With combined experiences that span numerous musical styles, the musicians of nxt2normal cannot be pigeon-holed. Their diverse sound is the result of an eclectic blend that draws from rock, blues, classical, jazz and even a touch of rockabilly. Performing only
original material, these seasoned musicians, some of whom have been collaborating for decades, are constantly challenging their “normal” sound to keep their music fresh and innovative. A nxt2normal concert takes the listener on a journey through the potential of the rock genre when in the hands of daring and creative minds.
Thom McGowan - Vocals, Guitar
Thom enjoys playing his acoustic guitar and writing songs. A trumpet player in his early years; he put it down at age 18 or so, picked up an acoustic guitar and never looked back. He is much more exciting in person than his bio.
Dirk Externest - Vocals, Guitar
Developed the ability to operate vocal chords in compliance with musical occurrences while operating mentioned chords in compliance with mentioned occurrences as a young teenager. Has exercised this ability in various bands ever since of which none has made into in any hall, chamber or mudroom of fame. Speaks german fluently, sings english the same way. Treats 6-stringed instruments kindly, never calls them "axe". The fast track to his heart is to prepare "Kohl & Pinkel", a traditional meal in northern germany. Gook luck with that. He lowered the average age of the band even further and took Mark's title of "p.et of the family"
Jay Mitlas - Guitar
Former guitarist for Losing Gravity and the Sisak’s Blues Band as well as bassist for Bob Normal, Syren, Metro, Airwaves and The Baggs, now guitarist for nxt2normal. Jay has been playing in local original bands since 1969 and appears on the Makin’ Music children’s series CDs.
Talia Schiff - Cello, Vocals
Having been schooled in some of the country’s finest music conservatories and having performed with Philadelphia’s top musical ensembles, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the PA Ballet Orchestra, and Philly Pops, cellist Talia Schiff now turns her talents to the genre of rock and roll in a last-ditch bid for fame and fortune. In what is an entirely new venture for her, Talia is now learning the art of musical improvisation under the guidance of five of the most tolerant (and talented) musicians she’s had the pleasure to work with. It’s only a matter of time before she is discovered.
Mark Betterly - Bass
Holding down the bottom end, Mark is the youngest member of the group but appears much older than the rest. Raised with 3 other brothers he had to fight to get a seat at the dinner table, which explains his malnourished appearance. He walked away from his successful jazz group in the early 80's only to find himself holding a bass again at the age of 50 (mid-life crisis).
Ray Taglialatela - Drums/Percussion
Ray has been playing professionally since 1969. He studied under Big Band drummer Frank Cardamone in 1962-63 and this along with strong influences by Sonny Payne, Richie Hayward, Steve Gadd, Bill Krutzman and Jim Gordon can be heard in his unique personal style.
Former bands include Catch, Pagan Babies, Pokerface, Syren, Monique Canniere Quartet and Mercy Street.
Ray collaborates in writing some of the band's material with Thom.