The GoAround are a great new band from West Chester, Pennsylvania consisting of Alex and Anthony and at Song Revelation after we checked out their unique brand of pop-infused rock music, we were really keen to share it with you. Although the GoAround are currently really busy working on their latest music video we were delighted when they completed an interview. Read on to find out about what the GoAround have recently been working on, their musical inspirations and what they’re hoping to achieve over the next 12 months.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
Alex: A lyrically contemplative blend of rock guitar riffs, articulate piano notation and pop influenced melodies.
Q: What is your musical background?
Alex: I took piano lessons in elementary school and hated it so I quit and took up drums. Using the musical knowledge I had from piano lessons though, I was able to pick up guitar pretty quickly. That was the beginning of my love affair with songwriting. As a songwriting tool, the guitar is irreplaceable, and as a front man I will always play guitar, but I still consider drums to be my first instrument.
Anthony: Our parents lovingly forced us to take piano lessons. Alex hated it though and switched to guitar. Thankfully, I kept taking them. My piano teacher always encouraged me to learn songs on my own, so I used to sit outside Alex’s room listening to him write songs and try to write my own parts to them. My dad told me that when he asked Alex why he decided to be in a band with me he replied, “He was writing parts for all my songs already anyway!”
Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?
Alex: We have covered a lot of ground now that Anthony is out of High School. We released “Restating the Question,” which is full of songs that we have been playing for years but have been unable to record in a manner that expressed how I wanted them to sound until now. A few months ago we began work on our first music video, we are working with a PR company for the first time and had our first magazine placement in Music Connection Magazine. A lot of firsts. Exciting stuff.
Anthony: Exciting! I graduated, we released a CD, and we started our first new music video, etc., Very exciting!
Q: Who inspires you musically?
Alex: Everything from Led Zeppelin, Smokey Robinson and Pink Floyd to Herbie Hancock, Foo Fighters, Savage Garden, Linkin Park and The Backstreet Boys, haha. One thing that is very important to me is musical diversity. I hate when bands fall into a niche and stop experimenting. Their music always suffers as a result. I hope to always be well rounded and open-minded as a musician (and as a person too! haha).
Anthony: Lots of people, when you ask them what they listen to, say “a little bit of everything.” … Well, we REALLY listen to EVERRYYTHING. I think that our eclectic bunch of musical influences helps us create more unique and diverse sound that can be enjoyed by people all across the board. The artists that inspire me the most are ones who are adventurous with their music. I think that is what made bands like The Beatles and Queen and Led Zeppelin so special.
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
Alex: I think musically John Mayer is one of the most talented guitar players out there, and Taylor Hawkins an unbelievably tasteful and talented drummer. As both the guitar player and drummer in our recordings, I think there is a lot to be learned from paying attention to both of their playing. Vocally, I love the way that Bono is able to manipulate the tone of his voice in so many different ways throughout the course of a single song. And while he isn’t one of my favorite artists in general, I love the way that Billy Joel completely changes his voice for different songs. Often times you can barely tell that some of his songs are by the same artist. That kind of control is something that every vocalist should strive for. It creates limitless opportunities to express yourself with your voice.
Anthony: I feel like it has almost become cliché to say Dave Grohl but… Yep. Dave Grohl.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
Alex: Dave Grohl. His attitude and his music just kick so much ass that it blows my mind, haha. I would love to play with that guy. He is an amazing drummer, a solid guitarist/vocalist and an incredible songwriting. I don’t think that it would be possible to create something bad with him.
Anthony: The list is endless.
Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?
Alex: The current top 25 most played on my iPod is a bit scattered, but to name a few:
Dido, White Flag
Smokey Robinson, Cruisin’
Darren Hayes, Hurt
Elvis Presley, Can’t Help Falling in Love
Crowded House, Don’t Dream It’s Over (Hey Now)
Underoath, Breathing in a New Mentality
Jennifer Hudson, Think Like a Man
The Beatles, Something
Anthony: I just picked up the new Fiction Family album and I’ve been listening to that a lot lately.
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
Alex: I usually write the songs alone in my room. For me songwriting is very personal and I don’t like to have other people around. After I finish a song though, Anthony and I play it together a bunch of times and his piano parts almost always force the song in another direction than I had originally intended. In almost all cases, we both like the change. This gives our songs a flavor than neither of us could have created alone. I think that is what defines our sound. We are both so different as musicians, but we both enjoy each others playing styles so it rarely turns into a fight and almost always turns into something new and exciting for both of us.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
Alex: It totally depends what you’re listening for. Often times I am able to see past bad lyrics when the melody is good. That is generally how I feel when I listen to modern pop radio, haha. But also, some incredibly boring songs have such poetic and beautiful lyrics that they simply cannot be overlooked. The best songs have great melodies AND great lyrics. I don’t think either one is overbearingly more important or dismissible than the other.
Anthony: Oh man, it totally depends on the song. Some songs are written to inspire, and motivate, and comfort, and on often those songs don’t require any flashy riffs or solos, while there are other songs, like a lot of modern pop music, that are just fun to dance and sing along to despite completely meaningless lyrics; and I think as long as you have a healthy balance of both in your life, there isn’t anything wrong with those kinds of songs.
Q: Where are you based?
West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Alex: West Chester is an awesome town. Because it is a college town it is very lively, and the bars are always packed for shows and parties. There are lots of shops, and being so close to Philadelphia is great for the band. The only thing I don’t like about it is the winter. I want to live somewhere where it is never cold, haha.
Anthony: I love West Chester, and I love Philadelphia. There is always something to do and somewhere to go and there are nice people everywhere.
Q: What are you currently working on?
Alex: We are currently working on a music video for our first single, “Her Love is Like Glass.” When that is finished though we would really like to get into the studio to start mapping out our next album.
Anthony: Making a music video and writing new songs. Both of these things have me really excited.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
Alex: More so than any single event, the highlight of this business for me is traveling somewhere far away from home and meeting people who know and love the songs that I have poured my heart into creating. It makes all of the work totally worth it every time.
Anthony: Every time I’ve seen people that I have never met before singing along to our songs is the highlight of my career. I hope that doesn’t sound cheesy but seriously. There is no better feeling.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?
Alex: We would like to travel further than before and expand our audience geographically. Also we have so many visions for new songs that we would love to get into the hands (or ears) of the public.
Anthony: New video, New music, New fans/friends!
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
Alex: At the moment we are focusing hard on finishing our music video. When we are done in a few weeks we hope to be playing LOTS of show, but until then we don’t have anything lined up.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Alex: I like to long board and play guitar. Moving through the fresh air gives me a chance realign my thoughts when I’m feeling frazzled, and playing guitar is just the most relaxing and therapeutic thing ever invented.
Anthony: I like to play jazz and blues piano stuff when I really need to relax. I am also a mild gamer…
Q: Where would your favorite holiday (vacation) be and why?
Alex: San Diego. Any excuse to get to San Diego is good enough for me. The weather is PERFECT.
Anthony: The Moon! It seems nice this time of year.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?
Alex: Respect the people you work with. Too many bands think they’re big and important. Those bands are just annoying and make the sound guys/other bands wish that they would go away. If you are nice to the people around you, many more opportunities will come.
Anthony: Work hard and be friendly! I really believe that these are the keys to success!
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
Alex: Support music. Buy it. Don’t steal it.
Anthony: “Be excellent to each other.” ~Ted “Theodore” Logan and Bill S. Preston Esquire
Editor’s Note: The GoAround encompass so many things that are good about today’s indie music scene. Creative songwriting, great energy and a unique style with commercial appeal.
If you’d like to learn more about or get in touch with the GoAround just follow the links below: