The New 'Jersey Boys': More With Alex Bleeker

In March, Real Estate released its fourth studio album, In Mind, and Bleeker sat down with BERGEN to discuss their new sound, why arts funding was so crucial to their success and why being from New Jersey is “cool.”



How has being from New Jersey influenced you as a band? It’s been really cool to come from Jersey because there’s a lot of pride that people from New Jersey share with one another. It sometimes gets a bad rap, but it’s like people who like a sports team that always loses—you come together and have a lot of pride. And it brings us together with other bands from Jersey. There’s a lineage of music from the Hoboken scene, specifically Maxwell’s Tavern in Hoboken and WFMU radio. For instance, we discovered The Feelies and loved them, and it turned out they were from a neighboring town. So we got to meet them and play shows with them. It’s cool to be part of that. We are really proud of our Jersey roots.

Bergen County has produced a lot of successful musicians. In what way do you think this area is conducive to creative success? We come from a place of affluence and privilege. We recognize that we are very fortunate that way. We had all of these incredible opportunities with public art education in school, and we had progressive parents who supported our endeavors in the arts.

And that’s an important topic right now with arts programs in danger of losing federal funding. Exactly. We’d like to see those opportunities given to all people. Having those resources to do what we wanted to do had a massive influence on our success. There’s a lot of inequality, and we were just so fortunate to be born into a place of privilege. We are a shining example of what a solid public school education can bring.

Where in New Jersey did you used to play or see shows? I grew up going to Maxwell’s in Hoboken, but honestly, a lot of our local shows were happening in people’s backyards or garages.

What would you say to other artistic kids growing up in the Jersey ’burbs about pursuing a creative career? My main advice is don’t stop, and don’t let anyone discourage you. I used to say, “Have a plan B,” but now I say, “Do whatever you want.” Music doesn’t have to be your source of income or career—you can still do it if you’re passionate about it. To be successful by any measure, you have to just keep going and keep creating. That goes for anything you’re passionate about.

What was your plan B? Actually, I’m doing my plan B. My plan A was to become an actor!

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June 2019

Jewish Family & Children's Services of Northern New Jersey is holding it's 9th Annual Ride To Fight Hunger on Sunday, June 23, 2019. The ride and walk event with 5 course options...

Cost: $18-$70

Where:
Temple Emanu-El
180 Piermont Road
Closter, NJ  07624
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Sponsor: Jewish Family & Children's Services of Northern New Jersey
Telephone: 201-837-9090
Contact Name: Deborah Glasser
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One of the largest, FREE health & fitness events in the Tri-State area, NBC 4 New York and Telemundo 47 invite you to bring the whole family to their seventh annual Health & Fitness Expo at...

Cost: FREE

Where:
MetLife Stadium
1 MetLife Stadium Drive
East Rutherford, NJ  07073
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One of the largest, FREE health & fitness events in the Tri-State area, NBC 4 New York and Telemundo 47 invite you to bring the whole family to their seventh annual Health & Fitness Expo at...

Cost: FREE

Where:
MetLife Stadium
1 MetLife Stadium Drive
East Rutherford, NJ  07073
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Call today to find out more about this program 201-744-2822

Cost: 197.00 - 397.00

Where:
Blue Dragon School of Martial Arts
53 South Washington Avenue
Bergenfield, NJ  07621
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Sponsor: Push To Change
Telephone: 201-744-2822
Contact Name: Nicolle A Ahles
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It is officially Summer and it's 50 years from the Summer of Woodstock. Come celebrate with The Kootz as they perform the music of Woodstock.  The music of Jimi Hendrix, The Who,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mahwah Public Library
100 Ridge Road
Mahwah, NJ  07430
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Sponsor: Mahwah Public Library
Telephone: 201-529-7323
Contact Name: Mahwah Public Library
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Ocean Galleries presents Mackenzie Thorpe – 30 Years of Love   For the weekend of the summer solstice, Ocean Galleries is delighted to welcome Mackenzie Thorpe for his first ever...

Cost: Free to the Public; ALL Artwork Available for Acquisition

Where:
Ocean Galleries
9816 Third Ave
Stone Harbor, NJ  08247
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Sponsor: Ocean Galleries
Telephone: 609.368.7777
Contact Name: Kim Miller
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We are so excited to announce our fun creative camps for 2019. Each week we will have a new theme and series of crafted creations. Spots are filling up fast. Sign up before it's too...

Cost: $275

Where:
Clay Paper Scissors Summer Camp
380 Kinderkamack Road
Oradell, NJ
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Telephone: 917-721-3470
Contact Name: Shannon Orr
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Call today to find out more about this program 201-744-2822

Cost: 197.00 - 397.00

Where:
Blue Dragon School of Martial Arts
53 South Washington Avenue
Bergenfield, NJ  07621
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Sponsor: Push To Change
Telephone: 201-744-2822
Contact Name: Nicolle A Ahles
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Chef Nathan Gross (of the Culinary Corner with Chef Nate) is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has over 40 years experience in the culinary field. He has taught at BOCES, and Chef...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mahwah Public Library
100 Ridge Road
Mahwah, NJ  07430
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Sponsor: Mahwah Public Library
Telephone: 201-529-7323
Contact Name: Mahwah Public Library
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We are so excited to announce our fun creative camps for 2019. Each week we will have a new theme and series of crafted creations. Spots are filling up fast. Sign up before it's too...

Cost: $275

Where:
Clay Paper Scissors Summer Camp
380 Kinderkamack Road
Oradell, NJ
View map »


Telephone: 917-721-3470
Contact Name: Shannon Orr
Website »

More information

Show More...
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We are so excited to announce our fun creative camps for 2019. Each week we will have a new theme and series of crafted creations. Spots are filling up fast. Sign up before it's too...

Cost: $275

Where:
Clay Paper Scissors Summer Camp
380 Kinderkamack Road
Oradell, NJ
View map »


Telephone: 917-721-3470
Contact Name: Shannon Orr
Website »

More information

Show More...
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We are so excited to announce our fun creative camps for 2019. Each week we will have a new theme and series of crafted creations. Spots are filling up fast. Sign up before it's too...

Cost: $275

Where:
Clay Paper Scissors Summer Camp
380 Kinderkamack Road
Oradell, NJ
View map »


Telephone: 917-721-3470
Contact Name: Shannon Orr
Website »

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Registration is not required. This interactive program entertains and enlightens audiences about everything Bobby Darin - not just music but also the hurdles, trials and tribulation of this...

Cost: free

Where:
Tenafly Public Library
100 Riveredge Rd.
Tenafly, NJ  07670
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Sponsor: Tenafly Public Library
Telephone: 201-568-8680
Contact Name: Marcia Literati
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We are so excited to announce our fun creative camps for 2019. Each week we will have a new theme and series of crafted creations. Spots are filling up fast. Sign up before it's too...

Cost: $275

Where:
Clay Paper Scissors Summer Camp
380 Kinderkamack Road
Oradell, NJ
View map »


Telephone: 917-721-3470
Contact Name: Shannon Orr
Website »

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