INTERVIEW: The Chris Paterno Band

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

We’ve been great! Super busy preparing for our summer shows and finishing up our debut EP! Thanks so much for interviewing us, we’re honored!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Unfaithful”?

“Unfaithful” defines our style – strong horn lines, percussive, funky guitar and bass lines, interesting guitar voicings and raw, emotional vocals. This was the first song that we cut with Joe Nicolo, our producer, in the studio, and it just came to life.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

The chord progression of “Unfaithful” was modified from this old tune I (Chris Paterno) wrote in high school that I just never got out of my hands. I wrote what is now “Unfaithful” about a year and a half ago during a time when everything around me was falling apart – friendships were fading, a long relationship had recently ended, and my family life was struggling – I felt lost and angry. At the same time, I was looking around, observing the culture that is a college campus and seeing and hearing all these stories about infidelity and trust issues. I could see the connection between myself- feeling like so many bridges had been burnt down, losing faith in my friends, family and myself – and the term “Unfaithful.” The bridge repeats the phrase “All we built, burn it down.” That sentence really sums up that time of my life, which gave birth to this tune.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

We’re thinking about it, but we haven’t come to a consensus. What do you think? Should we?

The single comes off your new self-titled EP – why naming the record after the band?

This EP is our introduction and we want it to define our sound. Making it self-titled allows us to do that. There’s no question about it – The Chris Paterno Band is this EP and this EP is The Chris Paterno Band.

How was the recording and writing process?

It was absolutely awesome! As an aspiring musician, your dream is to someday win a Grammy so to work with a producer that’s won 9, was truly a humbling experience. Joe was a lot of fun to work with and he really helped us develop as musicians and in general. I (Chris Paterno) wrote all the tunes, besides one cover that’s featured on the EP, before going into the studio. The rest of the group (Connor McElwee, Adam Monaco, Doug Parson, Nate Sims, Mike Clark and Frank Rein) took ownership of the tracks and just went to town with some great ideas, great licks and amazing arrangements. We had a lot of late nights, but a lot of laughstoo. We can’t wait to share it with our fans, friends and families.

Does Philadelphia plays a role in your music?

Definitely. We like to think that you can hear the Philly Soul roots in our music – The Sound of Philadelphia, The O’Jays, Patti Labelle. Acts like those knew how to evoke emotion, they knew how to be real and they knew how to get a little funky. We try to emulate those artists, while also bringing in some novel sounds/techniques to give our style a modern touch. Its hard not to be influenced by Philadelphia in general – the streets are always filled with characters and the Philly music scene is growing everyday. Its an amazing time to be a Philly musician. Working with a Philly legend like Joe Nicolo doesn’t hurt either!

What was it like to work with Joe Nicolo and how did that relationship develop?

It was an amazing experience. Our mandolin player, Adam Monaco, had done some work with Joe prior to joining the band and he invited Joe out to our second show (ever!). Everybody instantly got a little more nervous when Adam said Joe was actually coming, but we kept it together and nailed the set. Right after our set, Joe asked us if we were interested in working with him. It was just surreal. Once we got into the studio, he was cracking jokes, making us feel at home and comfortable. In fact, we were literally at his house so it was hard not to feel at home. He also took us down to Studio 4 in Conshohocken, Pa for a session – platinum records everywhere. It was hard not to think we made it for just a second hahah. Joe’s like that – he builds you up in the most constructive way possible – teaching you as you grow and pushing you to go beyond yourself and beyond the music. Joe really took us under his wing and has been a great mentor. We are ready to show everyone what we are working with.

How much did he get to influence the album?

Joe definitely put his fingerprint on the EP. He actually sings some background vocals on the EP’s final track, Sweet Thing, too. From a producers standpoint, Joe and I (Chris) really got along and had similar visions. We’re both always trying to push our initial ideas a little bit further out of the box. Joe recently said of my voice  – “People will have a love/hate relationship with his voice, and I mean that as a true compliment. You want to sound unique. Saying that you don’t sound like anyone else is probably the biggest compliment I can give an artist.” And I think he had a great deal to do with us being unique, by trusting us, giving us the opportunity and just hitting that record button with a little magic behind it. He really captured all of The Chris Paterno Band.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

The inspiration for the songs and lyrics comes from everyday life. Music is my journal. I write what I feel and I don’t hold back. Every track has a different theme, each encompassing an emotion, whether that’s disappointment and rage in “Unfaithful” or longing and love in “Morning Light,” that’s genunine and has deep meaning to me and my life. My hope is that these songs are relatable and people recognize they are getting all of me and all of the band when they hear us play – whether thats live or on this EP. These songs are the feelings and themes that define my life.

Any plans to hit the road?

Definitely! We’ve got a packed summer with lots of Philly shows coming up. We are also playing a few gigs outside of the city, and in Maryland. We are setting up a show in NYC as well that we are pumped about!

What else is happening next in The Chris Paterno Band’s world?

That’s a good question! We’re taking it day by day, show by show. We’re excited for what the future holds and have high hopes for our debut! Our moms love the EP so its pretty much guaranteed to be a hit haha. But for real, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud, and all that to get updates and be a part of the journey and the band! We love to chat with everyone – every head is its own world of knowledge. Come join in the fun!

Links for our media are below. Thank you so much for taking the time to write about us and share our music with your fan base! We appreciate it!! It’s this kind of stuff that really makes a difference.


Insta: ChrisPaternoMusic

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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