Not verbatim, but I believe this is pretty much the best way music can be discovered.
A friend of mine recently introduced me to Sterling Gavinski, lead singer and guitarist for pop/punk’s The Happy Alright. (THA) Since then, I’ve been handed the pleasure of being asked to write my thoughts on the subject of their upcoming EP “Vacancies”, which is currently out for pre-order on the bands website.
Spoiler alert: I love it!
I think it can get pretty easy (especially in Texas) for pop/punk bands to all start to blend together and it’s a relief that THA doesn’t fall victim to that. They’ve done a fantastic job of finding their niche in this genre and I think that will mean big things for their album launch and for their inevitable success this year.
Since this is the song that is currently public via YouTube and Modern-Vinyl I’ll write my thoughts about “Parking Garage.” I really like this song, it’s got a catchy chorus, pleasant guitar melodies, and powerful interludes to back up meaningful lyrics. What’s not to like?
The track isn’t too long, it doesn’t drag or waste time, it gets straight to the point and best of all it has twists and unexpected turns. I personally really like that, especially in a genre that is sometimes popular for being seemingly predictable. You can tell that these guys don’t just put a lot of work into their look or their business but into their material. They don’t want to be a cookie-cutter pop/punk band, these guys are the real deal.
Speaking of their look, they’ve all got such great personalities which are highlighted in the above live video. Each one of them has a little bit of a different quirk and it makes that video much more entertaining to watch a second and third time. I won’t give it all away because nobody likes spoilers but it made me happy inside. The visual performance only adds to the value in their music and I think that is again something that is pretty rare.
You can rest assured that the well-rounded and innovative product that you hear/see in “Parking Garage” is also found throughout the rest of the EP; so you can take my word for it that the pre-order will be well worth you’re while!
To give you a little more insight into the personality of this group and some background behind their music, I sent these guys some pretty crazy questions and I got some great feedback. Their answers are below, their music video is above, and their album “Vacancies” available for pre-order is here:
AMN: “If you had to write a song about a giant bear fighting an airplane, what kind of mood/tone would the song have?”
Sterling: “It would probably have to sound like a Primus song.”
Johnathan: “It would sound like “Africa” by Toto.”
Brad: “The riff would be similar to the Dallas Stars Pantera song.”
AMN: “Are you going to see the Deadpool movie, what are your thoughts?”
Mason: “I’m planning on seeing it. It looks funny, but I’m typically not too interested in Marvel movies”
Sterling: “It might end up being the only good Marvel film other than Guardians and Spiderman 2, so I’ll probably check it out.”
AMN: “What is the overall theme of this record, what are you about to hit us with?”
Mason: “It’s mainly about how we all can feel really empty from time to time and look for things to fill up what the hole, but in the end we don’t really come up with anything that truly fulfills us.”
AMN: “What’s your opinion on Spotify?”
Mason: “I know a lot of people use it and I think it’s a good way for people to check out new music. I’m still a fan of buying physical copies and downloading stuff on my phone because my internet service is literally just the worst”
Sterling: “I’m a big Spotify user. It’s great for someone who is ALWAYS listening to music. I don’t have premium, but I can see the benefits to being able to stream any song you want, wherever. In terms of being in a band on Spotify… It’s great for exposure. There’s other ways to get paid in the music world.”
Johnathan: “There hasn’t been one day ever since I signed up for Spotify Premium that I haven’t used it. Like Sterling said, it is a great way for exposure.”
AMN: “You’re currently planning a tour, can you give me any news on that?”
Sterling: “All I’m gonna say is that we’re gonna be playing a lot more shows in some exciting new places.”
AMN: “What’s something you learned recently that you would tell another band asking your advice?”
Sterling: “I learn more about this every day but… Work your ASS off. If you don’t show other people that you can do it on your own, no one is going to care or want to help you out. Also: get money.”
Mason: “Get a real job. It’s not giving up, it’s broadening your possibilities as a band because things cost money. And touring costs A LOT of money.”
Brad: “There are going to be a lot of people that take advantage of you especially as a young local band. It’s important to think about the decisions you make and how much it will actually benefit you.”
AMN: “Who is someone you really look up to musically and in the music business and why?”
Sterling: “So many people. The guys in Head North specifically are definitely a group of hardworking dudes. Those guys did the DIY tour route long enough that it paid off tenfold. They taught me the value of proving yourself and just being straight up tenacious. Again, if you don’t hustle: you can’t expect to get recognized.”
Brad: “The dudes in Under Dog House have been through so much with us and I really respect the relationship we have with them. Also Head North has taught us so much. We’ve played with them almost every time they’ve come to Dallas and they are some of the hardest working guys I’ve ever met.”
AMN: What band is really impressing you lately?
Sterling- “Microwave. Also, listen to the Hamilton soundtrack!”
Mason- “Foxing for sure. I’ve been following those guys since my freshman year and it’s crazy how they went from playing playing in a shitty backyard during SXSW 2014 to touring with Brand New later that year. The new record is stellar too.”
Johnathan- “Can’t Swim. They have a new record coming out later this month called Death Deserves a Name and all the singles that have been released are phenomenal. Also I really like the Foo Fighters and Saint Cecilia – EP is also a great record.”
Brad- “Turnover’s peripheral vision is insane and one of my favorite releases of 2015. Also really like the new music from Underdog house and Quiet things.”
AMN: What’s your message?
Mason- “Watch as much anime as possible” – Mason Steeger
Sterling- “Always do exactly what Mason tells you” – Sterling Gavinski
Johnathan- “Always try to use star power on ‘Guitar solo i’ on Free Bird on Guitar Hero 2.
Brad- “the Statue of Liberty is wearing a wire.”