Old, Random News Clippings 2005-2007

November 2007 Issue

The Disgruntled Sherpa Project is riding high with this summer’s release of The Wildwoods. We sat down with guitarist/songwriter/singer Joe Boylan to discuss the band an album.

WOM: What is the secret to your band staying together for such a long time?
Joe Boylan: That’s the question we get asked the most. I think it just comes down to comfort, friendship and a mutual understanding of one another. This band wasn’t put together by posting an ad in a newspaper. Me, George and Wayne have known each other since 1991 and we’ve been playing in different bands with one another since 1992. Dan and I grew up around the block from one another and went to grade school together and Walt is married to my sister, so we’re literally family. It’s hokey but in a way the band is a family. A dysfunctional family that barely speaks to one another, but a family never-the-less.

WOM: How would you describe DSP to someone who hasn’t heard your music?

Joe: We’re primarily a rock band, but we like to blend genres. There’s definitely a country influence on some stuff and a mid-eastern influence on other things. I guess, if you’re in a band and want to feel better about yourself and how your band sounds, then we’re the band to listen to.

WOM: What can people expect from your live shows?

Joe: A drunken good time – at least that is the goal. Our live shows rely mainly on the rock part of our repetoire. We play a different setlist every night and throw in some covers on occasion. We do shake things up sometimes, if the venue is compatible with it, and will do the acoustic stuff too. It all depends. To be honest some nights I think we’re a very, very good tight band. Other nights we’re not. It all depends.

WOM: Do you have any important shows coming up?
Joe: We’re playing our last show of 2007 at The Rusty Nail in Ardmore, PA this Saturday November 17th. We are kinda shutting down the “playing out” aspect of the band for a bit so we’re pulling out all the stops for this last show: we’re handing out balloon animals.

WOM: Where you do get inspiration for your music?

Joe: Everything. Books, other music, the news, what shirt Dan’s wearing at the time, TV, The Simpsons mainly.

WOM: What can you tell us about Neither Tenzing Norgay Records?
Joe: It’s just our own “record company” if you can call it that. We just want to be as independent as we can be so we do all the distribution deals, artwork, studio fees, etc. ourselves. Most bands do this now. We hope to have something up and running where we can put out other peoples’ stuff just to do it. We’ve never been interested in a record company or being signed. We’ve never sent anyone a demo. Now, don’t get me wrong if a record company called and wanted us we’d be over the moon elated and be rushing out to sign, but we’re not actively pursuing it because doing stuff our way we’re completely independent and indebted to no one. And with the internet and online distributors there’s really no need for a record company. Besides, a proper record company would never have allowed us to release six albums and an EP in five years…sometimes I wonder why we allowed ourselves to do that.

WOM: Your newest release The Wildwoods was a departure from the music that people are used to hearing from you. What has been the reaction to the new music?
Joe: It’s been very positive. It’s gotten the best reviews of anything we’ve done. It’s selling fairly well which is great considering we are a very independent band. It’s getting decent airplay on some local college stations. I mean being realistic I think we’re happy overall with the response. Nothing we do is ever going to sell tens of thousands of copies but overall we’re happy with the results. Oddly enough our “Farm Living” album that we did completely by ourselves when we were clueless about producing and engineering has become our Dark Side of the Moon. People keep buying it every now and again despite no continued promotion of it whatsoever on our part.

WOM: People might expect an album called The Wildwoods to be about idyllic summers spent at the beach, but a lot of the lyrics are rather dark. Did you set out to write the album that way?
Joe: It’s weird because Wildwood is easily my favorite place on the planet. I’ve never been unhappy there that I can remember. We have a place down in North Wildwood and the plan was take our mobile studio stuff down there and record in the winter when the place was deserted. We scrapped that idea when we decided to work in a proper studio with a proper producer, but a lot of the songs I wrote were written in Wildwood offseason when it’s cold and rainy which I guess had an influence on the lyrics. Me and Walt came up with “Nor’easter” while we were in a hotel on the beach in Wildwood during that Labor Day Weekend nor’easter in 2006. George wrote some stuff too and basically we just took the songs that we had that matched an overall “feel”. Which apparently is a very dark mood. I originally hoped it would sound like a mid-sixties era Beach Boys’ album, but once the ball started rolling towards darkness and despair it became hard to stop. Which is odd, because I consider myself to be a quite happy and content person.

Who is The Disgruntled Sherpa Project?
Play Philly Magazine
8/1/07 Issue
Rachel Perry’s Who is…interview with Joe Boylan

So you ask, who IS the Disgruntled Sherpa Project, anyway? Let us tell you this: They’re an awesome band who took the time to talk to us on a very short notice, and that gives them some serious points in our book. We love pretty much everything about these five guys, from their ridiculously weird name to their addictively crisp folk-rock sound.

They’ve already put out six full-length albums, and their most recent, The Wildwoods, a tribute to my beloved South Jersey, has gotten some great reviews and feedback. The lyrics are deliciously Ataris-esque and well written – and best of all, you can actually understand what they’re saying (add a few more points on for that). Read below to find out more about these talented boys, and don’t forget to check out their music at myspace.com/dsproject.

Tell us the basics: first and last names, the instrument/s you play, ages and an interesting fact about each of you.

Joe Boylan: guitars, piano, banjo, harmonica, vocals. Was once in an argument in an elevator with gold medal figure skater Tara Lipinski in 1998. Dan Perry: guitars, mandolin, dulcimer, keyboards, percussion. Has never spoken a word to the rest of the band. Walt Mamaluy: bass, percussion, vocals. Is a New York Yankee fan… seriously.
George Wright: guitars, vocals. Was stopped from walking into the path of a speeding truck in Center City Philadelphia by Zakk Wylde.
Wayne Lee: drums, percussion. Is a recluse.

Where are you guys from?
Philadelphia, PA

When and how did the band get together?
This band was formed February of 2002 at Buddha Zen Studios. After some lineup changes, George Wright joined on guitar and vocals in 2003 and Wayne Lee joined on drums in the summer of 2004.

What’s with the name? Tell us how you picked it.
The Disgruntled Sherpa Project. We were sitting around drunk one night at a bar called Eddie’s CafĂ© and just kept angrily yelling “Sherpa!” at everyone who walked by. Around 1 a.m., some local drunk sat down next to us and said, “You guys should call yourselves, ‘The Disgruntled Sherpa Project.'” And we did.

How would you describe your sound?
Eclectic rock with a little something for everyone.

Are there any dominant themes in your songwriting?
We try to write in different styles and using different themes; we’ve been described as both “cynical” and “hopelessly optimistic,” so there you go.

Do you have any finished albums yet?
We just released our sixth album called The Wildwoods.

Who are your most dominant musical influences?
The Rolling Stones, Black Crowes, White Stripes, the Kinks, Led Zeppelin, Gram Parsons, Black Sabbath, AC/DC.

Where’s your favorite place to play a Philly show?
Playing the Trocadero Theater Main Stage was the best Philly experience so far.

Any good stories from the road? Make us laugh.
Playing a wake for a hippie on a farm in Central Pa. Everyone who went onstage had to take a swig from this bottle. I downed two gulps not realizing it was 180 proof moonshine laced with LSD. The guy with the bottle just looked at me and said, “Oh, I wouldn’t have done that.” My mind melted shortly thereafter.
We also played on a huge outdoor stage in rural Maryland during the DC sniper shooting spree and George used his Bullseye Les Paul throughout the show figuring that would make him the safest person there.

What inspires you?
Communicating. Creating and being part of a team of people who collaborate to create something that – hopefully – other people can enjoy.

What song is in your head right now?
“Sky Blue Sky” by Wilco.

Do you have day jobs, or is it full-time music?
We always will have day jobs.

What happens after a typical show?
I sulk and drink, Walt socializes and drinks, Wayne sits quietly, George drinks a little and Dan leaves almost the moment we leave the stage.

Close your eyes and picture where you’ll be in five years. What does it look like?
Hopefully still alive and happy.

Tell us a good joke! We like jokes.
Why are French people so skinny? Because they know French food sucks, too.

Any downfalls to being a musician?
Plenty. It’s hard to leave yourself open and vulnerable; every time you go out and play, it can often be psychologically harmful.

What local shows do you have coming up?
We have a big Summer Sendoff party at our rehearsal/recording studio, The Rusty Nail in Ardmore on October 6 and we’re hammering out details for some larger venue shows in the area as well as elsewhere.

Wildwood References
Cape May County Herald 6/27/07

WILDWOOD – The Disgruntled Sherpa Project pays tribute to the Wildwoods for the Philadelphia based band’s sixth album. The Wildwoods, a rock album that is heavy on electric guitars, an organ and even steel drums, that was released June 26 is described by the group’s guitarist Joe Boylan as “a little story of a weekend at the Jersey Shore in Wildwood. And like every weekend in Wildwood, it starts with a brutal beating.” The songs are sprinkled with Wildwood references, including $20 round trip cab fares, Mr. D’s cheese steaks and the giant Ferris wheel. The first single is entitled, “New Jersey Avenue.”

Word of Mouth PA Magazine,
May 2007 Issue.

What’s in a Name? The Disgruntled Sherpa Project.
“The Disgruntled Sherpa Project came about because we were hanging out in the Himalayan foothills and we’d talk to all of these poor Sherpas whose sole purpose in life was helping people climb Everest. They did most of the work and got none of the glory. We wanted to name the band Neither Tenzing Norgay after Sir Edmund Hillary’s sherpa guide, but Norgay’s family got pissed and refused. Walt said, “Wow, these sherpas are very disgruntled, just asking them to use that name became a real project.” And they name stuck with us: The Disgruntled Sherpa Project”

Transcript from LIVE AT THE NAIL Radio Interview March 5, 2007

Big Daddy: The Disgruntled Sherpa Project. Let’s get them up here. Okay, one of you introduce the rest of the guys.

Joe: I’m Joe Boylan, I play guitar. Next to me is Walt Mamaluy who plays bass and to his left is George Wright who also plays guitar.

BD: There are some guys missing?

George: Yeah. Couple of guys.

Joe: Yeah, our drummer Wayne Lee lives up in the Poconos and is a recluse who won’t talk to anyone but the band. And our other guitarist, Dan, is in New Orleans right now helping to rebuild houses.

BD: Nice

J-Bob: Excellent.

BD: Now, tells us a little bit about Radical Supernatural. Those are friends of yours?

Joe: Yeah.

BD: Tell us something about them.

Joe: Well, they’re this funk rock band from uh, South Jersey and uh, Delaware County. They’re real good. They have a real cool vibe about them. Matter of fact one of there songs is called “Real Cool Vibe”.

BD: And they’ll be playign with you guys on March 10th.

Walt: Yeah. They’ll be there.

BD: Look at this guy, he looks worn out. He’s rubinng his hands through his hands. Long weekend, Joe?

Joe: It’s been a long life.

BD: A long life. This guy looks about 28 years old and he’s worn out. It’s a long life.(laughs) Now, the song we’re playing tonight is called “New Jersey Avenue”. Excellent, I’m familiar with the area. North Wildwood, right?

Joe: Yeah, North Wildwood.

BD: Love North Wildwood, not to crazy about Wildwood though.

Joe: No one is. It’s like…

BD: Are you familiar with Wildwood? You guys go down a lot?

Joe: Well, growing up in Southwest Philly you ultimately spend a lot of time down the shore and Wildwood.

BD: Spend a lot of tiem chasing girls down there.

Joe: Well, we’re working on a CD called Wildwood.

George: We are?

BD: He has a lot of input in the writing. (laughs)

Joe: He wrote like four songs on it.

George: I have no idea.

BD: So, it’s about Wildwood…

Joe: Well, like, when you’re a kid and you’re going down the shore with your parents it’s like your main concern is going on rides on the boardwalk, going to the beach. You get a little older and you want to spend time with friends, then in high school…

BD: You’re looking to get drunk and high…(laughs)

Joe: You’re looking to get drunk and high or pick up girls and it’s more about that. Then you get older and have a family and have kids and it’s about bringing your children down and taking them on the rides and taking them to the beach, so it’s like this full circle of life and we’re using Wildwood as a metaphor for that.

BD: And the song “New Jersey Avenue…”

Joe: Basically, it’s the story of a weekend in Wildwood, and like every weekend in Wildwood it starts off with a brutal beating.

BD: Okay, Boo, track one “New Jersey Avenue” from The Disgruntled Sherpa Project..


BD: Okay, that was “New Jersey Avenue” from The Disgruntled Sherpa Project. I dug it. Dug everything about it. It was the first song we played tonight where I could reall yunderstand the lyrics.

Joe: Hearing the lyrics is important. 

BD: Okay, you guys will be here with Radical Supernatural, Swelter and 12 After on March 10th. Where else you guys playing?

George: We’re uh…

Joe: We’re just wrapping up a little mini-tour we did around the area. But, we’re in negotiations to play some bigger places coming up…

George: The Khyber. The Troc.

Joe: (laughs) The Troc.

BD: Alright, guys, we’ll let you go. The Disgruntled Sherpa Project.

Music from The Disgruntled Sherpa Project now available on New Compilation CD from Apollo Tunes

September 14, 2006 Entertainment News 

Utica, NY – Music from The Disgruntled Sherpa Project, a Philadelphia-based rock band will be part of an Apollo Tunes (www.apollotunes.com) Compilation CD slated for release on October 6, 2006. The CD, along with the band’s music will also debut on the ApolloTunes.com website. 

The band is one of over 35 bands to appear on the interactive MP3 disk designed to promote the Apollo Tunes website as an online record store for Apollo Entertainment. The site touts itself as interactive alternative for unsigned musicians seeking higher yields per download as well as signed bands looking for a more profitable approach.

The release party for the compilation will be released with a party on October 6th at the venue, Electric Company, located on 700 Varick St., Utica, NY 13502. The other bands featured on the Compilation release are Jomama and the Funkdaddys, the real burnouts, Love Puddle, Bonfire, Shapes In The Clouds, IRIEmember, Ashley Cox, and The Reuben James.

The Disgruntled Sherpa Project also will be releasing an internet-only EP entitled Broken and Bruised that be available exclusively through Apollotunes.com. The EP will feature “Road Kings” a song that includes a vocal appearance by Philadelphia singer/songwriter JC3, a long time friend of the band. Since forming the band in 2002, the band has released six album’s including the recent “Old Hat”.

David Pollard of normnews.com reviews OLD HAT
The Disgruntled Sherpa Project has scored again with Old Hat. After listening to the first three tracks, I felt as though I had entered a wild honky-tonk bar, with a kick ass band appeal. Slightly classical rock, with a hint of funk is the norm, and a few ballads in between. When Sherpa hits the ground running, with an uptempo song like “Long Time Coming,” they really find their benchmark…a down home, rockingly refreshing good time. Not only is “Long Time Coming” appealing to their core, but should welcome outsiders to trapse upon Sherpa grounds. Sherpa’s appeal seems to have wafted upon their last effort. They seem more at ease with ballads, and softer toned melodies. I was especially surprised to hear such a wide variety of melodic genres in their repertoire. “Old Hat” is worth a gander, an ear, and a few bored DJs looking for something refreshingly original.

Upstage Magazine Feburay, 2006


(Philadelphia, PA) — The Disgruntled Sherpa Project, Philadelphia’s most enigmatic (in this case meaning “unknown”) band released their fifth CD, OLD HAT. The album was recorded from late summer through Christmas 2005 in Delaware County, PA with the band’s mobile recording unit which lent itself to the clubhouse atmosphere of the recordings.
“Old Hat” was mixed and mastered by Steve LaFashia from Jealousy Curve who also worked on the band’s 2004 album, “Keeping It Real”. The album is an exploration of roots rock, country and bluegrass and “all things Americana” as the band borrows a term from rock legend Gram Parsons and labels the music part of “Cosmic American Music.
The 12 tracks on the album range from rock songs such as “In a Meadow” and “Perfect” to dulcimer and mandolin driven country and bluegrass songs like “Western Prayer” and “Shenandoah” to acoustic songs “Can’t Rain All the Time” and “Crumbling Down.”
“In fact there’s a great deal of acoustic music reflecting a warmer, more family oriented vibe. Working on this disc has been without a doubt the most fun I’ve ever had recording,” commented Disgruntled Sherpa drummer Wayne Lee. “From top to bottom it’s the most diverse body of music I’ve had the pleasure of playing on.” 
According to the band, the album contains evokes references to the Civil War, President Lincoln’s assassination, and Zapata’s uprising in Mexico without a glamorized musical history lesson. “There is something for everyone. From hard rock to slow ballads, stripped down rock and roll to old school country,” Lee adds.
“Everything with the band and our lives is at a point where we just appreciate everything we have and some of the songs are just outright celebrations of this,” says Guitarist Joe Boylan who believed the family atmosphere heavily influenced the music. 
Referring to the jubilant track, “We’re Gonna Have a Really Good Time” Boylan adds, “There’s this prevalent negativity out there about everything and that sickens me. I can be just as negative as the next guy, but it’s gotten absolutely ridiculous. No one looks at what is going right anymore for fear that it doesn’t sell. With the music and lyrics here we wanted to kind of look at the positive things in our heritage and history and community.”
As Guitarist/Mandolinist Dan Perry puts it, “I think this CD reflects the collective input of the entire band more than any of our prior albums. More attention was put into every aspect. The result is similar to our previous work in that we cover many genres from upbeat hard rock to melancholy to acoustic country, but it differs from previous work in the overall sound.”
The album also includes a track about famed hockey goalie and bank robber Atilla Ambrus, titled appropriately enough, “Attila”. The song was inspired by Ambrus himself and Julian Rubinstein’s excellent biography of the puck-stopping bandit, The Ballad of the Whiskey Robber. “He’s the coolest guy I ever read about,” declares Boylan. “As I was reading the book I kept thinking about the things that were going on in my life at the exact time this guy was living this bittersweet adventure on the side of the planet.”