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INTERVIEW: Punchbowl Astronauts

Punchbowl Astronauts is a three-man alternative rock band out of New Haven, CT comprised of lead singer, guitarist, and keyboardist Aaron Montiel, bassist Chris Sacco, and drummer Alex Hayowyk.

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

We’re good, thanks for having us!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “In Surround Sound”?

Aaron: Absolutely…this is our second song and it’s a bit different from our first single. Our first song was a pretty straight rock song. In Surround Sound enters the realm of dream rock. It uses a lot more layers, piano, acoustic guitar and a chorus that we believe has a strong melodic hook.

Anyway, the single is about social anxiety. It’s a story about getting dragged to the club, it not being your scene, but going “ah well let’s see if I can meet someone,” then coming up empty. Sounds sad, but it’s an upbeat song actually.

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

Aaron: (Laughs) No, it isn’t based on any particular event but I think we’ve all been there in a situation where you’re out of your comfort zone and there’s social pressures and peer pressures and you try to make the best decision you can for yourself.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Chris: Yes actually! The single is being released on August 30th along with an official music video on YouTube. We love making videos – it’s great to be able to tell a story visually as well.

How was the recording and writing process?

Aaron: Very nerve-wracking but equally as thrilling in the studio. There’s always a lot of pressure when you’re trying to get the right take, particularly with my vocal lines, teehee. I like to experiment with different ways of phrasing a certain passage, so there’s a lot of trial and error that goes into that. When it comes to recording instrumentation, it is so much fun to hear all the sonic textures come together in a symphonic manner.

We’ve been sitting on this song for quite some time. We’ve had to rearrange the structure, take out a verse, experiment with different textures, all that fun, time consuming stuff. The important thing is that we truly believed in the value of this song, which is what kept us committing to constructing the best song we could create.  

What role does Connecticut play in your music?

Alex: Honestly, the fact that Connecticut is so small really helped us form as a band. With everyone living so close it made it easy for the three of us to seek out and find other dedicated musicians who were looking to start something, to create something like this band. You might not expect it but Connecticut has a great local music scene. We all know the best places to play out, and we all know the best places to go and have fun and blow off some steam after a good practice or gig.

Does the new single mean we can expect new material – how’s that coming along?

Chris: Well right now we are just releasing singles. This is our second single and we plan to release a couple more before we even think about doing an EP or an album or anything like that. But yeah, we’re trying to drop new songs fairly regularly.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

Chris: Titles? Maybe, but no specific release dates yet. We are going to head back into the studio to record the next single in the next few weeks though.

Any plans to hit the road?

Alex: We are in writing mode at the moment. We are constantly working on putting out new songs, and even a few music videos. Once we feel we have a solid album’s worth of songs, we do plan on hitting the road and playing all over Connecticut, New York, and Boston to start. Until then we will continue putting our music up online on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube and all those sites for our fans to listen to!

What else is happening next in Punchbowl Astronauts’ world?

Aaron: The best is yet to come my friends. You can look forward to single releases these next couple months.

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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