How did We Were Astronauts come about?The four of us have all been pretty active in the local music scene playing in various bands since middle and high school. We Were Astronauts was created by Antonio (lead vocals and guitar), and Chris Rando (bass and backup vocals). They started writing together and trying it out in the live setting. After a few line-up changes and a little convincing, along came Tim and Steve, AKA “the cousins.” Once the line-up was solidified, we continued writing and pursuing a sound that would define We Were Astronauts. These sounds would eventually become our first record, Outside Boston.
Did the Boston music scene influence you at all?Steve here….The Boston music scene is quite an interesting monster. I still haven’t quite figured it out, but it is what it is. Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely some great music coming out of Boston and some awesome bands and artists as well. WWA has had a bit of a tough time identifying with the Boston scene. You have this consistent scene of indie bands that sound like everything currently out there on the radio. But we hold true to our sound and the feelings it emotes. If we couldn’t feel the music, then why even play it. To us music is the extension of ones’ soul. So to put it bluntly, from our perspective we are a melodic rock band that sticks out like a sore thumb…not really finding its place in the local scene. We are a band from Boston and we love our city, but to say the scene itself has had an influence on us…..I would say no….there are however people in that scene who have had a huge impact on us! To them we are beyond thankful!
I'd love to know more about each of your backgrounds in music!
Steve: We all grew up in families that loved music. Music from all different genres! Tim (lead guitar) has been playing some sort of instrument since he could walk. He’s been teaching guitar lessons for several years. Chris (Bass) is an audio engineer by trade and has been involved in music since he can remember. He is an extremely accomplished vocalist and saxophone player as well, and has played a vital role in multiple bands throughout middle school and high school. Chris went on to study vocals at Berklee. Steve (drums) always played but didn't commit to it as a career until more recently. Finally, Antonio (vocals and rhythm) got serious about music in his college years, where he found time and inspiration to bring his talents to another level. Inspired by the singer-songwriters of the mid to late 90’s, he began playing guitar and singing as another way to woo the ladies.
What made you choose the name We Were Astronauts?Being an astronaut is one of those first dreams that many of us had as kids. Sure, some kids wanted to be firemen, policemen, train engineers, but deep down we all wanted to shoot for the moon. Unfortunately, NASA pulled the plug on the shuttle program a few years ago, right when we were really starting to come together as a band. Somehow the name got thrown around and we all thought it would be a cool way to pay homage to the childhood dream, crushed by government spending cuts and the likes.
Walk me through your creative process. Do you all collaborate together as far as lyrics and music go?Steve: Music is a funny and interesting beast and so is our process. No doubt that it has to start somewhere usually with a spark of inspiration on someone’s part. Some sort of rhythm or a catchy lick gets the ball rolling. The rhythm ideas usually start at a guitar level and work their way through to the bass. The drumbeats may or may not change the rhythm but they help to mold the idea into something. Our lyrics have historically been the last thing we complete, but that is not to say that Antonio and Chris don’t already have something up their sleeves! The next part of the process is structure and production. We as a group spend a lot of time fine-tuning and changing parts around to try and make the strongest songs we can!
How does "Artificial Light" differ from your previous album "Outside Boston"?Lets start with the fact that two separate roads were traveled. One road led us to Nashville TN to record Live to Tape (Outside Boston) and the other road lead us to a producer by the name of Warren Huart and Hollywood CA (Artificial Light). We set out to make Artificial Light as solid as we could. Neither of these records are “concept albums” per se, but we put a lot of what we learned in the making of Outside Boston to use in writing, arranging, and producing Artificial Light. The songs on Artificial Light flow better from one to the next. There is a cohesive sound on the EP because we spent a lot of time writing songs off if they did not fit. We are still a rock and roll band, but we wanted to put a bit more “finish and sheen” on this record.
Are you guys currently on tour?Though we are not on tour at the moment we are extremely busy playing all over the Northeast including Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, and beyond. We spent several days at SXSW in Austin this year and had a blast cramming 2-3 shows in a day throughout the city. We take every opportunity we can to play but we would not say we are on tour. We would love to travel just about anywhere to play music to people who genuinely enjoy and seek out new music. Music is an amazing tool that introduces a person to so many new people, places, and things. As a band we have played shows and met people that in turn have treated us to skydiving and white water rafting just to name a few. We are totally open to touring if the right scenario presents itself! We recently met this interesting fellow from England who is currently working on getting us over to England for a few weeks next year! It would be great to play throughout the Southern and Midwestern US as well as the West Coast, Canada and eventually maybe even Europe.
What do you like most/least about being on the road? Any "crazy" on the road stories to share?We love meeting new people seeing the new places! We appreciate people that want to hear new music! We like walking into a place we have never been before and entertaining people! That feeling that people enjoy what we are doing as much as we do is one of the greatest feelings on earth. When you get tired pull over for safety’s sake, unless you have a bass player like us who can drive while he is sleeping!
How do you all feel about social media? Are you active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram?
Well… social media plays a vital role in today’s music industry. It can make or break you! We are active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! You have to be active to stay competitive in this day and age. We are always trying to grow our fan base and our social circles. We have had a slow but steady growth of fans on social media. As much as we would love to have huge numbers we appreciate the fact that all of our current followers are real people and real fans! The music industry is constantly putting pressure on musicians and bands to have a certain number of likes and views. It creates a vicious cycle of inflated numbers. We pride our self on having a grass roots approach with an authentic fan base! One day the numbers will look like we want them to!
For those who may not be too familiar with your music, what is one thing that you'd like them to know about you?Steve: For everyone that is not familiar with our music and what we are trying to accomplish…I would like to tell you that we are people just like you! Come say hello or grab a drink with us! We are just a group of dudes that like to rock and dance! We also know that you all work…but come see us on your free time! We appreciate that, more than you know. So buy us a round and we will return the favor! Let the party begin! [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/149683574" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /] [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/149683573" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /] Like what you hear? Check out the following sites for more We Were Astronauts (and don't forget to grab their album on September 23rd)! Official Website Twitter Reverbnation Facebook