Hump day has arrived, and we present to you today an interview with Long Island based collective Bohemians. These guys graced the stage a few weeks ago at Cafe 939 where they opened for Night Light's Boston farewell show, and they made a hell of a first impression on myself and countless others with their high energy stage presence and indelible melodic hooks that will leave your eyes squarely focused on these handsome gents. The guys were nice enough to devote some time out of their busy schedule to do an interview as we find out more about the guys, go behind the scenes of their songwriting process, and how well they gel together. Here is the transcript from our chat:
Give us your names and roles in the band? Luke: Luke Lotardo - Lead Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar
Eric Pubins - Drums
Perry Ladouceur - Bass, Vocals
Eric Milton - Keyboards, Guitar How did you guys all come together to form Bohemians? Luke: We all knew each other in High School and played in rival bands. When those other bands fell apart, Eric M. and I, who had already been friends, came together to make Hip Hop instrumentals for one of our classmates. One day we asked Eric P. to come over to lay down authentic drums and an hour later we had written three songs. It just clicked. About a year later when we were halfway through our senior year Perry joined the band and we finally felt complete. Describe your eariest individual influences and how they have helped shape the sound of the band? Luke: Well we all have really different influences, anything from Billie Holiday to ELO, De la Soul to The Cure; it all pops up in our music. But my earliest influences personally were New Wave and 80s Alternative like the Talking Heads and The Cure, that's what I was raised on, and I know those sounds and textures bleed a lot into our music. Perry: Some of my influences include bands like The Smiths, The Strokes, Interpol, Kings of Leon, Tame Impala, Mutemath, Radiohead, etc. Those influences help me add some of the more of the good ol' Rock and Roll element to our music. And I love anything Paul McCartney related, especially with his bass lines and his incredible talent for music that inspires me to write the best I can for this band. Eric Pubins: The first bands I can remember really getting into when I was younger goes from Eighties rock/hair metal like Van Halen and Night Ranger (thanks Dad) to Green Day and Blink 182. Zac Farro has been the most influential musician to me since middle school and it was incredible to open for his band at Webster Hall this summer. Getting started in Long Island, what is the music scene like there and were there a lot of opportunities for you to play shows? Luke: The music scene on Long Island is tricky because it was huge for bands like Taking Back Sunday and Brand New, but once that emo-rock style fell out of the mainstream, a lot of the clubs and venues that catered to that scene went out of business or started booking cover bands. We formed right as that was coming to an end. We never had our Cavern Club, which was always a struggle for us. So, we decided that we would just have to get good enough to play bigger venues and shows in NYC. And that's what we did and it's what we're still doing, we haven’t found a “scene” that we identify with yet, but we’re looking to find likeminded bands to build a community with. Perry: It seems like very few venues want to take a risk on a new band around here. I would love to challenge the local venues to actually scout bands out, book the band and then promote the show without digging into the bands’ pockets. Every venue has promoters on staff but most hardly promote. There is so much talent around here and people expect the bands to do all the leg work. Artists can definitely use the support from venues, promoters, local publications, etc. We’d definitely appreciate that and that’s why we appreciated Cafe 939 for having us out and you for taking an interest in us and taking the time to talk to us. What would you say is your favorite element of a live show? Luke: My favorite element of the live show is probably meeting people. Not shaking hands or giving hugs when we walk offstage, but how I get to meet people during our performance. We're completely vulnerable on stage, and when I look into someone's eyes from up there, they don't try to break eye contact like they would in normal life, there's no walls to stand behind and there's nowhere else to go. They just look right back because they're getting to see me for who I really am. And I see them too. And in that moment, it's like you've known a stranger for your entire life. It is an absolutely indescribable feeling. Perry: I always thought the live performance was super important. Because you can make some really good music for people to listen to, but you gotta be able to do that live as well to really showcase that musical talent. We understand this so we work super hard to be just as good live as our recorded music, if not better. What are some of your favorite songs that you guys have recorded together? Luke: Well I really love them all, and that's the truth haha, but I think my number one is "Speak Daggers." Firstly because the lyrics of the song tell the story in a way I found really interesting by repeating the same lyrical structure with different words and tenses to tell the progression of the same situation. Secondly, because I got to play an amazingly nice grand piano when recording. Perry: My personal favorite songs from our catalog would have to be “Hints," “Colony" and “Atlas." Eric Pubins: “Atlas" is definitely the most fun I had recording a song for two reasons: It is my favorite song to play and all of the added percussion parts towards the end of the song were a blast to record. Recently, you guys played at Cafe 939 opening for Night Lights, how fun of a show was that for all of you? Luke: That show had to be one of the best we've played, honestly. It was our first time out of state and we got to play to a great crowd. That's all we could ever ask for.
Perry: I was named after the guitarist of Aerosmith, Joe Perry, so it was honor playing our first show out of the state on their home turf. Away from music, what do you guys like to do for fun in your spare time? Luke: Well we all go to college, I actually go to Northeastern which is right in Boston. But outside of that, I'll do just about anything that comes my way within reason. I love traveling and meeting new people, so I'm huge into driving places and flying places, seeing the sights makes for good lyrical inspiration. Speaking of I was actually in Russia a few weeks ago which was amazing. And of course I'm big into movies and TV. Huge Tarantino and Game of Thrones nerd just like everyone else. Perry: I'm a bit of a social butterfly, so I love going to parties and having fun with all my friends. I love spending time with friends, family and my girlfriend. I work at my uncle's restaurant on long island called Sundried Tomato (which has great pizza so feel free to come down). I also love writing songs of my own and jamming with friends. And I also love Netflix, but who doesn’t? Eric Pubins: When I’m not playing music, my other hobby is specialty coffee. I love to roast, brew, and learn about the origins of coffee and the different brewing methods. What's coming up next for you guys, planning to play any more shows in the Boston area or release any new music anytime soon? Luke: We don't have any Boston dates formally announced yet, but there will certainly be some soon. As for new music, we're always working on new material and it'll see the light of day at some point. Lastly, what is your favorite thing about being in this band? Luke: The support system. If I had to do this without the rest of the guys, I would lose my mind. But it's also the support system of the people who listen to us. When we get comments on our videos and emails from around the world and from people in places that we've hardly heard of, that support is what keeps me going, and I know I speak for all of us when I say that's our favorite part of all of this. We're barely out of high school and people in Japan are listening to our music. It's amazing. Perry: I love working with all these dudes in the band. They're like brothers to me and I love being able to create beautiful music with all these talented fellas.
Thanks once again to Luke, Perry, and Eric for taking some time out to do this interview. I was most impressed with Bohemians after the show, and was most taken by Luke as he immediately gave me a hug after I introduced myself, which spoke volumes at how super friendly, passionate, and down to earth he is. Those are the kinds of moments that will make an impression a lasting one, and it surely did on me with Bohemians. For more on the band, please 'Like' them on Facebook here and follow their travels on Twitter over here.