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Hazel Gaze is a NYC rock band, with members hailing from Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.  Their 2017 debut was the brainchild of Russ Soper and Hanz, creating music purely for the love of it.  Blending 90s rock influences ranging from The Black Crowes, Lenny Kravitz and Soundgarden to 70s icons such as Led Zeppelin and Humble Pie,  the material was recorded in Russ' Brooklyn basement studio with John Edwards (bass), David Cornejo (drums), Chris Walters (piano) and background vocalists Flerine Atienza, Mindy Darwish, Ali Twyford, Lisa McElroy and Militia.

Now, a live band with years of experience playing storied NYC venues (below) has come together to bring the album to NYC-area stages.

  • Brooklyn Bowl

  • Union Hall

  • Bowery Electric

  • Pianos

  • Rockwood Music Hall

  • DROM (CMJ Music Festival)

  • Alphabet Lounge

  • Lovecraft

  • Leftfield

  • Desmond’s Tavern (Americana Fest)

  • Path Cafe 

  • The Way Station (Artist in Residence)

  • Branded Saloon 

  • Arlene’s Grocery

  • The Bitter End

  • Kenny’s Castaways

  • CBGBs

  • Various bars and clubs throughout Staten Island and NJ



Hanz (Lead Vocals, Percussion) has an extensive list of credentials.  He was lead vocalist of the band ZToyz, who saw initial success via MTV's "Basement Tapes" competition with their video "Miami Breakdown" and who later recorded their debut album for a subsidiary of Enigma Records.  Hanz was a vocalist in the touring company of Dee Snider's Van Helsing's  Curse and recorded an album with NYC-based rock band 61/49.  Most recently, he was a vocalist, Emcee, and scriptwriter for the Halloween Horror Rock Ensemble "I Am Scarecrow".  His reply when asked to describe his vocal style: "what you think a voice would sound like from years of late nights of drunken sex after singing with loud bands in smoky underground bars."  Hanz is so badass, he doesn't need a last name.  

Russ Soper (Guitars / Hammond B3 / Percussion) has played in NYC-area bands through most of his life and allegedly holds the world record for banging his head against a wall repeatedly while trying to record a guitar solo.  Russ works in Financial Services Technology (how rock' roll.. I know) and serves as Chairman for the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music (, a non-profit providing Music Therapy and Education to thousands of NYC children.   When not involved in music, Russ spends his spare time serving at the will of his wife and 7 year old daughter while doing his best to stay awake past the very rock and roll hour of 10pm.

Konrad Payne (Bass) - A fixture on the NYC music scene, Konrad has played in venues across NYC from Brooklyn Bowl to Off-Broadway.  He's recorded for a host of artists in a wide variety of styles.  Heavily influenced by old-school funk, British new wave and post-punk, Konrad brings his groove-based sensibility to Hazel Gaze. He can also be seen playing in Hummer, a killer Smashing Pumpkins tribute band, and Eggs Benatar, Gowanus' premier Pat Benatar tribute band.  Konrad studied at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music (, where he currently serves as a member of the school's Advisory Council.

Ed Yoo (Piano / Keys) - is a NYC-based keyboard player and songwriter who has played in several projects over the years.  In addition to Hazel Gaze, can be seen playing shows in NYC with Powerful Business. He enjoys the collaborative endeavor of being in a band and loves nothing more than making Hanz swoon with a decent Wurlitzer setting on his keyboard. Ed can also generally be seen riding his bicycle to and from South Brooklyn. Wave hello if you see him!

Lou Iacobelli (Drums) - You’ve probably heard Lou playing in the NYC clubs like Arlene's Grocery, Bowery Electric, The Bitter End, Kenny's Castaways and CBGBs for decades. And who could help it! He hits the drums so hard that he sets off seismographs all along the East Coast! So now we call him 'Mr. 9.8 on the Richter scale!’ He’s still reaching for that perfect ten! When not drumming with Hazel Gaze, Lou can be seen splashing around with Jersey City’s SEA OF OTTERS anywhere from White Eagle Hall in Jersey City to 10th Avenue Burrito in Belmar. Never one to shy away from a show you can spot Lou traveling on public transportation with his gear at any given time. A warning though...his social media attacks on the MTA are not pretty! If you see him, treat him kindly! And never feed him after midnight! YIKES!!

Mindy Darwish (Background Vocals) - Is a NYC-based singer / songwriter. A well-rounded musician who studied jazz in college and lends her vocal stylings to bands and projects from Rock to EDM and everything in between. She most recently fronted the NYC-based band 1dotoh. When not making music, she's perfecting the art of  being a milf,  ordering useless shit on amazon, raising her 2 children and occasionally getting completely wasted off a single margarita.

Kristi Long (Background Vocals) - A born and raised Brooklynite who found her passion for music at the young age of three - Kristi started singing then and has not stopped singing since! Her love for gospel music and classical jazz is evident through her vocal style. With a degree in Theatre Performance and background in musical theatre, Kristi brings a soulful spice to Hazel Gaze. If she’s not belting her face off, which she does very often and usually unexpectedly, you can find her killing her 9-5 as a Project Manager, creating custom crafts with her Cricut (name it and she can put it on a shirt), or hijacking the microphone at random bars across the country.

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