joe zorzi speaks with Brandon Pagano of Empire State pop-punk band I Was A Hero …
I Was A Hero has been making waves around pop-punk scene in Albanym N.Y. The guys have been doing weekend tours and are currently in the midst of writing an EP, set for release this summer. Pop-Break’s Joe Zorzi spoke with singer-guitarist Brandon Pagano about the state of the local New York scene and the band’s plans for the near future.
Pop-Break: Hey Brandon, how’s it going?
I Was A Hero: Pretty good, man. It’s 1:43 a.m., and I just got home from a show in Oneonta [New York], which was a blast. [laughs]
PB: You guys have a recent live video up of “Bus Rides Cost Too Much” in Queensbury, N.Y. Even though it was a battle of the bands, you guys were all about the crowd staying to see all the bands. Do you think that sense of “we’re all in it together” between bands seem lost in a lot of todays music scenes?
IWAH: Quite the opposite. I can only really speak for the Albany scene because it’s all I know, but every band around here is totally supportive of the other bands. It’s a big community of really nice people who want to see their friends succeed. It makes me proud to be a part of something so awesome.
PB: Are there some other bands in your local scene that you guys have been digging recently?
IWAH: I’ll list off some bands, then regret not adding a bunch later. So if you’re reading this and I forgot you, I’m sorry! A few of our good friends that are worthy of listening are State Champs, With The Punches, Galleries, The Growing Pains, The Nightlife, Life Like This, Tradewinds, Heal These Wounds, and Cosmonauts.
PB: Who are some of your guys’ influences?
IWAH: We tend to lean towards older pop-punk, such as The Starting Line, Midtown, Lifetime, and New Found Glory. We also let our current interests bleed into our songs. Hence, some heavy parts that kids can mosh, too.
PB: Is Charlie Sheen really winning?
IWAH: Charlie Sheen was winning last week, but Rebecca Black took all the tiger blood this week.
PB: Do you guys have any upcoming plans to record in the near future?
IWAH: We’re looking to finish up our EP before the summer. We only have a three-song sampler up on our Facebook — for free download as well, so grab it while you can. Those three songs, along with three to four others will be added to one EP. We’re also trying to get a small split going for mid-summer with a couple of friends of ours. Don’t quote me on that yet, though.
PB: Are you guys going to be touring this summer?
IWAH: Our fanbase isn’t quite big enough to do a proper tour yet, but a possible week-long string of shows is totally possible for summer. We use a van that our guitarist, Ian, has for our use. If anyone would like us to hop on their headlining tour as an opener, we’d love to. Shoot one of us an email.
PB: What would be your ideal show to play?
IWAH: I can’t really speak for the other guys, but my ideal show would be Blink-182, New Found Glory, Saves The Day, The Get Up Kids, and us. [laughs] A kid can dream, right?
PB: You guys have been in other bands around the Albany area in the past. What made you guys all come together as I Was a Hero?
IWAH: We’ve all been in bands before this. My old band had recently broke up, and Nick, our drummer, had put an ad on Craigslist looking for members to start a pop-punk band. After e-mailing back and forth, I found out that I was friends with his old band, and that we shared a lot of the same interests. Nick’s best friend is Paul, who also played bass in the band Nick played in before IWAH, so he was a natural choice. Ian, I think, responded to the same Craigslist e-mail I did, and we all got together on the first day of 2011 to start getting songs together.
PB: What separates you guys from other up and coming bands?
PB: I’m not going to down talk other bands, or say we do certain things better. I will say, however, that I’m really proud of how far we’ve progressed as a band in such a short amount of time. We’re all really ambitious and driven. We’re all very excited for the future of the band.
PB: What’s been your favorite place to play so far?
IWAH: We just recently played Bogies in Albany with I Call Fives, Kid Liberty, Rust Belt Lights, State Champs, and The Growing Pains. It was insane. Such a great show, and every band member I came across that night was a nice, down-to-earth dude. We’re actually playing that same venue on April 7 with Hawthorne Heights, Handguns, State Champs and some other bands. We tend to get some great shows in that area.
PB: If I Was A Hero was an animal, what would it be?
IWAH: I actually asked Nick in the van today what the answer to this question was going to be. He said a Snorlax. So I guess we’d be a sleepy, fat, Pokémon.
PB: Anything else you’d like everyone to know?
IWAH: Anyone who takes the time to listen to our music and enjoy it is a friend of ours. Come hang at a show sometime, because we LOVE making new friends. Keep supporting local music, and help your friends out if they need it.