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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Everybody Else Interview

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Clearly a chic band

Advice for the day-pay attention to the opening band. In 2008 at a Hanson show, one of the opening acts called Everybody Else blew me away with their song “Meat Market” and I have been a fan ever since. Until recently, band members Carrick Moore Gerety, lead guitar and vocals, Mikey McCormack, drums, and Austin James Williams III, bass and vocals, have been working on a new album. They hope to back it up with a tour that will include Boston, a city where Carrick was in a band called the Push Kings while attending Harvard. I had an opportunity to ask him about his roots in the local music scene and why he chose to move to LA fro musical fame and fortune. MM-A while ago, I saw you at Showcase Live in Foxboro, MA with Hanson and I thought you were amazing. By researching Everybody Else, I found that Carrick was with a local band from Boston called the Push Kings. Carrick, can you tell me about your days in the local Boston music scene, that of course you know is rich in history? What was the musical atmosphere in Boston like during your Push King Days? Carrick-My older brother, Finn was just staring Harvard and I was still in high school in Hartford, Ct. One of his roommates was in a Russian literature class studying Pushkin while Finn was trying to think of band names. We had already spent some time writing and recording lo-fi demos on a four track recorder in our parents’ basement and so we simultaneously started twin bands, called the Push Kings, one in Hartford, and one in Cambridge, trading songs and both palying our own versions of some of them. The Hartford version of the band was short-lived however, because I started going up to Cambridge to play shows with the Cambridgebased band. When I got into Harvard, I moved up there soon after graduation. The entire band was Harvard kids, and most of our lives revolved around school even though we never played shows on campus. We mostly played shows at two local Cambridge venues: T.T. the Bears ands the Middle East. We knew almost nothing of the Boston local music scene outside of those clubs. Some of the older bands we liked and would play shows with were Helium, Papas, Fritas, Holiday, Luna, Fuzzy, the Dambbuilders. The guitar player from the Dambuilders saw couple of our shows and offered to produce a record for us and release it on a label he had just formed called Sealed Fate. It was a small but supportive community of musicians And since we were very retro and clean-cut, we were definitely the odd-members out among the fuzzy, grungier-sounding bands of the time. Rivers Cuomo who we were friendly with, came to a lot of our shows and told us there was really nothing like our band in LA. Some people hated on us as sounding effete, privileged (since were all Ivy-Leaguers), whimpy, but overall the music scene was very close-knit and small town-like. MM-Why did you decide to leave the Push Kings and pursue a new band? Carrick- The Cambridge music scene felt a lot smaller than the L.A. music scene. When I first got to LA, I was conscious of how many more people seemed to be playing, singing, and writing on a very high level. It felt more intimidating but also pricked up the competitive spirit in me. The thing about the east coast generally is it is more densely populated, and is “bigger” in spite of the individual cities feeling like small, insular scenes of their own. MM-I have read that two of you, Mickey and Carrick both moved to the West Coast and then met with Austin. Please tell me about the collaboration both musically and personally. I had written most of the songs for the first record before I had a band. When Mikey joined, we worked on a few newer songs together. Most of the time, I would write a song and then he would help me edit it, simplify it. Austin joined the band just after we finished the first record. The new record writing process has been more collaborative, with each of us bringing a song or skeleton of a song to the band, and then the rest of us “messing” with it a little bit until it feels right. Being in a band can be tough, but it has really helped that we are all such close friends, and at the end of the day have the pretty much same goals in mind, musically. MM-Some descriptions of Everybody Else, It seems eclectic with combinations of pop, new wave and retro sixties: Beach boys and Kinks but how would you explain the music? Carrick-Our music is definitely eclectic, which comes from our eclectic tastes. The landscape of modern music is so diverse that I think the best bands nowadays reflect that. I’m still trying to unify our sound more without dropping any of the types of music we love, but it’s always a struggle. The main thing for us is trying to write classic songs that transcend time and genre. Even though we are clearly a rock band, we hope that our songs could just as easily be performed as country or reggae songs. We try to present them in a way that moves people emotionally and makes them want to actually move. MM-Can you give me your ideas on social media and its positive and negative effects it has on the band? Carrick- When it comes to the amount of money in the music business (or any business that deals in intellectual property), social media and the internet generally have been a very destructive force. If we were a band in the seventies, we would be loaded, even given the small number of records we have sold, and would undoubtedly have sold more records. So the lack of funding to support what we do has made things very difficult. By almost any other measure, though, the internet has been a boon to musicians. The internet has made communication between individuals and huge groups of people a million times easier than it has ever been. Since music, in my opinion, is just a tool for communicating emotions and ideas, the internet has therefore had a profound and positive effect on music. I haven’t done a study, but I would guess that kids today are exposed to hundreds of times as many artists as kids were even ten years ago. Obviously, that has made it harder for anyone to stand out, but I think the pros outweigh the cons. The fact that we raised $15,000 in a month and a half through Kickstarter–more money than we ever got from our record label–shows you that there are still new, viable models for bands to keep doing what they do. We don’t have a release date yet, but hope to be done with the album by Thanksgiving. We will of course tour as much as we can when it’s finished, and hopefully come to Boston in 2011! MM-And Finally (for this interview anyway), U.Mass has over 14,000 students many of whom I’m sure are in or know people in bands. Any advice for them? Carrick- My advice to bands just starting out is never to wait for the industry to pay attention to you, give you money, etc. Just make good music and good recordings, and put them out there however you can. These are all things that nowadays, almost anyone can do on his or her own.

About the Contributor
Bonnie Godas served as the arts editor for The Mass Media the following years: Spring 2009; 2009-2010