"NYCSmoke is distinguished by its combination of straight ahead rock Instrumentation and smarter than usual lyrics. Statland proves to be
an astute observer of society and humanity."
"There isn't a better or more underrated rock band representing the Lower East Side right now than New York City Smoke. Ryan Adams wishes he could be Howie Statland"
"The lyrics move across the guitars like snapshots of big city life, sometimes slipping into the shallowness of the gutters, sometimes flying between the skyscrapers, but always very street-tied and filling out the urban ache with raw honesty and tight rhythms."
--The Big Takeover
New York City Smoke is not your typical rock and roll band, not your flash in the pan. Some bands are here today and gone tomorrow, constantly trying to change themselves to fit in. NYCSmoke maintains their unflinching, raw, strait up New York City rock sound they have honed so well. NYCS has toured for years, selling their own releases on the road and through web and D.I.Y. distribution. NYCS doesn't follow fashion. Fashion finds them.
"Musique Noir," the band's 3rd full length release, is named after Statland's favorite Film Noir style. "I like to think of my music as a black and white movie, telling a story frame after frame," Statland says. "I want my music to be like a short story, with a beginning, middle and end. It should convey some sort of truth."
The album begins with “Stay,” the tale of two people who can't seem to handle more than a one night stand so they make a bet to "Stay."
"I Can't Hardly Wait" is a about a rock renegade, lost in the clubs of NYC: "Guitars and Amps I'll meet you tonight at Tramps. There will
be bands and more bands for us to see. Leave, please in the middle of the show 'cause the show is not your reality.'"
"Give Me An Issue" is a hard rocker in the vain of The New York Dolls meets Nirvana. Inspired by a Lou Reed quote, "Give Me An Issue I'll
give you a tissue!" This is a testament to the idiocy of the politicians running our world and a message that the people have the power.
"Secret Machines" is an existentialist ballad about being present and not to let one's own secret machines run their life. "You came without a home, no place to lay your head, you could go to L.A., but you would wind up dead. Where nobody's famous and everyones a mess. Wind up back in Vegas with a bullet in your chest."
The album ends with "The Cyclone," the ballad of Lou and Shiela, two Coney Island lovers who ride the Cyclone like a religion. Lou's in a rock and roll band, Shiela is on the pipe, and neither can find happiness so they make a plan to take their lives in their own hands and ride the Cyclone into the sky forever.
Touring has certainly paid off as NYCS has sold over 4,000 cd's on their own on the road. Highlights include playing with the New York Dolls at Irving Plaza in NYC, They Might BeGiants at the Vic in Chicago, Franz Ferdinand, Interpol, Jet, and a host of other great bands.
NYCSmoke is made up of Howie Statland (Guitars, Vocals), Kim Henry (Guitars, vocalse), Kevin Fox Haley (Bass, vocals), Matt Lewis (Drums, vocals), and Jessie Sousarian (keyboards, vocals). Band members were formerly in Thin Lizard Dawn, Billionaire Boys Club and The Churchills.
Statland began his career in Thin Lizard Dawn (RCA), and made several records with extensive touring from 1996-2000, when he formed NYCSmoke. Statland has also composed music for films. He has collaborated with Philip Glass. In 1999, Statland wrote, produced and directed his own experimental short film based on his music called "Low Flame." It has been screened at P.S.1(MOMA), the San Francisco Film Festival, SXSW, and several other film festivals.
When people listen to NYCSmoke they say they love the "I don't give a fuck" attitude that comes across in the music. This is conveyed not
only by the lyrics and the attitude in which they are sung, but also by the chaotic guitars, a driving rhythm section and the feeling of the band chugging along on their own track. Statland's voice is the engine of a rock and roll train that will take you around the world in a day, and it never stops. So grab a seat, sit back, hold tight and enjoy the ride. Please play at maximum volume.