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Streetlight Manifesto Biography

Last updated: 04/13/2012 11:00:00 AM

Streetlight Manifesto-photo

Daniel Ross - Alto/Bari Sax
Tomas Kalnoky - Vocals & Guitar
Jim Conti - Tenor Sax
Josh Ansley - Bass guitar
Jamie Egan - Trombone/Trumpet
Paul Lowdes - Drums

Last year's formation of Streetlight Manifesto was not unlike the planning of the perfect heist. Six old friends and seasoned veterans of the once lively New Jersey Ska underworld came together again to form an all-star group, a literal "dream team" of characters. All six original members came form the two biggest and most promising local ska/punk bands of the late 90's. Comprised of one half former Catch 22 members and one half former One Cool Guy members, Streetlight began work on their self-titled 4 song EP/demo. Once completed, it was sent out to a few choice independent-minded record labels and almost immediately the group was signed to Victory Records in December of 2002. The lineup has changed slightly since the first recording, but the vibe and musicianship of the team remain as sharp as a blade. Ex-"Keasbey Era" Catch 22 members Josh Ansley (bass), Jamie Egan (trombone) and Tomas Kalnoky (guitar, vocals & songwriting) are paired with the jazz and ska influenced playing of saxophonists Dan Ross and Jim Conti. Filling the percussive spots in the roster are Paul Lowndes (drum kit) and the last-minute addition of Shane Thompson (various percussion). Each member is as comfortable with his respective instrument as possible and it shows.

Combining countless influences, but focusing on ska, punk and reggae, the Streetlight boys command a sound all their own. Everything from Eastern European gypsy keys to tribal rhythms make it into the average Streetlight Manifesto song and it's because of this diversity that they stand on their own. Throw into the mix an uncompromising D.I.Y. ethic, a deliberate and unmistakable visual style and enough energy to destroy small countries, and you've got just a fraction of the whole of Streetlight Manifesto. Hopefully the world will appreciate the sounds of this new-but-weary group as much as band enjoy making them, as their debut LP hits stores later this summer.

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Pure Music | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/14/11

There are no words that can explain the greatness of these musicians. I pity those who have yet to hear Kalnoky's lyrical genius and the group in general. I have gone out of my way to see them live multiple times (five hour drives). I suggest you do so too, you will not be disapointed.

LOVE YOU | Reviewer: Zach | 5/18/11

Streetlight is The best Band i have ever listened to. It stimulates my mind. This band is the only reason i havent shot a bullet threw my head. I play bass and am in a band with no stable name. Streetlight is my only influence i smoke because i am bullied in school. Please make more music.- The prince of Ska and your #1 fan Zach Ps: If you can please come to Virginia beach sometime soon.

Pure Inspiration | Reviewer: Tirith | 2/11/08

Streetlight Manifesto is unlike any ska band I've ever heard. You have the amazing quality of the lyrics and the songwriting that sprouts from Kalnoky's head, you also have an amazingly tight horn section and band to back it. The raw power and force of the music is unmatched by any band - in any genre - I've ever listened to.

Unlike most other ska bands, Streetlight carries a lot of influences that make their music unique. In just about any track (Especially on the latest album)you hear it all...from the Gypsy styled minor keys to the Latin influence in the horn style, and even the Jamaican influences of reggae and ska. They just ran inspiration through a blender, and they've created a music so powerful that words simply can't describe it.

This band will blow you away, even if you're not a fan of the music. Streetlight Manifesto is just something else entirely - they've created their own level.

love this band | Reviewer: joey triano | 1/31/08

streetlight has completely revolutionized my music expierience both as a listener and a percussionist. these guys perform so tight and deliver a blasting message that can take whatever mood your in to its peak. as a matter of fact listening to the godly horn solo in receiving end of it all right this very second, mesmerized. I feel so blessed to have found a band with their personlality and charisma, nevermind how they have completely transformed me into a better drummer with their music. streetlight, you guys kickass... cant wait to catch a show.

Tomas is a artistic genius. | Reviewer: BlackHazeDCK | 1/2/08

This is quite possibly the greatest band ever. Both lyrically and in terms of the instruments. If Tomas Kalnoky can't be called a genius on the same level as Ernest Hemingway, Mozart, or Van Gough, then I honestly don't know what a "genius" is.

But. Here's the strange thing. I don't consider The Streetlight Manifesto ska. No, not in the slightest. To me, their a simple word. One that I would not utter for any other single band. Due to the complexity of their music, their only one thing to me: art.

The way Tomas is able to write such vivid lyrics, and then take them to a whole new level with additon of the brass section, it's a surge of picture work for me.

Yes, the lyrics can (and usually are) dark, but that's why it's beauitful. Tomas is able to perfectly convey everything that happens during the song through the lyrics. He, with the brass memebers, help paint a image into your head during the song.

And the best part of painting the image? It's the fact that through simple to complex metephors and similes, Tomas is able to make one song unique to each person, and not just in terms of what is seen, but also in how you see what is said.

It should be noted however, that while this is true, some song really only have one set "path" or a very narrow "path" to follow, meaning the interpretation is not as varied. However, these song tend to have the most sophisticated brass lines and the lyrics are great enough as they are.)

All in all, Streetlight is a work of art to me. Never seen a better masterpiece in my life. They'll hopfully keep going for years to come.

Gods | Reviewer: Ethan Michael | 9/22/07

Yes, I know, that's a very big claim, but Streetlight Manifesto is composed of Gods of music. I play trumpet, and cannot imagine ever being able to do that. These guys are amazing.

The Sex. | Reviewer: rance | 7/2/07

Definetly the best ska i've heard.
Their stuff never gets old, from instrumentals to lyrics Slight rocks.

Truely... | Reviewer: Claire | 6/9/07

An Awesome Band, ive never heard anyone speak badly about these dudes. Even if the music isnt for you, you cant deny the pure talent, espcially, in my opion, kalnokys song wirting. AWESOME!!!!!!!

streetlight manifesto | Reviewer: mac | 5/11/07

these guys take ska to a new level. everything about them is unique. they are one of the best ska bands ive ever heard. they are a group you could listen to all day long

Blah | Reviewer: Zach | 3/8/07

BLAH! Its all i can say. Theese guys play music that gets to the core of what your feeling. Whether You need the heart pumping adrenaline rush of Heres To Life or the emotional vibe of THe Big Sleep. I love this band.