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White Noise roars back from the ashes



Published: Thu, April 3, 2014 @ 12:05 a.m.

By GUY D’ASTOLFO

dastolfo@vindy.com

In the early ’90s, Noisy Mama was making a lot of noise in the Mahoning Valley and across the country.

The flamboyant and hard-rocking hair-metal band had a recording contract and was touring the nation.

The band also had a pile of original songs that their devoted fans loved — although many never made it onto their album, “Everybody Has One” (ATCO, 1991).

But Noisy Mama was a product of its time, and the party came to an abrupt end when a band called Nirvana hit the scene. The LA-style glam-rock era was swept aside by the darker grunge sound.

Noisy Mama broke up in 1992.

But as the years went by, the band’s Youngstown-area fans never forgot those raucous shows at places like Studio West in Warren in the early ’90s and also the ’80s, when the band was known as White Noise. Studio West was in the Crest Lanes building on U.S. route 422.

When homemade recordings and videos of White Noise — shot or recorded at live shows by fans — began surfacing on YouTube and social-media sites, the band figured it was time to take action.

Four of the band’s original five members regrouped as White Noise last year and finally recorded those songs. It’s been a couple of decades since the band broke up, but the CD is now available.

The newly reformed White Noise will play a record-release show Saturday at McMenamy’s in Niles.

Lead singer Paul Skowron, who now lives in Kill Devil Hills, N.C., is looking forward to it. He’ll be joined by Allen Sillaman of Youngstown, drums; Jim Gumina of Long Island, N.Y., lead guitar; and Carlo Infante of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., bass. The band’s fifth member, rhythm guitarist Dave Scott, lives in Arizona and won’t be able to make it.

Sillaman has been performing in Deep Cuts and Infinity. He has been battling cancer, and a fundraiser took place for him last weekend at the Dash Inn on the West Side.

Looking back on its early days, Skowron said White Noise was a cover band when it started.

“We started writing originals until we were doing a set of originals,” he said in a phone interview from his home. “We started building a show, and were one of the only club acts then that had propane flames in our show.”

To record the comeback album, “Out of the Ashes,” Skowron, Gumina and Infante laid down tracks at a studio in New York, while Sillaman did the same in Youngstown. The album was mixed in New York.

“Ashes” has 12 songs, and basically recreates a typical White Noise gig from the late ’80s. The song list is: “Party In the Rust,” “Friday’s Child,” “Money Maker,” “Angela,” “Only A Broken Heart,” “Can’t Let You Go,” “Rock Me,” “After the Rain Falls,” “Don’t Throw Me Away,” “Take My Hand,” “Rescue Me” and “Bad Boys.”

The band got together last August for one show at Shotz Bar in Austintown, a hastily assembled gig that drew 300 people. Skowron is expecting Saturday’s show to be a full-blown reunion.

“It’s where it all began, where we honed all those songs,” he said. “Our song ‘Party In the Rust’ is about Youngstown.”

Skowron said the band will play all of its fan favorites from its heyday, plus a few new songs, at McMenamy’s.

After Saturday’s show, the four members plan to keep it going, despite the distances between their homes.

“If the demand is there, we will regroup and schedule more shows,” said Skowron. “With the Internet, it’s easy to stay connected and to record [remotely].”


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