When It Counts - interview

When It Counts - I recently had the opportunity to chat with three of the members of Staten Island, NY based When It Counts. I spoke with Will Gallagher (vocalist), Andrew Maino (bass/vocals), and Mike Maldarelli (drums). My recorder was messing up that day, so I had to type as fast as I could to get everything down. I didn't specify which member said what every time, but I did the best I could to make sure who specifically said what. Check out the interview below.  Enjoy!

1)   How did When It Counts begin? How long have you guys been around?

We started as a band in the summer of 2010, and it was just me (Andrew), Will and Nick originally. We went through various member changes, and changed the name to When It Counts in October or November of 2012. Once we changed lineup, it became solidified into what it is now. We became a band that did things.

2)   The “Same Old Story” EP was just released this year. Where was it recorded? How long did the process approximately take?

It was recorded at Stain Glass Studios with Jeremy Cometas. We went in at the end of December, and came out in the middle of January.

3)   What kind of lyrical themes are prominent the most on the record? Where do you take inspiration from lyrically?

Most of the songs are written by Nick. Wrote “Moving It Up, Take A Breath, Ignorance”. Our lyrics are the same old story, nothing new or groundbreaking. Going off to college, breaking up with your girlfriend, etc. I’m complaining about same old stuff that you complain about, but realizing that you are just like everyone else. We wanted to make it as relatable as possible. I draw influence from Bomb The Music Industry and Say Anything.

4)   You guys remind me a lot of early Four Year Strong. What kind of bands do you collectively listen to and take inspiration from musically?

Andrew is the world’s biggest Iron Maiden fan. We all like The Story So Far, Such Gold, Senses Fail. It kind of depended on what song we wanted to take with what direction. Every song is different, and has a different vibe.

5)   What’s the song writing process like for you guys?

It depends on everything. Usually what will happen is that Nick will sit in his room and demo out guitar parts, and he’ll email them to us because we’re all away at school. Mike will demo out a drum part on his computer and send it out back and forth. Once we actually get home and get together in Nick’s garage for five hours, we’ll change things that we thought we liked in the recordings, make transitions and stuff like that. Someone will email the band email with a bunch of lyrics for everyone to look at and edit. Then we’ll just pick them apart, add stuff, and riff on the ideas.

6)   I’m curious, what’s the story behind the song titles “Late To Your Own Bonfire” and "Hey Lance"?

Oh shit (Laughs). That song is essentially about hating yourself and knowing you’re a piece of shit. It all stemmed from this big fight (I) Andrew had with my girlfriend. I was late to a bonfire, and as I arrive, I see all of these cop cars coming in. It was about a fight where I was afraid to go to college, and how I was so set about getting out of Staten Island. I was always blaming my problems on people other than myself. It was a tough time. That’s the one we usually get asked about the most usually.

“Hey Lance” was a typical song about going away to college. Driving around on a Friday night, saw a guy that was cycling, rolls down the window, yelled “Hey Lance (Armstrong), nice shorts!”. That’s where the song title comes from.

7)   What kind of message would you like fans to walk away with after listening to your music?

If you listen to our CD, at the end of the day, we’re just trying to convey that not everyone is alone in their own problems. Everyone has the same ideas of problems. It’s not worth being upset and killing yourself about a certain thing, because someone else is going through the same thing that you are. It’s music, it’s supposed to be fun. Come hang out, sing along, hit your best friend in the face by accident, and enjoy yourself.

8)   What are the future plans for When It Counts?

We are going on a tour this summer for a couple days with One Fell Swoop and Scoutmaster Jack (both from Yonkers), going up to Albany, Boston, and North Carolina. We are writing and going to record a new EP sometime over the summer. We’re currently waiting for a callback from the guy who is producing it for what dates. We might not be pressing it and we may just release it online via BandCamp, creating a “choose what you pay” option.

Be sure to check out the band on Facebook at www.facebook.com/whenitcountsny and follow them on Twitter: @WhenItCountsNY for more info