Rock On Philly Official CMJ Showcase 2015: The Interview!

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As you might already know, Rock On Philly is hosting an official CMJ Music Marathon showcase in New York City on October 15th. CMJ Music Marathon is one of the most important platforms for new music discovery and where some of the world’s biggest artists (Green Day, Lady Gaga, the Killers) have gotten success from their performances there. We recently sat down with the artists performing our exclusive showcase–Modern Colour, Mercury Radio Theater, Jennifer Logue, Rob Tait, Ben Arsenal and Laura Cheadle–to talk about their upcoming set, nerves, and what it means to represent Philadelphia on such a massive and important platform as CMJ.


ROP: CMJ has been one of the  most influential platforms in music for the past 35 years, where bands like Green Day, Lady Gaga, and the Killers have performed and have gone on to garner great success. What does it mean for you as an artist to have this type of platform to showcase your music?

Buddy Mercury of Mercury Radio Theater: It’s always a real honor whenever anyone wants to listen to your music. We always try and give our best, but some gigs you just get more excited for and playing for CMJ is pretty amazing. I’m not so much concerned with garnering success as I am with meeting Jennifer Garner.

Jennifer Logue: I’m really humbled and grateful for the opportunity. The last time I played CMJ was 2011 and a little after that, I took a break from making music. I didn’t think the opportunity would come again but it has and it’s so cool to be sharing it with some of my favorite Philly artists. It’s an honor.

Rob Tait: To play CMJ as an artist is an incredible honor! I’ve wanted to play big festivals ever since I was a kid, but I never could have dreamed of playing this festival so soon into my songwriting career. It’s a big boost and it’s definitely going to be a highlight for me!

Laura Cheadle: It feels great to continue sharing my music on this wonderful platform! As an artist, I have been performing in Philly and NYC area for years and this CMJ Showcase is a perfect opportunity to be seen by many influential people.

ROP: How does it feel to represent Philadelphia and our thriving and diverse music scene? What does it mean to you?

BM: Philly has been really good to us, we’re a pretty weird band and that might not go over well in some place, but Philly is always willing to give something insane a chance. We’ve been really lucky to play with really creative, experimental projects in Philly and the scene really supports that kind of creativity.

JL: I am a tiny little speck in a sky of stars that is the Philly music scene. I say this a lot so forgive me if I seem like a repetitive pop song, but, Philly has so much musical talent it’s mind boggling. It’s a treasure trove. And the whole world needs to know that the scene is better than ever in terms of talent. Festivals like this help different Philly organizations like ROP communicate that message by creating a bridge between the Philly artists and the rest of the world.

RT: Philadelphia is an incredible cultural melting pot of genres and people. I have definitely been influenced by all the music in my city and it’s an incredible honor to be picked among the sea of amazing artists to play such a wonderful event!

LC: It means a lot for people to see how talented Philadelphia musicians truly are.  My dad always tells me how huge the Philly music scene was in the 1970’s and it’s about time that we show NYC what we got!

ROP: If you could pick one more artist (from Philly or beyond!) to perform with you at our CMJ showcase, who would it be and why?

BM: We’ve gotten the chance to play with some really awesome bands that I’m a huge fan of, but I’ve always wanted to play with Man…Or Astro-Man? I thought I’d never get the chance, but they recently reformed and are playing shows again, so maybe if i wish reeeaaallly hard.

JL: So I just watched this documentary on Keith Richards called Under the Influence this week and while I’ve always been a Rolling Stones fan, I didn’t know much about his personal musical journey and it moved me. The way he feels about Buddy Guy and Muddy Waters is the same way so many of us feel about him. He has so many layers and obviously he’s a guitar god, so performing with him would be a dream come true.

RT: If I could pick one artist to perform with me at CMJ…I think I would actually want someone’s band to play with me. Elton John’s band is amazing and I would love if I could play with them on such a prolific stage.  That would be amazing.

LC: Hm, hard one! I would choose Amos Lee, a Philly boy who I have met personally! Wouldn’t that be fun?

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  1. Lauren S

    October 13, 2015 at 12:53 am

    I’m so proud/happy that Philly will be having its own showcase at CMJ, it’s about time to show NYC and the world what is happening here!

  2. Bryana Natale

    October 18, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    To piggyback Lauren, I completely agree! PHILLY ROCKS! Love how all of the artists in this interview speak so highly of Philly and our music scene!

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