Stories in the Sky: DJP and MrT

by Victor Russo
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The Spirit of Fun


When Jacki Paolella and Tyler Warnalis formed the synthpop band DJP and MrT in 2011, they had no long-term ambitions in mind for this band.  They created it for fun to perform at a friend’s party at the request of that friend, and it was intended to be a one-time project.  But the audience that night reacted positively to their performance, so they decided to continue their activities with this band.

 Chuck Abadam, Jacki Paolella, and Tyler WarnalisThree years later, DJP and MrT stands as one of the prominent bands representing Norfolk today.  After recruiting violinist Chuck Abadam as the third permanent member in 2012, the band has released an EP and a full-length album and has performed at nearly every venue in the local area.  And with a second EP and a tour of the southern leg of the east coast in the works, the band is keeping itself busier than ever.

Yet as they progress to a greater status of band activity, Paolella, Warnalis, and Abadam maintain the spirit of fun and light-heartedness that created this band.  When asked on Stories in the Sky about any desire for Warnalis to grow his moustache again, Paolella replies, “I want him to be happy.”  “I want Tyler to be Tyler,” Abadam adds.  “And if not having a moustache makes him happy, [I’m] down with it.”  It may be that part of their rise in popularity comes from this friendship and acceptance that they have for each other.

In this episode of Stories in the Sky, Paolella and Abadam talk with Victor Russo about the band’s songwriting and recording processes, their view of the Norfolk music scene, and how they first met each other at a Zombie Run.

DJP and MrT is a synthpop band composed of Jacki Paolella, Chuck Abadam, and Tyler Warnalis.  You can listen to their music and find more information about the band at

Note: The songs played in this episode—listed in chronological order—are Runner, R6M, Bone Folder, and Square in the Face from the studio album Otolith by DJP and MrT.


Victor Russo is the midday host on WHRV, but got his start producing Stories in the Sky, an interview show distributed by Defenestration. Featuring local and international musical guests for conversations about pretty much anything!