Introducing Pizza Bagel Records!

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Logo by John Cozz

Everyone has their own story about how they were inspired to become a part of the DIY music world, but mine has a lot to do with the guitarist, drummer, vocalist, songwriter, producer, and now proud label owner, Max Rauch and his good friend the songwriter, guitarist, and artist, Keith Williams. Yes, they do it all.

When I was just a young padawan college radio host, I was reading through a music mag to find new artists to play on my show when I came across Max and Keith’s band Washington Square Park who were from my hometown music scene of Montclair NJ. They were a pop punk band who wrote about mental health, made it out of my little basement punk scene to tour the country, and their songs were good. Obviously, I was very into it.

A few years later, after WSP had broken up, I graduated college and launched The Alternative, and one of the first bands I set out to interview was LKFFCT (pronounced Lake Effect). They were an awesome lo-fi punk rock band from my hometown scene that I had been listening to a ton on Bandcamp and they were even hand drawing their CD covers, each with a totally unique cartoon. (I now own 2 and wish I owed 10). It was only upon seeing their faces pop up on Skype, that I realized this Max and Keith were the same dudes from WSP!

Since that moment, I have been a huge supporter of LKFFCT and they have been a huge backer of The Alternative (they played our first The Alt show ever, and our Bernie Fest in 2016), and maybe even more importantly the entire North Jersey DIY scene. Max has worked on a ton of different albums for Jersey bands both as a musician and producer and now has a recording studio in Essex County NJ where this all started. Keith has worked with him on now over 5 albums of LKFFCT material alone, let alone his own solo material, and work with the excellent band Tru.


Today we are announcing the next step in that adventure. Max, Keith, and the rest of LKFFCT (their drummer and nicest person in New Jersey, Ryan Baredes, their bassist legit punk Brian Legentil, and Ken De Poto their utility multi instrumentalist and owner of Cool Cat music in Montclair) are launching their own artist focused DIY label along with their friend and frequent collaborator, John Cozz, another longtime veteran of the NJ basement scene who has worked on countless projects both full band and solo, and has worked filming music videos, and doing design work for bands and in the skate world (obviously useful skills when it comes to running a label). Also he once finished 2nd in a big time Taylor Ham eating contest, and that matters in Jersey too.

Design by John Cozz + John Cozz by John Cozz

When I talked to them about the launch of Pizza Bagel Records, they told me that they want this to be a label run by artists for artists with the goal of promoting great local New Jersey bands, with an extra emphasis on genuine friendship, authenticity, and individuality. Knowing LKFFCT and Cozz for a long time, I am certain this is something they will take very seriously and that they will emphasize people and art over profits.

To celebrate this announcement, we are premiering a double live session directed and edited by John Cozz, recorded at Max’s Domestic Bliss Studios, and filmed by Jordan Galiano and Robert Scheuerman. Cozz plays his new song “Take a Walk (Duuuuuude)”, and LKFFCT follows that up immediately with “Good Enough”, the first new track from their upcoming 5th LP. Both rock of course.

Many exciting things are already on the horizon for Pizza Bagel Records in 2020, and with this launch they are announcing that the newest LKFFCT LP and 2 John Cozz EPs will be coming out on the label in the near future to break the ice. Then after they will be looking to sign as many great young artists as they can handle helping, and promote the music with a bunch more live sessions, music videos, skits and bits, and all sorts of other fun content with their distinct humor and DIY know how.

Check out their site and give them a follow, and then eat a pizza bagel to celebrate the birth of an exciting new label.


LKFFCT BandcampJohn Cozz Bandcamp

Pizza Bagel Merch StorePizza Bagel YouTube

Henderson Cole // @HendoSlice


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