Justin Ardolino doesn't just love music — he lives it. And he makes money the way most die hard musicians do, with a day job. For this Springfield native and Summit resident, saving people's lives as an EMT for Atlantic Health System is what helps him pay the rent, so he can keep rocking in his home studio. He creates music non-stop and releases album cuts online with his group, This Noise Inside My Head. I chatted with Ardolino recently about his music and living in the Hill City.
So, what brought you to Summit?
I wanted to live in Summit because of my proximity to my family who live two blocks from me. I lived in Woodbridge for many years before moving to Summit.
What are some of the things you like about living here?
There is a lot to do here. Great restaurants (I love , , , ), the , the movie theater, the bocce ball court, .
Is there one eatery you like more than the rest?
I love Bandera's. I had one of my birthday dinners there a few years ago.
Where do you live?
Not too far away from Bandera's. On a street that is in between Morris and Broad.
But you lived in Springfield too, right?
I went to school in Springfield. I have been a resident of Summit for [a year], previous to that I lived in a different place in Summit for 3 years. I currently work for Atlantic Ambulance, and spend a lot of my time in Summit at
Do you enjoy your work? Wouldn't you rather just be rocking out all day?
Working on an ambulance can be very rewarding. It can get very busy at times, but when I have downtime, I can work on my music with my laptop while I'm waiting for a call to come in. It comes natural to me to take a completely chaotic situation on a 911 call and get it back to equilibrium. I work well in chaos.
Do you work on your music while you're at home?
Living in Summit does have an effect on the writing process for me. I actually took over the lease on my house from my producer / engineer when he moved closer to NYC. So, I live in my studio.
Does living in the city inspire your music?
I wouldn't say that Summit inspires my music per se. My lyrics come from my interpersonal experiences. I guess the fact that The Velvet Underground played their first gig at is pretty cool.
Also, the singer from My Chemical Romance was born in Overlook. That's cool, too.
And lived here for a while.
Is there currently a musician in Summit who you like?
Mike Caldarella the owner of Tito's Burritos is the drummer of a funk metal band called White Trash (check their 1991 MTV video, here). They are one of the best live bands that I have ever seen, and Mike and his burritos are awesome. He is a genuine, great person.
How has the online music game changed how you persue you musical career? I found out about you through an ad you placed on Craigslist.com looking for a drummer.
I placed my musical aspirations on hold for quite a while to get established as an EMT, so using the Internet to market myself as a musician is very new to me.
I used to do the whole punk rock style guerrilla promoting with the cut and paste photocopied fliers. We just released our first single for online download, but I started my career releasing my music on cassette tape.
Whoa, cassette tape? What's that? Just kidding!