First/Last-Balloon Ride Fantasy

October 29, 2012

Balloon Ride Fantasy is an indie pop band consisting of 6 members who combine rich instrumentation, vocal harmonies and ridiculous concepts to create fun and interesting songs. They released their debut album, Monocle City in Spring 2011. The album continues to enjoy a warm reception on iTunes and Pandora, as well as in local, national and international music communities. A strong dynamic and sense of humor are evident throughout the songs, whose lyrics indulge a ravenous pack of zombies, a fantastical Japanese dreamland and other outlandish lyrical themes, all sung over catchy melodic hooks.”

The Pittsburgh band has taken a break from gigging this fall to concentrate on their sophomore release following last year’s debut, “Monacle City“. My sincere thanks to Phil Conley (Vocals/Keys), Chris Olsziewski (Lead Vocals/Guitar) and Bethany Berkstresser (Vocals/Percussion) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • Phil Conley: Michael Jackson, “Thriller”.
  • Chris Olsziewski: “Slippery When Wet” by Bon Jovi. Everybody had it, I had no choice. My friend and I used to lift weights while listening to it when we were 8.
  • Bethany Berkstresser: I think it was Ace of Base.
  • Your last album bought?
  • Phil: Nurses, “Apple’s Acre”.
  • Chris: Hmm, I can’t remember, I’ve been illegally downloading shit for so long.
  • Bethany: Last month, I got Metric’s new album “Synthetica”. But I don’t know if this counts since it came with my concert ticket.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • Phil: There is no way I have one favorite. The Kissaway Trail, “Self-Titled”.
  • Chris: Probably cheating, but a 4-disc Led Zeppelin “Greatest Hits” I got in the 90’s and played out.
  • Bethany: This is a very frustrating and challenging question to answer. I’m going to go with Fiona Apple, “Tidal” or No Doubt, “Tragic Kingdom”. Both molded my thought processes and music taste significantly when I was an impressionable teenage girl.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • Phil: Most recently. Circa Survive’s last two albums: “Blue Sky Noise” and “Violent Waves”.
  • Chris: Every Green Day album.
  • Bethany: “High Violet” by The National. Everyone kept raving about that band and album and I just wasn’t feeling it.
  • First concert attended?
  • Phil: The earliest I can remember was NOFX and High-Standard.
  • Chris: I think it was Steve Miller Band. I used to go every year.
  • Bethany: Kris Kross. I was like 7 or 8.
  • Last concert?
  • Phil: The Heartless Bastards.
  • Chris: I saw Hall and Oats a few weeks ago. It was the pinnacle of my adult life.
  • Bethany: Metric at Stage AE. I was definitely feeling inspired.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • Phil: Cursive and Eastern Youth.
  • Chris: See previous response.
  • Bethany: The Toadies at Diesel. Mostly because I randomly got to hang on their tour bus with them afterward and I had listened to their album “Rubberneck” since 6th grade.
  • Least favorite concert?
  • Phil: Can’t think of any.
  • Chris: Bob Dylan. He did not live up to his reputation.
  • Bethany: O.A.R. Not really a fan of their music, but went because I got a free working pass and got to help the lighting guy work the band’s light show.
  • Favorite thoughts,experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • Phil: I think it’s cool. I mean the music scene is not extensive, but it’s cool enough for being a smaller city.
  • Chris: I’ve lived here my whole life and there are plenty of awesome musicians and bands, but the music scene is shit. I don’t think many people, besides musicians, give 2 shits about local music. I just wrote and erased two paragraphs of rantings about yinzers. I think I’ll keep my thoughts to myself. Anyway, thanks to anyone who comes to see us because we definitely care.
  • Bethany: It was a great place to grow up and then attend college. I love the history here, the landscape and the seasons. The size of the city can be a good thing and a bad thing. I wish there were more options for publictransit.

Thanks, guys. Looking forward to hear what you will be cooking up for us. BTW Chris, Rant on brother! I for one would love to hear your full thoughts on Pittsburgh music!