Emo band ‘chases’ fame with College Crowd

Chasing Monroe is famous.

In 2004, they released a demo. They have played over a hundred shows in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. They are increasingly getting hits on their Web site and have an avid, growing fan base.

They have yet to make a TV appearance or own the cover of Spin. But they do have an article about them in a college newspaper.

OK, so maybe we should reword something. Chasing Monroe is “almost famous.”

And some people are hoping that day of fame comes soon.

“I will definitely be that girl who walks around bragging that she knows the band,” Laura Guarraci, sophomore accounting major, said. “‘Cause why not.”

So here is a little background on Chasing Monroe, so you too can one day claim you knew them “before they got big.”

Chasing Monroe is made up of four guys: Tony Vangi of Rutgers University, Justin Similo of Richard Stockton College, Adam Frese of nearby Rider University and the College’s own Corey Flynn.

Vangi belts out the lyrics, Similo pulls at the guitar strings, Frese beats the drums and Flynn, sophomore business major, works the bass.

They are all Jersey boys with a passion for rock music.

“As a band, I think we all listen to classic rock all the way to whatever rock entails today,” Vangi said. “Emo, punk, whatever you want to call it.”

The name Chasing Monroe, according to Flynn, is a reference to Monroe Street in Asbury Park, where the band played their first show in March 2003.

“I wanted us to remember the first show,” Flynn said. “The verb ‘chasing’ sounded better than any other verb. It is us moving towards playing more shows.”

To play at many shows in the area, Chasing Monroe spends considerable time on Web sites like jerseyshows.com and purevolume.com. And they will, when given the opportunity, play against other bands.

“I go to every show I can go to,” Kyle Schimpf, freshman political science major, said. “I would say that they are unique because their sound is not totally ‘out there’ but the vocals and lyrics are above and beyond. They are catchy.”

And that was just the music from their last demo.

According to their Web site, chasingmonroe.com, “The lack of recent shows (is) because we are right down in the dirty work of writing the new album.”

The site claims the album is “sounding amazing,” but the guys are more tight-lipped when it comes to inquiries about the disc’s content.

“You’ll have to wait to hear,” Flynn said.