Jersey band Weapons of Anew lands spot on Scott Stapp tour

Weapons of Anew

WEAPONS OF ANEW

Freddy Ordine has ridden a rock ‘n’ roll roller coaster before: The business provides its share of ups and downs, twists, turns and uncertainties. But at this moment, just like the great state of Texas, the future of Weapons of Anew is wide open.

“We’re in San Antonio, Texas, today, and it’s been great!” he said in a recent phone interview. “The crowds have been really responsive. It’s really cool for us because we’re the heavier band out here, so we kind of stick out. So it gives us the chance to go out there and set the bar pretty high. It’s been a great tour.”

This group from the northern New Jersey and New York area is currently supporting Creed singer Scott Stapp on his The Spaces Between the Shadows Tour, which comes to the Levoy Theatre in Millville, July 20, and the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, July 27 at 6 p.m.

“We’re excited, we get to do a Poconos show, the Starland, a New York City show, the Millville show, a Long Island show … so we’ve got four or five local shows and we’re really looking forward to it,” said Ordine.

Still riding the success of their 2017 debut album, The Collision of Love and Hate, Ordine explained why a follow-up disc will have to wait.

“We were actually just getting into the studio and our plan was to start working on our new record,” he said. “I think we got about two weeks of work in and our manager called and said, ‘Hey, do you guys want to do the Scott Stapp tour?’ We were like, ‘Yeah, we really want to do this,’ and so far it’s been really cool for us.”

They were so early in the recording process that most of the tracks are still being developed and named.

“They’re named ‘New One 7’ or ‘New One 3,’ ” Ordine said with a laugh. “My computer is full of ideas and then we’ll start pulling them apart and we’re like, ‘Hey, remember that one?,’ where we have to hum, and I’m like ‘Oh, shit, I don’t remember (laughs),’ and then it takes us an hour just to find the cool idea we were working on. We have been working with Mike Ferretti, who (engineers albums for) Sevendust. We’ve become really good friends and he’s been helping us with the production of it.”

Although it is a collaborative effort, Ordine says he is the one who introduces most of the band’s material.

“Usually, I’m the principal songwriter, I’ll usually … get a basic idea and a song structure and then I’ll sit with the band and try and get it to sound like us. Once we have it kind of dialed in, then we’ll work on the melodies and write some lyrics.

“That’s how it is most of the time. I write in Pro-Tools and the drums are really a pain in the ass, really kind of stiff, whereas when (drummer) Chris (Manfre) is there, we kind of have almost an R&B feel, or what we call the ‘New York City Groove,’ which is what we all grew up with. Chris swings a little bit more than my computer does (laughs).”

So with the new record on hold and the tour in full swing, are they testing out any of the new material yet?

“We’ve been doing a bunch of live stuff off of the first record, and we’ve got this one that has this crazy Latin kind of vibe to it. It’s so cool because it has a different kind of energy and a different kind of beat to it. I’ve been enjoying playing it — probably too much (laughs). We have been doing this one new song that has popped up on this tour but we’ll probably be breaking it out more as we’re closer to home, like with the New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts dates.”

Playing the guitar has always been paramount in Ordine’s plans, so much so that he made a go of it while in his teens — much to the chagrin of his parents.

“I dropped out of school at 16 and started touring with one of my old bands,” he said. “You see, my family had a heating and air conditioning business, so the rule was that I could tour from April through October, but from October on I had to learn a trade and had to go to work every day. I was pretty lucky that way. I remember when I dropped out of school, my mother said, ‘You’re father is going to kill you,’ and she started crying, and when my dad got home from work he grabbed me by the throat and said, ‘You have two options, go to work tomorrow or stop breathing right now,’ (laughs) and I said, ‘What time do we leave?’ ”

Being on the road then and now are stark contrasts, especially when it comes to family. When asked if he misses home while being on the road for an extended period, his reply evoked his closeness with his bandmates.

“I’ve got my kids, my girl, my dog and my cat at home and I miss that stuff, but we’re all so close it’s kind of like being a family out here. You don’t really get lonely.”

So what can we expect from Weapons of Anew onstage, and going forward?

“We’re going to try finish recording our next album, probably headline select shows in New Jersey and New York or some one-off gigs so we can keep ourselves fresh … When we hit the stage it’s a full-on assault. We’re like rabid animals. It’s crazy. But we don’t know any other way.”

For more about Weapons of Anew, visit weaponsofanewband.com.

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