Day After Day in South Jersey: Wishful Thinking

South Jersey. A familiar place when it comes to the punk and pop-punk scene. Now even though some of these SJ bands don’t always get the attention they deserve, there is no doubt that some are making it through the Pine Barrens and giving us music that is truly remarkable. One of these bands is a three-piece that calls themselves Wishful Thinking. 

The trio is made up of three gents that have known one another since early school days and even though they all share very different musical tastes, they come together to make pop-punk magic. And at first, listen you almost have to remember it’s not Blink. Yes, 182. The B-word. 

The South Jersey boys have been releasing music together since 2016, starting with their first EP “We’re Not Alone”. They then give us a couple more singles in 2017, ‘How You Sin’ and ‘Song About You’. We see a break in releases until 2020, they then drop their EPIC full-length ‘After Hours’ and it hits us with all the B-word, pop-punk vibes. They of course recorded it in Hammonton, NJ with the legend himself, Nik Bruzzese. They keep the momentum going and release a single in 2021 called ‘Late Nights’. As they mentioned with the release, it was “100% self-sufficient”, meaning it was written, recorded, and produced by the gents themselves. It is quite the catchy tune with its slower vibe and heartfelt lyrics. You can really tell the work and heart they put into it. 

July 2021 hits and they make the trip to Haddon Heights to visit Nik at his new home, The Gradwell House. There they record their latest single ‘Consequences’. They release it in December and we really hear the magic that is this band. 

I recently asked band member, Matt Weber, to answer a few questions I had pertaining to the bands’ background, working with Nik, and of course their influences!

We of course know you guys are from the East Coast, but can you give us some background on how you all know one another? Are you all from NJ? And how did you all start to play music together? 

•We were born and raised in South Jersey. Me (Matt) and Stephen grew up together and went to the same elementary/middle school where Stephen later moved to a different town. Stephen went to a different high school and met Evan and we all linked and kind of hit it off from there. 

Would you say all 3 of you have similar tastes in music? Who would you say are some of your biggest influences? 

•We actually don’t have similar taste in music believe it or not. We like a lot of the same stuff Stephen is really into 2000’s R&B. Evan is a huge Taylor Swift fan. I’m more into the hip-hop scene but love some pop-punk. Collectively Blink is our biggest influence. Turnover, TSSF make their way on the list too. 

Now you have a new track out, but you guys also put an album out in 2020 called ‘After Hours’. You worked with Nik on both. Can you tell us how it was working with him? How was the recording at The Gradwell House?  

•Working with Nik this time around was a world-class experience! Everything from the studio to the people who were a part of the project was down to earth and a pleasure to be around. We’ve worked with Nik for many years and every time has always been a good time. He’s a good dude who knows what he’s talking about and always knows how to bring our music to its fullest potential and put personal bias aside to do what’s best for the songs. 

Shows are definitely back in full swing. Any plans to play shows in 2022? 

•We would definitely like to! We’ve been in talks about the subject it’s just working out the scheduling. We all work full time and have our hands on other passions that make it hard to get together. However, know that it is a topic of discussion that we hope to take advantage of in the new year. We wanna dance!

If you guys could record a cover of one of your favorite albums, which one would it be and why? 

•Dang!! A whole album? That’s tough. But it would probably be Peripheral Vision by Turnover. It’s in the top albums for all of us in the band and came out at a time when we all were going through massive personal changes, so it’s stuck with us for sure. It might be cool to see a Wishful Thinking take on a few of those songs!

The future is definitely bright for these Blink-influenced gents. They have a few surprises in the works for 2022, one is trying to make some live appearances. Don’t sleep on this talented trio, be sure to give their tunes a listen and share with your fellow emos.

Article by Kristen Hernandez

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