Thursday, November 29, 2012

Paraiso Shares Their Thoughts on the Broken Records Festival

What was the experience of playing the BRM Music Festival like?
The Broken Records Festival was a chance to get all of the seasoned Staten Island acts together in one place. As far as Paraiso goes, we haven’t been around for very long, so we were very grateful to have been asked to play with bands that had many more shows behind them, as well as fans. With the exceptional turnout of that night, it was hard to not feel the energy of the crowd and performers..and sweat. It made Killmeyer’s, a familiar venue, feel like the first time we played there. All the acts played together with a superb unity and there was no sense of any bad vibes, which tends to happen very easily, being how split music scenes can get. The event was really just a celebration of music, and we feel we did our part well. It was definitely one of the best shows we’ve ever played together as a group.

What would you like to see the festival grow to?
The growth of the festival really has nothing to do with us, or any of the bands involved. It’s about the fans, so really, the people to ask would be them, and our only duty as a band is to recruit more of them! Of course we would love to see the festival grow to something gigantic, but maybe that’s not what we need right now. I think that eight dollars to sweat it out with a crowd full of musicians is more than any of us, or any fan, could ever want. And of course a couple of beers help too. We shouldn’t worry about the 10,000 crowd venues, keeping the event small is the only way of insuring it stays with the local bands, rather, we should increase the prestige of the event, and make the local scene an icon for great music. Have different bands try out every year, but make sure every band has an equal chance for a spot on the bill.

Where does the name Paraiso come from?
"Paraiso” of course means “paradise,” in Spanish. Paraiso, for us, is an actual place, that was then used as the band name, but the meaning has extended from that to something greater. It is often in a saddened state that we, as humans, dream about paradise. We all have certainly been there, but one person’s idea of paradise could mean something completely different from another person’s idea. We want to simply extend that feeling of joy which comes from thinking about paradise from us, to the listener, because to us, music is the only “self help” we’ve ever known.

How did the band form?
Ricky started playing guitar seriously during high school, and began a solo blues/reggae acoustic act. He played shows around the island and would occasionally borrow members from his high school friend Pete’s band, West of Dennis, for larger shows. Ricky soon realized that this was not the direction he wanted his music to go in, nor was it loud enough to upset the neighbors, so he began searching for a full-time band. Peter was still playing guitar and singing in West of Dennis, but knew that with college coming, and none of his bandmates around, he needed to find a new musical something to keep occupied. Unfortunately, Peter’s skills on the guitar were no match for Ricky’s self-taught guitar wankery, but he had always had a desire to play drums. And being that Ricky didn’t know the difference between a “paradiddle” and “a pair of diddles” he was in. Now as much as Rick and Pete liked the Black Keys, they knew that they were going to need a bassist. Luckily for them, a local show booker told them that he knew a bassist that needed a band. This bassist was none other than Mike, who turned out to live but a block away from where Pete grew up. And I, the all knowing narrator, have always been under your bed at night, where you can’t see me.

What message would Paraiso like to convey if any?
We really have no agendas as a band other than trying to spread our music to as many people as we can, no matter what hardships we may face. There’s a lot of people out there who need an emotional lift, or even a friendly face, and we want to help them find their Paraiso.

Interview by Paul Marino

Check out the album review I did on Paraiso

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