Band Interview: The Longest Monday

 thelongestmonday1The Longest Monday is a five piece pop punk band based out of Southern New York and Northern New Jersey. They thrive off playing pop punk music reminisant of New Found Glory, Four Year Strong and With the Punches. They write pop punk music and have fun doing it. Their band is all about having fun, whether it be moshing, crowd surfing, or pile-ons; they want their live shows to be filled with energy and good times. They’ve played with a ton of awesome bands in the three years of their existence including Hit the LightsSuch GoldWith the Punches, and Mixtapes. Even though all of the members are busy with college, they try to play as many shows as possible and keep themselves busy. There are very little times they say no to a show offer. They are completely DIY and wouldn’t trade that for the world. They’ve recently put out their third EP “Cease and Desist” and have been pushing the new EP hard. Feel free to download our album off bandcamp (http://thelongestmondayny.bandcamp.com/) and use it!

Members:

Louis Pratt: Vocals

Elio Vezza: Guitar/Vocals

Peter Vriones: Drums

Dan Donnelly: Guitar

Alex Butflowski: Bass

Every band has to start somewhere. When was the first time you all met each other? Was it an instant musical connection?  Elio: Well Louis, our old drummer and I started playing music back in the winter of 2010. I played guitar Louis played bass and Chris played drums, we kind of got together naturally and started jamming. We spent a few months playing covers for fun until we eventually started writing our own songs and got the itch to play some shows. It’s been a long time since then and through our growth as a band we lost Chris but gained Peter, Alex and Dan. We’ve known Dan since elementary school so connecting with him was pretty easy. Peter we met through playing shows and he was actually a fan of ours before he joined the band which was awesome. We were sitting in his basement one day for his birthday I think and he just started ripping out all of our songs on the drums which was great. Alex is the newest edition to the band where he approached us asking to play bass. He’s added a whole new layer to our band which has been great for writing.

 

How long have you guys been a band? How many shows do you think you’ve played together since being in a band?Elio: We’ve been a band for almost four years at this point which is insane. We started playing together in the winter of 2010 but our first official show was July 1st 2010. So it’s been almost four years since our first show which is crazy to wrap my head around. As for number of shows played? I’m notoriously bad at estimating so I’ll leave that to Louis.

 

Do any of you guys play instruments other than those played in the band? Would you consider bringing that talent into the band in the future? Elio: Louis plays guitar and so does Alex. Louis plays a lot of solo material as well which is great to listen to, so everyone should ask him for the files of the EP he never put out. Alex plays guitar as well and I think everyone but Peter also dabbles with the bass. Louis and I have both played bass for the NJ band Survay Says! So you may have actually seen us with them every once in a while. Peter has a solo side project called “The Needle’s Edge” which is fantastic as well. Alex: I actually wrote our song “Striving for Sixth” originally on guitar, which is why the intro sounds the way it does. Louis wrote Goldmine on guitar and showed us all how to play it. I’d say our experience with other instruments and what not definitely get brought into the songs in someway.

 

Favorite songs? Do you cover any of your favorite songs live, or play any covers period? Elio: We’ve covered a few songs in our time as a band. We used to play a New Found Glory B-side off of “Catalyst” called “Radio Adelaide”. That one maybe my favorite cover we’ve done because it’s how I met my girlfriend of 3 years. She was at our first show and we got her attention with the cover. I also loved covering Lifetime’s “Airport Monday Mornings”. Alex: Louis is going to say this but one of our collective favorite bands is With the Punches so we decided to cover “Burned At Both Ends”, off of their album “Keep It Going”. It’s such a fun song to listen to and to be able to cover it, forget it. I remember just before our release show we finally got all of the parts down perfectly and I split my knuckle open on my bass from having so much fun with it. Louis:: After the break-up of With The Punches (one of our/Louis’ most favorite bands to date) we decided to incorporate a cover of their song “Burned at Both Ends.” Performing the song is an overwhelmingly emotional and fun experience for us, and for some of our closest friends and fans who know how cherished WTP will always be in our lives.

 

thelongestmonday2Planning any upcoming tours or shows? Who are you playing with? Elio: We’re all full time students so playing shows during the school year isn’t always the easiest things to do. Right now I’m in the middle of booking us a show up here in Oneonta NY. (3/5ths of us go to school at SUNY Oneonta) for the beginning of May. Nothing is solidified yet but I’m hoping it’s with our friends in “Bray”, “Klozapin”, and “As We Age”

 

I see that you’ve played with Hit the Lights, Such Gold, With the Punches, and Mixtapes, that’s kickass! Tell us about that experience; were they cool to play with? ElioDefinitely, we got to play with some really great bands, especially when we first started out. The Such Gold show was definitely an experience. It was a basement show where we had to go on like 25 minutes before doors. I also broke two sets of strings on two guitars and broke a friend of mine’s guitar strap all in that one set. It was one of the worst sets I think we’ve ever played but it was a blast to do. Alex: I wish I was in the band when we played with 3 out of 4 of those bands. I think some bands that haven’t been mentioned that we played with were Modern Baseball and Far From Proper. Since I’ve been in we played with Mixtapes, Modern Baseball, and Far From Proper and that was surreal for me. I love every one of those bands and when Elio told me we were playing with Modern Baseball I kind of screamed a bit…. just a bit. And I think Ryan Rockwell got into our set, Peter and I almost punched Maura (whoops).

 

We featured your song, Goldmine on the Episode 39 of our podcast series; tell us what that song’s about? Elio: The song was Louis’ baby so he would probably have a better explanation of it. To me, the song has always been a celebration of the good things in life. It always spoke to me as a way to focus on all the good things that life can offer even when you’re surrounded by gloomy people and constant bad news. Louis: My baby is right! The song is an empowering and uplifting song focused on committing to progress and ambition; to cut out what is holding you back and push harder than ever to achieve your goals, whatever they may be.

 

As for your hometown, do you guys have a favorite place to play at home? How about on the road? Whither it’s a small venue or a practice space or even a garage or basement? Elio: We usually run a ton of our own shows out of our drummer Peter’s house in Butler NJ. Those are always a blast. My favorite venue to play otherwise definitely had to be “The Canvas Clash” or “The Meatlocker” we’ve gotten lucky and have had some pretty great shows at both those venues. Alex:“Miffy’s Mosh Depot” is by far my favorite venue we’ve played at. “The Meatlocker” is an experience in its own, we brought in Thanksgiving there and there was some drunk, passed out crust punks there. Truly a gem. Louis: Our respective houses, since we can control the atmosphere and the quality of bands that play, to ensure that the true local scene experience can be created at a high level through hard work and dedication, even without necessarily having a ton of funding. Also, The Paramus VFW for tons of great early memories and “The Canvas Clash” for helping us bring down the house whenever we stopped by.

Any Crazy fans or crazy experiences you’ve had through playing shows or touring? Elio: Nothing too crazy. My parents definitely have let way too many strangers sleep in our basement under my request. I always give bands a place to crash if we play with them in NY and we’ve been very lucky about all of them being incredibly nice. Alex: Craziest experience was probably at “The Meatlocker” for me since it was my first time there. Louis: Anytime fans (or even friends) sing the words at us with all they have, or even fans that don’t know us that give us a chance really enjoy our experience. Those are the moments that stick with us as a band.

 

thelongestmonday3What is your favorite part of being a band? What have you learned from your experiences? Elio: Getting to travel is always fun. It’s always really awesome to drive far away from home and feel like you never left because of the warmth that is provided by the punk scene. We’ve always been really lucky to have people that cared about us and enjoyed us enough to show us great amounts of kindness. Playing in a band is a constant reminder about how many good people there are out there. Alex: Favorite part: Being in a band with some of the greatest people anyone could ask for and getting to do what I love which I hadn’t done for like 3 years. I think Elio nailed it with the warmth of the punk/pop-punk “scene”. What I’ve learned since being in TLM is that there is so much more to being in a band than just playing songs. There’s individual feelings, and realizing everyone has their shitty days. I had a pretty bad summer, which I showed way too much but hey things have been getting better and now I just enjoy every show we play. I think being in this band has made me appreciate small local bands more and definitely has made me appreciate promoters and show-goers that really make each performance unique. I wrote a really long status on our page about how much this band has helped me get through just pure shit in my personal life. So again, I think I just am learning to keep my head up and that definitely wouldn’t have been something I’d be outright in saying if it weren’t for being in TLM. Louis: The connections that are made in the process. Throughout the past five years of being involved in local music and being in the band, we have created strong family-like ties with genuinely caring and hard-working people from across the country, and the times we spend with them are what make all the struggles worthwhile.

 

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