Hello Echo Screen Goodbye Interview

Making you known within a particular scene is hard. It takes time, dedication, along with determination to get you out there. New Jersey 2003 a few friends wanting to full fill their lifelong dream of becoming musicians. But what to call themselves, what would make them stand out the most. Names had been tossed around of course until one finally suited them, thus Echo Screen was born. Front man Shaune Scutellaro's (vocals, guitar), regrouped, with Mike Badders (drums) and Tim Sager (bass). Created "Euphoria," that got the band going but they wanted something more so what is left to do. Write, write, and then of course write some more. "Goodbye Old Life," is their upcoming achievement which shall determine their musically fate. Echo Screen's frontman/vocalist Shaune Scutellaro caught up with me and spoke to be about their soon to be summer release along with your basic's on how the band came to be along with everything else in between.

1. How, when, and why did you form?

Shaune: We formed in 2003, which seems like forever ago at this point. My first band had just broken up, and Tim and our first guitarist Nick had also just left their last band. We added Mike a couple months later and the rest is history I guess.

2. Who do you consider your major influences?

Shaune: Our influences have changed over the years. At first we were all really into the Drive-thru Pop punk scene, bands like Midtown, Millencolin, The Early November and Brand New. These days I've been listening to bands like The Decemberists, Death Cab For Cutie, The Format, all those bands have had a big influence on me.

3. How would you describe your sound?

Shaune: The best word I have to describe it is "comfortable". I feel like it has taken me 8 years of playing in bands to find a sound that feels comfortable.

4. What are a majority of your songs about? Is there an underlying theme?

Shaune: When I was younger I wrote a lot of these Less Than Jake type songs about how I needed to leave my hometown and get out of Dodge. But these new song are more about, "OK, I finally left my hometown, and life doesn't really feel that much better."

5. What are your immediate music career goals?

Shaune: Having Fun!

6. What are your long-term music goals?

Shaune: Having more Fun...I'm trying to keep things simple these days. A big reason we stopped playing for 2 years was because the music business stopped being fun, so making sure this is fun is all I am banking on.

7. What kinds of instruments do you guys prefer?

Shaune: In our new set-up, I have been playing acoustic guitars at shows, and my favorite acoustic guitars are Takamine. They really give you a rich sound, and you don't have to spend $2,000 to get it. I recently just purchased a G Series 12 string acoustic that I'm really excited to play at shows.

8. Explain your ideas of an ideal show?

Shaune: Any show I am asked to play is an ideal show...I think that's the greatest part about touring or playing shows, you never really know how a show is going to be until Doors open and either people show up, or they don't. I have walked in to some clubs thinking that a show would be terrible and we wind up selling record amounts of merch...it happens all the time.

9. Out of all the shows you have played, is there one that stands out as a favorite? Is so, please explain.

Shaune: There are actually two shows. The first was one we played with The Rocket Summer and Daphne Loves Derby in Fort Worth. It was The Rocket Summer's latest CD release show, and there were so many people there, that guy really knows how to entertain. The second one was a show we played at Tim's brother's fraternity the second year we started playing. Everyone was drunk and loving us, people were all having a great time, and we played a bunch of covers; but that was really what it was all about. Just go out, having a really good time playing music.

10. Who are some of your favorite bands to share the stage with? Can you name some of the bigger bands that you've played with if any?

Shaune: I know they have hit some hard luck lately, but the Mile After was our favorite band to tour with, and they really taught me a lot about preparing your voice to play onstage, and how to make sure your voice sounds good every night. The Rocket Summer was also great to tour with. Those dudes were livin life good in a tour bus, and we were still in our van and trailer and they all treated us like brothers on that tour. Not to mention they were incredible every night.

11. Briefly describe your music making process.

Shaune: I write the songs on an acoustic guitar kind of flesh them out and then bring them to the guys. Sometimes I have a lot of certain things in mind, and sometimes I try to stay a blank slate and let Tim and Mike help me evolve the song after we start working on it. That's pretty much always the way we work.

12. What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Were you able to overcome it?

Shaune: Our biggest challenge has definitely been growing up and being able to keep it together. As all of us have grown up, we have grown apart a little musically, and found other interests that we really like. I got married and moved to Boston and then California! But as soon as I came back we all started it up again, so I would say we overcame those things.

13. What advice do you have for fans who want to start their own bands?

Shaune: My advice would be to work hard, and not expect any help from anyone to get you where you want to go. We always had this sort of dillusion of grandjure that if we worked hard enough, eventually someone would find us and basically make everything easy for us, like a label or a manager or a booking agent or whatever. But the bottom line is that even if you have those people to help your band, you are still doing MOST of the work it takes to be successful.

14. Why should people know about you? What sets you apart?

Shaune: People should know that we are more proud about what we're doing now than anything we have ever done before. We still love what we do and it shows in our music. What sets us apart is up to fans and critics and magazines. I love the music we make and I think it's interesting and cool, hopefully some other people out there do, too.

15. What’s next for you guys? Have any upcoming tours, releases, anything of that nature?

Shaune: We're releasing our new EP Goodbye Old Life on Tuesday August 4th and we're playing a real big hometown release show in Brick, NJ. It's always great to get family and friends together and play for them so this should be a great time.

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