Recent Sherwood Grad’s Presence Felt in New Jersey Music Scene

by Josh Averbach ’18

Many have dreamed of musical success. Eric Schwartz, who graduated from Sherwood last year, may be on the verge of achieving it. Schwartz plays guitar and is a backup singer for an alternative-rock band called Malibu, whose four members all attend Monmouth University, a small private school in a New Jersey beach town. The band is making waves.

Malibu has made considerable progress in the town’s music scene; the band currently plays about one gig a week, sometimes at larger venues.

“It’s a thrill [to perform], especially when it’s a big crowd and everyone is getting into the music,” said Schwartz.

Monmouth is a unique location for aspiring musicians, as it is only about 10 minutes from Asbury Park, a noted musical destination that has helped launch the careers of many popular artists. It is probably best known as the home of Bruce Springsteen, whose debut album is called “Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ.” Schwartz said that Malibu has benefited from its storied provenance.

“The thriving music scene makes it easy to find gigs, and there’s a pretty big audience,” said Schwartz.

Malibu has also released three singles. The first, “Brighter Blue,” has received about 5,500 plays on Spotify. Schwartz describes Malibu’s musical style as “alternative pop-rock” and said his biggest influences include the Arctic Monkeys and the Killers.

When Schwartz first arrived on campus, his current bandmates were virtual strangers to him. They knew, however, that Schwartz played guitar, so they decided to reach out to him and offer him a spot in their incipient band. He accepted. When the band first formed, the university’s record label pushed its members to quickly find a name. The idea to call themselves Malibu came simply because one member drives a Chevy Malibu.

Although Malibu initially recorded with Monmouth’s school record label, they later disaffiliated. Schwartz says the band’s members plan to stay independent so that they can keep all their royalties and maintain artistic independence.

Schwartz is pursuing a political-science degree and has long aspired towards a career in government. Yet, he hopes to possibly turn music into a living. Malibu will release an EP in late April and will tour in May. Their success in the spring, he said, will help them evaluate their long-term potential.

When asked how he feels about a musical career, Schwartz’s response was simple: “Who wouldn’t want to be a rockstar?”

Schwartz wanted to let readers of The Warrior know that Malibu can be found on Instagram @malibunj and on Twitter @MalibuBandNJ.