March Madness 2016: And the Winner is… Sprocket!

At midnight on Sunday night, NYS Music closed the polls on another successful March Madness. With only a handful of votes separating Capital Region blues rockers Sly Fox and the Hustlers, and Brooklyn’s best kept secret, Sprocket. When the dust settled, Sprocket had 51% of the final vote in this year’s March Madness. It was truly a case of every vote counting and the NYC jam community stepped it up.

The quartet got their name from the dog in Fraggle Rock, and includes members Thomas Tompkins, Nate Rosler, Dan Haller, and Angelo Miliano. They have been around since 2011 but it wasn’t until last year that they ventured out of the Big Apple.  Besides playing a few key shows in Upstate New York, Sprocket also played to a sold out Hard Rock in Chicago during Fare Thee Well last summer.

sprocket march madnessAs far as March Madness was concerned, the band didn’t know they were even in the tournament at first. Tompkins said, “I saw the bracket come up on my (Facebook) newsfeed and thought, ‘It would be cool to be a part of that,’ automatically thinking we weren’t. Then saw we were. That was pretty awesome.” Haller added, “We were honored, frankly. We know, respect and have had the pleasure of playing with a bunch of the bands in our bracket, and were honored to be in such great company!”

Fueled by social media votes started coming in, Sprocket had to face Tim Britt from the Utica area in the first round and Buffalo’s Second Trip in the second round to make it onto the Sweet Sixteen.

Dan Haller commented on the support Sprocket got from it’s dedicated followers, “It was really fun to get our fanbase engaged in spreading the word about the contest. We were pulling for a bunch of bands in the tournament, including Sly Fox and The Hustlers, who we squared off against in the finals.”

sprocketIn the Sweet Sixteen, Sprocket narrowly escaped the round with 53% of the vote over Saratoga’s Let’s Be Leonard. That win had them faced off against Northern Faces and a win carried them into the Final Four.

Tompkins has spent the time to listen to every band in the tournament and there are already plans in the works to play with a few of them. “I really enjoyed the energy and vibe from Sly Fox, which was that you know you’re going to have a good time seeing them. After that I reached out to Gary.” Haller added, “Plans are even being made for us to share the stage in a few months.” Tompkins gave props to the tourney, “The contest has been helpful already in getting the name out there.”

In the Final Four, Sprocket faced off against Big Mean Sound Machine from Ithaca, before going toe to toe with Sly Fox and the Hustlers in the Finals.

What’s next for Sprocket? There are discussions of starting a Brooklyn-based festival for a contingent of bands from the city. And sometime in the future there are dreams of hopping on the “Sprocket Rocket” and playing a show on the moon.  There are also plans on a second record and hopes to see the band at a few festivals this summer.

Upcoming Shows:
4/13 at Goldsounds in Brooklyn with Eminence Ensemble
6/6 at Brooklyn Bowl w/ The Jauntee and Tweed

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