POZ Showcase: Nobody Yet

by Zack Zarrillo - Dec 15, 2013

Emerging from Philly’s local music scene is Nobody Yet. After heavily refining their original sound, they are a self-proclaimed “alternative pop-punk” band, taking influence from Fall Out Boy, The Venetia Fair, and Bayside. Nobody Yet’s debut full-length, “Say Your Goodbyes,” is an energetic blend of soaring guitars, catchy rhythms, and choruses just aching for a group sing-along. 

For Fans Of: Fall Out Boy, Neck Deep, Major League
Social Sites: FacebookSoundcloudInstagramYoutube

Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Joe Humeas - Vocals/Guitar
Matt Zavorski– Drums/Skin Flute
Seeking Bassist and 2nd Guitarist
What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?
Joe grew up in Shenandoah Jct., WV and Matt is from Glenolden, PA.  We currently rehearse at Joe’s house in Philadelphia.  

How did the band come together? How long has it been?
Joe started the band in college with a group of guys playing cover songs.  Eventually, he wrote some original songs and released an EP in 2009.  Matt and Joe have been together now for almost 2 years, have 3 children, and released Nobody Yet’s first full-length album in July 2012.

How have you grown since you started?
We learned how to not suck over the years.  Our EP and full-length album sound pretty different from one another. Initially, the band had a more simplistic pop punk sound, but it has grown to what we call “alternative pop punk” combining catchy choruses with more intricate instrumentation and guitar solos.

What sets you apart from other bands?
After almost every show we are told that we are the craziest live act to watch.  

What’s the best part about being in your band?
Performing live is definitely our favorite aspect of being in a band.  We have been lucky enough to have fans (even in other states) sing along to our songs, which is one of the greatest feelings ever.  Getting free food is a plus.

More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
A few of the influences in our song writing are: Green Day, Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Bayside, The Venetia Fair, Pierce The Veil, and everything Kidz Bop has ever done.

What would you say the band has already accomplished and what do you have your eyes set on next?
We have accomplished a lot for an unsigned band.  We are very proud of our full length CD, music video, and our stage setup.  Gaining fans in other states has been extremely exciting, and we have plans to tour more often in the future.  Performing on Warped Tour would be a dream.

Thus far, what’s a favorite memory or something quirky that’s taken place with the band (in-studio, onstage, or elsewhere)?
One morning on tour, we woke up sweating in the van parked in a 7-11 parking lot. We decided to get fancy and stop at a Comfort Inn where we acted like we stayed the night just to get free continental breakfast.  When they asked what room we were staying in, we quickly grabbed a basket of muffins and left. After that, we showered in Wal-Mart’s bathroom sinks. 

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POZ Showcase: New Empire

by Zack Zarrillo - Nov 24, 2013

New Empire is an Australian alternative rock pop band. Their sophomore LP “Symmetry” was released in 2011, and received much praise from MTV Buzzworthy, To Write Love On Her Arms, and AOL. After such positive reviews, New Empire was asked to join the 2011 Vans Warped Tour for the whole summer. “Say It Like You Mean It,” the first single off their upcoming LP “In A Breath,” evokes elements found in old-school rock and roll such with the use of synthesizers, gritty guitar riffs, and a catchy chorus to sing along to.

Social SitesFacebookTwitterMyspaceSoundcloud

Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Jeremy Fowler - Vocals/Guitar
Kyle Lane - Guitar/B.Vox
Nate Cairns - Bass/B.Vox
Kale Kneale - Drums/B.Vox

What’s your hometown?
We’re all based from Cronulla.

How did the band come together? How long has it been?
We’ve been a band for about 7 years now and the time has just flown by. Myself and Kale met in early primary school and have been friends since kids. Kyle came on board as a guitar tech 6 years ago and since moved into the band on guitar. Nate is our new bass player as of this year but we’ve been friends from the Cronulla beach area for many years. 

How have you grown since you started?
We’ve definitely come-of-age, like most bands do as time goes on. Starting out as more of a pop-punk band, we’ve now progressed into an indie-rock/alternative band, and are trying to explore more complex styles of melodies and lyrical writing.

What sets you apart from other bands?
We have a lot of big, anthemic songs that tend to resonate a lot with our listeners, and so when our fans come to see us play live, we love to give them that full experience that they hear on our records. 

What’s the best part about being in your band?
Touring is always fun, being on the road and travelling with some of your best mates. Can’t really complain about that.

More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
We’ve definitely taken a lot of influence from artists like M83, Coldplay, One Republic, but even some of the older artists like ToTo and Fleetwood Mac definitely have an impact on our music.

What would you say the band has already accomplished and what do you have your eyes set on next?
We’ve toured Australia quite extensively, and have even had a song as the main theme song for the TV Channel 7 broadcast of the London Olympics, which was surreal! But we’re definitely going to focus on touring internationally and broaden our listener and fan base.

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POZ Showcase: The Moms

by Zack Zarrillo - Nov 20, 2013

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Drunken buffoonery will never not have a place in punk rock, and bands like The Moms are keeping the tradition of intoxication alive and well. But all booze aside, the New Jersey trio play punk rock that’s written with tight hooks and melodies, all the while sounding extraordinarily casual in practice. The melodic rock n’ roll songs have a twinge of wiry wit (a la Modern Baseball) and more than ample self-deprecation, all the while feeling like a pretty accurate embodiment of what an hot, mildly uncomfortable basement show that some dude you kinda know from town invited you to.

For Fans Of: Joyce Manor, Signals Midwest, Tigers Jaw
Social Sites:
 FacebookTwitter

Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Joey Nester - Guitar/Vocals
Jon Stolpe - Bass/ Vocals
Donny Saraceno - Drums

What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?
Two-thirds of The Moms were raised in Florham Park, NJ. One-third was raised twenty minutes away in Scotch Plains, NJ. We started writing songs for The Moms at Joey’s old apartment in New Brunswick but, since saying you’re from New Brunswick has become almost as cliché as saying you’re from Brooklyn, we are now for all intents and purposes from “New Jersey, New Jersey”

How did the band come together? How long has it been?
We played in a series of bands together prior to forming The Moms. While Joey spent a year at Rutgers, Jon and Donny spent their time touring the country. Joey stayed home and played guitar instead of going to class and when Jon and Donny were in the area, the three would play songs together. Eventually, The Moms wrote a set to be proud of, began playing various basement shows, and soon committed to a nation-wide touring schedule. It’s been three years since The Moms began practicing as a three piece.  

How have you grown since you started?
We’ve definitely become a stronger band on stage, that’s something we are always working towards.  We have also matured a lot when it comes to the way we write together, which I feel is evident when you listen to our new record.  Doing a full length, as compared to an EP, gave us a chance to show people a few different sides of The Moms, all while without taking a shit off the deep-end, of course. And as far as physical growth goes, we’ve collectively gained over 50 pounds!

What sets you apart from other bands?
We try to keep it honest. Not that we’re the only ones, but that type of mentality seems to be a lot less common these days. We’re three guys from Jersey playing loud and smelly rock & roll, with the hopes that you’ll feel something from it, and with the hopes that we will be able to continue to do it without delivering pizza on the side. Also, our Vans collection is unrivaled.

What’s the best part about being in your band?
We’ve all been friends for about 5 years, we’ve gone through a lot of shit together, both good & bad, and when we get together to play music, it shows.  You can’t find that sort of thing just anywhere, ya know?  Being able to grow together, travel together, and sleep in Wal-Mart parking lots together, that shit is priceless. And there aren’t many other people I would want to share those experiences with. 

More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
This question is always tough to answer. We all have different tastes and like give each other flack for what one another listens to. Lately we have been enjoying the country station. I think it’s called “The Core” or something. We probably wouldn’t ever have imagined listening to country if you asked us last year, but lately we all seem to not be bothered by it. We all one time agreed on Brand New. But I think our varied tastes help us find a beautiful middle ground.

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POZ Showcase: Call The Station

by Zack Zarrillo - Nov 17, 2013

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Call the Station, a 4-piece rock band from Long Island, are striving to bring the truest parts of themselves to their music careers. Citing the staggering legacy of the LI scene as both an inspiration and a hurdle, CTS handled their songwriting for their record as personally and independently from outside influences as they could. The result is Signals, their debut full length which is a driving rock-pop record that falls somewhere in line with the lighthearted “suppy” pop-punk of today and a more melodic sound that takes itself more seriously. 

For Fans Of: Mayday Parade, Just Surrender, the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Social Sites:
 FacebookTwitter

Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
My name is Matthew and I play guitar and sing in Call The Station. The other members are:
Anthony - Vocals
Mauricio - Guitar
Eran - Bass

What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?
We are all from different parts of Long Island, NY.

How did the band come together? How long has it been?
We all went to the same college and started playing together for fun. Eventually we began to take things more serious when we started to realize that we actually had really good chemistry.

How have you grown since you started?
We developed an understanding of who we are and what we want as both a band and individuals.
At first we being in a band was more of a hobby but in time we progressed and realized that this is all way more significant than we had expected. Mutually we all agreed that we needed to make this a priority and push this band as far as we could. Over time we became stronger songwriters both individually and as a whole; which added to the band’s development.

What sets you apart from other bands?
The fact that we are truly friends and learned how to properly interact with one another in order to make things run successfully. This is our job and when you have a job you have to be able to work with others in a professional manner. It is all about compromising and being able to work out our issues. It is so important to not let things interfere with our work relationship and to maintain a strong work ethic at all times. So many bands come and go because members cannot set things aside or learn how to interact; that alone is why we have stayed together for as long as we have.

What’s the best part about being in your band?
Coming from Long Island, there is a lot that is expected from bands and musicians. Everyone expects you to try to follow the same format as previous or more well-known bands. Our music scene has such a rich and famous history and that traps a lot of bands. We honestly don’t focus on any of that. It is our goal to write what we feel is right to us and to be how we feel we need to be. As far as our relationship with one another, we work things out and do not let a lot of things get in between us whatsoever. A lot of bands come and go because they don’t create a set of values or look at what’s important and what really matters. We have a lot at stake and that drives us.

More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
During the recording process of our album I tried my best to listen to a lot of bands and albums that I was into when I was younger. I wanted to be as connected to those specific bands that made me want to play music in the first place. Specifically bands like Further Seems Forever, Underoath, and Copeland. We all listen to a variety of genres and you can hear traces of those bands in smalls parts of our songs. Mauricio is big on bands like Explosions In The Sky, Circa Survive, Armor For Sleep, and Broken Social Scene. Anthony I know is really into bands like The Neighborhood, Manchester Orchestra, and Bright Eyes. Eran likes a lot of bands like Brand New, Mayday Parade, and All Time Low.

What would you say the band has already accomplished and what do you have your eyes set on next?
There’s a lot that we would like to do still. It’s pretty hard to pinpoint anything specific but I am so proud of the album we finished and are about to put out. A lot of time was spent carefully crafting each song and making sure everything we did and continue to do is nothing but the best. We would be settling if we wrote music just to write. As for what is next…we want to push this album and get as many people turned onto Call The Station and our music. Of course we will play more shows and promote on every platform available. Eventually we will begin planning out our next record because we have so many ideas flowing right now. We want to stay active and relevant.

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POZ Showcase: Bells

by Zack Zarrillo - Nov 10, 2013

While the members of Bells boast pretty extensive experience in metal, coming off the heels of participation in bands like August Burns Red and This or the Apocalypse, their new band’s style treads out into instrumental post-rock territory. The 5-piece from Lancaster, PA, have been friends for years and finally decided to pool their talents together in the ephemeral Bells. Focusing their songwriting in creating vast soundscapes with extreme technical know-how, Bells’ first release, Our Forest, Our Empire, features dynamic moments that alternate anywhere from driving to quiet to triumphant to patient – creating more of an experience than any individual song.

For Fans Of: Explosions in the Sky, Gates, The Joy Formidable
Social Sites:
 FacebookTwitterInstagram

Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.We have myself, Jon Hershey, Tim Kettering Joseph Terranova, and Toby Pool. We’ve all been in and out of bands for a while, playing different instruments along the way, so the roles vary depending on song.

What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?We are from Lancaster, PA. 

How did the band come together? How long has it been?
It all starts back in early 2000’s where Jon and I met, when our two bands (Here to Eternity, and Shutup Gorgeous) played a show at this place near Lancaster called The Mill. We became friends, and we realized how small Lancaster was, meeting musicians in many of the other bands who would later become members of Bells (Joe and Tim). Jon and I started writing music together when he left August Burns Red. The two of us played together under a few different monikers, and decided to stick with the name Bells after I left This or the Apocalypse. We’ve been friends with Joe, Tim and Toby for a long while so it was a natural fit to complete the band. 

How have you grown since you started?I remember Jon and I meeting at Lititz Springs Park, sitting on their picnic benches with our acoustics. We didn’t have any other gear, so we made due with what we had. We would write these long, very circular, polymetric riffs, with odd time signatures. Listening back to them we always get a good laugh because of how rigid they feel.

What sets you apart from other bands?
There are a lot of bands in the world, for us to claim to be doing something completely unique seems a little hubristic. We don’t spend much time looking outward, measuring ourselves up against the current musical landscape. We’re not here to sell ourselves as if this is a business. We write music to humbly inspire and bring people together, anything more would feel fake.

What’s the best part about being in your band?Having a creative outlet where there are no constraints and no pre-disposed notions on what we need to do. With so many things in life being a rat race, it feels good to leave all of that behind and play music with some of my best friends and if there are people that enjoy it along the way, that’s pretty neat too.

More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
I grew up in a pretty confused house. A small shanty on a hill, full of my then alcoholic parents and us 3 kids. I remember falling asleep in my bedroom as my parents got stoned listening to Pink Floyd at full volume. I can retrace that moment laying there in my bed, hearing the beefy synthesizers and Gilmour singing “Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.” Growing up and always trying to understand what is normal, at that moment I became really introspective and felt this tugging to understand: Is this what life is? Is this the machine? Anyways, I feel super inspired by music, but feel like true inspiration finds you, and it’s a beautiful thing when it happens, because it gives hope for change. Quick side note: My parents are such a source of inspiration to me and I wish everyone could meet them. They serve as a shining example of hope and change in what may seem like an infinitely hopeless place. 

What would you say the band has already accomplished and what do you have your eyes set on next?
Recording / self-releasing our first album was a really big deal for us. The different people who came together to help and the teamwork involved to pull it off really makes us appreciate everyone who believes in us!

I remember a comment from a Chilean fan who messaged us a few years ago. He reached out to us just to say hi, and we exchanged a few emails. I later discovered he had recently lost a friend to cancer, and he described himself walking down the street in Chile after his death. He was listening to our cover of ABR’s Pangaea, mentioned it was a great experience. I felt humbled, sad, and honored to be able to be part of such a sensitive time in someone’s life.

Our recent “Lungs for Life” show with Caspian was one of the most intense shows we’ve ever been a part of. The extreme set of emotions of serving such a brave dude like Jake who is facing a full double lung transplant, paired with playing with one of our favorite modern day bands, Caspian, who had the unexpected death of their bassist. We’ve all played and attended many shows, and can’t say any of us have ever been to a more emotional show. It was an incredible honor to be a part of that day.

As for the future, we’re currently writing our next album which we hope to release fall 2014. Possibly a short EP before that, we’ll see!

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POZ Showcase: It’s Only a Story

by Zack Zarrillo - Nov 3, 2013

It’s Only a Story is an alternative/pop-punk band based in Orange County, CA. Active since 2011, the band markets their handcrafted music as a DIY (Do It Yourself) experience. In additional to their musical endeavors, the members of It’s Only a Story are also passionate about art, film, photography and web design.

Social Sites: FacebookTwitterInstagramTumblrYoutube

Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
-Will Gabriel (Vocals)
-Chris Hernandez (Vocals/Guitar)
-Shane Strachan (Guitar/Vocals)
-Kevin Moreno (Lead Guitar)
-Michael Shrewsbury (Bass)
-Vini Severino (Drums)
 
What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?
The majority of us grew up in Orange County, CA. Some of us live in LA now, but as group everything takes place in our Bat Cave in OC.

How did the band come together? How long has it been?
Will started a solo acoustic project in late 2010. As the project progressed, it slowly started developing into a group, and by January it was a full-fledged band.

How have you grown since you started?
When the band first started we were just writing music, and releasing videos for the fun of it. But after seeing the seemingly random success of the “Bill & the Princess” music video, we realized that we had tapped into something that people wanted to hear more of. So we started writing a full-length record and released it back in May of this year. The response has been incredible, and we couldn’t be happier with what we’ve accomplished since then.

What sets you apart from other bands?
We’ve always prided ourselves on being a 100 percent DIY band. We have a creative hand in everything we put out. We shoot and edit our own music videos, our web videos, we record our own albums, we do most of our own graphic design, and in some cases we even take our own promotional photography. It’s pretty nuts. We all have a variety of talents and interests, and being in a band in this era allows you to be artistic in every aspect of your identity. 

What’s the best part about being in your band?
This band is funny because we aren’t all life long friends or anything, just a handful of guys that happened to come together and connect over a couple of stories. And in doing that, we’ve become really close friends. These songs are all based on real life, so we feel very passionate about the music we make. 

More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
You can’t help but be influenced by the bands you love, so we just run with it and always set out to write the songs we want to hear. We are very influenced by bands we listened to when we were younger like Say Anything, Frank Turner, Fall Out Boy, New Found Glory, The Violent Femmes, and Taking Back Sunday. But we are also probably equally influenced by JJ Abrams, Breaking Bad, and The X-Men. 

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POZ Showcase: Mini Death

by Zack Zarrillo - Nov 2, 2013

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Dreamy doo-wop in punk rock can be a tough thing to nail, but California’s Mini Death has accomplished the art of compact, straightforward pop songs with a gritty edge that are focused and self-contained. Forming in San Diego after a move from Texas, the group expanded in size, moving from a drum machine to a real drummer and locked in their sound with a full lineup. And Mini Death’s attitudes toward their music are very relaxed - concerned not with rocketing toward success, but on creating a fun environment for themselves and for their listeners to let their hair down and dance around a bit.

For Fans Of: Young Statues, Diamond Youth, Nude Beach
Social Media: FacebookTwitterBandcamp

Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
I’m Tess. I sing. Jordan plays guitar and sings too, Brandon plays bass, Drew is on da drums.

What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?
I am from El Paso, TX. Everyone is from different places. I think Brandon was born in Japan…no really, I think he was even though he’s the whitest boy ever…. Anyway, we all came together in San Diego. And that is where we are based out of now.

How did the band come together? How long has it been?
I guess we started a couple of years ago. Jordan and I had some songs and then we added Brandon. Back then we just used a drum machine. But it lacked that extra oomph. That is when we added Drew on drums and our sound really evolved and our live performance got a lil’ more ballsy.

How have you grown since you started?
I think we have really honed in on our sound and what we are good at. Short and sweet poppy songs. We are no epic ballad 8 minute song band… that just isn’t our thing.

What sets you apart from other bands?
I think we have an interesting dynamic and our personalities really come through in the music. Really, we just want to have fun and play our songs and aren’t really concerned about being cool and selling millions. We do it for us, and its fun and quirky and we don’t take ourselves too seriously.

What’s the best part about being in your band?
I guess the fun part again. I think it serves as a release for all of us. We all have other gigs going on and it’s nice to come to practice or to write knowing there is no pressure. And honestly, I couldn’t have asked for better bandmates. We all tell really dumb jokes, and make weird noises, and like to drink. So we all vibe together in that regard and in our music tastes as well. Everything meshes well.

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POZ Showcase: Neighbours

by Zack Zarrillo - Oct 27, 2013

Hard work is half the battle, and after touring and playing as many shows as possible, Neighbours are attempting to take their brand of pop-punk to the next level. The band’s debut EP, This Past Year, will be released in November.

For Fans Of: Set Your Goals, Veara, The Story So Far
Social Media: FacebookTwitterBandcamp

Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Colin McColeman – Lead Vocals
Jake McGill – Guitar
Andrew Turenne – Guitar
Ben Thum – Bass
Jordan Gauthier - Drums

What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?
Everyone in the band except for Colin is from Ottawa, Ontario or the Ottawa area. Colin is from a little gem of a town called Sarnia, Ontario.  He moved to Ottawa a few years ago to go to College and met all the guys through going to shows and through friends. “Sarnia is such a little town so if the pop-punk stereotype has any truth, you can imagine how stoked I am to be in a pop-punk band after escaping my hometown.”-Colin

How did the band come together? How long has it been?
Summer of 2012, Colin had convinced Jake to drive to Warped Tour in Montreal pretty last minute.  Jordan tagged along and they started talking about all the bands playing Warped like, Senses Fail, New Found Glory, Yellowcard. How cool would it be to wake up every day and play a show to a bunch of kids who actually give a Gretzky? Damn, that’d be cool. So they decided to give it a try, just the three of them at the start, eventually convincing our first guitarist, Zack, to come track some leads and Ben to haul his gear to the basement and start being more ‘neighbourly’

How have you grown since you started?
When we started up, Colin was the only one who hadn’t been in a band before. Our demo that we put out was the first songs he had ever written. He didn’t really have any idea of what to expect or how to write or what to do in the studio. We’ve all grown though, seeing what it is we actually want from this band. It’s one thing to talk about it when you’re talking big with the boys, but to drop a bunch of important stuff in your life to really do the band thing is where we’re all at. We’re on the cusp of what we’ve been growing towards and we’re all stoked to do it. Really hoping people dig our new tracks as much as we do

What sets you apart from other bands?
Well, most of us live on the same street so our name is pretty literal. And I think that’s pretty neat.

What’s the best part about being in your band?
It’s definitely when you meet those real genuine people. Everyone that’s in a band I’m sure could back us up on this. That kid at the show that definitely cared about being there more than anyone else in the room. They came up to you after your set and told you how much fun they had and how impressed they were and meant it. That kid cares about music like it’s 12 years ago. To us, that’s really cool to be able to make something that someone is that amped on

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POZ Showcase: Henrietta

by Zack Zarrillo - Oct 26, 2013

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Florida’s really been churning out quite the showing lately of bands that manage to be sorta emo, sorta indie, and sorta punk all at the same time. Henrietta is yet another example of a band that’s into alternative music and isn’t concerned with fitting into a genre, just focused on writing a solid guitar line and maybe kicking in a scream here and there. The four-piece have released a couple of splits and a 2011 EP over the years, and are finishing up writing for their first full length in between jumping on as many opportunities to tour as they can.

For Fans Of: Moving Mountains, Minus the Bear, Circa Survive
Social Media:
 FacebookTwitterBandcamp

Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Manny Urdaneta- Vocals/Guitar
Colin Czerwinski- Guitar
John Chapman- Drums
Matt Kopkin- Bass 

What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?
Orlando, FL. 

How did the band come together? How long has it been?
Manny: I started this band with my old friend Alex back in 2008 right after I graduated high school. We were both dumb teenagers and had no idea what we wanted to do with our lives. I’ve known Matt since the tenth grade and we needed a bassist after our old one left. At the time, we were just three kids trying to sound like our favorite bands. After a few years and a few member changes, Matt and I knew we wanted to do this full time. We knew John from touring with his old band, With My Bear Hands (R.I.P), and we knew he would be the last drummer we would have. Colin joined after we toured with his other band, Big Awesome. I feel weird being the only one answering this question. 

How have you grown since you started?
It almost feels like we weren’t a real band until this past year. We would play around town a lot but that was about it. Now we take every opportunity we get to tour. Since last summer we’ve been out on four actual tours not counting small runs and it’s been great. Over that period of time, we feel like our writing has really matured. With the addition of Colin, things have been moving pretty fast and we’re almost done writing our first full length. We’re excited.

What sets you apart from other bands?
We honestly don’t try to think about things like that too much. We just try to make Kid Rock proud. R.I.P.

What’s the best part about being in your band?
Probably getting the chance to travel, play music, listen to each other’s terrible jokes, make new friends, and make music with your best friends. You know, real passionate P.O.D. kinda stuff.

More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
John: I’ve been listening to a lot of Toe recently, and I feel like mewithoutYou has influenced me a lot over the years.
Colin: Hey Mercedes for sure, and recently the new Vasudeva, and Tera Melos records.
Matt: A Great Big Pile of Leaves and Sigur Ros both just put out new albums that are awesome and I can’t stop listening to.
Manny: I’ve been really influenced by David Bazan, Owen, and Thrice lately for some reason. 

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POZ Showcase: Cliffhanger

by Zack Zarrillo - Oct 20, 2013

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Mixing the old with the new, Cliffhanger aims to revive Chicago’s pop punk scene with their western suburban angst. This year, the band ranked no. 7 on Pop Punk World’s Top 20 Unsigned Bands. Cliffhanger’s debut EP Just Ignite was released last May and is available on iTunes.

Social Media: FacebookTwitterTumblrBandcamp

Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Jordan Benker – Lead Guitar
Mike Centracco – Rhythm Guitar
Mike Licari – Drums
Trevor Utz – Bass/Vocals

What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?
Chicago’s western suburbs (Berwyn, Riverside, Downers Grove, Rolling Meadows).

How did the band come together? How long has it been?
Mike C. met Mike L. met a long time ago while playing in local bands. After Mike C. graduated from college, he wanted to start up a new band that was different from what he used to play but combined his love for old and new pop punk. Mike C. then met Jordan at the Milwaukee Warped Tour where they discussed the possibility of starting a band. Mike C. reached out to Mike L. to inquire about playing drums from Cliffhanger and he agreed. Jordan introduced everyone to Trevor after they had met at Penny Road Pub while Jordan was playing a solo show. A few months after we all met, we decided to head into the studio to record, “Just Ignite.” We’ve been playing music for exactly a year, but started pushing our music when we released our debut EP in May.

How have you grown since you started?
We originally just wanted to throw our music out there since we recorded in February, but we waited until May to release it so we could have physical CDs created along with merch. It was a lot of patience, but it was nice knowing that everything was prepared before releasing it. We’ve grown by understanding patience and learning how to execute it correctly.

Our newer songs that have yet to be recorded are more lyrically relevant to today’s sound but still are structured between a mix of new and old pop punk.

What sets you apart from other bands?
We’re not a “theme” band. We discuss many topics in our songs that relate to us, so these songs are a way to get to know us. We don’t write songs about any theme in particular. We write about what we want to write about. 

We’re also fun people and pretty random. We like to have fun and have a great time on stage. 

What’s the best part about being in your band?
Everyone has the same goals of being professional, releasing quality material, sharing the desire to grow the band, and being serious in a fun way. For example, we have a song called, “They Used to Call Me ‘Anal Girl.’” It’s a serious song, but it has a fun song title. With everyone on the same page, playing together is that much better.

More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
I Call Fives, Turnover, Count to Four, City Lights, Major League, Neck Deep, Handguns, and older bands like New Found Glory, Four Year Strong, Hit The Lights, blink-182, and All Time Low.

What would you say the band has already accomplished and what do you have your eyes set on next?
Like we mentioned previously, we’ve only been publically active since May, but we’ve received excellent reviews on our debut EP Just Ignite from several website.  We’ve been on PopPunkWorld, Aesthetic Heart Promotions, Pure Grain Audio, Defend The Scene, and we were the Independent Artist of the Month at Restless Press. We’ve also had songs played on Chicago Punk Rock Radio and Amanda On-Air (a pop punk station in Eugene, Oregon). We’ve shared the stage with These Hearts and Mychildren Mybride. Lastly, we created a lyric video for our song “City Skyline” from scratch, which can be seen here: http://goo.gl/rtX7v

We have our eyes set on booking more shows in the Chicagoland area, making another lyric video, saving up for a follow up EP, and trying to get our name out there.

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POZ Showcase: Breakaway

by Zack Zarrillo - Oct 19, 2013

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Forming a little over a year ago in March 2012, Breakaway are a 5-piece band from Sydney, Australia. Their brand of pop-rock plays catchy enough for mainstream radio but still maintains some good DIY ethos as their fanbase has grown steadily over the last year due largely to their band-to-fan interaction with listeners. Their debut EP One Minute | One Moment was released in October 2012 to vast local success; they’re aiming for new music in the new year as well as a chance to bring it live to the world.

For Fans Of: Mayday Parade, Valencia, Anarbor
Social Sites:
Facebook, Twitter

Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Sam Biland - Vocals
Rich Mammoliti - Guitar
Michael Bonic – Guitar
Mitch Borton – Bass     
Matt McNeil - Drums

What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?
Sam: We are from Sydney, Australia, except for Sam who is originally from New Zealand, but lived in England up until moving to Australia.

How did the band come together? How long has it been?
Sam: We’ve been together for just over a year now. Rich and Matt took the chance of putting out an internet advert on a site called Gumtree (Australia’s equivalent to Craigslist) looking for a vocalist. I had just moved to Australia and didn’t know anyone, but I was keen to get back into music. By chance, I stumbled on their advert. I auditioned for them and they decided I was the right guy for the job. Miki and Mitch, who went to high school together, then joined on recommendations through friends.

How have you grown since you started?
Sam: It’s been just over a year, but things have come a long way so quickly. We wrote and recorded our EP within the first two months of meeting each other and since then we’ve seen our fan base grow more and more. We’ve also come a long way in both our writing and our live performance. It’s been amazing.
 
What sets you apart from other bands?
Mitch: I think what sets us apart from other bands is our sound, and our approach to making music. There are a lot of bands around right now that kind of idolize a particular band or scene, and then try to emulate what they are.  We try to draw influence from a variety of artists and create our own identity. 

What’s the best part about being in your band?
Sam: It’s like a family. From day 1, we just clicked straight away and we became close really quickly. As the band has grown the sense of family has expanded to our fans, who we are always talking to. One of the most important things in our minds is to make sure they feel that they are as much a part of the ‘Breakaway’ family as we are.

More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Sam: We draw from such a wide range of influences so it is quite hard to name just a few, but I think the most obvious ones that you can hear in the music are Paramore, You Me At Six and 30 Seconds to Mars.

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POZ Showcase: The Lives To Come

by Zack Zarrillo - Oct 13, 2013

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Based in Linthicum, MD, The Lives To Come is a six-piece post-hardcore band of best friends. Claiming to have a positive message, TLTC released their “Self-Titled” EP with five songs that prove their potential. The EP is available to purchase online for a “name your price” download.

Social Sites: Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp

Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Joshua Seleski and Daniel Thompson contributing vocals, Kyle Schaefer and Collin Dunn on guitar, Joseph Seleski on bass guitar and Ryan “Sadillac” Sadler on drums.

What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?
Josh, Joe, Ryan, Kyle, and Collin all grew up in an area near Baltimore, Maryland called Linthicum.  Daniel grew up about two hours south of them in an area called Lexington Park, Maryland.

How did the band come together? How long has it been?
The Lives to Come has been a band for about two years now. Each and every one of us has been playing music in the areas that we have grown up in. The band originally started with Josh, Joe, Collin, ex-guitarist Casey, and Ryan. We’d play shows here and there at the local churches and whatnot, just having fun as teenagers.  The first thing that had changed us was when Casey decided to leave for the Navy.  We searched for an available guitarist, and gained the help of long time friend Kyle. He added an entirely different aspect to the music we were making, which also contributed to more of an attitude change within us.  As our music matured, we decided that we would open spot to incorporate singing into our music.  Kyle and Dan had been friends from past bands they had played shows with, and asked him to try out.  We all instantly clicked and Dan became a part of the group.  We recorded our debut EP Set Free and hit the ground running.

Why should people listen to your band?
We believe that people should listen to our band because we write honest music that comes from personal life experiences. We aren’t writing this music to get signed or be the next big thing, we are writing this music because it’s something that we believe in and have complete faith in. Our music can be understood on many different levels, and depending on the situation you’re in, that type of relation to music can help out more than you know.  We want to be able to help create that relationship between the people who are listening to the music and the music they are listening to.  And all of our music is free. People love free things.

How have you grown since you started?
When it comes down to growth, we’ve become better musicians. We’ve pushed ourselves by trying things we’ve never done before by taking risks and just putting ourselves out there to become better. We’ve learned to not limit ourselves to producing some trendy bull crap like we may or may not have done with previous bands. We set expectations for ourselves and do what we need to do to get those expectations accomplished whereas before, we didn’t take music as seriously as we do now.  What we produce is an extension of ourselves and that’s not something that should be taken lightly. So I guess when you look at it from our perspective, we’ve matured as musicians and as people.

What sets you apart from other bands?
Something that sets us apart from other bands would have to be the members that make this band.  We’re not the typical ridiculously good-looking male model band members. We don’t hide in the “green room” before our set and straighten our hair. We’re all some of the nerdiest, shyest people you could ever meet. At shows, we’re out conversing with whoever’s come out to support us and the other locals.  And, we’re the best of friends. It’s clear to see how close we all are with each other, the bond that we share between us especially during our live shows.

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POZ Showcase: We Still Dream

by Zack Zarrillo - Oct 12, 2013

We Still Dream, a 5-piece band out of Jacksonville, FL, are continuing to carry the torch for this generation’s beloved trend of infectious, hooky pop-punk. The band came onto the scene around 2008, releasing a full length Chapters in 2011 and an EP, Therapy, the following year. Now signed to Anchor Eighty Four Records and a fresh new full length Something to Smile About, We Still Dream are starting to grow out of their basic pop-punk car seats and into more advanced melodies – all while forever remaining catchy as all hell.

For Fans Of: Hit the Lights, State Champs, The Story So Far
Social Sites: FacebookTwitterBandcamp

Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Dustin Monk – Vocals
Mike Davis – Guitar
Mike White – Guitar
Deejay Tarbert – Bass
Mike Monahan - Drums

What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?
The bands hometown is Jacksonville, Florida. This is where we got our start. Most of us now live in St. Augustine, Florida besides Dustin (Georiga), and Mike Davis who still lives in Jacksonville.

How did the band come together? How long has it been?
Mike Davis used to be in a hardcore band called Set Apart from Jacksonville. Some of the members were looking to start a different style band, and they soon after met Dustin. The rest of the band came together through member changes, although we have had the current lineup for quite some time. In total we have been a band for about 5 years. We went on our first tour back in 2008.

How have you grown since you started?
Well our sound and taste in music has definitely changed over the past 5 years. Our old releases were your pretty basic “pop punk.” We definitely started to get more into the old 90’s sound on our last EP “Therapy,” which you can still find traces of in our newest release. For the new record however we really wanted to stop trying to be one thing. We wanted to just write whatever we wanted to write even if it wasn’t pop punk. We didn’t want to tie ourselves down to just one particular sound, and I think it really shows through on the record. We want to be a good band, not just a good pop punk band.

What sets you apart from other bands?
We really try to make every song the catchiest it could possibly be. Even if the song is darker, slower, happier, or anything in-between we try to make sure it gets stuck in your head, haha. I think our singer Dustin also has a voice that isn’t very common in this genre of music, which is cool because it always puts a spin on things and how the songs come out sounding.

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POZ Showcase: Midwest

by Zack Zarrillo - Oct 8, 2013

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Not to be mixed up with the band Midwest from the Midwest, this Midwest is native to the continent down under known as Australia. The alternative rock/post-hardcore band is comprised of old friends Tim Corke, Lewis Wilson, Hobey Bennett and Miles Wilson. The mates describe their tastes as “a bi-polar spectrum of chaos and beauty,” something that is certainly captured in their self-titled EP.

For Fans Of: Balance & Composure, Title Fight, Manchester Orchestra, Explosions in The Sky, mewithoutYou

Social Sites: FacebookTwitterYouTubeBandcamp

Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Timothy Corke – Vocals/Bass
Miles Wilson – Guitar
Lewis Wilson – Guitar
Hobey Bennett – Drums

What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?
Brisbane, Australia

How did the band come together? How long has it been?
Tim, Hobey and myself were all friends through high school and played together sporadically and without any real intent. I think the distinct point at which Midwest formed was when Miles, my brother, joined and we put out our first release at the start of this year.      

How have you grown since you started?
I think our biggest growth has been in terms of song structure. Our initial demos sometimes lacked direction, but with our EP I think we’ve really tightened up in that area. We also work in a much more collaborative manner now, and jam on new ideas, and that’s when the best writing seems to happen for us. 

What sets you apart from other bands?
I don’t know whether it really sets us apart from all other bands, but we’re the type of people who tend not to have much to say on-stage. We prefer to let our music do the talking rather than orchestrating some alter ego. Certainly my experience of live music has always been that the performance itself is what captures someone’s attention, rather than what gets said between songs. I think that if we give our all on-stage, then there’s nothing we can really say that our music hasn’t said already.

What’s the best part about being in your band?
I think more than anything, it’s the opportunity of shared experiences with three of your best friends, working on something that you’re all equally passionate about. It could be music or it could be something else, but it’s the experiences along the way that we’ll remember.  

More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
I think we’ve got certain releases rather than certain bands that inspire us. I think everyone can relate to having a favorite band putting our a release that you don’t ‘get’ no matter how much you want to, and we’ve come to realize that that’s actually okay. The artist doesn’t owe it to the listener to write something that fits their specific taste and nor does the listener owe it to the artist to keep listening if they’ve moved in a different direction. So we’ve come to be fans of certain albums rather than certain bands. Some of our favorites are Colour Revolt – Self Titled EP, Manchester Orchestra – Mean Everything to Nothing, and Oceana – Cleanhead EP. 

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POZ Showcase: Firestarter

by Zack Zarrillo - Oct 7, 2013

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Rooted in Albany, N.Y., Firestarter has been raging the pop-punk scene since 2012. Only active for a little less than a year, the band has already dropped two EPs— “New Beginnings” and “Rooftop Acoustic Songs,” which are both available to stream on Spotify. As if they’re not busy enough working on their 7” vinyl, Firstarter recently released a split with Old Again last month.

Social Sites: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Bandcamp

Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Matt LaPerche - Vocals / Guitar
Zack Bartnicki - Guitar / Backing Vocals
Jeff Henlin - Bass
Matt Bliss - Drummer

What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?
We are from the fine city Albany, N.Y.

How did the band come together? How long has it been?
Back in late summer of 2012, Matt L. had just moved up to the Albany area and had started to write the songs found on our EP, New Beginnings. After a few months we all met through either mutual friends or jobs and began talking about getting the band together and boom. We started all jamming together and eventually played our first show at The Team Pagano New Year’s Eve Show!

How have you grown since you started?
Since we have started, we have all come closer together as friends and all grown as musicians. Also, I think Jeff grew an inch or two, you never know. He drinks his milk and eats his Wheaties every day. 

What sets you apart from other bands?
We just want to write and play the music we want to hear and if people are into, that rules; but if not, it won’t stop us from doing what we love. 

What’s the best part about being in your band?
The absolute ridiculous and hilarious situations that we always seem to find ourselves in on tour and at home. I don’t think any other band laughs as much as we do.

More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
The Starting Line, Midtown, New Found Glory, Blink-182, The Movielife, Set Your Goals, and the entire Tony Hawk Pro Skater soundtrack. 

What would you say the band has already accomplished and what do you have your eyes set on next?

So far as a band, we have been able to release two EPs and go on a tour spanning half of the United States without dying which is an accomplishment in itself. Next on the list, we are releasing a split in the fall and looking to tour the rest of the U.S. we haven’t covered!

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