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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Interview of This Century


This Century, a band from the Phoenix area

To many, the life of a musician is intriguing. What is it like to be in a band, to become successful, and why do some choose that lifestyle in the first place as difficult and unpredictable it can be? Recently, I had the chance to talk with guitar player and vocalist Joel Kanitz and bass player Alex Silverman of a fresh and exciting new band from the Phoenix area called This Century. Along with members Sean Silverman on guitar and Ryan Gose on drums the band is touring with Maine and performed at Showcase Live at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. Although relatively young, they are smart and focused, not to mention extremely talented, having all the makings of a great band.

Because I always loved the local Boston scene, I never really ventured out to other locations like the Phoenix area and was curious about what it was like…

MM – What’s the local music scene like in Phoenix

Alex – We actually haven’t been home for a few months, I mean when we were kind of involved in the local scene, there is like a group for each style of music.

Joel – It kind of goes in phases, for a while it was like a heavier music phase now it seems to be going through the pop phase, which I’m sure will eventually fade . . . We kind of grew up, started as a baby band with the Maine and everybody kind of supports each other I don’t feel like there is any kind of competition.

MM – Was there any genre that superseded another like pop or punk?

Joel – The pop genre seems to be the one that never dies and we’re not talking like Metro Station. I’m talking like Coldplay, that genre seems to stay strong. It’s kind of steadfast.

MM – What kind of music would you like to head towards? Pop?

Joel – We definitely see ourselves heading in that direction.

MM – Please tell me how did you guys got involved in music.

Alex – For me personally, I started with my whole family who are a bunch of musicians. My dad was in a band in the seventies and eighties doing rock and my mom’s always played piano and my cousin’s an extremely talented classical pianist. My brother is in the band. He plays bass guitar. In my freshman year of high school I had really amazing music teachers. They were musicians themselves . . . It was a weird school. It was a performing arts school . . . It really really inspired me, especially my jazz teacher.

MM – Do your parents influence your musical style?

Joel – My mom has always been a piano teacher, so that kind of got me started, and the performing arts school was the last push that really got me involved. (Both Alex and Joel’s mother played and taught classical piano.)

MM – Do you guys think you would be this far along if you didn’t have Myspace? In other words, without social media outlets where do you think your band would be?

Alex – It’s so different. Social media has such ups and downs. Obviously reaching fans in other locations. That’s definitely a plus.

Joel – Having MySpace that kids in Japan can go and listen to your music, or kids in France . . . we have fans–a French Street Team, and we’ve never been there before.

Alex – We went to Canada and we played for almost a thousand people and the kids knew the lyrics.

Joel – And we never toured Canada before. But obviously there are downs, like I guess it probably hurts record sales. Not as many people buy physical records, which I’m kind of bummed out about, cuz when I was growing up that’s what I did the day the record came out. I’d go to the store and buy the physical copy and enjoy the artwork. That’s probably one thing that bums me out. I mean there are pros and cons of everything.

Alex – I mean, we as a band work really hard and I think regardless of social media we still at least would give it our best to get to this point.

MM – What message are you trying to get across to your fans?

Joel – Well, we have a record that will be coming out. I think it has an underdog vibe through-out the record and we kind of decided on that.When you’re actually doing it, and putting in the hard work and the hours we kind of felt for awhile, we were kind of the underdog and it was taking us awhile to break. So it’s kind of an anthem kind of for anyone who feels like an under dog just kind keep trucking.

MM – What is the toughest part of touring?

Joel – Never settling down. I guess, you know we kind of live lives one place one night and the next night we’re in another place and just keep moving. Guess its not really getting comfortable, but we’ve kind of figured it out and accept it, and realize that there are definite benefits to being in a band. But one the prices that you pay is not being able to settle down. You just miss home.

MM – What is the This Century sound?

Joel – I think our sound now, I’d say pop

Alex – Alternative pop with . . .

Joel – Punky type of quirkiness. I guess we’ll see as we continue.

MM – I guess the main thing is that a band needs to evolve but retain their own sound. Fans want to see that originality.

Joel – I guess having the ultimate sound is getting to where people are going oh that sounds like The Century.

This Century truly has their own original contagious pop sound. They are awesome live and will be performing with Hey Monday at Showcase Live on November 2.

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