I met Only Living Boy at Old School Bar and Grill in Fenton Illinois. They did a show Saturday night to a packed house and got a good response. The show was very good and very loud. Sunday night they did an acoustic set that blew me away. These guys a really talented and I hope they incorporate an acoustic set into their regular show. It would surprise almost everyone who hears them play their kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll.
Billy Rose: First let’s start out by getting your names.
Joe Cirotti (vocals, Guitar)
Eric Curley (Bass)
Trevor Newcomb (Drums)
Billy Rose: What are your ages?
Joe Cirotti: We’re all 25.
Trevor Newcomb: Eric just turned 26.
Eric Curley: Yep, I just turned 26, I’m the elder of the group. (laughs)
Billy Rose: So you guys have known each other for years, right?
Joe Cirotti: Since our pre-teen years.
Billy Rose: How long have you been together as a band?
Joe Cirotti: Legit, three and a half years.
Trevor Newcomb: We kinda went our separate ways…as kids. I went to college…Joe and Eric got jobs. About three years ago we got back together and formed the band…with the intent of going for it. Now three years later we’re playing a lot.
Billy Rose: Did you all grow up in musical homes?
Joe Cirotti: I did. We all grew up in households that were lovers of music. I don’t know if Trevor and Eric were introduced at a really early age…to the stuff we listen to now…like our favorite shit now.
Trevor Newcomb: I grew up in a house were there was always a piano and always had a guitar. And luckily for me…parents who never told me to shut up when I was making noise as a kid. For me I spent a lot of time at Joe’s house…when we first became friends…
Eric Curley: So did I.
Trevor Newcomb: Yeah, Eric too. We all hung out at Joe’s house…and his dad and family were always really into music and so supportive.
Eric Curley: There was sort of a spectrum there anyway…you wouldn’t necessarily have the most musical family…my mom was really into music and I was exposed to Led Zeppelin and stuff like that…once I was listening to Rage Against The Machine and she said listen to The Wanton Song…it’s the same thing. I listened to it and said holy shit…yeah you’re right. (laughs)
Trevor Newcomb: His mother always took us to concerts and stuff.
Eric Curley: She did that when we were in high school too. She got tickets for everybody. She would drive us around…it was cool.
Joe Cirotti: Awesome.
Billy Rose: How old were you when you first started playing music…separately or together?
Eric Curley: I guess…as far as getting together with other musicians…I’d say about fifteen.
Trevor Newcomb: No, we met you in seventh grade and started playing. Me and Joe did a talent show together…about thirteen.
Billy Rose: What did you play in the talent show?
Joe Cirotti: In fifth grade Trevor did something with a band he was in. He played the guitar. They did a little song they wrote. I did…like a classical tune by myself. Sixth grade we played Johnny B. Goode…with no words…none of us sang back then. Eric played Stairway To Heaven…the whole thing by himself.
Billy Rose: So what does your song writing process involve? Do lyrics come first? Melody?
Joe Cirotti: Music usually comes first. It doesn’t go anywhere unless there is music…for me anyway. I can sometimes be stock piling lyrics or just words and ideas with words…and when I got good music…I go through my book and see if anything fits that vibe. Sometimes the music and the words come together. I don’t really have a formula for it.
Trevor Newcomb: Joe does most of the writing. He has a studio were we record.
Eric Curley: He comes at us sometimes with complete songs.
Trevor Newcomb: Yeah he has his studio and comes to us with a song with drums and everything…kinda like Pete Townshend of The Who. He records everything and lets you hear it.
Eric Curley: That’s the overall format. He’ll sit down and record the stuff…comp Bass track, comp Drum track. He’s pretty good at that stuff. Then we sort of use his ideas and build on it.
Trevor Newcomb: We play live too…and the songs can change when we do them live. They can change sometimes drastically.
Joe Cirotti: The live shows are our bread and butter. The heart of were we’re at…everything kinda grows out of that. Inspirations for writing songs comes from playing all the time. It’s the core of who we are.
Billy Rose: How long has your CD been out?
Trevor Newcomb: About a year and a half
Billy Rose: So you sell it at your shows?
Trevor Newcomb: We’re pushing it out off the back of our van.
Eric Curley: It’s our starter. It got us on the road. It’s something to sell.
Billy Rose: Where did you record it?
Joe Cirotti: We produced it and recorded it at my house. In my studio. Then we had it mixed and mastered by a friend of mine…he owns a studio and he does a lot of stuff like that. I’m still really proud of it. Everything feels outdated except for what you are doing right that second. But we’re still really proud of it and we still play most of the songs from it. That’s what we’ve been selling at shows…but we’re really excited about what we’re working on right now.
Trevor Newcomb: We were in the studio last week. We spent two days with a producer. This is the firs time we had a producer. So we’re excited.
Billy Rose: Where are you recording your new stuff?
Joe Cirotti: A place called Retro Media, studio is in Red Bank New Jersey.
Trevor Newcomb: Our producer’s name is Paul Ritchie. From a fantastic band called Parlor Mob. He wanted to get involved and the four of us got together and did this studio track live.
Joe Cirotti: All grassroots shit. This guy is particularly amazing behind the board. He knew exactly what sound he wanted. It couldn’t have been easier and it couldn’t have been more fun. It was a fucking blast. I’m proud of it…it sounds like we’re having fun.
Eric Curley: It’s a little rough right now…we’ll go back in the studio after this road time and build on some of the stuff we have…do some new tracks.
Billy Rose: So how do you like being on the road? Is it hard or what are your feeling about it?
Eric Curley: Love it.
Trevor Newcomb: It’s the best, we love it.
Eric Curley: I wouldn’t say it’s hard at all.
Trevor Newcomb: I would say it’s hard in the sense that every night is a Friday night (laughs)…hard to get enough sleep.
Joe Cirotti: You become nocturnal.
Trevor Newcomb: We all get along so well. It’s easy to get along with two guys you’ve known since you were thirteen. I don’t give a shit if I never go home again. (laughs)
Eric Curley: Is it hard? Any job is hard…if you’re gonna do a good job…we could be at home focusing on business or getting office jobs or something…or you could be out here doing this…it’s kinda the same thing…putting effort in something.
Joe Cirotti: All of us work at home. I think we have an appreciation for what we’re doing. Yeah it’s hard work…but we’re playing music. (laughs)…and that’s never that hard.
Billy Rose: So you all have day jobs…how does that work when you go out on the road?
Eric Curley: Well our schedule is like three weeks on the road…then we’ll come home for a couple months.
Joe Cirotti: Of course it’s gonna pick up. We’re gonna be on the road more than not…as time goes by. We’re all lucky enough to have a lot of flexibility in our jobs. They are very supportive with our music.
At this point in the interview Randy Connor the owner of Old School Bar and Grill brought in a freshly out of the oven pizza, and the guys dug in.
Billy Rose: So I see you guys are going to Austin for South by Southwest. Is this the first time for that? Do you have any gigs there.
Trevor Newcomb: Yeah! During SXSW there are a lot of non-official shows…that go on right next door to official shows. You can play unofficial SXSW shows and get plenty of exposure because everybody is in town. We’re gonna be meeting a lot of business contacts.
Joe Cirotti: A little side note. This pizza blows Chicago Deep Dish Pizza out of the water!
Eric Curley: We had Chicago Deep Dish pizza the other night and it devastated us. It was like a cheese cake.
Trevor Newcomb: Our first Chicago Deep Dish Pizza…real overwhelmed by cheese. Not good.
Eric Curley: Micro wave cheese cake…(laughs).
Billy Rose: Randy does make excellent pizza!
Joe Cirotti: God Damn Right!
Billy Rose: Where do you go from here?
Trevor Newcomb: We play a show Sunday night in Lee Summit Missouri. A place called Gary’s Bait Shop. We’re looking forward to that.
Joe Cirotti: Looks like a cool room.
Trevor Newcomb: Then we got a few days off. We’re gonna stop in Houston and see a friends show.
Billy Rose: With the recording…are you planning another CD?
Trevor Newcomb: Yep, we’re recording and it will probably be ready in April. We want to release this next one as smart as possible. If I had to guess…I’d say maybe late spring or early summer.
Billy Rose: Well guys thanks for sitting down and talking to me…and best wishes for the future of Only Living Boy.
ALL: Yeah, thanks.