This is See Plus
By Jennifer Ersalesi
Four young men all under age 21 from Rutherford started a band called “See Plus” in 2017. Two of the band members, Miles Dellaha and Jake Linsalata, were childhood friends who met Nick Tabakci through a teacher in middle school. Their fourth bandmate, Alex Fiume, invited Nick, Miles and Jake to play at a charity show. After that show, Alex, Nick, Miles and Jake combined their musical efforts and formed their band, See Plus and have been successful ever since.
Mrs. Connie DeFazio, Pierrepont School Choral teacher, told TIR, “These boys were deeply devoted to music very early on. They have not lost their focus and just continue to get better and better.” This is Rutherford had the opportunity to learn about the band members and their upcoming show in NYC.
TIR: One of your former Instrumental Music teachers at Union School, John Brigante, told TIR, "I worked with all 4 of these students in some capacity (RHS marching band, pep band, jazz band & during Rutherford Summer Band). They are all really great, talented kids, well, young adults now. They were always 100% invested in our Rutherford Music program no matter what we did (concert band, marching band, jazz band, musical theater pit orchestra, small ensembles, anything and everything related to music.) It only makes sense that they have their own band now considering how completely devoted to music they all are."
Seems like you all have loved music for quite some time, how many years have you all been writing music together?
Miles Dellaha: This summer is our second year of writing music together. We first got together in the spring of 2017 and only played covers up until the summer, which was when we put our first song together.
TIR: Where do your song ideas come from?
Nick Tabakci: I know that I like to focus on lyrics, but Miles is really good at making up sick guitar riffs and instrumental bits. Personally, I know that I draw a lot from my misadventures as a New Jersey teenager. In the end everyone brings raw ideas to the table each song is a melting pot of our individual styles.
TIR: In addition to writing your own music, you often play “covers” as well. What are some of your favorite songs to cover?
Miles Dellaha: Everybody Talks by Neon Trees
Nick Tabakci: Brazil by Declan McKenna
Alex Fiume: Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers
Jake Linsalata: The Scooby Doo Theme Song by Simple Plan
TIR: Some of your influences include Radiohead, Sonic Youth, Arctic Monkeys and Nirvana, are there any others?
JL: Bands like The Strokes and My Chemical Romance are big influences for us, both because of their unique sound and the fact that they both came up in the tri-state area. The Beatles are also a huge influence for so many reasons, as they changed music forever and have generated so many classic songs.
TIR: Your new single, “Why Would We” is now available everywhere and the video can be seen on Youtube and via your website. Where did the inspiration for that song come from?
AF: The song was commissioned by County Films, an up and coming film company run by young adults our age. The song is inspired by a feeling of growing up, and achieving independence as teenagers.
TIR: There is also a video that goes along with the song. Can you tell us more about it?
AF: The video was created by the great folks at County Films, with footage from their show Suicide Spenders, mixed with show footage of us playing live.
TIR: Which bands and musicians do you each of you currently listen to?
MD: Ultra Q, Wavves, FIDLAR
NT: Mitski, Small Crush, Diet Cig
JL: Queens Of The Stone Age, Pink Floyd, together PANGEA AF - Streetlight Manifesto, Anti Flag, Rex Orange County
TIR: One of your former Instrumental Music teachers, Michael Faugno, told TIR, "Besides the fact that they are all super talented, I think the best thing about them is their willingness to help others. They all also love the arts. They have participated in so many things in school ranging from Concert Band, Choir, Marching Band, Jazz Band, School Musicals (Lighting, Sound or Music), and Talent Shows just to name a few."
Where did each of you learn to play the instruments you have chosen?
MD: I started in 5th grade, reluctantly taking guitar lessons and playing in the school band, and continued up to the point where I actually enjoyed playing music in 8th grade.
NT: My mom forced me to take classical guitar lessons, and I somehow ended up here (laughs).
AF: I started in 6th grade playing for the school band, and then moved to private lessons until last year.
JL: I kind of just learn as I go along.
TIR: Did you have a particular mentor or teacher who really helped you on this path?
MD: We all actually have the same teacher who inspired us to play music and work together. Mr. Joseph Cavezza, the music teacher at Pierrepont school, helped all of us grow as musicians and collaborators. In 2017, he brought us all together. He worked with us in the marching band and the school orchestra, and upon us all asking if he knew anyone that wanted to be in a band, he directed us to each other. We are very thankful to have had such a positive influence early on in our lives that helped grow our love of music.
TIR: What did you enjoy about growing up in Rutherford?
MD: I enjoyed how strong the local community is here and the constant local events that make the town always interesting and exciting.
NT: I actually didn’t grow up here, I grew up in Belleville, but it’s sick here; I like all the restaurants and foot traffic on Park Ave.
AF: The proximity to New York City is great for me.
JL: Everyone in this town is very neighborly and cooperative so it really helps with talking to people and spreading the good word of the band.
TIR: How do you think your life experiences in Rutherford have shaped you as an artist?
NT: A string of failed relationships and generally learning how to survive as a young adult has bled into my songwriting.
MD: The art and culture in Rutherford have inspired me to create art of my own and play music for my friends and people my age in town.
JL: My life experiences in Rutherford have driven me to be very energetic and engaging on stage.
AF: The small-town setting close to the city has given me a wide world view and a lot of memories in the city that other people in other towns may not have been able to experience.
"I've been a fan of See Plus since they first began. Their journey has really been amazing to watch so far and I am really excited to see where they go from here. All the band members are really great guys. They have a lot of fun and are truly humbled by the experience," lifelong Rutherfordian, Samantha Hiller, told TIR.
TIR: See Plus currently has two EP’s released, See Plus (self-titled) and Pool of Tar . They both have been very well received! Are you working on new music?
MD; Thanks! We are definitely working on new music. We are always writing new material, and are eager to get back into the studio.
JL: We will be releasing EP’s for the foreseeable future, they are really the best way of getting music out quickly, and efficiently
TIR: Last but not least, tell us about your upcoming show in NYC on 8/16. Lori Staselis, Rutherford resident, told TIR, "I was there the day that Miles was born and have watched him grown in my many ways, including as an artist. In the last two years, See Plus has developed a lot of original songs and continue to improve their performances. I'm looking forward to seeing them at The Bitter End on August 16th. My family and I love See Plus."
Playing at The Bitter End is a big deal, how are you feeling about this upcoming show?
MD: We are very excited to play at The Bitter End! We have been wanting to break into the New York music scene for a long time and we believe that this is a great opportunity for us. The venue has a very storied history and it is hard to believe that we will soon be a part of that. We got the show through the booker, who we emailed thinking that we would have no shot at playing. However, they gave us a chance and we’re ready and thankful to be on stage in Greenwich Village!