May 27, 2014

“I quit 1,2,3 on December 26th, 2012 and it felt amazing. The band was a year and ten songs into an album that had worn me to a husk. Out of economy and ambition, I decided to take on full production duties in the dank basement of an old stone house I was renting on the outskirts of Pittsburgh. If recording software was a guitar, I would only have known the power chords. I slept very little. While writing lyrics in my head, I pulled ink through a screen during the day to make rent. In the evenings I recorded and drank beer with my band. We were making a double album, it had been decided, called Big Weather.”

The band returns to performing this Friday for the “Big Weather” Album Release Party at Brillobox that should not be missed! I want to thank Josh Sickels (Drums), Nic Snyder (Guitar/Vocals) and Chad Monticue (Bass/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • Josh Sickels: It was probably “Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em” by MC Hammer.
  • Nic Snyder: Kriss Kross, I think it was self-titled or maybe it was called “Jump”.
  • Chad Monticue: The Beastie Boys “Paul’s Boutique”.
  • Your last album bought?
  • Josh: People buy albums? Wu-Tang “Enter the 36 Chambers” on vinyl.
  • Nic: Yeah right, you didn’t buy that. You haven’t bought an album since 2006. Mine was Mystical’s “Tarantula” on double vinyl at Jerry’s.
  • Chad: The War On Drugs “Lost in the Dream”.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • Josh: “36 Chambers” by Wu-Tang Clan.
  • Nic: “Astral Weeks” by Van the man.
  • Chad: “TUSK” Fleetwood Mac is one of my favorite double albums of all time.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • Josh: Least favorite is pretty wide open right? I mean, I could just pick a Nickelback record… but if we’re going by what I’m SUPPOSED to like, and didn’t, then I’d probably say the last two Radiohead albums. I get grief for that, especially “In Rainbows”, but I feel like they’ve seriously lost their touch in the last 5 years.
  • Nic: Dude, ‘All I Need’ is like their best song ever. Probably that Scarlett Johansson album of Tom Waits covers. Why do all pretty girls think they can sing? And why would anyone ever attempt to cover a Tom Waits song?
  • Chad: Radiohead “King of Limbs”.
  • First concert attended?
  • Josh: Bad Religion in 1993.
  • Nic: The Ramones in 1996. Josh was there. Though we weren’t really friends at the time because he tried to steal my skateboard a few weeks earlier.
  • Chad: Neil Diamond at Pittsburgh Civic Arena.
  • Last concert?
  • Josh: I saw John Fogerty on his tour last fall.
  • Nic: M.I.A.
  • Chad: QOTSA in Pittsburgh.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • Josh: At the Drive-in on the ‘in/casino/out’ tour. Just unbelievable energy and explosiveness. I’ve never seen a band match the raw intensity of those guys back in the day. I don’t really care for Mars Volta, but atdi will always have a place in my heart.
  • Nic: Either Elvis Costello featuring Emmy Lou Harris, or The Black Lips and Little Dragon at SXSW this year. The best of both worlds on both accounts.
  • Chad: The Beta Band/Kid Koala/Radiohead at Madison Square Garden.
  • Least favorite concert?

  • Josh: Probably when I went to see The Misfits without Glenn Danzig and they played 30 songs, and 26 of them were new ones. My 13 year old self was seriously pissed off.
  • Nic: I hear Danzig without the Misfits is almost as bad. Umm, I don’t know, I paid $7 to see Ice Age at the Shop and they were pretty horrible.
  • Chad: The Cure at Curiosa Festival.
  • Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • Josh: My favorite Pittsburgh experience is when the Steelers won the Superbowl back in 2005. The whole city went berserk, and even though some dubious activities took place, it just showed the all-around sense of passion and pride that we as Pittsburghers feel for our city and sports teams… I had nothing to do with the riots though… sort of.
  • Nic: I did, or tried to after the last Cowher championship. I went to jump on a car but it was covered in snow so I slipped off and fell right on my back. And my rear view mirror got ripped off that night, as well. So I got some instant karma.
  • Chad: Pittsburgh is one of the most charming cities in the land; If only we had an ocean and some sand.

Thanks, guys. I am SOOO looking forward to this gig. Great to have you back!

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