Tyler Magazzu

Familiar Things – Interview

Saturday 14th July 2018

Formed in 2017, Familiar Things is a five-piece pop punk/alternative band from Philadelphia. The band delivers a sound that reflects their surroundings; one shaped in many ways by the Philadelphia punk revolution of recent times. Thoughtful, honest and emotive; a raw accessibility balanced out by a melodic finish and more non-traditional pop-punk instrumentation and arrangements, including piano, acoustic guitar, and three-part vocal harmonies. Subsequently, the band sees themselves drawing on more mainstream alternative influences and credit the early-mid 00’s purveyors of the genre with much credit. The likes of The Starting Line, Yellowcard, and Mayday Parade all shining through on debut release “Fade Into The Scenery”.

What’s your background, and have you all been in bands previously?

Each of us has had our own experiences with other bands. Myself, Bebo, and our guitarist, Jon, were in a band four years ago called Straight Down Maple. The music itself had potential, but we never got the chance to do anything with it. Our producer and lead guitarist, Ty Magazzu, was in a band called Ghosts And Androids that also found some success. Probably the most previously successful member of the band is Kevin, who was part of the Philly based Anomaly. Also, I am a music teacher and learned most of what I know about song writing from my piano and music theory courses in college.

Your EP “Fade Into The Scenery” has been out for a few months now. How are you finding the response to your music so far?

We feel incredibly grateful at the level of response we’ve gotten on the EP. We have heard back from people from all different parts of the world with kind words about our debut EP, and as a band of our modest caliber, it has been extremely humbling and appreciated.

How did you work together to create the final EP? You’ve been a band for around a year and have a great release under your belts. I’m guessing there’s a strong bond and work ethic between you all to be achieving that already?

The thing that I’ve grown most fond of is our commitment to perfection, and of course, the laughs. When we are in our rehearsal space we are either stringently perfecting our sound, or laughing our asses off. It makes rehearsal time both effective and enjoyable. I’m finding this same thing to be true as we sit in the studio recording our newest single, Lately, these guys plain and simple know how to have fun.

What’s the story behind the EP, and what influenced the tracks?

Fade Into the Scenery is a work of collaboration and discovery. We were new together, and thus had to find our place as songwriters working together. Four of us brought the individual structures of all five songs and we worked together to make these songs embody all of our influences and styles. In regard to lyrics of each track, they are either experiences we have had or stories that we wrote for people to relate to and connect with on us a personal level. Music is, after all, about discovery.

Are you looking to shoot any music videos for the release?

We have been workshopping music video ideas for our upcoming single, Lately, but the more we consider the resources and time it would take we’re feeling less and less hopeful. With proper planning and a little luck we hope to put something tasteful out come mid-fall, but the song selection is still TBD.

What’s the local music scene like in Philadelphia for up and coming artists, how easy is it to get gigs, and is there a large pop-punk following?

We feel we are extremely fortunate to live in a city that is so open to local DIY music in Philadelphia. The availability for shows is remarkable, and the turnout in the pop punk community is inspiring. We really couldn’t thank the Philly pop-punk scene more for its continued and growing support.

Do you remember the first gig you performed at live, and how do you feel your live shows have evolved since then?

The first show that we played was a Tuesday night at William Street Common. It was 10:30 and two of us were sick. It was without a doubt the worst it could be. The silver lining around that show, though, was that they have only gotten better. We’ve had the pleasure of playing at staple local venues like The Barbary, The Voltage Lounge, and Kung Fu Necktie. As a performing band I’d say we’d pride ourself on our tightness and sheer personality.

Are there any bands in particular that you aspire to open up a stage for?

Between the five of us, it seems like the band that we look up to the most is Mayday Parade. We all really admire their songwriting style and energy, and it would be a dream come true to be able to share a stage with them.

Being in the early stages of your music career, how are you finding the process so far and have you been given any lasting advice?

This is all just so cool. Of course the shows, and making friends, and free drink tickets are all amazing, but I’m finding excitement in other aspects of our music as well. For example, we have been putting a lot of thought into branding, and how our look relates to our sound. There is an immeasurable amount of things that contribute to a bands success, and concisely following those avenues is pretty exhilarating.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Over the next few months, we have a few more local shows lined up between Philly and New Jersey. After that, we are looking to go on our weekend tour sometime this fall to some of the surrounding states in the Northeast, with some other local shows thrown in. We are also in the process of recording a new single that we are shooting to debut sometime around late July or early August, with a new EP hopefully on the way later this fall or winter.

Connect with Familiar Things via their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.