(This month, for Old Timey Hedgehog, I was sent out to interview one of the freshest group of younglings I’ve seen with a sound a dream and a bunch of bad ass band members. Their mixture of pop punk & chiptune is just waiting to explode. Check out the interview and more in Issue 6: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DPUYHN8/ref=tsm_1_fb_lk)
1. How did you guys come together around this combination of punk & chiptune?
Will: Before this band, me our drummer Andrew & our bassist Chris, we were in a band called Later Can Wait. It was a pop-punk/alternative, and that band didn’t really go anywhere. We kinda went on a 2 year hiatus, I actually started doing a lot of chiptune music myself, like my side project. I was listening to a lot of I Fight Dragons, an alternative chiptune band. I was like, you know what, I want to try to put chiptune into pop punk, not pop punk like it is nowadays. I’m talking old school pop punk like New Found Glory, Blink 182. What it used to be. That’s how this band came together. I came up with the first EP, Chris helped me out with it.
Chris: We have to give Will credit as far as the chiptune goes, because, believe it or not, he has a solo project called Pixel Perfect. Some of our songs are really, those songs in which we all put our spin on, and they’re all on the record. The chiptune aspect was masterminded by Will, but now it’s more of a family & everything is really collaborative.
2. What video games are the ones that inspired you to fuse pop punk & chiptune?
Will: Mega Man, Super Mario, Tetris, Asteroid/Centipede, a lot of Zelda, Pokemon. All 8bit games. No Playstation or Xbox.
Chris: Jump & Shoot Man!
Josh: I can’t wait for 4th generation myself.
Ozzy: Those are like the first song we heard, we’re playing the GameBoy. It’s fun.
Will: It’s very nostalgic, people can listen to it and be like “I’ve heard stuff like this before, let me listen more.” That’s what we’re trying to do.
3. Do you find that both crowds accept you, or is there a “jack of all trades, master of none” feeling from either the punk or the chip crowd?
Chris: We’re lucky enough to play for various venues. Sometimes we’ll play Gussies, with an Alice & Chains tribute band before us. SO we’ll be able to play to metal heads.
Ozzy: They’ll tap their feet to us.
Chris: We’ll get some head bops.
Will: We’ve played Gussy’s before. It’s kind of a metalhead/biker bar.
Chris: We’re accepted by almost everyone. When we get on stage, we make it a mission to make sure that everyone, regardless of who they are, whatever music they identify with, they are shaking their ass a bit.
Ozzy: This is the lightest project I’ve ever been in, and anything I play has a lot of metal-influence.
Will: That’s the thing, it works. The music we play, is not subject to change, but we spin a little of everything we can into it. We try to cater not only to the pop punk & the 8 bit crowd, but some of our songs, there’s heavier aspects in them. You know, to give those hardcore kids something to dance to. We try cater to everybody if we can.
4. Have you seen an underground pop punk scene in NYC, independent of Z100-sponsored bands/Jingle Ball-style pop-punk??
Ozzy: Just being a band in NYC is kind of a downer because it’s more club oriented. But we try to bring a dance thing to out shows & have fun.
Chris: We push the Nintendo party rock thing.
Will: Our gimmick is confetti rock. We didn’t necessarily try to be a party band, it kind of just came out of us. We thought, our first show, let’s make a really big impact. We had confetti cannons & everything going, and everybody seemed to enjoy that a lot.
Chris: We play a show and people make memes that say #ConfettiIsComing
Will: I Fight Dragons
Andrew: Uhh, Him ::points to Will::
Chris: Blink 182
Ozzy: The Rolling Stones
6. Just so everyone who reads this can actually get at you, how are you using social media these days?
Will: The Facebook page & our ReverbNation are the two main social media pages.
Chris: That’s where we post our current EP for free.
Josh: We’re also planning on doing a new studio Vlog to separate ourselves from the rest.
Will: Once the new EP is up & running, that’s when we’ll start doing the blog/vlog. So the fans can actually watch us. Once it’s out on Spotify/iTunes, etc., the first one will be free to give people something to listen to, but if you like/will enjoy it, you’ll pay for everything we think, you know?
Chris: We’re also discussing the possibility of shooting the pilot of a TV show. Can’t go into many details, but it should be pretty cool if we pull that off.
Chris: While the music is very party, but Will writes very empowering lyrics about the support of your friends & just being individuals. Our current single is called “Get the Picture”. There’s lyrics like “This one goes out to the lost and the hopeless,” the people with nothing, they get it. We really try to pump the empowerment. Because there’s nothing more celebratory than empowerment. In my opinion.
Will: He hit the nail on the head. Not all my lyrics are about empowerment. We have one song “Hack & Slash…”
Josh: It’s a fun track.
Will: It’s about a murderer going out on a date and…
Chris: A lot of bands set out not to entertain but to annihilate. It’s really old. Especially some types of “-core” right now.
Ozzy: Excuse me? Anything that I put into the band can be “-core”. We have drops! I hate anything where the artist didn’t have to work hard to get the sound they have.
9. Do you each have a dream venue? Who would you want to open for for anyone anywhere?
Josh: There’s this band out of Finland called Hymn.
Andrew: Don’t take my band.
Ozzy: We play a show WITH Hym not opening for Hymn.
Chris: I would love to open up for someone like LMFAO. Dream venue for us would be a house party. I would also really want to play festivals.
Will: I would love to have shows where they’re mixers. There are a bunch of shows where you’ve got 4-5 bands with similar sounds. People love their repetition. What I’d like to do is get Ready Steady Ghost, a band like New Found Glory, old school pop punk, a band like Icey Stars, alternative hardcore. Get a huge mixer going, something like a festival. I want to do something where it’s literally something for everybody.
10. Finally, because I’m a dick, Mario vs. Sonic?
Will: Sonic, he’s got that super speed & the ups.
Chris: I don’t play…games…
Andrew: Link (Touche Salesman.)