Our lovely intern Luisa asked rising Echo Park band NO a few questions. Read on, and definitely come see them Friday night at the Satellite!
What are your names, what do you play and where are you originally from?
Michael Walker - Drums - Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
Sean Daniel Stentz - Bass - Whittier CA
Ryan Lallier - Guitar - Keys - Rehoboth MA
Reese Richardson - Guitars - Keys - Lexington KY
Bradley Hanan Carter - Vocals - Auckland - New Zealand
How did you guys come to meet and form a band?
Sean and I actually met through Jennifer who books The Satellite, we were all hanging at Millies for breakfast one morning around June 2010 and Sean asked what i had been working on, so i played him what would become the first NO demo. We decided to write for a year before getting the band actually started. The other guys who we met through friends of friends, they had heard some of the songs we had been working on and wanted to be a part of it too.. After a few months of rehearsing and figuring stuff out we played our first show at The Satellite Nov 9 2011.
I like your band name, don’t get me wrong. Simple, straightforward and most people’s first word. But when I was just trying to find your official website, I found some other band and was half-convinced for ten minutes that you guys had an album out. What made you guys decided on the name NO (and I’m not suggesting it at all, but have you considered changing it)?
Good question.. we wanted something short and something we could spell. But since we went with NO we have discovered that we are harder than most bands to find online, and have also since learned of at least five more bands using the name too. We hope to meet some of them one day and perhaps all come together like Voltron to make a musical of some sort..
Anyone in the group have a traumatic experience with crash test dummies that helped inspired the video for “Stay With Me”? But really, where did the idea come from and how did you guys get to shoot it?
Well it all is credit to my friend Ryan Reichenfeld who made it.. all i remember is we were having coffee discussing his idea for the video when out of no where he hopped up in front of our table and started acting out scenes he imagined would be in our video.. right in front of me and everyone else at LA Mill that morning.. it was quite the performance! After an enthusiastic five minutes of arms flailing and eyes watering.. i just said to him, Ryan ok i believe you, we should do this..
To Bradley: I have a longstanding obsession with New Zealand, with no small thanks to Lord of the Rings. What’s the biggest/weirdest difference you’ve found between living there and the States?
You guys talk funny.. and i can barely understand you
i actually find it interesting how many Americans don’t mind lining up.. and will wait patiently for hours to get a certain hotdog or for a black friday sale.. NZ’ers as a rule would go elsewhere or break in through a side door. Maybe we get impatient, i guess we have 4 million people to your 300 million so that may have something to do with it.
If you could only play one of the big summer festivals in the U.S. (like Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Sasquatch, Outside Lands), which one would it be?
They would all be amazing in their own way.. Coachella definitely has that soft spot with us, being so close to LA and after having attended for so many years. Would be nice to get up there sometime.
What’s been your favorite/best show so far?
Im not lying when i say thats a hard thing to answer.. it was not an easy thing to get this band started, so anytime when i see people in the crowd singing along.. it becomes another best show. The last night of our residency at the Echo we had a fourteen man choir on stage with us and that was pretty special..
You guys have a really beautiful melancholy-tinged sound that I don’t want to just classify as “sad music” (aka “music I listen to alone in my room late at night while talking to my cat about my problems”)—but it is really great sad music. Do any of you guys have that one song that just breaks your heart every time you hear it and makes you want to cry, no matter what mood you’re in? (“Stay With Me” has become mine. That’s a compliment.)
Yeah i would personally have to say Nessun Dorma by Puccini does that for me. This version here that Pavarotti sings has brought me to tears several times.. i’ll light a candle and turn this up now and then, and its impossible not to feel that chill.. http://youtu.be/k0J-Ur04_qE
The Orwells have been creating quite a buzz since their SXSW debut, so it’s not a surprise that the Chicago-based garage-rock group comprised of five 17-year-olds, who simply go by Mario, Grant, Henry, Dominick and Matt, came out of that swarm with a new deal. Autumn Tone, the Aquarium Drunkard-affiliated imprint, will release their LP “Remember When” on Aug. 7, and the teenagers are in L.A. to play a handful of dates. The single “Mallrats (La La La)” would make Kevin Smith (and his entire motley crew from the 1995 film with the same name) proud. These kids may be young, but with their bouncy melodies and thrashy charm they’ve found a way to articulate their suburban restlessness in a way fans of Ty Segall and FIDLAR will love. — BUZZBANDS.LA
The Orwells play (for free) Monday June 23 with JJAMZ.
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We had a few questions for the 8-person, self-described “maybe folk-rock” group River City Extension. The ensemble hails from New Jersey and will be playing the Satellite on Friday, June 15th, along with The Drowning Men, Last American Buffalo and Ben Henderson. Read on for a tragic tour story and what everyone’s last meal would be.
Can you guys introduce yourselves? Your name, what you play and what would be your last meal on earth (the three most important questions, obviously).
Joe Michelini - Vocals Acoustic/Electric Guitar - Rigatoni with roasted pumpkin and goat cheese. A fresh spinach and arugula salad paired with a super Tuscan and some ciabatta bread with olive oil.
Samantha Tacon - Vocals, Bass, Banjo - Chipotle
Mike Costaney - Drums - Chicken Soup (Homemade or GTFO) and some french bread.
Dan Melius - Trumpet/Melophone/Mandolin- Pot Roast cooked with onion and cream of mushroom soup with sweet potatoes toped with melted marshmallows. Oven fresh sourdough bread, butternut squash, string bean casserole, carrots, cranberry sauce, and a big ass brownie sundae with vanilla ice cream and caramel for dessert.
Pat O’Brien - Keys - Chopped and grilled chicken, cooked in Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ, Buffalo Wild Wings mango habanero sauce, pineapples, cracked pepper, and white rice, and a bowl of salad.
Nicole Scorsone - Violin - Filet Mignon on a tile, rice and beans, and amagro soup.
Ben Henderson - Bass Guitar/Banjo - The cream of sum yung gai.
John Muccino - Electric/Acoustic Guitars - I’d say something that my mom would make, like a pizza pie, some chicken and wine, rice an vermicelli, and a big ol’ pitcher of iced tea.
Quite a few of your songs are about places or have cities in the title. What’s your favorite song about a place?
My favorite ever is probably Country Roads by John Denver. That might be a little broad, though.
Where did the name River City Extension come from?
We got our name from the Pelasong “The Trouble With River Cities,” and there’s a line in that song that goes, “Yeah, there’s an undertow, but it ain’t got me.” I’ve tried to live my life by that line, because there always is, even when things are good. It’s important to remember there’s darkness everywhere, all around us, but it only has as much power as you give it. You just have to decide that you’re going to be who you are and do what you do regardless.
How would you describe your music? Not necessarily in terms of genre, but bands you try to emulate, influences, etc.
I mean I think at the end of the day we are a rock band. Sometimes we are a sleeping rock band, sometimes we are a pensive or mellow rock band, but when I play live with the band I realize that. I mean rock in the real broad sense. I didn’t grow up on classic rock and I don’t listen to a lot of standard rock n’ roll but it’s not about that. The difference between folk and rock has always been relatively clear and so is the difference between ourselves and folk bands. Maybe we are folk-rock. I don’t know if that’s even for me to say.
Favorite city on the tour so far?
My favorite city to visit is probably San Francisco. I’m really looking forward to going back.
Any crazy tour stories?
There was an incident back in 2010 that was on the Lydia Farewell Tour - our first national tour. We had some van trouble right before the tour, so we had to split 9 people up in 2 vehicles, a Jeep and a Mazda. We had been separated because the Jeep broke down, so we took a few people in the Mazda - myself included - and went on to play acoustic dates until they could catch up with us. The Jeep broke down in Wisconsin. It took longer than expected to get it fixed, and we ended up closing out the Lydia Tour acoustically, but we still had these tour dates we had to do back. So they’re coming to meet us in Denver, Colorado, and we get a phone call from our tour manager 20 minutes before we’re supposed to go onstage, and he said, “We hit a deer. We’re on the side of the road. The car is totaled.” I went down in the green room and I cried. We all cried. We were defeated. That’s the Reader’s Digest version. It was such a long week without the band, and with the difficulties and the money we spent, and we were so close to being back on track. It was so hard. But we went on and we played a show, and we did well, and we sold records. And at the end of the day, that’s what we needed to be doing.
What’s your dream venue to play?
I imagine it’s awesome to be on tour, seeing new places and hanging out with your friends (hopefully they’re your friends…) all the time. But is there any band who’s on the road now that you’re missing out on because you’re on tour?
I don’t usually think about it actually. I was just telling the guys I rarely look up tour schedules. I know that there are definitely a few shows I wanted to go to this June, but in my head this just feels like a duty. Getting on the road, you know? Feels like a part of reality, like breathing. So will Modest Mouse decide to play New York City while we’re gone? Probably, but I won’t be holding my breath.
River City Extension’s Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Your Anger shows a maturity not typically found on a sophomore album. The eight-piece band, based out of New Jersey, is still channeling their folk-rock roots, but with a bit more of a punch. The structure of songs like “Glastonbury” and “Slander” allow each instrument to flourish, but not overwhelm the others. Joe Michelini’s dynamic vocals fit perfectly with all the instrumentation that swarms around him. The occasional harmonies (“Ballad of Oregon”), Sam Tacon’s vocals (“If You Need Me Back in Brooklyn”) and soaring choruses (“Welcome to Pittsburgh”) add a change of pace from Michelini’s vocals.