Issues



July, 2014 Issue

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5 online articles from this issue. Next


Front Bottoms

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If any one agency has constantly hit the mark for us here at Campus Activities Magazine, is has been APA (Agency For The Performing Arts).

They have had a knack for ?developing talent? especially for the Campus Market and they have delivered for us time and time again, not only with music but comedy as well.

Some of the artists you will probably be familair with that they brought to us first we acts like:

Fall Out Boy, Plain White T?s, Capital Cities, Flogging Molly, Josh Blue and even Lewis Black and that is just naming a few. These acts blew up right as we introduced them and the campus market got to book them for only a fraction of what they are going for today-- a very small fraction.

Throughout history, the campus market has been the testing ground for acts on their way up the ladder and it is agencies like APA, who have the confidence in colleges to be the test for what will fly and what will not- that makes them so unique.

We suggest that you carefully consider any act that APA brings to the table (1) because they are invested in the college market, and (2) they have a significant success rate for finding acts that are relevant for the youth market.

The Front Bottoms are a hot emerging act with a unique sound and a national touring schedule. Playing dozens of dates this year already across this country and internationally, The Front Bottoms are very much a band suited to the college scene.

The first question to get out of the way is an obvious one: Where?d they get their name? Brian Sella, the groups lead vocalist, laughs as he tells us the name?s humble origins.

?I came up with the name after i watched the movie ?Sexy Beast? starring Sir Ben Kingsley. it was just a hilarious movie and that quote came from one of my favorite parts. It was the first time i had heard that term used before.?

Shortly thereafter he called up his friend Matt uychich. ?I said ?hey man, let?s start up a band. I have a name, how do you feel about it?? He said ?let?s do it!?

Brian already had a catalog of songs he had written, so the two got together and started recording.

?They were very rough tracks, usually done in one take. We would come home and send them to our friends or put them on the internet. it developed through the years and we have gone through some lineup changes. Matt?s brother used to play keyboards and we had a friend who played bass for a while, but now we have our lineup solidified. When we play live we bring along our friends Ciaran O?- Donnell on keys/trumpet/guitar and Tom Warren on bass.?

The band was started in the summer of 2008.

?Since then, we have pretty much been all about dedicating our lives to this project,? Matt says. ?it?s all about the music and we love touring and hanging out. it is the perfect career choice for us. Just recently we have been able to afford a small apartment and travel better and further, so things are really growing. We do whatever we can to stay on tour and reach as many people as we can.?

The group signed to the Bar/none Record label a few years ago and has had success with their music releases. So much so that their music has taken their touring schedule all over the world.

?We were just in Canada,? Brian says, ?and we recently got back from Europe. We really love playing live and the people we meet when we are on the road. The opportunity to go not only all over The united States but other parts of the world is really cool. So far, so good.?

This band has quite literally worked their way up from the ground floor. Below ground, if you want to be technical about it.

?When we first started playing, we were in basements,? he laughs. ?it was mostly because we didn?t really have any fans, so when we would try to get shows at bars, we weren?t enough of a draw yet. They would ask us how many people we could bring in with us on a Saturday night in a two hour space and that kind of machine wasn?t really our style. We found out we could play at parties in people?s garages and basements and there are plenty of people there who all want to be there and are having fun and really enjoying the music. When we started out we played a ton of college basements.?

Hailing from new Jersey, there were quite a few local schools where The Front Bottoms found a home.

?Rutgers university was a big spot for us. We played many shows in the college towns of Lowell, MA, Philadelphia, Richmond, VA and some down in Florida.

So we started playing those shows, working on our chops learning how to really perform and make sure people were entertained. We steadily worked our way up to bars with open mic nights and coffee houses. We played some small music venues and by that point we had enough of a following to start getting noticed. now we can go around and play a venue and usually fill it up.?

This band has been busy, and will continue to stay that way.

?We were on the road for about seven and a half months last year. That was a lot of shows. This year we have been out even more so far. Through August, we will have had a total of six weeks off in 2014. Every other time we are on the road. We are never home for more than two weeks at a time.?

The band is playing a wider variety of shows and gets some pretty choice dates.

?We usually play theater and music venues at this point,? Matt says, ?but we have been fortunate in that respect because of the following we have built. We have enough people show up to make those types of shows viable for us and the promoters or venue bookers. We want to play more festivals. We have done a few in Europe and it is a pretty awesome experience. We are playing Riot Fest in Chicago in September, which is pretty exciting.?

When it comes to the style of music to expect from The Front Bottoms, we really recommend you go to their website: (http://thefrontbottoms.com) and have a listen. it?s a style that?s a little bit hard to express exactly in words.

?I always describe the music as fun,? Brian says laughing, ?but i know that doesn?t really help people much when it comes to describing a particular type of music. We try to make punk rock music, but it?s a little more rock n? roll. i play an acoustic guitar and it has a little bit of a ?dancy? feel. There is a very positive energy about it.?

We all stand on the shoulders of giants, and sometimes taking a look at the artists that inspired an act can provide perspective on their sound. ?When we were younger, we listened to acts like Blink-182 and other pop/punk bands. As we got a little bit older more things like Bright Eyes and much more indie music. They Might Be giants, The Weakerthans, Superchunk, Modest Mouse... those are all influences that led us to make happier punk rock music with an indie vibe.?

Believe it or not, that is one of the most accurate descriptions of a band?s own music that you will ever hear. That description makes them right up the average college student?s alley. The sound is perfect, and their experience is perfect as well. Apart from the basement parties on college campuses, this band has a long history of experience actually working with the campus activities arm of the booking process.

?We started the band in college, and i actually had friends that had positions on student activities boards. They would do a spring festival or craft fair and we got invited to play a lot. From the beginning of our careers we knew that market existed and tried to work it as much as possible.

?When it comes to working with college programmers, we have done it and we really love doing so, honestly. They always treat you so well and the turnouts are usually good for us, and the vibe there is always really fun and welcoming. We are looking forward to booking plenty of future tours through the campus market.?

For more information on The Front Bottoms, contact John Lashnits or email him at: jlashnits@apanewyork.com