Interview with Diane DiMemmo

September 10, 2020


Every music lover has a handful of “holy crap, they’re awesome!” moments they can readily recall when they heard a band for the first time and immediately fell in love with the sound. One of my moments was the first time I heard “Ain’t So Kind” by the band, Supermutt.

Formerly a cover band and pretty new to producing original music, Supermutt is Billy (Vocals), Tommy (Lead Guitar), Mike (Bass Guitar), Matt (Percussion), and Josh (Rhythm Guitar). They have three standout rock and roll singles with four more on the way; and if I’m being completely honest, I cannot wait to hear them. Supermutt has cornered the market on a signature rock and roll sound that is sometimes punkish, sometimes bluesy, and very often soulfully lyrical.

I had the pleasure recently of chatting with Mike and Billy about their influences, new tunes, the songwriting process, and their extended family of humans and pups. I highly encourage you to listen to this podcast episode in its entirety as we laughed our way through the entire recording. As Billy said, “There’s always a little bit of a slapstick comedy aspect to everything we do.” (Since there's no visual to a podcast, I thought I’d point out that the frequent microphone references were because Billy and Mike passed a dead mic back and forth throughout the entire interview just for effect.)

Supermutt grabbed their name from a dog DNA test for Mike's puppy which showed that little Freddie Mercury was “5% supermutt.” Mike stated, “I didn't know what that meant at the time, but Bill said. ‘Oh, man, that would be a cool band name.’”

“I guess now we have like five dogs between everyone in the band and we’re trying to exploit them as much as possible and become very famous on the fact that they are the face of the band,” Mike joked. “But we kind of sneak music in the background when they're noticing the cute puppies. We know that our faces, unfortunately, won't drag all the attention; but the little kid’s or puppy’s faces might. But we're working on it. We're definitely doing a lot of the face exercises and everything.”

Billy and Mike feel that Supermutt’s sound is an equal blend of all the band member’s musical influences. "So far with our songs, we've been getting different sounds because we've been independently writing them probably 70% of the way before bringing them to the band,” explained Mike. “My brother, Tommy, who wrote ‘Ain’t So Kind’ is more like the AC/DC, Guns and Roses, hard rock influence. Bill is a bit more blues focused and all different types of laid-back rock. And I'm just trying to be like Taylor Swift as much as possible, hence why we have not recorded one of my songs yet.”


Supermutt has been successfully busy for years playing covers for parties, gigs, and events all around the Hoboken/Jersey City area. But as much as they loved playing together, it started to feel like a chore. Mike said, “We would always dip our toes in the sentiment, ‘Oh Tommy wrote this cool song … let’s jam on it.’ But then we'd be asked to play an engagement party, so we’d do that.”

So, the guys took a solid year off from playing but would frequently go to concerts together. “We'd walk out at one in the morning, look at each other, and say, ‘We should do this. We should write our own music.’ So, I think that the other [bands] influenced us as well,” explained Mike.

And although they haven’t regretted the decision, they admit that marketing themselves as a band with original songs is a totally different animal. “It's definitely a world of difference when we're trying to make original music and even getting somebody to just listen to a song in full,” said Billy.

The guys had just started playing gigs featuring their original material when the pandemic struck. Billy continued, “We were booked at The Stone Pony in May. That was a bummer [when it was cancelled]. We've been there a bunch of times, you know as spectators, but that would’ve been cool [to play there]. Hopefully they'll remember who we are and keep the scheduling tight.”


Despite the pause the pandemic has forced upon the live music industry, Supermutt is persevering and pursuing a variety of projects. One of them is producing variety shows which can be found on their YouTube channel. The shows feature acoustic performances by Supermutt of covers and originals, offbeat interviews, comedic interludes, and frequent appearances by adorable puppies. They have also been taking donations throughout each show and have raised close to $4,000 for Grace Community Services, a non-profit community outreach program dedicated to feeding homeless and food insecure individuals.

The guys also indicated that they'll soon be recording four more songs to hopefully be released in a couple of months. Mike described the three songs Tommy wrote as " a mix of hard rock, upbeat, and some laid back [vibes].  The one I wrote is going to have a horn section, which is comprised of people that used to do covers with us."

All of the Supermutt band members have full-time day jobs and I asked them how they balance family, work, and music on a daily basis. Always quick on the funny responses, Billy said, "Yeah, well all the members of our band are basically family members anyways; so that's fine. We just brush them aside. But back to the dogs …"


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Asbury Park Vibes is a media publication dedicated to shining a light on the live music scene, as well as promoting the artists we love! We strive to provide show reviews, photographs, and artist stories that bring fans and musicians closer together.

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