By Connor Beach
In 2012 veteran musician Frank Tassielli felt he had the opportunity to satisfy a longtime passion and fill a void in the New York music market.
Tassielli, a bass player from Port Jefferson, formed the Aerosmith tribute band, Pump.
Tassielli is joined on stage by band mates Bobby Mann, who plays the role of Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler, drummer Steve McCluskey, guitarist Johnny Flagg, and Marcello Diablo on lead guitar.
“The genesis of the idea was to do an Aerosmith tribute band, and I felt like no one else was doing an Aerosmith tribute band around Long Island or the tri-state area,” Tassielli said.
Pump, which takes its name from the title of one of Aerosmith’s best-selling albums, plays songs from the entire catalog of Aerosmith hits. Tassielli said the band enjoys mixing in a few of the lesser known songs like “Adam’s Apple” that “diehards like ourselves will appreciate,” but that they can’t leave a gig without playing the classics like “Dream On,” “Sweet Emotion,” “Walk This Way,” “What It Takes” and “Love in an Elevator.”
“The people who come to hear us play really love Aerosmith’s music, and that is a really great motivational tool for us,” Tassielli said.
Tassielli said the “longevity” of Aerosmith means that the fans that come to see them represent a wide range of age groups.
“It’s one of those bands that goes on from generation to generation because parents pass it on to their kids,” he said.
A good tribute band’s legitimacy starts with their musical ability, but Tassielli said Pump also works in the different style of looks that Steve Tyler had over the course of his career.
“It’s got to be the music first because if the music doesn’t sound right then it doesn’t matter what you wear on stage or how much you move around,” Tassielli said. “But the stage presence is equally important.”
Pump is set to play a 40-minute set at The Paramount as the opener for Guns N’ Roses tribute band Appetite For Destruction, and Tassielli said the band is “very excited” for the Paramount show.
“It’s a great place to have on our resume,” he said. “After six years of doing this it’s definitely an accomplishment.”
Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show on Friday, June 1. Tickets range from $10-$35 and can be purchased at the box office or online at Paramountny.com.