Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pete's Lost Luggage Interview with Jon Marotte

First and formost, explain the name Pete's Lost Luggage. Is there a great story?
Sadly no, I would love to say that there was some hysterical story behind the name but it’s actually kind of lame. Pete was in Italy for a month doing God knows what, and he put a status on Facebook which I comment on saying “if you don’t write lyrics while you are out there I hope you lose your luggage.” Then one of us suggested we should call ourselves Pete’s Lost Luggage, which we all thought was kind of funny. Mostly we felt having a silly name, embodied our attitude about the band. We aren’t taking ourselves too serious and we felt a silly name would be fitting. So far some people like it some people don’t but that’s just the nature of everything in life.

At the core, what is this band and what are you looking to do as musicians?
Have fun! That’s the first thing we all said when we put this band of misfits together. For the most part we are old (if you consider 25 old) Jon (me) is 25 and the oldest member. But we’ve all been playing in bands for years. I had my first band when I was 15, so 10 years I’ve been playing locally. I disappeared for a few years because I didn’t like the way the scene was going but we will get into that later... So this band from day one was just about us having fun, playing the music we love, and not giving a shit what anyone else thought. I’ve heard people ask
why I still listen to or want to play Punk when punk's been dead for years. My answer has always been because I love it, the music is emotional, it’s aggressive yet can be calming and uplifting. So many emotions can be fit into a two minute song, and of course most important it’s fun. I always felt metal and hardcore (and I listen to a lot of metal and hardcore) was always too serious. Music is supposed to be fun, it’s like anything else in life, there’s a time to be serious and there’s a time to be silly. Sometimes you can be both at the same time. But for the most part it’s just about having fun, playing the music I grew up loving and still love to this day.

How do you feel the current state of punk rock is in the mainstream and locally?
I can only speak for myself on this one. For me personally it sucks, mainstream has always sucked, you had that good time period when bands like Blink 182, Green Day, Brand New got airplay but even then only a small group of people actually liked it. And I prefer my bands not being on the radio and/or not being too popular because it makes it more personal if that makes any sense. Locally the scene seems like it’s getting better. Like I said earlier I left the scene probably around 2006/2007 after my old band Holdaway/A Class of Their Own split. I didn’t like the direction it was going in, it got too hardcore. The music was still good, even though I am more partial to punk, but there where some good bands, The Broken, A Dozen Dying Roses, That Hideous Strength (which actually for the most part was the same people I was in Holdaway with, just a different guitarist and singer) but all the good punk bands broke up for faded away. 

When I started to going to local shows there where some f***ing awesome bands, Melmac, Sydney, Big Wheel, Miracle of ’86, Ripping Christ from the Cross, those are the bands I loved going to see. I remember going and playing shows at Dock there would be 200+ people there, all different types of people and different genres of bands would play it was awesome. Then the hardcore scene took over, and like I said there were good bands but the people sucked. That whole “crew” fad happed, where there were different hardcore crews and they would fight each other at shows. Moshing and jumping around where replaced with beating people up instead. I never got into that. I had a good friend of mine jumped at a show because the band whose shirt he was wearing backed a different crew and the other kids didn’t like them so they f***king jumped him. And he was like the nicest dude ever. It just got stupid, now a days the scene seems like it’s improving, there some good younger bands, Wester, Everything Ever, Process of Fusion, we’ve played with these guys and I dig them. We just need more venues on the Island 10-12 years ago there was a lot more places to play, Dock St, The Wave, The Caves, Martini Red, The Lane. Now there is Full Cup and I guess Dock St still. But the crowds need to be better, seems the days of 200 people at a local show are over, now your lucky if you play to 25, most people come see their friends band and leave, it’s sad.

You guys are definitely influenced by a lot of great bands from the 90s and early 2000s. Who do you guys most wish to sound like and what is unique to YOU guys alone?
Again I can only speak for myself on this one, and I wouldn’t say we try to sound like them, more influenced by. For me I’d say Lagwagon, Strung Out, Brand New, and NUFAN, any of the Fat Wreck, Lookout or Epitaph bands. That’s my style. That’s who I steal from, I mean am influenced by the most.

Tell us about your EP and the process of recording?
The E.P. has four songs and they are all awesome (laughs). The process was fun, recording was always one of my personal favorite parts of being in a band, finally hearing the songs you’ve worked of for so long become tangible. And when they come out even better then you imagined it’s a great feeling. But we have to give a lot of the credit to our buddy Joe Dell’Aquila of Exeter Studios who did the recording. He’s awesome, he does a
great job and it’s a lot of fun recording there.

What song do you feel is really a standout, and is your new music going to be in the same vein?
As far as I am concerned "Steve! Look Out for that Stingray" is the best thing I’ve ever written. It’s fast it’s catchy, Pete wrote a great hook for the chorus, and not to boast but, the outro is a work of art! I love that song. In regards to future stuff, for the most part it will have the same feel but we do want to mess around, be versatile, try things. Who knows, maybe one day we will put out a funk album instead of punk!

Rumor has it that Pete has a history of falling on stage. Is it safe to say he has a"substance" problem like all "real" bands? 
No, he just has really bad balance, and it’s like the old Chinese proverb says “man with poor balance, fall down a lot.”

If you had to make an all-star lineup of punk bands to do a show with, who do you choose?
Lagwagon, Descendants, No Use For A Name, Strung Out, Brand New, Lawrence Arms, Wilhem Scream.

What's in the immediate future for the band?
Writing songs for a full-length album, we hope to be in the studio sometime early 2013, and playing shows, got any we can play?

Anything else to add?
I’m sure there is more I could say but I don’t feel like typing anymore.

Check out my album review of Pete's Lost Luggage 

Listen to their album here

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