Proudly presenting to you today an interview with some local guys I discovered a couple of weeks ago, Jack Romanov. They have been developing their own unique blend of alt rock mixed in with an indie minded aesthetic that has molded them into a collective that has their own unique individuality that makes them noticable by the naked eye from prospective concertgoers. Esteban, Nico, and Nick were gracious enough to devote some time out of their hectic schedules to answer a few questions as we find out how the band got started and where their path is moving forward. Here is the transcript from our little chat:
Give us your names and your roles in the band?
Esteban: We are Nick Aikens, voice & piano, Nico Renzulli, drums, and I'm Esteban, bass. We all play variations of other instruments like guitars and synths. We're also working on writing our material as a unit. Nico's usually in charge of booking and transportation. We call him 'Band Mom.'
How did you guys all get together to form the group?
Nick: We all met at Suffolk University in downtown Boston in 2012. Since then there's been a couple line up changes. For example we parted ways with our original guitarist and our good friend Pablo played drums for a few months while Nico was in Los Angeles.
Where does the name Jack Romanov originate from?
Nico: Back in high school Esteban used it as a pen name for a few short stories and poetry readings. Our original name was 'The Guilty Sparks' but when Naked Ear Records started talking to us about working on the first album 'Jack Romanov' sounded like it fit us the best.
What musical styles/influences make up the sound of the group?
Esteban: We're all interested in different types of music for the most part. Nico's into metal. He really likes Metallica and Pantera. Nick's background is musical theater. It really influences how we play live. I really enjoy Radiohead and the Strokes. Our first album was mainly recorded live so it has more of garage sound. On the album we're working now, we've gotten the chance to write more as we record. That's allowing us to experiment a little more.
What is the most challenging aspect of being in a band together?
Nick: We used to have issues with being honest about each other's ideas.The first album was a little stressful to make because of that. But the three of us have really figured out how to be respect and open about trying different things with a good attitude.
Take us behind the recording process of your new album "Sincerely" and what that entire process was like?
Nico: We were very very excited to get to work with Zach Bloomstein, who Produced, Mixed, and Engineered "Sincerely." We had a lot of songs written and almost complete when the recording process started. We stayed here in Boston during our Winter vacation last year and recorded at the New England Institute of Art studio in Brookline. The majority of the songs we recorded live in an attempt to capture the intensity of our live shows. So, everything was pretty straight forward for the most part except for the song East Boston. We had to redo everything over and over again on that one.
A while back, you performed a release show at the Mid East Upstairs, describe what that whole experience was like in front of so many people?
Esteban: That was a really fun show to play. We had a great turn out and all our friends were there. We played the album from start to finish. It was the only time we've done that and it felt like a good way of officially being done with writing and working on those songs. At the end of the show Zach Bloomstein joined us on stage to play one of our songs, 'Radio,' with us. We got to crowd surf, it was pretty ridiculous.
What kinds of things do you guys like to do together in your spare time away from making music?
Nick: We play a lot of MarioKart during the day, BeerioKart after 6 p.m.
What's coming up next on the musical radar this year, planning any more shows in the near future?
Nico: The biggest thing in our radar right now is our upcoming album with Wax on Felt Records. It's supposed to come out at some point this spring. We've been scheduling some shows but we're mostly focused on writing and recording material for our new album. We are trying to plan a tour of sorts this summer, but it's a lot harder than we thought it'd be...
Lastly, how has music shaped or enriched your life up until this point?
Music is a big part of all of our lives. I think we all associate different types of music or artists with important parts of our lives.
Esteban: Personally I wasn't very happy with my college experience when I moved out to Boston from Florida but finding these guys and playing music with them has definitely changed that. These guys are basically family. We hang out and deal with the same shit every day.
Nico: For me... Because of music I met Esteban and Nick. If I didn't meet them... well then I don't know. I honestly have no clue where I'd be right now. I put everything I have into our band. I just hope it all pays off in the end... On a lighter note, nothing gets me off like watching an endless string of live Metallica videos on YouTube.
Nick: Music and singing in general has always been the one thing that keeps me naturally happy. I've realized that as long as I live and whatever my future brings, music will always be a huge part of my life. I love how music can speak to people in a way that nothing else can compare to.
Thanks once again to Esteban, Nico, and Nick for being so awesome in taking some time out to do this interview! These guys have tremendous talent and their own style that really sets them apart from the others, and I have a great feeling that these guys will definitely be going places in the near future. For more on Jack Romanov, 'Like' them on Facebook over here and follow them on Twitter right here.