Hailing from Old Bridge, New Jersey, The Stolen is an alternative rock band consisting of Dom Cuce, Rob Chiarappa, Kevin Smart and Mike Chiarappa. The band’s nostalgic sound of late 80’s new wave rock blended with modern indie pop is nothing less of intriguing. Since forming, the band has provided direct support for acts like Neon Trees and The All-American Rejects. In addition, The Stolen has made appearances at festivals like Vans Warped Tour, South By So What, and Skate and Surf.
The quartet released there sophomore EP ‘I’m So Dead’ in 2016, which caught the attention of many including MTV, who claimed that the EP “is the perfect pop-alt soundtrack to take you into the summer season.” In May of 2017, The Stolen put out their newest release titled ‘Fragile Heart’ which includes the groups most representative tracks to date including “Euphoric” and “West Coast”. The band is currently embarking on a national tour in support of the release.
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Christopher Remmers: At SCP, one of our main objectives is to encourage people to get out of their comfort zones and explore people, places and things they’ve never seen or experienced before. To do this, we give influential figures a platform to lay down some of their travels for people to follow when they’re not sure where to explore next. Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about where you grew up?
Kevin Smart: Awesome! I’m originally from Queens, New York where I lived for a few years. I then eventually made my way over to Old Bridge, so ever since then, when I’m not on tour, that’s normally where you can find me. I’m actually on tour right now and lot of our crew is from all over the place. Some people are from Los Angeles, Connecticut and Miami, and every time we roll through New Jersey, I gotta say we really do have the best pizza in the country. Whenever we are all together, I’ll bring everyone over to Crispy Pizza. They have a few other spots out in New York City. That’s my go-to spot for food. Really anything Italian, and it would not be hard to get me or my bandmates there.
CR: There’s actually this really amazing Italian restaurant called Rivoli’s [Italian & Seafood Restaurant] down the shore. I’m not to sure what town it’s in, but they have some of the best Italian food I’ve ever had in my life. The portions are outrageous. The price is right. I guarantee anyone who goes there will not be disappointed. I highly recommend it! Speaking of touring, any shows you’re excited for coming up?
KS: We’re going to be playing Warped Tour in July. Then, through the Midwest, and down through Tennessee and Virgina. We’ll be back up in New York the end of July, so you could say we are definitely staying busy. We’re excited for it all.
CR: In this line of work traveling comes with the territory, all of you guys currently live in different parts of the country. How did you all manage to come together to form the band?
KS: I actually forgot to mention I’m in two groups. I play drums for this pop artist, and I’m also in Stolen. But, we actually all grew up in the same hometown together. We are all from the Old Bridge area. Dom, the lead singer, was born in Staten Island, so him and I are the New York babies. We all live 10 minutes from each other, so when we want to get together and jam we all have studio set ups at our houses, and we could be writing or jamming within 20 minutes.
CR: Really convenient! So far along your journey, where have been some of your favorite places to play?
KS: Recently, I went on a European tour with the pop artist I play for, and we went to over 13 countries in Europe. It was the second time doing a tour their, and it solidified my love for Spain, specifically Barcelona. It’s such a beautiful destination. The city is amazing. You know I’m a beach person, so we had the luxury of the city being beachfront. The food there was absolutely amazing. There was a Marriott with this restaurant right on the water. There are just so many amazing food places out there, but I would have to say, it was definitely one of my favorite places to visit and preform.
CR: Where would you say you draw most of your inspiration from? Do you get more traveling on the road or being home with friends and family?
KS: We grew up on really amazing records like ‘Born to Run’ and things like that, so we often get related to those kinds of artists. So, I would say that’s where we draw a lot of our inspiration, as a whole. We have had a lot of fans over the years say, “You look and sound like a Jersey alternative-rock band.” We mostly write all of our stuff at home. On tour, things can definitely get a little hectic.
CR: Who were some of your childhood inspirations that made you feel like music was something you wanted to pursue as a career?
KS: For sure Bruce Springsteen. My mom actually grew up in Rumson where he grew up. He was always such a musical inspiration to me. To get compared to his sound is really such an honor. It feels great to be recognized from time-to-time and get compared with someone that great. So, ever since I was a kid, I pretty much knew that music was my outlet and what I really wanted to pursue.
CR: I know you said you’re a beach guy, when you’re looking for a getaway, are you looking to hit a beach? Or, do something different like hike in the mountains, explore a city center or maybe something different all together?
KS: I’m really a super beach guy. I can appreciate the wilderness and the mountains, but I rarely go on vacation because I literally travel all the time with the band. We have done a [United States] tour twice now and it really depends. I would say, for me, the ideal vacation spot would be a mixture of the beach and mountains in California. Malibu is absolutely amazing, there’s mountains everywhere along the shore lines. It’s unbelievable to be able to see them both together like that. There’s a beach called El Matador [State] Beach and it’s gorgeous — rocks all over the beach. Just absolutely amazing. On the other side of the spectrum, I have an appreciation for the Midwest and cities like Nashville. Central state cities have a lot to offer.
CR: Lastly, everyone has a list of places they would like to travel to and see. Do you have one or two places on your bucket list for the near future?
KS: I went to Italy once — Milan. It’s really more of a fashion city, almost a little like New York. That Italian culture is there, but it’s blended with a variety of other cultures and traditions. It has a feel of Florence or Venice, but I’ve never been. I would love to get to go there and visit both of those places. I have read a lot about them. I’m fascinated by the culture and the different architecture. I really just want to travel and see as much as I can in the near future. That will make me happy.