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  • Artist: N.Y. Fury
  • Label: Eonian Records
  • UPC: 798576146696
  • Genre: Hard Rock
  • Release Date: 2022

    The very first incarnation of FURY came to life in 1980 as a three-piece band based out of New York consisting of Gene Hunter on bass, Oscar Bone handling guitar and vocals and Brian Manning on drums and vocals. A bunch of 14 and 15 year olds playing cover songs from the likes of Led Zeppelin, KISS, Judas Priest, Van Halen, Cheap Trick, Jethro Tull and the Ramones, FURY even did a killer original arrangement of “Gates of Steel” by Devo.Due to their tender years, an adult still had to accompany the band members when they played club gigs, but for their very first concert, the trio hustled hard and sold an amazing 500 tickets. Impressed by what his son was putting together, Gene’s father wanted an opinion from more seasoned musicians as to whether he should let his son pursue a career in music. Gene’s older sister’s boyfriend at the time was a bass player and he and his drummer friend A.J. Pero, who were both in A.J.’s pre-Twisted Sister band Heaven, attended a show and thought FURY had huge talent for such young kids, making it much easier for Gene to go after his dream of writing songs for a living.With the rest of the band only interested in doing covers Gene quickly turned his FURY into N.Y. FURY with the bassist’s younger brother Ron Hunter the first to come on board on drums. Ron was quickly followed by two of Gene’s high school guitar-playing buddies, Mike Sinclair and Chris Orzillo, although the latter was soon replaced by Nick Bellarosa. The hardest task of all was, as Gene remembers, finding a singer. “Being a band in the eighties, there were high expectations for front men. Not only did you have to find a guy who could sing but looks and showmanship were very important too. The band had a very strong image and great stage presence so finding a singer who could match up with us was important. It was now 1986, our stage wear was custom made, I had a proper stage show being built, but still no singer.”Jimmy Patryx was the first to take up the challenge by recording the band’s 1987 demos, but it was Gary Ryan, along side Gene, Nick, Mike, and Ron who recorded most all of N.Y. FURY’s material. By this stage, the band was also building a real live presence. Their very first show was a sold out auditorium with 1000 tickets sold. They became the first unsigned band to headline L’Amour (Rock Capitol), Club Bene, and The Stone Pony on their first time performing at either venue.Even with countless shows under their belt, it was still a huge achievement for the unsigned band to be flown out to Puerto Rico to perform at the Ruben Rodriguez Arena, but these accomplishments were, as Gene confirms, both a blessing and a curse. “We were headlining theaters and performing in arenas, but this set the bar high and gave off the impression that we were already signed,” he says ruefully. “When we played with one of Doc McGhee’s bands at a well-known theater in New Jersey where we hadperformed, headlined, and sold out many times before, we were told by the owner of the Theatre, Phil Neiri, that Doc had said ‘No soundcheck. No stage shows. No nothing for N.Y. FURY.’ He knew the crowd and fans were there for us. One time we offered to pay $10,000 to get the opening slot with one of our favorite bands but once they learned of the buzz we had going on, we were turned down.”N.Y. FURY briefly contemplated throwing their lot in with the countless bands jostling for attention on the West Coast but preferred to stay true to a city that had already proved that it could deliver some legendary acts. However, as Gene explains, not every East Coast band that managed to snag themselves that oh-so-coveted record deal went on to convert it into the mega-success that the likes of KISS or Twisted Sister had before them. “Being signed was a psychological victory for bands at the time but some that got a deal did absolutely nothing. They had no following, nor did they ever get on an arena tour. Other bands felt that getting the deal would give them great photo sessions, and stage gear and get their faces in magazines. We did all that ourselves. For me personally, it was 24/7. It was a lifestyle, and every aspect of my time was spent writing, practicing, loading trucks, and promoting the band in any way we possibly could.”Interest did come N.Y. FURY‘s way from a few labels, as well as European promoters and some high-profile music managers but the band never felt they were being offered the backing the work they had already put in merited. Finally, after having been together for nearly four years, the band was approached by a gentleman named Dan Guilliano, who wasn’t just starting up in-band management but also looking to form his own independent record label. With a contract signed worth close to half a million dollars including an agreement to shoot music videos for the songs “If You Could Only See Me Now” and “Bad Enough”, N.Y. FURY’s future looked assured, but in a tragic twist of fate, Guillano would lose his life in a road accident after one of the band’s headline shows at The Stone Pony. “I was supposed to get in the car that night with Dan to celebrate the launching of N.Y. FURY with his independent management company and record label,” Gene remembers, “but decided to stay back and tend to the equipment. It was a crushing blow to Dan’s family and friends, and to us personally.”Unsurprisingly, those events also signaled the beginning of the end for the band and after N.Y. FURY finally called it a day in 1990, Gene initially turned his back on music. He was, however, encouraged to start playing and writing songs again in the late nineties, which led to Gene winning a worldwide songwriting contest with Atlantic Records and a decent indie-spec deal with his new band Carnival Of Souls, who at various times counted both Stet Howland (W.A.S.P.) and Bobby Rock (Vinnie Vincent Invasion) as their drummer. “Carnival Of Souls also entered a worldwide contest sponsored by Guitar Center to win the opening spot for KISS on one of their tours,” Gene says. “People from all over the country voted and we ended up winning by something like twenty thousand votes. When Guitar Center called to congratulate us, we were excited…” but once KISS saw the band’s video, they wouldn’t let Carnival Of Souls open for them. “I guess we should have taken that as a compliment instead of being disappointed…However, the founding member and driving force behind N.Y. FURY can now look back on his days with that band with a lot of pride. “There will never be another music era like that ever again. It was an over-the-top and exciting time to be in a heavy metal band and most musicians dreamed of doing what we did. At the end of the day, with all the good, the bad, and the ugly, it wasn’t just a very exciting time in music but also a very exciting time in our lives.”

N.Y. Fury - I Want It All (LP) (2022) (Silver Vinyl)

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