After chatting with some awesome people about music, I became pretty friendly with a few musicians, throughout this whole process. It’s funny how you just click with some people. For instance, hen I met Dom from The Secret Service Band, his warmth and genuine friendliness was evident from the beginning. His normal-everyday-guy look made him easy to approach. He gave me a huge hug and his number to call him so he could share some good stuff about being in the business. He told me that he would be away for a week but to get in touch with him after his return. I called the following week, and he got back to me within a day or two after that. After watching such a great show that he and his partner put on, I was thrilled for the chance to chat with him.
As soon as we began our conversation, everything flowed rather naturally. This is where Postmodern Interviewing information kicked in, as I felt completely immersed in the information, as we chatted. Dom explained how he had been in this band for over thirty years! That is a lifetime, as far as cover bands go. He began by telling me about how he loved what he did because he gets to interact with the audience much like his life growing up. “Growing up Italian, the kitchen was the place everyone hang out and shared stuff about their lives. That’s what I try to do with the audience. I don’t like to make it so formal and boring like, ‘How’s everybody feeling tonight?’ That gets boring. I like to interact with them as if they are in my kitchen hanging out.” This includes discussions about trivia questions, and sports talk as topics of conversation in between songs. One thing Dom prides himself on is that he gets to know people and connects to them. He genuinely cares to know where they are from and what they are about, so he can deliver a show to their experiences.
One thing Dom did point out was the differences, over the last three decades, in music and trends. The fun part of all of this is learning new stuff and keeping up with the new, younger guys. These younger bands are astounded, at times, at how easy it is for Dom and Craig to keep up with the new music. At a recent show, Dom belted out songs from singers like Kesha, Pharrell, and Bruno Mars.
While Dom loves the new stuff, he holds a special place in his heart for the music played during his father’s era. Wildwood was a very prominent place, in the summers, for the live bands to go play and mingle with the people. “Wildwood was the place to be. This was the hub of the action, especially music wise.” As a child, his dad’s musician friends would come and hang out at his house. “This was when music was so different. These days, so many new comers are just manufactured and made into something that society seems to want. Years ago, music was more individualized and you could be who you wanted to be. It was great.” These days, Dom enjoys playing all kinds of music for those that take the time to come see them. No matter what the music is, you have to play what the people want. This makes sense. There are some bands that stick strictly to their set lists and never stray. Not Dom and Craig. In fact, throughout their shows, they repeatedly ask people for what they want to hear. Now, they spend most of the summer playing at Sea Isle City’s Ocean Drive. This place is similar to Wildwood, as they seem to draw a lot of who follows them throughout the rest of the year. Dom says it’s a fun crowd and you can do whatever you want, while having a good time-which is what it’s all about.
There is obviously something that The Secret Service has that has been working for them for over three decades. Most of it seems to be having a good feel for the people they play for, as well as what new things are going on. Whether it’s the music or the rapport the guys seem to create, it is working.