There’s an exploding rock ‘n’ roll scene in New York City; bands are banging everywhere, and there are more than a few options every night for this vibrant community. I was at Bowery Electric last week for the Bloody Social gig and found a super-hot following of rock models and scenesters mixed with a crowd from the Max’s Kansas City era — old-school rockers that I hadn’t seen in years were everywhere. Dave Delzio is making moves and is a force in this new rock social scene. He’s involved with the post-Snitch rock Mondays at Greenhouse — which are absolutely kicking — and is about to start a Wednesday night slated to run like the long-lasting weekly party at Marquee, which for me was the sole reason to be there. After talking about tattoos — he gets his done over at North Star Tattoo by Becca Roach, and we decided that he’s going to hook me up for my first ink job — we managed to get in a quick chat about the projects he’s currently working on.
Are you a club promoter? Is that what you would call it? I actually own an entertainment company called Rock Box Entertainment, and I just partnered with MoodSwing 360, which is an entertainment talent agency co-owned by Ricky Greenstein and Johnny Maroney, who book DJs and live acts. I’m coming in to bring more live acts and a different dimension to the agency — bringing more of the rock side into it and just expanding upon what they have. Right now we’ve got everybody from the Good Charlotte boys — Joel and Benji Madden — to Tommy Lee, DJ Enferno, The Crooklyn Clan, and a whole mix of artists.
So your focus is on booking talent? Right now I’m getting into a lot of concert production, and the main focus of my business is producing major events.
Where are you throwing events currently? We’re finishing up with SXSW, and then we’ll be working on the Winter Music Conference and the Coachella festival. My partners are down in Austin for SXSW now, and I’ll be heading down to Miami for the WMC this week.
What are you guys doing at the WMC? We have a few things going on: we’re doing the Moodwing360 party with all our artists, the pre-record release party at the Fontainebleau for LMFAO, who have their single “I’m in Miami Bitch” all over the radio; we’re hosting Samantha Ronson, DJ Chachi, and DJ Enferno at the Gansevoort rooftop pool on the 26th and a few other events.
So what are you trying to accomplish at these music festivals? We’re trying to establish the brand, market our talent, and find the next big artists to come out. We’re good at finding new, great talent.
In addition to that, you’ve used your connections to promote certain party nights in New York. What joints are you working at right now? With MoodSwing, we’re programming the talent on Tuesdays for Cain — we’ve had DJ Riz, DJ Chachi, and DJ Inferno recently — Sundays at Southside, and I’m looking forward to starting the new party at Greenhouse on Wednesdays. We’re going to program good DJ talent in there and have a mix of uptown and downtown promoters, so there’s a nice, cultural mix of pretty people — an upscale, sexy crowd with an edge.
So you’re going to be bringing in talent and all of your rock ‘n’ roll friends? I’m excited about it. I want to make it like the nights at Marquee from the get-go — that rock ‘n’ roll vibe, but still upscale and classy. Wednesday nights were always a cool night.
Why Wednesday? Wednesday is good, but I think it’s always been a tough night. Yeah, if you don’t have a great party, no one’s going to come out, but it reminds me of Disco 2000 and Marquee Wednesdays, which were always great. Generally speaking, it’s an industry night. Monday used to be the industry night, but now everybody goes out on Monday. For example, our Monday night parties at Snitch. That was a party that lasted for a long time; it was its own beast. It grew horns, and we took it on for a long time.
I’ve been making statements in my column saying that I don’t think there are really any great clubs, but I do believe that there are some great nights. In my opinion, the rock ‘n’ roll nights are banging, like the Monday nights over at Greenhouse. I stopped by Lit on Wednesday night with my buddy, and although Lit has been around for awhile, it’s still great. You go in there and it’s a hip-hop vibe, with model girls standing around and rockers all over the place. And also, if you look at a lot of the new clubs opening up now, you can see that the bottle service is really starting to swing. I’ve heard clubs are opening up and instead of bottle service, they’re offering pitchers of alcohols now.
The rock ‘n’ roll scene seems to be thriving; there are a lot of great bands being booked, concerts are selling out, and the scene is vibrant — it reminds me of the early 80s in this town. I’m working with a lot of bands right now. I’m currently managing a band called The Dirty Pearls — they’re headlining and selling out the Bowery Ballroom every time they play. And we’re touring with Brett Michaels this weekend for the Rock of Love tour, doing the opening act for that. We have a lot of really interesting things coming up, and I think that during the recession times, the rebel mentality really starts to come back. I live in the East Village, and if you walk down the street now, it seems like it’s getting back to where it was in the early 90s a little bit.
Yes, I think there’s a rebirth of nightlife — certainly in the rock ‘n’ roll community. If you’ve noticed, even in the John Varvatos store which moved into the CBGBs space, there’s now a monthly rock ‘n’ roll party where we’re having New York City bands perform and then do the after-party at Bowery Electric.
The rock community has never been rich — it’s a lot of people who are trying to make it, so they don’t necessarily suffer in this recession. As traditional ways to make money diminish, I think this scene is expanding and become much more vibrant. New York definitely took a break from the rock scene for a long time with bottle service; the lounges took over Manhattan for a long time, and it’s good to see it come back again. But you can see the change now, because every DJ mixes at least some kind of mash-up of rock ‘n’ roll in their sets now — even the old DJs who were playing nothing but hip-hop and house are playing rock ‘n’ roll now.