“She Does” by INFLUENCED Feat. Mark Hudson and Billy Amendola on drums

Billy Amendola
Billy Amendola

by Karen A. Brown @IndieStardust

With Beatles influenced harmonies and guitar sounds this tune is a throw back to our youth. Filled with Beach Boys surf and sand in your suit and the warmth of the sun on your skin. Put the top down, let the wind blow you around and crank it up!

I chatted it up with my buddy, drummer extraordinaire Billy Amendola, editor of  “Modern Drummer” magazine, on his latest songwriting project with his son Matty, “Influenced” featuring Mark Hudson.

Born in Brooklyn, Billy watched his dad play big band  trombone, but quickly jumped in with his ‘sticks’ when veiwing The Beatles and Ringo on Ed Sullivan. At seven he knew the drums were his choice.  Mostly self-taught, Amendola hit the road at fifteen, playing rock music for most of his  life.   In the late ’70’s his funk/dance band Mantus charted three Top-10 dance singles and toured the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Billy  was one of the first to combine electronic and acoustic drums in the US and played on numerous recordings, including  Debbie Gibson’s hits “Only In My Dreams” and “Shake Your Love,” earning him a triple-platinum record.

Billy’s son, Matty Amendola, has already cut out his life as a musician/producer.  At 24 years old, Matty has his own label, 825 Records, and plays every instrument as if it were his primary one. This young man is certainly someone to keep an eye on! Listen to his production of  “She Does” with a seasoned mix of extraordinary musicians: Vocals – Mark Hudson | Drums – Billy Amendola | Bass – John Kaz  Guitars – Bobby Crisalli | Guitars – Vinnie Zummo (The Joe Jackson Band)  | Keyboards & Additional Guitar – Jimmy Maer  | Percussion, Guitars, & Additional Keys – Matty Amendola

KAB : How did the band “Influenced” come together?

BA: It’s not a band, more of a song writing project with my buddies from back in the day. We wrote a few songs at first that we wanted to sound like bands we were influenced by growing up. And of course the Beatles won.  And then Matty took over as producer and I brought in Mark to sing.

KAB: Tell us a bit about your son, Matty. His talent is off the charts and he is still so young.

BA: Matty is one of the most talented musicians on the planet. He was already a great drummer by the time he was 10 yrs old. So, he taught himself to play every instrument as a teenager and took over the studio. He would watch us write and record since he was in his hi-chair. And when I was engineering, I would let him play the track and he would listen to me play it and by the 3rd time he would nail it.

KAB: That is truly amazing, Billy. How many more tunes will you be releasing and when will they be available?

BA: Ha! It took us 15 yrs to do this one, so we’ll have to see…

KAB: Well here’s to hoping you do another sooner rather than later. Thank you Billy!

Mark Hudson
Mark Hudson

Mark Hudson was a Hudson Brother and over the years has worked with Ringo Starr, Ozzy, Aerosmith, Hanson, Celine Dion, Alice Cooper, Cher, Jars Of Clay, and more. He’s known for both his psychedelic goatee and his incredible vocal sound.

Here’s to more from ” Influenced”!! The press release below gives the full breakdown. 


825 Records releases “She Does,” a debut single from songwriting project “Influenced” featuring Mark Hudson

After a group of friends practically christened our 825 Records’ facility over 30 years ago, it was only a matter of time until they reunited to work with Owner/Head Producer Matty Amendola for an official 825 release. The combination of friendship and highly experienced musicians and songwriters createsInfluenced; a brand new songwriting project led by drummer/songwriter Billy Amendola. The project also includes guitarist/songwriter Bobby “Rudi” Crisalli, bassist/songwriter John Kaz & guitarist/keyboardist/songwriter Jimmy Maer. Today the debut single She Does is available on all major digital providers.


With an in-studio music video to be released with the single, you will get to see firsthand the magic that was created by Influencedand their young indie producer Matty Amendola as well as guest appearances from legendary session guitarist Vinnie Zummo (Joe Jackson Band) and Grammy Award winning producer/songwriter/TV star Mark Hudson on vocals.

In the early 70’s, Billy Amendola and singer Frank “Deac” DeCrescenzo started the rock band, Gypsy. After several years of performing, the now Influenced members John Kaz and Jimmy Maer joined the group transforming their sound and the new group Mantus was born. Described as New York’s favorite disco era band, Mantus scored three Top Ten Dance hits on the Billboard Charts including, “(Dance It) Freestyle Rhythm,” “Boogie to the Bop” and “Rock It To The Top.” The band eventually disbanded. Each band member continued working on projects in different ways, but always stayed great friends.

billyBilly Amendola

Billy Amendola was credited as one of the first musicians to combine electronic and acoustic drums in the US. He played on numerous recordings most notably, 80s teen sensation Debbie Gibson’s debut album, Out of The Blue. He worked on various studio work and songwriting for other artists. Whenever he needed a man on bass, his right hand man, John Kaz, always got the first call. The two were in an English inspired band called True Blue in the late 80s. They’ve considered themselves a songwriting team ever since, along with former Mantus member Jimmy Maer. Jimmy went on to become an accomplished artist and decorative murals painter whose work can be seen at the Swan & Dolphin hotel in Disney World and the Pierre Hotel in New York City. He also designed the album artwork for “She Does.”

bobbyBobby Crisalli

In the mid-80s, Bobby “Rudi” Crisalli put a wonderful array of musicians together for “The Rudi Project” and that is when he met rhythm section, Billy Amendola and John Kaz. Crisalli continued working in the dance scene in the early 90’s co-producing and playing guitars on two dance singles in 1991 (Visage “In Your Eyes” and Nas T Boyz “Beating Of My Heart’).

jimmyJimmy Maer

With many years of history and experience behind each member they reunited in 2011 to see what could happen. Each member presented ideas for songs and requested the young man they all watched grow up, producer Matty Amendola, to lend some fresh ears. After dozens of ideas and rough demos for songs, Crisalli presented the very first draft of “She Does.” The band hopped right on board with finishing up the songwriting and adding their instrumentation and Matty knew they were onto something special.

kazJohn Kaz

As they continued to flesh out the track, they were still missing the perfect vocals. Enter, Mark Hudson. “My friend, Billy Amendola, played me the demo for “She Does” and asked if I’d be interested in singing on it. I was so busy at the time, but the song kept haunting me. It was like a musical herpe…it kept coming back!” Mark continues, “I called up Billy and said I would sing it, but only if I could work with the fruit of his loin, Matty Amendola. Matty is one of the best drummers I’ve ever worked with and I’ve produced Ringo Starr. It was the first time I worked with Matty as a producer and I’ve got to tell you, I thought he was a younger version of me…with more hair. It was so easy working with him that I might move to Brooklyn! A box of cannolis, some rice balls, lots of laughs and love made for a great performance and amazing production.”

markMark Hudson

Mark was a member of The Roundheads, Ringo Starr’s band, and he’s a co-producer, co-songwriter, vocalist, and musician on eight of Ringo’s solo records. Starting as part of the family trio, The Hudson Brothers, in the early ’70s, Mark went on to become a music and television star. In 1985, he appeared as actress Geena Davis’ neighbor in the NBC sitcom Sara. He then went on to serve as musical director for The Late Show with Joan Rivers (1986-1987). In 1994, Mark was a Grammy nominee for co-writing Aerosmith’s song“Livin’ On The Edge.” In 2000, he teamed up with Aerosmith again to co-produce their album Just Push Play.

Mark has also worked with Hanson, Celine Dion, Toto, Cher, Carole King, Timothy B. Schmit, Jars Of Clay, Bon Jovi, Colony, Ozzy Osbourne, and the Baha Men, to name just a few.

vinnieVinnie Zummo

Once Mark laid down his vocals, Matty knew he had to bring in good friend Vinnie Zummo for the final touch. Zummo spent seven years with The Joe Jackson Band and has sat in sessions with Roger Daltrey, Shawn Colvin, Art Garfunkel and John Sebastian, among others. He has made appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman and Saturday Night Live and has songs featured in Must Love Dogs, The Dr. OZ Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Pawn Warsand countless others. Zummo says, “It was a real joy to play on “She Does.” It always feels very natural for me to play on anything that Matty produces. It has an amazing backbeat which felt as natural to me as breathing and it was a joy to play behind Mark Hudson’s incredible vocals.”

Screen Shot 2013-04-07 at 12.40.13 PMButch Jones & Matty Amendola

“She Does” is a pop track with heavy influences reminiscent of The Beatles, Traveling Wilbury’s and The Beach Boys. The beautiful beds of vocal harmonies are laid perfectly on lush instrumentation, which only these veteran musicians could achieve. With these seasoned songwriters and musicians, “She Does” is only the first taste of what will be a delicious meal of new music influenced by an era of experimentation, celebration and true musicianship.

Official Credits
“She Does” written by Bobby Crisalli, Billy Amendola, John Kaz, & Jimmy Maer

Produced & Co-Written by Matty Amendola
Recorded & Mixed by Butch Jones & Matty Amendola @ 825 Records’ studio (Brooklyn, NY)
Mastered by Hans DeKline @ Sound Bites Dog (Los Angeles, CA)
©2013 825 Records, Inc. – All Rights Reserved

Vocals – Mark Hudson | Drums – Billy Amendola | Bass – John Kaz
Guitars – Bobby Crisalli | Guitars – Vinnie Zummo | Keyboards & Additional Guitar – Jimmy Maer
Percussion, Guitars, & Additional Keys – Matty Amendola

Find Influenced:
Press: Publicity@825Records.com
Licensing: MattyAmendola@825Records.com
General Inquiries: Info@825Records.com

“She Does” by INFLUENCED available April 9th, 2013: 
http://www.iTunes.com/Influenced –http://www.InfluencedMusic.com

Official Credits:
“She Does” written by:
Bobby Crisalli, Billy Amendola, John Kaz, & Jimmy Maer
Produced & Co-Written by Matty Amendola
Recorded & Mixed by Butch Jones & Matty Amendola (825 Records — Brooklyn, NY)
Mastered by Hans DeKline (Sound Bites Dog — Los Angeles, CA)
©2013 825 Records, Inc. – All Rights Reserved

Video filmed & edited by FRODUCTIONS

Vocals — Mark Hudson
Drums — Billy Amendola
Bass — John Kaz
Guitars — Bobby Crisalli
Guitars — Vinnie Zummo
Keyboards & Additional Guitar — Jimmy Maer
Percussion, Guitars, & Additional Keys — Matty Amendola

Find Influenced:

Press: Publicity@825Records.com
Licensing: MattyAmendola@825Records.com
General Inquiries: Info@825Records.com


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