This New York Band Is The Heir To The Strokes [Exclusive]
Around this time fifteen years ago, there was a quartet of young men in New York who set out to rewrite the rules of rock music in the simplest way possible: by foraging through the classic sounds of their predecessors and taking it into the future. This band was called The Strokes, and despite their continuing influence, their successors have arrived in the form of Public Access TV.
This band, also four rockers from NYC, have quickly established themselves as the next generation of the long lineage of rock and roll. Their debut single, ‘Monaco,’ was met with near universal acclaim from music publications. They have gone on to open on tour for rock legends like Gang of Four, Weezer, and yes, even the aforementioned Strokes. I hung out with the band in the midst of their current tour, one that will feature a slew of new tracks, and we talked tour stories, dropping out of high school, and playing their killer show in Milk’s Jam Room.
It’s been a while since you graced the basement of Milk studios with an awesome performance along side London’s Turbogeist. What’s new in your world?
That was a super fun show. Since then we’ve pretty much just been touring and recording. We all really hate it when we aren’t busy. We lived in England over the summer and ended up recording a ton of new music and playing a bunch of fun shows. We played a show in Hyde Park for The Strokes Festival, which was really awesome. We released an EP on Terrible Records that we’re really stoked on. We’d like to play at Milk again, it’s such a cool space.
You guys all started playing in bands as teenagers. What were those teenage years like?
We learned a lot in our teenage years. Max and I had bands together in high school. We were always playing house parties in really weird places with a lot of weird older people who partied a lot harder than we did. We once accidentally got on a bridge to Canada while trying to find our hotel in Chicago and ended up getting strip searched.
We heard you guys all lived in the building on 7th street that collapsed after an explosion. That must’ve been insane!
It was so shocking and awful. We were in LA at the end of a tour when we found out. That place has so many memories for all of us and we made so much music there. It was just crazy.
You’re on tour right now. How’s it going?
It’s going great. It’s one of the more fun tours we’ve been on, and we really like the band we are on tour with, Hinds.
Where are you? What’s it like?
We are driving through Iowa. It’s very flat. Not necessarily the most scenic part of America, but I’ve come to enjoy pretty much any long open drive. We’re headed to Chicago for tonight.
What’s your favorite city/venue to play a show?
It’s always different. I used to look forward to any of the major city shows the most. We played in Denver last night and it was the best crowd we’ve had all tour. It’s always different and really depends on the crowd.
On your musical journey so far, what are some of the most important things you’ve learned?
I think just learning how to deal with one another, seeing as how we’re locked in a van together 90% of the time. We are all really close friends and have brotherly relationships which can entail brotherly fighting. I dunno — just learning how to squash the beef.
If your band could be represented by a movie, which one would it be?
Platoon, for sure.
John, you dropped out of high school to follow a career in music. Have there been any regrets?
Yeah, the last time I set foot in school was the first week of my junior year of high school. It was pretty fun to know that I was leaving the one week I went. Like throwing homework in the trash right after receiving it (laughs). I wasn’t learning anything in school and knew I would learn so much more through traveling and doing what I want to be doing. I’ve never regretted it.
Tell us a bit about your new single ‘Patti Peru.’
‘Patti Peru’ is the first thing we’ve put out that’s basically what the live show is, playing it all together in a room with no special studio tricks. It’s about being really down and out and trying to stay optimistic. It’s one of our favorites to play.
Be sure to check out Public Access TV’s Soundcloud here.