Earl Green: "Greenspotting" on Long Island
by Derek Grosso
Earl Green was started in 1994 by Mat Stegner and Dan Silverman after a fateful cup of tea and a hot night of practicing. Or is it the other way around? Since then, they have acquired Sal Finelli, Mike Brook and Paul Wilders. Over this ten-year period of time, the local boys have built an 80-song original repertoire of mixed acoustic and rock sets, and established themselves as one of the top Long Island original bands. Frontman Mat Stegner answered questions on behalf of the group.
[From left: Dan Silverman - Rhythm Guitar, Mathew Stegner - Lead Vocalist and Guitar, Sal Finelli - Lead Guitar, Mike Brook - Bass, and all the way in back on Drums is Paul Wilders].
Where were you all born and where do you currently reside?
All of us are residents of North Merrick, except for Mike Brook who lives in Bellmore.
Tell us a little about what can be found on your CD, "Sneak Preview."
The original album "Sneak Preview" is some of our most classic acoustic recordings. The album was solely recorded with three acoustic guitars and a drummer. On it, you will find no bass parts because we did not have Mike Brook at the time of the recording. "Sneak Preview" is a powerful ambiance of our classic acoustic sound, arrangements and harmonies displayed in a catchy package. Six songs that you'll be singing along to and refuse to take out of the CD player in your car.
If you could have a 'sneak preview' of something what would it be?
Ha! We don't know if we can disclose that kind of perversion.
You guys regularly play charity gigs and events. Please tell us more about that.
Playing a charity is always something special for us. We have played AIDS benefit concerts, for children who cannot afford medical care and others, but I think the most memorable of them all was the Nassau County's 6th Battalion 9-11 benefit concert to raise money for the fallen firefighters' and police officers' families. Any cause is a reason to play for us.
Where did you come up with your name, Earl Green.
Ha! A long story. It's kind of a tribute to Dan and myself [Mat]. It started as a tradition of drinking tea after practicing in my basement all hours of the night. There was this tea bag with an old guy smoking a pipe on it and Dan asked me what flavor it was? I said, "Earl Green." Bleary eyed that I was, I didn't realize it said Earl Grey. Dan started calling me Earl and I started calling him Mr. Green. The name kinda stuck since Dan and I are not your average cups of tea... It happened and we went with it.
Let us in on a funny/interesting story you have about one of your shows.
Wow, there are so many it's hard to say. There was one show when Sal and Dan both broke their strings at the same time and I was the only one left playing. They stood next to me and we started singing a cappella. I felt like a backstreet boy.
Who are some of your musical influences?
I'll give you a mix of everybody's: Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam, Bon Jovi, The Beatles, Chicago and Journey.
What is your favorite restaurant?
Olive Garden or Red Lobster. Good, cheap Italian food or Lobster!
Guitar tab universe.com
Weird or Interesting
Favorite vacation spot?
Favorite local sports team?
New York Islanders
Best Halloween costume you've seen (or been)?
Sexy Little Bow Pete
Most recent movie seen?
Most dynamic duo, real or fictional?
Brock Landers and Chest Rockwell
Historic figure you would most like to meet, living or dead?
Who would you like to see run for President?
You can play a gig anywhere in the country. Where is it and give us the details?
Madison Square Garden or Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum because I've seen so many shows there and it's my hometown. All of my favorites have played there. It's the big dream.
What's the wildest place you've played on Long Island?
Mulcahy's (3232 Railroad Avenue in Wantagh)
What has been the band's greatest/proudest accomplishment thus far?
We've been on the radio two times. It was definitely a great moment for us.
What makes Long Island special?
The accessibility to everything, wherever you are, and the beautiful women.
For more on the band, or to check out where they will be playing next, visit www.earlgreen.com