Out of Rochester, NY alternative ska-rock outfit Mrs. Skannotto has announced, ahead of some upcoming shows, a new guitarist and a new album, that they have decided to change their band-name to BURN IT UP.
It’s not often we’re given an update that a band has changed their name. I think the last significant name change we reported on had to do with Sublime, but that was for other reasons. This update comes as a bit of a surprise as the group has already established themselves with the 3 studio albums since forming in 1998.
Fusing elements of alternative rock, reggae, punk and ska, Burn It Up’s distinct sound reflects the eclectic musical backgrounds and styles of each band member and their shared influences such as The Police, Sublime, RX Bandits and Goldfinger. The group consists of Joe Harmon on Vocals, Mike Frederick on the lone Guitar, Justin Lloyd rocking Trumpet, Dan Carter slappin’ da Bass, Evan Dobbins bumpin’ the Trombone, and Alex Bochetto on the Drums.
They had been kicking around the idea of changing their name since 2002 when the group first moved to Rochester, NY. We caught up with Burn It Up’s trumpet player, Justin Lloyd, who acknowledged: “The name change probably would have been most appropriate then (in 2002), but at the time, we had a little notoriety and 2 albums of tunes to work with, so it was easier to build the band back up with existing tunes and a reputation, rather than start from scratch in a city that, at the time, had no ska scene to speak of.”
Coming up with a new name after 18 years can’t be easy and with 6 members in the group, choosing a new name can be difficult: “We went through a long process with everyone personally writing and refining their own lists of names, first. Then we all sat down together and compiled all the names and had a veto session. Eventually, we narrowed it down to 3 names that everyone had agreed with, then we did a “knock-out” search to see if there were any other band’s with the names or other significant name conflicts. ‘Burn It Up’ was our top pick and coincidentally had no real name conflicts, so it worked out perfectly.”
The original band name, Mrs. Skannotto, was formed as an inside joke around one of the groups founding members, Mark Annotto, who loved ska music. Inside jokes are hard to outwardly explain, and as as the group details: “It’s really hard to remember and even harder to spell correctly, so with a band of our moderate size trying to make and spread a name for ourselves around the country, it was becoming a problem for people remembering who we were and connecting with us after a show, especially the farther away from home we were… Our hope is to move forward with a name that will let us and the music do the talking and not get people hung up on trying to remember ‘What was the name of that awesome band I saw on Saturday night, and how the heck do I spell it?’ Problem solved = Burn It Up!”
Back in Oct. 2015, we featured their song “Cadence”, from their last studio album Outlier, as our Mp3 Leak of the Week, the group told us at the time they were holed up in the studio at Hope Alive Media in Farmington NY, where they are reuniting with audio engineer Matt Goodwin and sound mixer Matthew Saccuccimorano, who they worked with on last year’s Outlier LP.
When pressed for hints as to what fans can expect from the new record, bassist Dan Carter says: “I’d say the focus will be on tight compositions, and further developing new ground explored on the last album. The music itself is different. We keep evolving musically.”
Follow Burn It Up below at their new following links and keep a look out for their upcoming shows.