Spotlight Artists: The Urge

On Sunday, Sept. 12, nine Long Island bands performed at the JDRF Jam to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. One of them, the Urge, is our next spotlight artist. Guitarist Michael Leccese answered the questions for us:

Spotlight Artist: The Urge

photos by Ocean Moonshine Imaging

Bob O’Neal – Guitar and vocals
Ed Sisali – Bass and vocals
Michael Leccese – Guitar and vocals
Rick Wolanski – Drums

How long have you been performing?
The Urge was an acoustic 2 piece band from 1980 til 1994, consisting of Ed and Bob. I joined them in 1994 and we made it a bit more rockin’ and have been together ever since.

Past lives (i.e., previous bands, your early years, etc.):
Mainly in Queens in The 70’s. No big names.

Favorite venues to play:
Any place with a lot of unfamiliar faces.

Musical influences:
So many… from Mark Farner to Andres Segovia. Can’t play like any of them, I just admire them 🙂

Blatant self-promotion: What would you like to plug?
What?… or who? Seriously, catch one of THE BEST little rock shows on Long Island with The Urge at Seabreeze Cafe. We play there 45 times a year for the past 4 years! You will find very few bands that rock like this. Don’t believe it? Come see for yourself. If, after a full night of The Urge, you can look me in the eye and say, “You ain’t awesome!”, I’ll give you 10 dollars!!! Is that shameless enough?

The Sea Breeze Cafe
470 Fire Island Ave.
Babylon, NY
631 669 9790

The website has awesome photos by Ocean Moonshine Imaging.

Where can we buy your music?
Can’t. . .we are a bar band.

You performed in the JDRF Jam, a benefit for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. How did you get involved in this event?
My very excellent friend, Mike Masciale needed my assistance, period 🙂
Note: To check out how the fundraising efforts fared, visit:

Tell us a little about the guitar smashing.
The ‘ guitar smashing’? love it! … I prefer to call it a ‘ sacrifice’. Actually, it’s fun to smash guitars and it’s fun to watch guitars get smashed. The last one I sacrificed was auctioned off for 150 bucks and that money is going to JDRF, also. Mr. Masciale liked the idea and found a nice little promotional axe to sacrifice and auction off at The Concert. I could not do this with expensive guitars, of course. Nor, could I do it frequently, not on a Long Island musicians’ salary. . .LOL!

Guess which guitar Michael smashed? (answer below)

Tell us a little about performing live.
Take no prisoners, make no excuses! Go in, guns blazing with the intent of slaying the entire audience. Intensity is instrumental. As the performer, you should let that fact be known with your presence. Do not think of yourself as one of the ‘regulars’ … you are not! One more thing, bring some damn lights! You look terrible in the dark!

Any advice to someone just starting out?
Learn music: reading, theory, harmony, modes. . . practice from the beginning…Camptown Races, Jingle Bells. Sorry to say, if you don’t give yourself a musical edge, you will sound like the rest of those who didn’t give themselves the background. There are too many who haven’t actually studied music and they are easy to spot. You never stay to listen to them. Only a handful can get away with it.

Below is a clip of Michael smashing a guitar at the JDRF-Jam at Mr. Beery’s:

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