November 2014 – “Band of the Month” – CONCORD AMERICA
Our “Band of the Month” feature began in January 2012, featuring Savannah-based trio CUSSES in a short interview that gave readers a glimpse of what to expect from one of Georgia’s hardest working bands. We then landed an interview with Of Monsters and Men right before they broke and would then go on to include acts like Ponderosa, Cheap Girls, Swear and Shake, Jonny Fritz, Torres, The Districts, and more over the next two years.
So as we move forward into 2014, our entire staff would like to extend thanks to the artists who have taken the time to speak with us and the readers who have been so dedicated to supporting the site.
Introducing CONCORD AMERICA, a band from Atlanta, Georgia who take pride in the finer things in life; epic guitar tone, everything loud and fast, noogies, cheap beer, good beer, Four Loco, and the good times (whatever that means). The band made their debut somewhere in Atlanta in 2011 and have since dedicated themselves to aforementioned “finer things”. Their latest release, Suns Out Guns Out, is just under twenty minutes of raw and unabashed rock and roll that quite simply begs to be played at full volume. Concord America is three friends, two of whom are brothers. They don’t hate each other. The band recently toured with Turf War and Chief Scout to promote the re-release of Suns Out Guns Out on Wiener Records (originally released on Post-Echo) and will be playing a number of shows to round out the year, including an appearence at Manchester Orchestra’s 5th annual festival, “The Stuffing“. I wrote this bio because the one they sent me was really long. I hope they don’t mind.
Concord America is: Ben Presley, Vinny Restivo, and John Restivo Jr.
The first paragraph of the yet-to-be-written tell-all about Concord America would read something like…
John: The first written book will probably start at the end of the story, where three horny old men sit around a communal area, maybe a pond fishing or a television set with the volume all the way up, shouting at each other about who ate the last of the cookies or who drank the last Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and no one seeming to know what time it is or what anyone is talking about. Then we backtrack through hazy memories of things everyone remembers differently and unsuccessfully. We will then all take our medication and go to bed at a reasonable hour, leaving the author to just hastily stretch some details and make things up, assuming anyone who writes a book about us will most likely be a guy who is not concerned with deadlines and probably waited until the last minute to talk to us.
How did you guys come to know one another? Do you remember your first impressions of each other?
Vinny: We all met at work. My brother started working with Ben and we all decided to start making music in our free time. At first I thought Ben was a geek. 3 years later, my suspicions have been confirmed. I don’t remember my first impression of John. He was 2 and I didn’t understand language at the time.
John: Ben’s first impression of me was what a huge goober I am, and I originally thought he was going to think he was too cool to hang out with me until we both ended up bonding over what tasteless wienerbags we both are and ended up budzzz in the end. As far as Vinny goes, by our mother’s account, I was a perfectly well behaved child until Vinny came along and we started throwing all of our belongings in the garbage disposal and jumping in the kitchen drawers and pissing in the refrigerator. Some things never change.
What was the first Concord America show like? And is there video somewhere?
John: I wish there was a video of the first show. I know pictures exist. We had a very rowdy crowd, all friends of ours, and for some reason we thought it was a cool idea to look like glam punk Where’s Waldo/Richard Simmons hybrid creatures. Our dad came to that first show and saw us when we walked in. He asked if we were drunk. We were. We also lied about that. We drank Four Locos in the parking lot. Then when we were done all he said was, “I get it.” So it was a good time for sure.
You guys recently finished a tour with Turf War & Chief Scout.. Was it everything you imagined it would be? Any highlights?
John: Tour is always everything you think it’s gonna be and everything you think it isn’t at the same time. You never know what to expect when you get to a city you’ve never been to as a touring musician. We always hope to make gas money and at least play for a crowd that has a good time and enjoys us and hopefully let’s us sleep on their floors and use their showers in the morning.
Vinny: Tour is tough, but it makes the unbearable times worth it when you get to do it with some of your closest friends.
Trey Rosenkampff has been at the helm of your previous releases.. What is it about his production style that adds such a fitting dynamic to your records?
Vinny: Trey has been one of our best friends from the beginning. We’ve mostly been his guinea pig to practice production on. It’s just so easy to hop in the studio with someone like him and just experiment for days.
John: Trey is our buddy. He is the only producer we’ve ever worked with…also he doesn’t care when we pay him. We still owe him plenty of money. Trey, if you’re reading this we will pay you soon and also we hope you’re still down to record us soon. More importantly, Trey has great ideas and wants to try every single thing he can. He is one of the smartest people I know and sometimes that makes me want to smush his face. We always want to work with people we trust and are friendly with and he’s the best man for the job.
What’s the story behind “So Gay”, Dale’s Wiener’s, and the entire video..
John: The seed for the video came from our good buddy Andrew Schwab, who has been at the wheel for all our videos thus far, and just like the other ones the concepts all come from us spitballing back and forth to come up with more and more outrageous ideas. This particular time we were able to execute a lot more of those ideas than before. The Dale character, whose name is actually Dale Weiners of Dale’s Weiners LLC, is loosely based on a former employer and many years of being educated by Saturday morning cartoons rather than books and nature. Also we are lucky to have Andrew on our side since he does great work and is a dear friend and he doesn’t care how ridiculous he looks having this in his portfolio. That right there is a good friend. I just don’t think he’ll have to ask anyone else in his career to “reshoot the mayonnaise scene”. At least I hope not, and if he does, I’m honored to be the first person he asked.
The band will be playing the five year anniversary of “The Stuffing”, Manchester Orchestra’s annual pre-Thanksgiving Festival on November 26th. I know that you played last year but how did you all get to know the bands that make up that community… what are the top three reasons people should see your set this year?
Vinny: We met the Manchester guys through friends of friends and we ended up helping them out with a few favors over the years and they were kind enough to include us on the lineup.
John: We’ve known the Manchester guys indirectly for a few years now, I used to intern for their former drummer and like Vinny said we’ve helped them out here and there. They’re all great guys, and it’s cool to be apart of something like the Stuffing, which started out as a festival and has become like this big Atlanta Thanksgiving tradition. Everybody comes out of the woodwork for it.
Did you all, even for a second, consider naming the second EP Skies Out, Thighs Out?
John: That is a great idea! We named it Sun’s Out after something an Italian guy told Trey that he apparently hears Americans say all the time. None of us had ever heard of such a thing and we thought it was hilarious, such a shallow stereotypically kind of trashy American thing. And since I heard it for the first time I’ve seen it all over the place! Also it’s a summery record and what’s more summery than tank tops? Perhaps baby pools. But Baby Pools is not a good title for the record.
Vinny: Every second of every day. It just makes too much sense.
What are the band’s plans for the rest of 2014 and leading into the next year?
John: The rest of this year will be spent most likely learning harsh lessons and trying to pawn things to buy Christmas presents. But we have some dates coming up with Gunther Doug just in time for the holiday season and that should be fun for the whole family!
What’s the best advice you’ve given and received in the past month?
John: The best advice we’ve received in the past month has been to not have a taco eating contest and to make sure to get up early enough for continental breakfast. Both of these were ignored.