Buzzed Bands Podcast, Ep. 2 w/ Cold Blood Club

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Interview - Man On Earth @ Urban Noise Fest

Back in August I was at the Blender Theater attending Urban Noise Summer Fest. It was a free show and Me Talk Pretty were performing with another band I wanted to see, Man On Earth. A band I knew of, but had never really seen live before.
My sister Kendra put me on to one of their songs, "Come In Closer" and I seriously dug it. Of course, it's one of those songs designed to immediately hook any person of the female persuasion with it's slow rhythm and suggestive lyrics. But ... that's beside the point.

Point is, I checked them out on Myspace. I wasn't over the moon about what I heard, but I went into the show with some decent expectations. I mean it was free, and I had been given the opportunity to chat with the guys after their set, so it was a good deal all around.

My expectations were met and exceeded.

I don't know if it had anything to do with the two eight dollar glasses of vodka cranberry I had been drinking with Kendra, but they blew me away. Seriously, these guys know how to put on a show. Everything sounded ten times better; executed with skill and ease. Lead singer Steve Nathan commanded the audience with confidence and personality. He whipped what had previously been a thinning crowd into a dancing clapping mass advancing on the stage. Dude's vocal prowess is impressive, and coolly complimented by bassist Alex Goumas. The one band member who absolutely killed it for me though (this means he blew my eyeballs into the back of my sockets with his awesome) was the guitarist Alex Polaris.

Next to "Come In Closer", the opener "It Feels Like" was one of the highlights of the set and he had some solos that had my jaw on the ground. I admire skill. It makes me endlessly curious about where it comes from in the person that possesses it. Needless to say, I was very excited to talk to the band after such a powerhouse performance.

Here's how our chat went down:

BSCKenya: Ok, what's up? First question is about how you describe your sound as 'experimental rock'. How's that demonstrated through your music?

Nathan: Well I just think it comes down to the fact that we don't try to pigeon hole ourselves into any certain style. We're free to just write whatever we want. We'll come up with something weird and then, once we get together and play it, it comes together and we're completely happy with hit.

BSCKenya: So your sound isn't streamlined in one direction or category.

Nathan: Yeah, pretty much.

BSCKenya: And how's it going with the current album (The Time Spent Wondering)? Going the way you want it?

Nathan: Well, the purpose of the album is to have a full record so we could shop it and license it and put it out. We're talking to some locals that are interested in licensing it. So everything is going as planned.

BSCKenya: So, are you getting tired of playing/hearing about "Come In Closer" yet? I know it's one of your most popular songs.

Alex: No we aren't at all. I mean we do play it a lot, it's requested a lot. But we try to keep the rotation of songs on our set list fresh.

Nathan: People buy the record because of that song, so that's ultimately a good thing.

BSCKenya: What's the collaboration like with you guys? Is it a group effort, or is there a main songwriter in the band?

Nathan: What we do is usually someone will come up with an idea. We'll get into the studio and another someone will add their ideas to it.

Alex: We all come from really different backgrounds in terms of writing music. Polaris will come up with ideas that I'd never tried to invision in my life. We all have these weird little things about ourselves. You tie it in to all the things that might not necessarily be anyone's else's style and that's how you evolve.

BSCKenya: I'm completely fascinated by the journey of a band. What was the road like for you from where you first began until now, and where do you want to go from here?

Alex: We set a goal in our minds of what we want to do. We're shooting for that point where we can just make music for a living. The journey has been hard. This band's gone through members who were just like 'we can't do this anymore.'

Nathan: Each time though, the success gets bigger and bigger. The whole thing about being in a band is that you don't really 'see' what's going on. I mean, you're busy working your day job. You still feel like you're in the same place. Until you get to the point where you have fans coming back who've been listening to your stuff.

We played Jones Beach a couple of weeks ago with Creed. The only thing I can say about Creed is that they're nice dudes who gave us this opportunity. We played Jones Beach, and for us that's huge, regardless. People were telling us "you guys fucking killed it" and then we go back and we're sitting at our desks. That's a hard thing to do, but the important thing to know is that we're heading somewhere. We are accomplishing things.

BSCKenya: Yes, I was going to ask if you guys have day jobs, I mean obviously you do. I know guys in different bands, a couple of which have broken up, because the balance is so hard to maintain. It's like one step forward, two steps back.

Nathan: Always.

BSCKenya: Do you feel like you're in a place now where your band's doing well enough that you're going to stick with this?

Dave: I feel like we're at a point right now where we're actually starting to get taken seriously. We're getting to that point where we're getting attention. We're having people reach out to us now.

Alex: It's more than just 'sticking with it'. We've all always had our own goals and different things going on. We all had a general direction we were headed in, whether it was palying in other bands or pursuing solo projects. It's just that our general direction led us to each other. And at this point, I can't imagine not sticking it out. I look at it individually as I worked to get to this band and this isn't something else I'm looking to move on from. I got where I wanted. And we have new goals to work towards as a band.

Polaris: I agree. I've worked all my life and also put a lot of work into this band as well. We've come a long way from going to shows with no stage and hardly anybody there, to playing places like here [Blender]. Our goal was to get people to like us. No matter what music you play, I feel, if you can do that, that means you're a good musician.

Nathan: Man we've shared the stage with Death Metal bands. And we played punk rock shows where people were literally kicking each other in the head while we were on stage!

BSCKenya: Does this have to do with the versatility of your sound or is it just a matter of 'wherever, with whoever, we'll play?'

Polaris: I don't think it matters what your sound is. I think it's more a matter of connecting with people. If you can do that, you're successful. Even if you are playing with people who like the kind of music you're playing, it is of course going to be easier, but if you can't connect with them, you've failed.

BSCKenya: Tell me about Urban Noise. Why's this show free?

Nathan: It's free because Urban Noise recognizes the need to showcase local bands to as many people as possible, and what better way to do that. In New York City, it's such an uphill climb. I think we realized that if we could support bands in a venue like this it could help sell tickets for these bands at bigger venues down the road. That would be a mutually good thing for both the venue and the bands.

I also had the option to make it a paid entry thing, but when I put together this festival, Urban Noise, I decided that what we would do, is we'd do a bunch of them and introduce people to a lot of new bands and then this way we could eventually charge people and make it a continuous event. It's about bands supporting bands and working together. You can only get so far if you're just out for yourself, in my opinion. If you work with other people, you can make things happen. If we were just out for ourselves, tonight we would have played at Pianos. But we're working with other bands, and sharing the stage at the Blender. We did it in June, August, and we're doing another one in October.

Polaris: We had an option to sell the tickets, but considering how many people you and the other bands bring, you can expose yourself and your music a hundred times over.

Dave: When you play a gig like this everyone is here to have a good time. It's worth it. The different fans get a long, because everybody here is here for the music. It's cliche, but we have so much fun!

Alex: This is our fourth time doing a Monday, and every time it just gets bigger and bigger.

Nathan: There are three hundred and eighty people here on a Monday night. That's amazing.

BSCKenya: It is
amazing. Free entry, and really strong drinks make for a very fun night. Thanks guys.

As they mentioned, there is another Urban Noise Autumn Bomb Fest coming up next Monday, October 12th at the Blender Theater. Bands performing include:

Under The Elephant
Man On Earth
Atomic Tom
Cosa Nostra

I plan on going, as I had a blast last time. They are a great act to catch, and also pretty smart guys. Even if they aren't your cup of tea, the show is free, the drinks are strong, and they may change your mind once the lights go down.

1 comment:

TaraKLucero said...

they sound absolutely brilliant! would luv to see em LIVE! excellent review

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