By Anthony J. Machcinski
Heavy guitar riffs and smooth solos normally relate to the style of rock bands from the 1970s such as AC/DC, Black Sabbath and The Doors; however, New Jersey rock band Ripped hopes to bring that style back to the modern era.
Created nearly 25 years ago by guitarist Steve Keller, Ripped has gone through many challenges over time and two years ago, resurrected with a new group, keeping in mind the heavy music that inspired the band in the first place.
“I guess we’re pretty much in the style of classic rock,” said vocalist Steve Sroczynski, who joined the band two years ago after Keller needed a vocalist on a few tracks.
When Sroczynski joined the band, he knew that it just had a good chemistry and could be successful.
“When we’re in studio and you’re making new music and it’s all fresh and it sounds great and everything’s coming together, you think to yourself, ‘This could really work,’” Sroczynski explained. “If you get the right promotion and the right record company, things can go in a positive direction.”
With many years of experience, Sroczynski and the rest of the band show an appreciation for everyone involved in the business.
“You have to respect people,” Sroczyinski said. “It’s tough to really get something going. There’s not too many original bands out there. Guys are doing it because they like to play, but they want to make money. We appreciate and look up to all the guys we play with.”
It is this love for the music that bursts through their entire album. From the moment the first song, “My Friend Alice,” off of their self-titled first album, comes through the speakers, the skillful guitar playing takes control and forces you even further into the music.
The love for the music also shows in the band’s performances. In January, Ripped played the Gin Mill in Kearny to a crowd of 140 people. That night is one that has lasted in the mind of Sroczynski.
“That was the first show I did with the band in this area and we had a great turnout,” Sroczynski remembered. “It’s not the biggest venue in the world but it was definitely one of the best.”
It is the feeling from the crowd that the band thrives off of. While some bands want to play Madison Square Garden or large festivals across the country, Sroczynski says it’s not the size of the venue that attracts him.
“We love to play everywhere,” Sroczynski said. “Everybody aspires to be a great musician and play huge stages. There’s really not one particular place you want to play; you just want to play them all. It’s not about the venue, it’s about the show.”
Despite all the success Sroczynski and Ripped have had in their short return, one of the prouder moments for Sroczynski will occur Oct. 1 at The Irish in Kearny, where Ripped will perform with Madison 22, a group of Kearny High School students including his 16-year-old daughter on drums.
“I’m really excited to see what happens,” Sroczynski said. “I’m really excited for her to be a part of this thing. It should be fun. Besides me being so proud of her, I’m just hoping she has a fun experience.”
Ripped also will be accompanied by Black Sabbath cover band Sabbra Cadabra at the Kearny Irish.
For more information on the band, check out their Facebook page. Their new album, titled “Ripped,” is available on www.cdbaby.com as well as on iTunes.