“We will play your basement… and bring beer” — Interview with Latecomer

Latecomer is a four piece punk rock band from Pittsburgh. While some bands have a hard time finding one vocalist, all four members of Latecomer sing. If you make one of their shows they’ll likely tell you they didn’t practice, and probably won’t have their merch out on the table.

The members:

  • Rich–guitar and vocals
  • Pete–vocals and guitar
  • Zach–drums and vocals
  • Mike–bass and vocals

Q) You’ve been posting about self-producing your third album. How has that process been going?

A) Overall it’s been a really good process. We have tracked rhythm and drums so far and are about half way done. Self producing is letting us have a lot more control over the process. There is no money on the line, so it is a lot less stessful and there’s no real time crunch. We are going to redo the bass tracking, and we definitely couldn’t afford to do that if we weren’t self producing.

Q) What would you suggest to anyone else looking to self produce?

A) It takes a lot of patience. You can find most of the information you need online, so you’ll need internet access and the equipment as well. People who went to school for this stuff are just giving it away for free–so you’re reaping the benefits “for the love of music.”

Q) When are you anticipating the record’s release?

A)  Probably the end of summer or early fall, we don’t have a hard date. We all have jobs with opposite schedules (working 9-5 or evenings at bars).

Q) Do you anticipate doing a release show and touring with this new album?

A) We will hopefully be putting it (the record) out with a record label. Other than that, probably some regional touring on weekends or four day weekends in different areas. Not sure right now about doing a longer tour because of coordinating work schedules.

Q) What shows do you have coming up?

A) Right now we just have the show coming up on June 11 at Club Cafe opening for Mephiskapheles, a satanic ska band. We’re pretty excited about it because we’ve never actually played there as a band together and haven’t attended any shows there.

Q) Speaking of venues, what are some of your favorite local venues?

A) The best was 31st St. Pub (RIP). Otherwise we like The Smiling Moose, especially for sound. Obviously we also like Howlers. We like Gooski’s and Cattivo, too.

To be honest though, we really like basement and house shows. But you’ve got to know who to get in with for those. Tell everyone: “We will play your basement and bring beer.”

Thinking about it, our last basement show we played was at IUP. The cops showed up. It cleared out quickly. We weren’t even sure what was happening until someone came back down and was like “can you just stop?”

Honestly, we really want to play a basement show with Mace Ballard. We should make that happen…

Q) What is some advice you wish you had starting out?

A) Quit. Uh–no. Don’t do Irish Car Bombs when you’re playing last at Brillobox. Get Zach recording gear! (But seriously) Get your own stuff and self produce.

Start a band because it’s fun and not because you expect anything huge.

Also, don’t cover Green Day if you sound like Green Day… because then people will keep asking you to play their stuff.

Q) What local businesses or artists do you think should be on people’s radar?

A) Gene’s Place which is the greatest bar. Brian Gonnella, who is doing our album art and has designed shirts for us before. He’s awesome. Ink Division and Commonwealth Press always do a great job. Also, Between the Days Records!

Q) Do you have anything else in the works?

A) “Do you want to mention Root Sports?” “Uh, we might be doing Friday night rocks?” “Really we wrote a song to spite them, or in spite of them.”

Q) So let’s talk creative process, I heard you’re testing out some different sounds and such with this new record, but in general, what’s Latecomer’s process?

A) Weird. A lot of drugs and alcohol. Not the bad drugs though, we have prescriptions. I don’t know, we sit and play fucking music. Pete, Mike, and Rich just jam it out. Our songs really write themselves while we’re at practice. Pete’s ADD, adderall, and other drugs help, too.

The songs just happen unless you think about it. So yeah, music and ADD.

We have different approaches, and so it’s a collective of what we’ve listened to in one.

Q) What are your favorite pizza places in Pittsburgh?

A) Cenci’s out in Wexford, the owner listens to Rancid. Also Vinnie’s because it’s basically a heart attack and that causes for some inspired singing. Fiori’s and Spak Brothers are also really good choices.

Q) How can people acquire your music?

A) both of our records are on Spotify, iTunes, Google, etc. You can also find us on Bandcamp! We don’t have a MySpace. Also, on SoundCloud, that’s not us. We were Latecomer first, shout out to that band in Italy for trying though.

Q) So all four of you are vocalists for the band, what effect to you think that has for your music? 

A) Especially on this record we all are singing. Pete is lead, but having three other people who can sing and harmonize, really just SING, it helps with the cheesy gang vocals. It’s also pretty cool to be able to tell our parents we sing in a band.

We definitely hear “you guys yell real good” a lot.

Q) You’ve been playing together for a while, do you have any favorite tour stories? 

A) “There’s one with PJ and Brandon, I don’t want to tell that one, but they’ll know.”

Um, one time we went out for a show with Clique from Philly who play 90s Emo. So we were in South Philly with some Celo and dice and drinking then the next day went to Fat Wreck Festival and we got to see NOFX, Swingin’ Utters, etc. and it was awesome.

Q) What equipment (other than instruments in general and yourselves) would you define as your most important equipment?

A) Rich– I have a cheap, $35 overdrive pedal that’s my secret weapon.

Also a guitar strap of your own. Drugs and alcohol, definitely.

Pete’s parents for sure. That’s where we’re doing all of our recording and it’s where we practice. (Pete also gave a shout out to his mom for “not wringing (his) neck.”) Props to their noise cancelling headphones.

Mike–“Yeah I don’t know, I never thought at 35 I’d be having sleepovers at my friend’s parents’ house.”

They also pointed out that they “forget the merch a lot, but no one buys it. Or we don’t put it out.”

Q) What are your thoughts on online downloading?

A) Take it. We did it. We don’t know that anyone HAS downloaded our music online, we’re just happy if people listen to it. It isn’t like we put it out there for the $0.02 check Spotify sent Rich. Just don’t steal the physical.

Pete– “If 1,000 people download (our music) illegally, I’d be stoked.”

Q) Everyone has them, what are some of your pet peeves?

A) (they did it for being a band)

  • Bands that make a big deal out of sharing gear, especially when they’re locals.
  • Also bands that take themselves too seriously.
  • Mics that don’t work at venues.
  • Rich– People who yell shit about the Flyers while we’re on stage.
  • We’re too laid back for that shit (being full of ourselves).
  • When another band doesn’t like us or want to hang out–we (the Pittsburgh scene) can’t afford these cliques and not being friendly.
  • Rich– Shows I can’t drink at.
  • During big-name shows, when people don’t come to support the opener/local bands–that’s probably a huge deal for them and to play for a fraction of the headliner’s crowd can be a bummer.

Q) Speaking of the local scene, what bands do you think should be on people’s radar?

A) Oh, we have a lot. Narcos, who are The Rolling Stones of Philly. Clique who are 90s Emo out of Philly. Thunder Vest, who have been playing with us since the beginning, and The Cheats–neither of which need an introduction. Also:

Outside of local in general, Descendents and NOFX. PEARS and Taking Back Sunday. Also, all of Rally Records except for us and Rally–“we sold 12, fuck you.”

Some closing notes from the band: Support local punk bands. It’s how the scene grows. Go to more shows–even at the expense of coming to ours.

3 thoughts on ““We will play your basement… and bring beer” — Interview with Latecomer

  1. Pingback: Shows I’m Looking Forward to in June | Punksburgh

  2. Pingback: The Scratch n’ Sniffs/Jagger Holly/Teenage Bubblegums/Latecomer–06.01.17 Show Review | Punksburgh

  3. Pingback: INCO FIdO: In Depth @ Club Cafe 6/11/17 with Latecomer & Mephiskapheles | Punksburgh

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