Locals Only! – The Vibesmen Interview – By Josh Bennett

Meet The Vibesmen.  A five piece Reggae-Rock band out of Annapolis, Maryland.  The independent band currently has one album with a second coming this Saturday, July 28th!  Enjoy the second installment of “Locals Only!”


Josh 360: So, you guys are a local band out of Annapolis, Maryland. There’s a lot of great bands coming from there, most notably, Bumpin’ Uglies.

Jesse Johnson: Yup! Bumpin’ Uglies, Higher Education, Pasadena, and the list goes on man!

J360: Dope! So yall just released a new single called “Yours and Mine” what can you tell us about it?

JJ: We released it on May 26th, so not too long ago. It’s going to be part of our second independent full-length album titled “Endless” which we hope to release sometime this summer!

J360: So, you guys aren’t signed to anybody?

Nick: That’s right! Sometimes if you want something done right you gotta do it yourself.

J360: Fuck ya! That’s one of my favorite quotes! For those around the country, can you introduce yourselves and tell us about The Vibesmen.

Nick: We’re comprised of 5 musicians. I’m (Nick DePietro) on lead vocals, Jesse Johnson is on bass, Drew Creed and Danny Cruise are on guitar, and Jimmy Cropper is on drums!

J360: So, Nick you don’t play an instrument then? You’re strictly vocals?

N: Yup! I’m just MC and let the boys take care of the rest!

J360: Hell ya! I can respect that. I feel like bands out there with singers who can focus solely on their voice and performance really stand out and put on a great show. So how did you all meet? Were you like childhood friends or did you meet through social media?

N: Well Jesse and I have been very active in the Maryland music scene for about 8 or 9 years now. We had played a few shows together and started hanging out. Around the summer of 2015, both the bands we were in kinda just disbanded, so we decided to start jammin’ together and it was great we were having a good time we ended up bringing in Danny, who I’ve been friends with since high school. We met Drew and Jimmy in Severna park and the rest was just history. We were all digging each other’s vibes and everything just came natural.

J360: That’s awesome man! Have you guys been able to play out of state yet?

JJ: We’ve been to Pennsylvania, Delaware, DC, Virginia were looking to get out of the general DMV area and getting down to the southeast like Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee.

J360: Hell ya, man! St Petersburg has one of the best music scenes ever. Everyone is super cool, the local bands kill and Jannus Live is probably my favorite venue of all time. The Carolinas are home to The Movement and Sun-Dried Vibes, both really great bands. Are you guys going to Surrounded By The Sound?

N: Unfortunately, we can’t. We’re just trying to stay busy in the studio and whatnot. We actually just got back from Blesstival which was a super great time!



J360: Oh, ya I just saw that on Facebook that looked pretty cool! So, with any band there’s a spot that you always get to play. It’s the spot that kinda gives you your start. Did y’all have a place you wanted to shout out?

JJ: Ya! We wanna shout out the Metropolitan in Annapolis. It’s been the cornerstone to not just Annapolis, but all Maryland music since The Whisky closed. The Whisky was kind of the spot where everyone cut their teeth, and started out performing. It’s where we started. It’s really good to know that there is still a venue, especially in Annapolis, that supports the local arts as much as them. I guess they have as much heart in their business as the musicians do in their music. That’s where we play the most frequently, probably close to 50 times!

N: I feel like we play there once every 2 months at least which is fun it’s always a good time and like Jesse said it’s always good to be around an environment that appreciates your craft. It’s our hometown and it’s our favorite spot there.

J360: So, did you guys have any bands that you would list as your favorites/inspirations?

N: For me when I first started listening to reggae, Bumpin Uglies were my favorite. I’ve always been a very big fan of Brandon’s voice and his lyrics since the beginning. It was songs like “Addictive Personality” which really helped me get a feel for what this music is all about. In my opinion, Uglies are a good representation of the east coast reggae scene. Also, Higher Education those guys just throw down and they’ve got a good mix of reggae, rock, and a little funk. Also, Oogee Wawa. Jesse the MC is a badass and those guys just make such great music.

JJ: For me I listen to a lot of Jimmy’s Chicken Shack, Good Charlotte. And then going off what Nick said, you know there’s Uglies, Higher Education, Pasadena.

N: Clutch! Clutch is dope!

JJ: There’s a lot of good local music in Maryland that a lot of people don’t know about that you can draw a lot of inspiration from.

J360: So last question before we wrap this up. We got one album out now called “Tasty Waves” and one more on the way. Is everything already written for it?

JJ: Everything has already been written and tracked. Right now, we’re currently in the mixing process. We’re actually recording it with Higher Education, they have their own studio up in college park. They’ve been so good to us, we know them both on a personal and professional level and they havnt let us down. They’ve given us so much advice on recording techniques, song writing and just helping us get to the next level that we want to get to and we couldn’t be more thankful to be working with them.

J360: So, you guys obviously can’t collaborate anymore on this upcoming album, but for the future is there anyone you would love to work with?

N: There’s so many great artists in the scene but one that comes to mind for me is Tropidelic. The MC’s James and Matt, are just badass dudes. They’ve definitely done an amazing job at making their cut of the reggae scene their own. Just to be able to have a jam session with them would be dope!

J360: Hopefully they’re hearing this man, those guys are dope. Well thank you guys so much for taking the time. We’re really excited to hear some new music from The Vibesmen!


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PC – Caroline Ball, David Lebow


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