The Innocent Bystanders
Innocent Bystanders are an alternative rock back
that doesn’t see innocence and wisdom as mutually
exclusive. Two of them have tattoos. But that’s only
the first thing you’ll notice about this band. The
members spent their formative years across half the
globe from Europe to Hawaii. Three New Yorkers did
what needed to be done to survive Alphabet City back
when the City was still the City.
Another did pretty much the same stuff on the South
Side of Chicago, and yet another knows that the Heat
isn’t just a basketball team in Miami. Then there’s
the Beverly Hills guy who threw off the shackles of
his privileged existence and lived to tell about it.
And finally, there’s the military brat who raised
hell wherever he was. Now, some say they all come
from sheltered middle class families. But we’re not
having any of that.
In addition to the geographic and cultural
diversity, these cats were born in three different
decades. And each took a separate path to San Diego,
CA, America’s finest city, in search of a better
life. But the streets weren’t quite paved with gold.
Fate brought them together in ramshackle rehearsal
space next to a strip club in the Loma Portal
section of San Diego. They began jamming and then
gigging in clubs along the coast when they
discovered a trove of “songs in the attic” that
they’d individually written back in the day, but
never recorded. Songs born decades ago. The time had
come to set them free.
The process proved transformative as these old songs
took on a new life in the Bystanders’ hands. The
core rhythm section has Steve Berenson on drums,
Donny Samporna on bass, Ben Nieberg on acoustic
guitar, and Steve Semeraro on electric guitar. The
beat is big, bold, and often intricate with the
guitars spread wide in a driving mix.
Jessica LaFave brings a Ska influence with a tenor
sax filled with magical harmonies reminiscent of a
larger horn section.
Kaimi Wenger plays piano and organ, creating lines
that build on the early E Street Band sound.
Finally, the vocals, ah the vocals. Kath Rogers
pulls it together with a powerful alto that has a
timbre all its own. She harmonizes often with Ben,
who also sings some lead. There’s some
Balin-and-Slick channeling here to be sure, but in
this band the vocal layering plays off the multiple
sax lines, keys, and acoustic/electric guitar
interplay to create something new.
If you really want to read about it, the sound is
founded on mid-60s Stax melded with 90’s Ska churned
with early Springsteen. And Phil Spector, well, his
ghosts haunt them.
Primarily a live band, these guys have been playing
parties and clubs in San Diego from your uncle’s
backyard to Petco Park — yes, really. Now what?
Attractive Nuisance EP (9017)
Attractive Nuisance is the first EP by the San
Diego, CA, based alternative rock band, The Innocent
Bystanders. The band incorporates saxophone into the
soul of every song with liberal dashes of piano and
organ mixed with the drums and guitars rhythm
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"What if Cat Stevens, Adam Duritz, and
Kurt Cobain had a weird baby..." a comment used to describe Jay
Schraub's music. Jay was born and raised in Chicago and picked up
the guitar at a very young age inspired by KISS and Guns n' Roses.
Jay has been various bands through the years like Shotgun Blues,
Sammy Hagarmdrag and The Gopherian Legion. After a chance meeting
with former Misfits vocalist Michale Graves, Jay turned his musical
attention to solo acoustic performance where he can focus more on
lyrical content and vocal delivery.
Jay has been on four north american tours in the last 6 years, and
played various festivals like the steel bridge songfest, and anaheim
farmers market fest.
In 2009 he had his original song about Chicago icon Bozo the clown
played on WGN morning news, and even had Bozo himself Joey D'Auria
praise him for the track.
In 2016 he released the album "Chasing Neverland" with the singles
"Carousel" "Chasing Neverland" and "Gabby" all met with wonderful
Jay continues on doing the solo singer/songwriter music, playing
90's inspired music about dreams, and living for tomorrow! "always
live for the moment, never stop chasing the dream, its never too
late to be what you might have been!" is Jay's motto in life.
Notes for the artistt: This page will always be here under your name
in "Featured Artists". You can always send us an updated Bio using
'CONTACT' on Menu at the top of page..