The Jersey Shore has had it rough the last few years. Hurricane Sandy leveled parts of the coastline, and the MTV reality show of the same name set back Italian-American relationships a few decades and led to a run on Axe Body Spray. Thankfully, Asbury Park’s The Battery Electric are here to take things back. The quartet, whose music is a high-octane blast of punk, metal and garage rock, will be releasing their sophomore album, The Heart and the Thrill, on March 10th via Little Dickman Records. Before that, however, they’ll be performing this Saturday (21) at the Asbury Lanes for their record release party alongside other Jersey bands like Black Wail and Deal Casino. We asked the band’s Ron Santee and Brent Ovar Bergholm a few questions about their new album, how Asbury Park is a rock town and the progression between their first album and the new one. You can hear a song from the forthcoming album, which Diffuser premiered yesterday, below.
Both of your albums were produced by Pete from The Bouncing Souls. Given that you sound pretty different sonically from those guys, what led you to record with them?
I have known Pete for a pretty long time and we have always been buds. We share a lot of the same musical tastes. When the time came to record the record I felt we would be most comfortable in a studio setting with him.. He produced our record without us knowing he was producing it.. Which is kind of the best way of producing. – Ron
What’s the progression like from your first album to your new one?
Our first record was more groove and Sabbath inspired. The newer stuff we write is more inspired by garage, punk, and soul. We are punk rockers at heart so I think that is just coming out naturally in the music. Also the first record was written pretty quickly. We didn’t have much time to develop and craft our sound. We played lots of shows so we got a better feel of who we are as a band and what we wanted to sound like. So it’s definitely more focused. But overall it’s more raw and energetic. I am stoked to put it out there for people to hear. – Brent
It seems like Asbury Park remains a rock and roll town. What do you think has led to that, and how is it compared to larger surrounding towns like Philly and New York?
It has a lot to do with the boardwalk culture. The rides, the games, the entertainment, and obviously the booze. To put it bluntly people come to the Jersey Shore to party. There are always bands playing and people dancing on any shore town along the coast. Asbury is special because there is a lot of history. It was one of the original resort towns in America. It was kicking up until the 60s when the race riots happened and it became a town frozen in time. Lots of legendary bands have played here like Black Sabbath, Elvis, Led Zeppelin, and Johnny Cash. He actually used to live in the top floor of the Berkeley Carteret and owned the Wonder Bar. Plus there was a Biker culture in the seventies and the whole ya know… Bruce Springsteen thing. Plus Asbury is still pretty ghetto so it has the wild west feel. So all that combined leads to a Rock N Roll breeding ground. – Brent
Are there any area bands you’re particularly excited about?
There are lots of great bands from the area. I am gonna give a shout out to Hot Blood and The Vansaders. They are our buddy bands and they’re rad. Hot Blood is a hardcore punk rock band who shreds face. The Vansaders are a great cow-punk band with great sing a longs and meaningful lyrics. Also The Shady Street Show Band are incredible. They are carrying the torch for the Jersey Shore Sound. They are a great party band with horns, soul, and rock n roll. Definitely check all those bands out. – Brent