Featured Artist: The Chris Paterno Band
M365: So your band was formed very recently in only 2015 and already you guys have gained quite a large following. Tell me, what was the inspiration behind forming the group? I also understand this started out as a solo project.
Chris Paterno: Initially, the group was formed out of necessity. I was asked to play a big show that required a band so in May 2015 I threw together a group of friends and random people and we started jamming. The show was a success and we had a blast, so we decided to keep playing together. Many of those original members left the project, but two of those guys, Mike Clark (trumpet) and Doug Parsons (drums), have, for some unknown reason, stuck with us. Music is so much better shared with others, so I am thankful my solo project has turned into a big band project.
M365: How is the overall vibe between you and the other band members? After watching some live performances, it seems like all of you have a great time together!
Chris Paterno: Our band is an eclectic mix of characters with different backgrounds, both musically and personally, so we have a ton of fun on stage, cracking jokes on and off the microphone. We just spent 10 days in an RV living together and it was an experience, that’s for sure. We spent most of the time rap battling, very poorly rap battling, which should give you some insight into our dynamic.
On stage, its hard not to smile because we are doing what we love. The guys are so talented that the ideas and music that flows out from them blows me away. When someone lays down a nice solo or a sweet lick, we all look at each other and laugh – the music just takes over.
M365: Speaking of vibing with band members, I have to say your band is very reminiscent of some older funk/soul bands from the 70s, even dating back to the 60s and 50s- very different from what a lot of bands sound like today. What’s the creative process like when you’re creating new content?
Chris Paterno: Love the comparison – thank you! My mom would be proud – she raised me on Motown and soul, which is something I try to bring into my tunes through my vocals and the horn section. Typically, I write the progression, melody and lyrics alone and then bring it to the guys. We’ll jam on it until it starts to feel cohesive and then we get to work, refining our parts and the song until all 8 of us have a place in the tune. Our next project has some more collaborative writing on it where some of the guys join in on my writing sessions. I’m super pumped about how those are turning out!
M365: I understand you recently released a brand new track on Friday, August 18th. Will this end up being part of a future EP or album? If so, can you tell us anything about the upcoming EP/album or the track itself?
Chris Paterno: Yes we are! The tune is called Gorgeous and its a feel-good tune, inspired by my love of music and a Tinder date I went on (lol). I was walking this girl home and there was a bed of roses in full bloom in January and I was like, “Wow that’s cool, seems like a good line for a song!” The image stuck with me, the girl did not.
This tune is part of 5 tracks we cut live, in-studio at MilkBoy Studios in Philadelphia with engineer Justin Miller. All the tracks were mastered by 9x Grammy Winner, Joe Nicolo, and come complete with full live-performance videos. Gorgeous is our first single off this EP and we are excited to see the response.
M365: Lastly, what is the message you are hoping to convey to your audience with your music?
Chris Paterno: My music reminds me to love myself for who I am and to be happy. I know that sounds cheesy, but whenever I pick up my guitar I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be. I feel good. So I hope our music makes people feel good and happy and like they’ve got someone to lean on when they’re having a bad day.
We donate 10% of our streaming revenue to charity (projecthome.org) so we hope that reminds people about all the great organizations in their home towns that support their local communities. Support from our fans is such a gift so its our responsibility to give back to them.