First Listen: STJ’s TEAM

Starting their music career as teens, St. John’s students Matt Zazzarino and Mike Morettoni formed TEAM in May 2009. The band includes vocalist Pam Zazzarino and bassist Dan Loprinzo.


At first, Morettoni and Zazzarino sent each other demos across the Atlantic due to Zazzarino’s semester-long trip to Paris, immediately after they started this new project. Their first recording session took place in New Paltz and just last year on Dec. 27, they released their first full album on iTunes, which was composed of three recording sessions.


Zazzarino shared that there was a transition in between building the foundation and the release of their album. “That kind of culminated with the release of this album, which is like all the material we have written during that period,” he said. “Now we’re kind of moving into a new phase.”


The lyrics of each song are the spark of the songs. Zazzarino is a huge Elvis Costello fan and incorporates many of the components when writing. “As a writer, in terms of the songs that I’m writing, I can’t escape the Elvis Costello influence just because I was so obsessed with him through high school,” he said. “If you know songs that well, it’s just going to come through.”


As an unsigned band, TEAM financially had a difficult time recording, until they discovered Kickstarter, a fundraising website strictly for creative causes which consist of producing songs, albums, short movies, etc. They had a month to reach their goal of $600 but met it within a week and a half.


TEAM is releasing their new single, a ballad titled “Oh! How I’ve Heard,” this week. The new single has a jazzy yet light-hearted tone with parts of the song containing the harmonious voices of Zazzarino and his sister, Pam. In addition, Pam has a solo part whereher theatre genre voice is beautifully recognized. While the instruments are fairly soft during the verses, there is a buildup that leads into the chorus and then it diminishes at the end. Overall, it is well put together and the accompaniment wasn’t too chaotic with the volume between the voices and instruments being well-balanced.


Zazzarino explained the theme of the song. “It’s about wanting to be happy for someone, as difficult as that is,” he said. “Musically, you’re going to hear all the frustrations of the subject matter but it has a cool, cathartic release point at the end.”


TEAM has their full album out on iTunes and you can also check out their band page on Facebook, where their songs are available to listen.