Friday, March 30, 2012

Interview with Curious Volume Guitarist/Vocalist Andrew Paladino

What does the name Curious Volume mean, and how does it symbolize the band?
The name Curious Volume doesn't mean anything. It's from Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven." It doesn't have any symbolic meaning other than that with a meaningless name, we can take our music any direction we want to and our name will still make the same amount of sense (or lack thereof). 

How did the band get together and what do you guys bring to each other that make the music work?
Trotta and I started the band in 2003 when we were in 7th grade. Since then we've had a few lineup changes. Our current lineup was formed in January of 2011. Brian and I were in bands together at school and would jam after school all the time. He was always helping us out, playing keyboards for our bigger shows and being my go-to "ear" to bounce my ideas off of. He was an unofficial member for a long time until we decided that he belonged in the band forrealz. Zach had been filling in on drums for us for a few months and the fit was just too good to deny. His old band had just broken up, so we stole him and now he's never allowed to escape. Both Brian and Zach have contributed so much within the past year and a half or so, it's really impossible to imagine where we'd be without them. Trotta and I would just be yelling at each other.

Describe your style of music? What is skate punk?
We've never been able to put a genre-label on our music. We've gone through phases where we were rock n' roll, punk, ska-punk, etc. I'm very uncomfortable with catering to one genre when I write. We all listen to so much different music that it usually comes out sounding like a conflagration of all of that stuff. When people ask me what genre we are, I usually just say, "punk," because I like to think that no matter how weird our music gets, we're always keeping things as raw as possible and thus maintaining that "punk" vibe.

Skate punk is I guess one of the genres that could fit our music. When I think "skate-punk" I think of Suicide Machines, NOFX, The Offspring. We're definitely hugely influenced by that type of music.

To people who say, "real punk" is dead, how do you respond?
It depends how you define "punk." I think if you're looking for every band that falls into the category of punk to sound like The Casualties or The Ramones or something, that's a very unfortunate way to look at it. Punk's sound has evolved over the years, as has the appearances and the mannerisms and activities. But at the root of it, the DIY rebellious attitude could be found all over the place in music and shouldn't be taken for granted. You can't go to a local show with 14 year old kids running around beating each other up, having the time of their lives and tell me punk is dead. Also, one could say I'm an anarchist. I'm not an anarchist for the punk cred, but obviously that's been a relevant facet of a lot of punk movements over the years.

What is a Curious Volume performance like?
We usually have a loose idea of the songs we're gonna play. I myself usually do a lot of running around and hurting myself. Everyone else plays with a lot of life and energy as well. Usually kids know the words to our songs so they help sing along and stuff. Nothing fancy, just heartfelt performances. We also prefer to have Biggie or Wu-Tang blasting before we start playing.

Any crazy band, show or fan stories?
It's difficult to choose just one! This past January, we went on tour with No Such Noise! from South Jersey. The whole tour was wild and we became best buds with them. The highlight of craziness was definitely, believe it or not, North Carolina. We played at this venue that used to be a movie theater, and found out during the show that our sets would be followed by a dubstep rave. Needless to say, we fully embraced this and went all out. Danced to dustup music the whole night, some of us got pretty drunk, and we made some friends with the locals. The whole night was a sensory overload. The details of the craziness should probably stay within the bands, but yeah. Gotta go with the North Carolina dustep rave. 

Biggest rock star moment as a band?
I can't think of any. I consider any time that I get free booze a "rock star" moment, but that definitely doesn't speak for the whole band. Whenever Trotta walks away from the rest of the band and does his own thing (when we're at the merch table or watching another band play, for instance), I send him a text that says "rock star." He does the same thing to me. He actually deserves credit for starting that. I hate giving him credit though, so forget I said that.

Biggest failure as a band?
We have lost two battle of the bands. But we won one. Battles of the bands are stupid, and usually aren't taken very seriously, for good reason. But yeah, we've failed at those.

Tell us about Mumbles & Whispers.
Mumbles & Whispers is the album that I wrote from 2006-2009. We first released it in 2010 with our old lineup. Recently we recorded it again, to do it justice with the new and improved lineup. We took our time and Brian did an awesome job of engineering it. We improved the songs and re-pressed the CDs with new art. We give it away for free online. The lyrics range from ridiculously depressed to deliriously optimistic. 

What are the main differences between the first recording and now?
The main differences between the old and new versions are the recording quality, a generally more daring and tasteful take on a lot of the music, and the fact that I know how to sing now. Listening back to the old versions, it's embarrassing that I allowed my horrible squawking to be released for people to listen to. This new version is like the "grown-up" take. We think it's the way that these songs were intended to be heard. Also, we made the transitions between songs cooler and totally redid the track Fifteen Minutes.

Any plans of touring in the near future? New album?
We will be announcing two tours very soon. We can't say who we're going with just yet, but we can say that we'll be venturing out further than we ever have. Also, we're currently recording a new single that will be released on a 7" split record. Again, we're not at liberty to say who's putting that out or who the other band on the split will be, but we are extremely excited to be making these announcements in the near future. As for the next full length, I'm done writing all 11 songs. We've pieced about 3/4 of the record together as a band so far, and the writing process has been both challenging and rewarding. We have no idea when that's coming out, but definitely not until we get these next couple of tours under our belts so that we could release it to as many people as possible.

Anything else to add?
Please go ahead and download our music for free at Share it with your friends, come see us on tour, follow us on twitter, like us on Facebook, come over to meet my parents, etc. Thanks so much for the great questions, and thanks to the readers for either reading through all of my rambling answers or just skipping ahead to the last question to find out what a badass note I ended this interview on. I did it all for the Nookie.

Check out Curious Volume at these sites:

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