make our songs come to life.
A large aspect of your fantastic, crowd drawing live shows are the covers you do. Did
you ever float the idea around of including one on the EP?
While we have contemplated putting a cover on the EP, we thought that since we only had the time and expenses to cover three songs in the studio, we should start with three originals. However, we do love taking other songs and putting our own spin on them so we are quite open and excited to explore putting a cover on a recording in the future.
Earlier this year you guys won the Fort Lee Battle of the Bands against some other
young, talented local groups. What was that experience like? What was your mindset
going into it?
Honestly, it was the most nervous we have ever been for a show. It was our first battle of the bands and the other groups were bands that we already knew could put on a great show, so during our pre-show car ride we did not expect much other than good competition and a good show. It was our first time playing in Fort Lee and the amount of effort put into the stage and crew was awesome. As a band we decided that this show would be no different to any other show we have played and treated the judges like they were fans so that our performance would be as authentic as possible. We were ecstatic to have won and very appreciative of how supportive all the other bands were.
Is there any significance behind the name ‘See Plus’?
Nope, not really. Jake was spitballing names after Miles suggested a million other things, and he offered up See Plus and it stuck. The quote exactly was ,“Hey what if we do C+ but we spell it weird?” (like Jake’s chem. grade at the time).
What has been your favorite memory as a band?
Our favorite memory was our first show at a real venue with other bands. We showed up about two hours early and sat eating fast-food backstage, waiting for what felt like forever. We had no idea what the show was going to be like, and once we got on stage and saw the place full of our best friends, we realized we had real chemistry together.
What are your goals as a band?
Our goals as a band are to play as much music as often as possible and to make some great friends on the way.
There are about five months left in 2018, what are your plans for that time? Are there any current projects that you guys are working on that you can tell us about?
Our goals are to play more shows and hopefully branch out to New York and play with new and bigger bands. In addition, we’d like to play more local shows with the other great bands in the scene. We are also constantly working on new original music and are eager to get back into the studio to release some more music.
Where can our readers find your music?
We are on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, and Amazon, and pretty much every other music streaming site online. We are on most social media under “seeplus”. In addition, we can also be located at our website: seeplus.band where you can stream our music and keep up to date with all of our shows. You can also catch us live on August 12 at Dingbatz in Clifton, or August 26 at Debonair [Music Hall] in Teaneck.