By Kenny Kerner

Listen to "Every Little Thing":

Those of you who attended this year's amazing Road Rally are familiar with the band Wired. By now you're all aware of how you, the TAXI members, voted these guys the winners of the TAXI contest and thus eligible to visit 5 major record companies with TAXI President Michael Laskow.

I thought it would be interesting to find out a little bit about their beginnings with TAXI and how they developed their relationship with the world's leading independent A&R company:

Just for the record, Justin was a member of TAXI long before Wired was actually wired. "I was a member of TAXI when I was in a band called Mankind. Then that band kinda morphed into another band called Quarter 2. We sent in a bunch of stuff but nothing ever got forwarded. I was online searching for A&R Reps and I came across TAXI. I was trying to find some industry people to listen to my CD."

Like most people, at first, Justin was suspicious of TAXI, so he decided to attend a few of their seminars. "I went to a seminar in Flushing that Michael Laskow hosted and I was convinced. I sent in some of my songs but didn't get any forwards. I just took all of that in stride because I kinda know how the industry is.

Having only one CD with songs, Justin's band Mankind changed their name to Quarter 2 and resubmitted the songs hoping to fool the A&R community. But, as Justin puts it, "they didn't buy it."

Justin tried using contacts he made while working for the Howard Stern Show and even called ASCAP for help, but nothing substantial ever came of it. Having tried everything they could think of with no real success, the band broke up. "The band really broke up and so me and my drummer (Adam Schoenfeld), put an ad in a paper looking to form another band. Joe Bridgewood (singer), Sebastian Pica (rhythm guitar) and Mike Tucci (bassist) joined and we formed Wired".

It didn't take the band long to get into the studio and record a three-song demo. At Joe's suggestion the songs were sent to a California record producer (originally from the band's native Long Island) named Tomas Costanza, of the band Diffuser on Hollywood Records. Tomas flew out to meet with the band and took them into the studio under his production supervision. "We just started from scratch," recalled Justin, "We started writing new songs and he put us in a different direction and worked on our song structure. When the recording was done, I started sending out the new songs to TAXI listings. I got a rejection from the movie listing but a few weeks later got a notice saying that it was forwarded to Capitol Records."

By this time, many of the TAXI screeners and staff members had heard the songs and were impressed. But nothing came of the Capitol Records forward. Justin continued to work his contacts for information on how to get to the next step. He needed to get the attention of the A&R community and get some important gigs in front of them. A buzz began and lots of hard work followed. The band landed an impressive show at CBGBs in New York and by that time, word of their talents had spread to the East Coast record labels who began checking them out. [Editor's Note: In this business, when someone spots a talented band, the word spreads like wildfire]

While Wired continued to showcase, Justin kept sending out CDs to TAXI listings. Last August, his efforts paid big dividends when the band was offered a movie called Malibu Spring Break. "Michael Lloyd was the music supervisor and he actually wanted the band to appear in the movie but we didn't have the money to do that. Even though we couldn't be in the film, Michael called to say he still loved the music and it would be in the film. All of that happened as a result of my membership in TAXI."

So how has TAXI been instrumental in developing and furthering the career of Wired? "We wouldn't be where we're at without the help we got from TAXI. Just getting our name out and the various forwards that came about. These things were huge for us. And now that we won the President's Choice contest, we're being flown out to L.A. to meet with major record labels in person. None of this would have happened without TAXI."

P.S. Upcoming is the band's new CD, a 10-song record called Lift. You can check them out at www.wiredpunks.com.











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