The Hard Rock Chick Wants to Know: What's your origin story?

Sometimes I see a band, and I can just tell they grew up together. And sometimes I see a band and I wonder how the hell they found each other. Why are there 2 members and not 3? 3 and not 4? Only 1? I asked for the deets:

What’s your origin story? How did you start out? How did your band get together? How did you find each other? What were the requirements?

“3 questions, hmm??
Fair enough…

1) How did your band get together? We were all nearing graduation, and liked each other’s company. I DJ’d at my college radio station, and so I caught some really unique acts. We each had a penchant for songwriting, and so we made the mistake of booking a show. It went horribly!!! We literally wanted to crawl under rocks from that experience and never return. In time, we recovered from that mess, and, well….we never stopped booking shows 🙂

2) How did you find each other? James, Peter & I met over Thai Food in Morro Bay. From that point, I kidnapped Robby & my brother Steve.

3) What were the requirements? The main requirement was, believe in each other’s vision. The one after that was, “be able to cope with all of the vicious insensitive personal stabs” Lastly, “Do you have a credit card???”

– Bryan, vocalist- Scissors For Lefty


“Matt (drummer) and I have been playing together in bands since the tenth grade, which isn’t as long as it seems– about four years. It was mostly Blue and Pinkerton covers. Nothing of any great consequence happened between us, as collaborators at least, until our senior year. At that point, I began listening to decent music and wrote a handful of okay songs, which ended up being recorded and released as a miniature LP (I used that term because the total run time was just under thirty minutes, but it was pretty well thought out for high school students. We’re talking bookend two-part title track, shortwave radio interludes, a wide variety of synth horns…ha) under the moniker ‘Joseph Ferocious’. We thought it was pretty good and so did Jim Testa, but nothing came of it, thankfully.

After Matt and I both began college in separate states, I decided to get off my ass and wrangle together some people to realize some new material I’d been working on, after Charles Bissell, whom I’d been studying guitar under, had agreed to record my stuff. As luck would have it, the first three people I messaged were willing to get together and jam. None of them attempted to mangle me or ask for a salary, so I figure that’s pretty good compared to a lot of the Craigslist experiences that’d been related to me… though I’m pretty sure that Dan, the keyboardist, is just taking his time planning out a very public mangling for me. Requirements…? None to speak of, other than competence, I guess.”

– Joseph D’Agostino – Cymbals Eat Guitars


“I’m a solo artist. After and during years of working in collaborative situations, or bands, I built a home recording studio and started making music on my own. I often have friends lay down a track or two, but ultimately it’s a solo endeavor. The most involved other is my partner at Young Love Records, Gary Levitt. He helps clean up my mixes and lends his amazing ear to the arrangements.

The songs are quite layered and usually consist of drums, bass, cellos, violins, synths, and multiple vocal tracks. In order to pull this off live, I’ve gathered and am always looking to add to a rotating cast or musicians. It’s been a bit of a different line-up every tour we do, but it usually consists of about 4 people holding down the drums, bass, cello, and backing vocals while I play keys, guitar, and sing.

I have in my circle of musicians 2 amazing drummers, Miles Kennedy and Dylan Wissing. I’ve also worked with Gabe Kirshheimer, another amazing drummer. They are the best in the business, as the drums on my records are usually programmed and incredibly difficult to pull off live. I work primarily with two cellists, Topu Lyo and Hannah Segrave, though Heidi Vanderlee has played some shows with us in NYC. Gary Levitt plays bass and sings back up and I’ve had both Meryl Joan Lammers and Ella Kondrat sing back up and lend some additional synth playing.

It’s hectic and overwhelming keeping track of everyone’s schedules for rehearsals, gigs, and tours, but it’s quite and adventure and I wouldn’t have it any other way!”

– Erica Quitzrow- Quitzrow

1 Comment

    thanks… i needed some interesting, non-technical reading today.

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