The Brigantines
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The Brigantines

Freehold, New Jersey, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | INDIE

Freehold, New Jersey, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Alternative Surf Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"An Interview with The Brigantines: Surf's Up"

While creating a mission to get in the holiday spirit, I took the time to chat with another one of the many openers on The Bouncing Souls’ Home For The Holidays showcase! Having been a fan of The Brigantines for a while, I thought it would be the perfect time to talk with them about their participation in the events. I recently spoke with bassist/vocalist Aaron Leonovich about his feelings on The Bouncing Souls, the band’s excitement for the festivities and more. The conversation is below:

How excited are you to be on such a legendary showcase?

It goes without saying! This has turned into such a big event for Asbury Park and for the NJ punk rock scene. It’s like being part of the biggest Christmas party and family reunion at the same time. Each year keeps getting better.

Have you guys ever been to the Home For The Holidays shows other than performing?

This is the first year we’ve had the honor to perform and share the stage with The Bouncing Souls. We have been to almost every Home For The Holidays each year except the one year with the blizzard that completely shut down Asbury Park.

What night are you playing?

We are playing the second show on Friday night, Dec. 27, along with Laura Stevenson and Molly & The Zombies. Our friends Wig and Matty O’Brien are writing the Souls’ setlist on this night, so they better pick some good ones!

Is there a specific part you are most excited for?

We’re really excited to play for this audience and just to be a part of the entire event. We’re also really excited to see and catch up with all our friends at the show. It really is a family reunion and appropriately named Home For The Holidays.

I’m going to assume that The Bouncing Souls have influenced your music, or that perhaps you are just a big fan of the band.

Quite honestly, we play a different blend of music than the Souls, so they haven’t had a direct influence on our music. We play surf pop and the only surf song the Souls have that I’m aware of is “Moon Over Asbury.”

On the other hand, we would see the Souls play countless weekend basement shows at the Handy Street house in New Brunswick. Those shows brought together so many friends and bands that it created a family, which influenced our lives and values.

What puts you in the holiday spirit the most?

Classic Christmas albums from the ‘60s, such as A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector or The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album.

Do you have a favorite Souls song? Is that even possible to answer?

With such a large repertoire of music and even albums at this point, it’s hard to pick just one, but there are a few that stand out. “Old School” is an old favorite. “I Think That The World…” is a newer fun and catchy tune, and I also really like the wit and energy of “Hopeless Romantic.”

Will you also be participating in some of the weekend’s other festivities in Asbury Park?

I’d like to grab a taco at Mogo and check out the Descendents movie, Filmage, happening Saturday afternoon at The ShowRoom Cinema on Cookman Ave. The ShowRoom is a quaint, independently run movie theater that runs a diverse selection of old and new movies, and they deserve our support!

You can catch Aaron and The Brigantines at The Stone Pony on Dec. 27 for The Bouncing Souls’ Home For The Holidays showcase. For more information, go to - The Aquarian Weekly


For all of you who have fond memories of surfing back in the summer or relaxing on the warm(-ish) beaches; The Brigantines are the band to ensure that the summer feeling can go on into the cold depths of November. Sharing their name with colossal ships, the band are sure to be sailing the airwaves to our local stations in the next few years. I managed to pin them down to have a chat with the New Jersey band about their unique sound and how they created it. Here’s what bass player Aaron Leonovich had to say:


HOLDUPNOW: It’s a pleasure to talk to you, how are things?

AL: Great! We just wrapped up a busy Summer of shows including one with surf legend Dick Dale! We’re working on new songs and are exited to release a new set of singles coming out later this year.

HOLDUPNOW: To start at the beginning, how did you guys meet one another?

AL: Vincent and I met working at Apple about 6 years ago and we became good friends sharing an interest in britpop music. We soon discovered that it would be a lot of fun playing surf inspired music. Vincent was already playing in band with Scott at the time and I was doing the same with some other friends. Once those projects fizzled out we got together and Vincent put a tune together which we named ‘Next Summer’ and which became the title track to our first EP. We convinced Scott to come on board and we worked together as a three-piece seeking a drummer when we discovered that our mutual friend Dan plays drums. We recruited him on the spot and here we are now.

HOLDUPNOW: So where did the name The Brigantines come from?

AL: We stole the name from the town of Brigantine in our home state of New Jersey. Brigantine, NJ is a beautiful beach town and the name has a nice ring to it. Its suiting that with a surf-inspired band we decided to take on the name of a beach town. It is a tribute to our style of music and our home state.

HOLDUPNOW: What do you think defines your sound the most?

AL: I am a big fan of Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys. I think he is a musical genius but I wouldn’t say we are trying to sound like his band. What he did was take the pop music of his day with the likes of Phil Spector bands and combine it with a new trend in music at the time, surf. As for our band, we are attempting to take a modern approach to this by combining pop sensibilities with surf sounds. Although we have written classic surf songs, we would not consider us a surf band nor a pop band but instead one that meets somewhere in the middle – surf-pop. Interestingly enough some of the bands we personally admire and listen to comes out in the music as well. I’ve read reviews likening some of our songs to The Smiths and Joy Division yet as a whole they sound nothing like them, but some elements resonate.

HOLDUPNOW: What are your main influences when it comes to writing music and lyrics?

AL: In respect to bass lines and rhythms I have taken queues from The Lively Ones, walking bass lines heard in ska, some early Motown, Iggy Pop, and do my best to emulate Andy Rourke of The Smiths. Lyrics have been mostly inspired by real life occurrences or fictionalized takes on them. The song Ray-Bans came about while hanging out at the beach and fearing losing our favorite sunglasses in the surf! Verity is the name of a British girl we befriended in NYC. Next Summer is a pure romance while Take You Home is pure lust.

HOLDUPNOW: Being based in New Jersey there must be many great influences surrounding you. Which band inspired you the most to play music professionally?

AL: Scott and I grew up in the NY/NJ hardcore and punk rock scene and we frequented countless shows. The culmination of all these bands have inspired us to play music. New Jersey has had a pretty big music scene for many years and has created many great bands.

HOLDUPNOW: Following the release of your first album Vacation! And your latest single Ocean Park, do you have any plans for a second album?

AL: We are planning on recording a bunch of singles and then eventually take our favorites and compile them on second album.

HOLDUPNOW: The artwork you use, particularly for Ocean Park is beautiful! Tell us how you guys design and create your covers.

AL: Glad you like it! I think this is just a matter of trying to capture the right scene that matches the music. When writing a song we try to capture a certain mood and designing artwork for a record is no different. The graphic elements are reminiscent of those used in 60′s albums.

Ocean Park

HOLDUPNOW: If you could choose one of your songs that you feel best sums up you as a band, which song would you choose?

AL: My personal favorite is ‘Next Summer.’ I feel it was created very innocently without trying hard to sound like anything in particular. It’s a beautiful heartfelt take on love and love lost and hope for it to return. It’s melancholy yet upbeat. I’m also very fond of ‘Ocean Park.’

HOLDUPNOW: Do you have any plans to play here in England in the future? We’d love to have you guys.

AL: No plans but definitely on my wish list of things to do! Book us some dates with Liam Fray!

HOLDUPNOW: If you could choose one place in the world to play, where would you play? And who would be your ideal band to play with?

AL: I’d love to play a show with Nick Waterhouse. Recently saw him and his band perform in Brooklyn and was blown away by the musicianship and style of 50′s Rhythm & Blues he plays. Location? Maybe in Japan. I heard they really dig the surf vibe.

HOLDUPNOW: If you could give any advice for aspiring artists, what would you say?

AL: Listen to the bands you like and learn about what bands they were inspired by. Research the origins of their music and use that to build upon to create something new. Have an appreciation for all types of music! - Hold Up Now

"Vacationing With THE BRIGANTINES!"

Are you planning on soaking up the rest of the summer at the Jersey Shore? Maybe you say "F*ck the Jersey Shore" because you live in Malibu, CA? Well, whatever the case may be - you only have a short time left to wring out the last drips of awesomeness the summer has in store for you. I suggest you do it with The Brigantine's full length debut, Vacation!, loaded on your iPod.

New bands that do the whole surf-rock thing usually get lost in obscurity. And to say that I'm an authority on surf-rock is a bit of a stretch, but I am probably more of a fan of the genre than most people you know. The Beach Boys may have brought surf rock to the forefront, but their music was bubbly pop compared to some of the other more pure surf rock bands that hit since the style's inception. Truthfully though, there are a lot of bands that consider themselves "surf rock" but play a confusing mixture of garage rock and second rate rockabilly. But that's not surf. You want examples? Start up a search on ReverbNation and you'll hear what I mean. It's rare to hear a modern day band capture the surf sound so dead-on. Simply put, The Brigantine's do it most excellently.

There's an ethereal quality in the best surf rock tunes and that texture is all over The Brigantine's debut Vacation! A couple of weeks ago, the album hit local record stores as well as digital stores like Bandcamp, Amazon MP3, and iTunes (and streaming on Spotify). I gave Vacation! a few thorough listens during my version of surfing - navigating New Jersey's Route 287 on my daily commute, and I got really into it. Not every single track blew me away, but there's much more good than bad here. Let me tell you what I thought about some of the songs.

First, I found it very cool that they kick off the album with the title track "Vacation," but they also include the instrumental version of the track at the end of the album. It's a nice book end and it also emphasizes the scene that the title track sets. It makes me feel like I'm back on the beach in Brigantine gazing at that pink sky.

The bouncy and humorous "Ray-Bans" may be the one track that I associate with most. It's about losing your sunglasses (possibly while surfing) which is something I do a lot (not while surfing). It's a huge disaster for me so I know how it is. I love the line "...Maybe I should put up a sign," have you seen my Ray-Bans? HAHA. Love it. Word is that the band has filmed a video for this song which is premiering soon!

For the surf rock aficionado's out there, look no further than "Brigantine Barrel" and "Reeferone" - songs you can confidently fit into a playlist beside any classic surf track like "Miserlou," "Penetration," and "Pipeline." If you're not into the surf genre than these guys aren't going to be for you, but maybe you'll dig their cover of "Then She Kissed Me," the re-worded version made popular by The Beach Boys and later by KISS. "Next Summer" is quite possibly the strongest track overall. The head bopping beat and yearning harmony is reminiscent of Jersey icons, The Smithereens.

I'm happy that New Jersey has a new surf rock band on the scene who has delicately produced an album that will go down in the Garden State's rich musical history. Like I said, I feel that I'm qualified to recommend these guys to you for a few reasons. I once drank 4 Stunned Mullets in 10 minutes down on the beach in Asbury and came away with merely a slight headache. I once interviewed Dick Dale and he talked to me for over an hour and a half about everything you can possibly imagine. And last but not least, I don't surf, but if I ever do, I'll be bringing my Shark Repellent Bat-Spray because I've seen "Surf's Up, Joker's Under" about 346 times and those sharks ain't nothin' to f*ck with.

The songs on Vacation! remind me of those laid back summer days you get all nostalgic about. That said, if you're in the mood for some tasty waves and good tunes, check out The Brigantine's. If you can't get to the beach, turn on the album, put on your headphones, and use your imagination. - The Sexy Armpit

"Shipwrecked at The Shore Interview Series: The Brigantines"

It’s going to be hard not to wander in the realm of hyperbole when it comes to The Brigantines. The Jersey Shore born and based surf-pop band is fresh, dynamic and utterly captivating. Their wonderfully melodic, enchanting and fun take on the music popularized by The Beach Boys, Dick Dale and Jan & Dean shouldn’t make sense in today’s music scene — but for some reason it just so perfectly does. Yes, being based out of the Jersey Shore, playing venues that are steps away from the beach makes their music a perfect choice for a soundtrack to anyone’s summer yet, their sound isn’t just perfect for cities by the sea — it’s right for any playlist, any city, any venue. The Brigantines have this underlying sense of British influence — subtle hints of The Smiths give The Brigantines’ sound a complexity, a uniqueness, it’s not just straight up surfin’ USA, it’s more than that and it’s just a wonderful thing to experience.

And that’s why Pop-Break is working with the band on their next Shipwrecked at the Shore Music Showcase on Thursday April 26th at The Wonder Bar. We want to bring a band, still relatively new to the area, to the rock ‘n’ roll city by the sea and unleash them on the masses. Basically if The Brigantines were The Kraken, we’d be releasing them. We’re not doing any of them, we’re just giving these dudes the stage; they’re going to be the ones blowing your minds.

Pop-Break recently spoke with Vincent Minervino and Aaron Leonovich about the band, surf music, hot summer nights in the city and Asbury Park.

Pop-Break: You guys are pretty new in the scene, so let’s start off with a couple of lay-up questions — first, how did you guys come together as a band?

Vincent Minervino: We have all been friends for years and music is the strongest thread that ties us all together. Last year was very self-reflective for me. I made decisions to leave some projects behind that just didn’t feel right and make time and space for some new ideas to grow. We spent lots of time at the beach last year, just having a blast in the sun — and the inspiration just came. We actually weren’t trying to put a band together at all – just had the idea one day and it felt right. We sent a few silly song ideas back and forth and those eventually became the songs on the first EP.

Vincent Minervino, guitarist and vocalist for The Brigantines

PB: Give us a little background on the name.

Aaron Leonovich: We wanted name that captures the essence of the music we play, with some sort of geographic reference to New Jersey. We searched a map of looking for cities along the shore that might fit. Brigantine, N.J. turned into The Brigantines and it grew on us!

PB: Surf music isn’t exactly a genre of music you see a lot of bands playing today — why decide to form a band that produces this type of music?

AL: As a kid, I used to listen to my Dad’s surf records — The Beach Boys, The Ventures, etc. The great thing about The Beach Boys is that while growing up in California, Brian Wilson was surrounded by surf culture — which was really breaking in the early 60’s — while also listening to other pop music of the time, like Chuck Berry and bands produced by Phil Spector like The Ronettes and The Crystals. He fused the pop music of the time with the surf-craze and created something very original. So you could say that we’re doing exactly the same thing! Surf music has its roots in rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly and we are blending pop music with surf and its original roots. I think as with other music genres, the influence comes back around after a few decades and we’re seeing that now. We like to think that we’re a part of the third wave of surf influenced music. There’s more out there if you listen for it.

PB: Talk about some of your musical influences.

Aaron Leonovich, bassist for The Brigantines

VM: When we’re en route to the beach, we always put on our favorite surf albums to set the vibe — The Beach Boys, The Lively Ones, The Centurions, The Ventures, and The Challengers are a few of our favorites. Chris Isaak is a regular spin on our trips back home. Aaron and I are both really into Brit-Pop — everything from The Kinks and The Jam, The Smiths and Echo & The Bunnymen, to newer bands like The Vaccines and The Courteeners. Scott is big into Reggae, and we all have roots in punk, post-hardcore and indie rock.

PB: In your bio you say ‘This past summer (2011), we spent our days taking the “White Whale” (Aaron’s ’75 Caprice convertible) down the Jersey Shore and our nights under the marquees of New York City. We decided to put our experiences into song.’ Can you talk about these experiences and how they influenced the sound and style of The Brigantines.

VM: Last summer, we were spending the day at the Asbury Park Beach. Aaron and [guitarist] Scott [Saint Hilaire] were in the water and I came out a little later, wearing my Ray-Bans. They were giving me shit, saying I was going to lose them in a wave. A light bulb went off in my head that it would be hilarious to write a song about losing your Ray-Bans at the beach, going to the extent of asking the lifeguard for help, putting up missing signs, etc. We went back and wrote out the lyrics to what became ‘Ray-Bans.’ We actually made signs for the missing Ray-Bans and put them up around the shore. We got a few funny phone calls!

‘Verity’ is about a beautiful British girl that Aaron met at a rock show in New York one summer night. They hung out a few times, and the lyrics are basically what he said to her the night before she left. The line, ‘We could go to Asbury’ is just a invitation for her to stay and a be a part of our lives.

Most of our other songs were written in similar ways — some random event that sparks a hook idea. For the most part, the songs are full of jokes between us all. Which is what makes it so much fun.

PB: Talk about the recording of your EP — the sound is absolutely amazing, as if it were recorded in the highest end studio imaginable, but in reality it was recorded in a basement. How did you guys get such a sweet sound and if you could talk a little bit about the actual recording of the album.

VM: I think the simplicity of that recording is what makes it great. We just put mics up, picked tones we loved and hit record. The arrangements are simple — very few layers — exactly how we would play them live. The drum tracks were recorded with only three mics. Guitars and bass were all pretty much one take. Vocals were recorded with an SM58.

We had actually never even played those songs together as a band before recording them. They were all just ideas in our head. Once the drum tracks went down, we just built the songs on top and they came alive. It was an amazing experience.

PB: People can check our EP — Next Summer on Bandcamp — if you were to pick a song off the EP that perfectly captures the spirit and essence of The Brigantines sound — which would it be and why?

VM: If I had to choose, I’d say the title track, ‘Next Summer.’ It was the first song we wrote and It captures the vibe perfectly — upbeat, slightly melancholy, has some silly moments, and tells a story about falling in love at the shore.

PB: Talk about your first show in December 2011 at The V Lounge at Verve in Somerville, N.J. — any nerves going into it?

VM: Honestly, there’s always nerves. But, we set it up so it would be a super intimate gig and invited all of our close friends. It was a packed house with a great vibe. Halfway into the first song, the nerves were gone. It was a blast.

PB: How’s the reception to the band’s sound been since you first came onto the scene?

VM: We released Next Summer last September. We knew it was late in the summer season, but we couldn’t wait to get it out. The title almost acknowledges that we knew people wouldn’t hear it for a while. We sent it out to a bunch of people, and the response was positive, but not many bites for write-ups or gigs. Interestingly, as soon as the weather started getting nice this year, things started to pick up. Our friends have been amazingly supportive, and we’ve made lots of new ones lately.

PB: You guys are playing our Shipwrecked at the Shore showcase Thursday, what are your thoughts about the Asbury Park music scene and to complicate that question — the Jersey Shore music scene in general?

VM: I can’t tell you how much we are looking forward to this show. Dub Proof and Wakah Chan both have so much vibe and the Wonder Bar is the perfect setting! Hopefully some of the dogs from Yappy Hour stick around for the show.

No but seriously, Asbury Park is an amazing place. The sense of community and level of support among artists is electrifying. Everyone we’ve met through the band has been instantly supportive. We’re excited to be a part of it.

PB: What are your plans for the rest of 2012?

VM: We have a few cool gigs coming up: May 10 we are playing ‘Barrels and Brews’ surf night at Langosta Lounge in Asbury, May 5 we have a Cinco de Mayo Surf Party at Roxy & Dukes in Dunellen, May 28th we are playing a Memorial Day bash at The Press Room in Asbury, and June 9 we’re doing LBI fest. We’re looking to play out as much as possible this summer!

Also, we are headed back into the basement next month to record a few more songs, including a few cool covers. We’re going to compile everything we’ve recorded for a full-length CD release entitled Vacation! in June or July.

Thanks to Bill and Pop-Break for the chat and to everyone for reading! See you soon! x - Pop-Break


Still working on that hot first release.



The Brigantines formed in the Summer of 2011 as a duo between friends Vincent Minervino(Vocals, Guitar) and Aaron Leonovich (Bass). Minervino penned the band's first song - 'Next Summer - about falling in love while on holiday at the shore, with the hopes of one day meeting again. After hearing the demo, mutual friends Scott Saint Hilaire (Guitar, Vibe) and Dan Tojeira (Drums) joined the band to round out the lineup.

That summer, the band spent many Summer days (and Summer nights!!) driving to Asbury Park, NJ in Aaron's '75 Caprice convertible - The White Whale! These experiences inspired the the Next Summer EP, which the band recorded in their own basement studio. Singles 'Take You Home' and 'Sunset Motel followed later that year.
The band entered the studio again in early 2012 to re-mix the EP and singles and record 5 new songs, which became the first LP - Vacation! The band launched the album with a SOLD OUT show supporting 'The King of Surf Guitar' Dick Dale at Joey Harrison's Surf Club.

Soon after, the band shot the video for the first single, 'Ray-Bans' in Asbury Park. The song and video tell the tragic story of losing your favorite pair of sunglasses in a wave.

Since then the band has supported many of their favorite artists including Dick DaleLos Straitjackets, Igor & Red Elvises, The Bouncing Souls, Southside Johnny, and Agent Orange!

Band Members