Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Music: Interview with New York band Maybe the Welders!

As a fan of NY band Maybe the Welders, I decided to have an interview with them instead of writing a review about their music and let them tell a more fun and lively story about themselves and their work! To be a fan of their Facebook page, please go to:

And now, introducing MAYBE THE WELDERS! Enjoy the show!

Maybe The Welders are: Greg Campbell:  Vocal/ Guitar
Declan Collins:   Vocal/ Guitar
Steve Ferrara:  Backing Vocals/ Bass and keyboard
Pitti:  Drums

1. How did you start the band and what's the history behind the band's name?   

GREG:   Pitti started the band whilst he, Declan, and I were working together at a fancy pizza restaurant in midtown.  Basically, he decided he wanted to be a drummer, and he may as well have a band around him.  I was actually invited into the band by another friend and former member, who knew that I played guitar a bit.  At that point, we were practicing in Pitti's old hair salon, which was accessed through a storm cellar door in Alphabet City.The band consisted of drums, two guitars, a trumpet, and a musical theater-style female singer.  We had no PA, no microphones, no bassist, and no songs.  It was brought to the band's attention that I had written a song -- literally one song -- and it was decided that I would be the songwriter.  So I went home and wrote five or six songs that week.  They didn't really fit with the lineup that we had, so we ended up losing the singer and trumpet player.  A few months later, we picked up Declan to play guitar and sing along with me, as well as bolster our catalog, as he was a pretty fine songwriter himself.  We chugged along for years almost getting it right, until we finally added Steve on bass guitar, and became the Maybe the Welders of today.  As to the name, well we had to be called something, didn't we?
DECLAN: There are many stories about our name some true some a little less so. ..My favorite is that we were originally called the Welders, but we were becoming too famous and were threatened with a lawsuit from classic psyche rock band the Welders who were huge in the 1960's. We had to cave in and put "Maybe" in there so we didn't lose everything.

2. Who writes the lyrics and composes the songs?

GREG: Generally Declan or I will bring in the rough idea for a song, some chords and lyrics, and then the whole band will work it through until we feel it is finished.  Steve is a marvel at arrangements, and Pitti gives the song its thumping heartbeat.


3. What genre do you consider yourselves and who is your greatest influence?

GREG: ?  Jesus, that's a hard one to answer.  I consider us to be melodic post-punk, but if you say that people nowadays think of Green Day or something, which is rubbish because they're not punk at all. 
DECLAN:  Definitely a classic punk influence from the late '70's. We have a wide range of influences as a band.
STEVE: Talking Heads, The Clash, Buzz Cocks, Gang of  Four...

4. When was the first time you performed live? How did you feel?

DECLAN: Our first gig was in late 2006 - at  the legendary CBGB's - it was a little nerve racking but a lot of fun, Greg was sick as a dog and I was stiff as a board trying to remember the songs! we also wore suits, so I kind of looked like a bouncer.
GREG: This is what i recall from that night: as a band, I'd say we were just excited to get out there and see what we could do.  We had only been together with Declan for less than three months, and we had all ready cut a demo, and were ready to play out.  We were very ambitious!  On a personal, level, though, I was sick a dog.  That's a lie, a dog in that state would be put down.  I was really hurting:  high fever, aches, pains, and, most wonderfully, total laryngitis.  I was medicating myself by drinking slugs of Jack Daniel's and squeezing honey into my mouth right out of the plastic bear.  Maybe it's a good thing I was so sick, because I got too drunk to be nervous!
PITTI: I remember all that and on my side the fact that my kick pedal broke completely before our last song and i literally kick the bass drum throughout the whole last song. Nerve wrecking and so much FUN.

5. Is there a specific performance you feel was your best ever? If so, where and why?

GREG: I always think our best performance is going to be our next one.  We get better and better, and I love it more and more.
DECLAN: We're a well oiled machine, so our recent gigs at here in NYC have been excellent. My most memorable gigs would have been on our last tour in Brazil, specifically playing at Cafe Muzik in Juiz de Fora and at A Obra in Belo Horizonte. The main reason they were so memorable was because of the audience..people really came out and enjoyed themselves, fans here enjoy the music but are sometimes too cool to show it in Brazil they have no problem showing it.
STEVE: No one performance comes to mind as best.  The worst was definitely a few years back at Arlenes when Greg drank the entire bottle of whiskey instead of half.  He couldn't talk let alone sing.

6. What do you enjoy the most between the interaction with your fans?

STEVE: Their dancing.
GREG: Honestly, I just enjoy having fans!  My favorite interaction is always seeing people at the shows.  I love chatting on the Internet, and giving interviews, and all that, but there's nothing like connecting live, seeing people being moved by the music, getting that energy.  It's indescribable.  Then, afterwards, we can all have a drink together.
DECLAN: Just seeing people enjoying the music is enough, seeing them dance and sing along. The fact that they come out and spend their hard earned money to see us play means everything to us.
PITTI: I absolutely love seeing people dance to the beat of the drum. ;)

7. What are your plans for this year?

DECLAN:We're spending the summer demoing songs that we play live but haven't yet recorded also writing new material,We'll also be playing some gigs around NYC. The big project too is our trip to Brazil in August which we can't wait for and we can't wait to see all our old friends and fans down there.
GREG: It will be our third time there -- our first with Steve -- and we always have an unforgettable time.  Of course Pitti's from there, but for the rest of us it's a great way to enjoy another country without feeling like tourists.  Of course, a lot of change is taking place in Brazil right now.  A lot of people are waking up and saying enough to corruption and brutality.  It's a very impressive thing to witness, and we can't wait to go down there and be part of it.  Of course, the caipirinhas on Ipanema will be nice, too.  
Aside from that trip, we have a new video coming soon, possibly some new recordings, and we would love to have a trip to England and Ireland, as well.  We shall see...
STEVE: OH! And get signed to ruff trade records and do a short tour as the back up band for our friend Dave Bowie

8. How/where can we buy your music?
STEVE: itunes, Amazon, Reverbnation, Facebook and our website
At our shows.

9. Give a brief introduction about each band member (background)
Greg Campbell - Vocals and Guitar..a native of Maine and a die hard rocker at heart, has been known to play with the possibility of  personal injury in the name of his art.Big heart, prone to crazy stage rants and eye liner
Declan Collins - Vocals and Guitar... Irish born always wanted to write the follow up to  James Joyce's Ulysses but settled on the art of the 3 minute rock song instead.
Steve Ferrara - Bass and vocals..From New Jersey and with a Masters in music composition, Steve has been corrupting the youth of NYC with his great skills as a music teacher for many years now
Pitti - Drums and percussion..A native of Brazil, Pitti brings his unique and suave style to the stage both in his playing and appearance, he's the rock upon the Welders stand! Most likely to find on social media.