Interview with Brontosaurus
- by The Deli Staff
Deli: How did the band start?
Brontosaurus: The two of us have been playing music together since around 2006 as members of the band Picture Books. When that band broke up in 2010 we knew we had to continue playing music together. As neither of us was the main songwriter in Picture Books we had built up a large cache of songs just waiting for us finish.
Deli: Where did the band name come from?
Brontosaurus: We call ourselves Brontosaurus because it's badass. It's a big powerful word. It says a lot in just one word. Also I like the idea that there truly never was such thing as Brontosaurus. As a kid I remember dreaming of this gigantic creature only to find out in recent years that it was a mistake and that someone years ago accidentally mixed up some old dinosaur bones.
Deli: What are your biggest musical influences?
Brontosaurus: We each have very different musical tastes with little common ground, recently we realized we listen to music in a completely different way than the other. Nicholas Kelley is very structure and drum/rhythm oriented. Band such as Mars Volta who love to mess with time signature and create really complex moments play a large role in his musical vocabulary. However he also consumes pop music. He's a sucker for harmony and a catchy melody. I (nicholas papaleo) tend to be a bit more compelled by mood or lyrics (Neutral Milk Hotel, Grouper, The Walkmen, Low, and the first three R.E.M. albums) We find common ground in Des Ark and David Bazan. Two musicians that I'm sure are a bigger influence than we realize.
Deli: What's your ideal, realistic four band bill?
Brontosaurus: Des Ark, Menomena, David Bazan
Deli: What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?
Brontosaurus: I think my first concert was Horde Festival in 1995. A very young Wilco played. My first cassette that I ever picked out for myself was the soundtrack to Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves though I think I redeemed myself a couple years later as my first CD that I ever picked out was R.E.M. Automatic For the People.
Deli: What do you love about Chicago's music scene?
Brontosaurus: The plethora of music venues and the diversity of music are definite positives of the city. There's also an atmosphere that I've only come to experience recently, a sort of "We're all in this together" type of support. Local bands repping other local bands. Promoters working hard to make sure the bands that they believe get good gigs.
Deli: What would you like to see change in the local music scene?
Brontosaurus: I'd like to see more independent promoters putting on more DIY type shows. Betta Promotions has been really great at this sort of thing and just last week we played a show hosted by The Inconvenience that just turned into a fun, late night dance party with a bunch of kids who just wanted to listen to great music and have a good time. So I suppose it's not so much a change in the music scene as it's just something we'd like to see happen more often.
Deli: What are your plans for the upcoming year?
Brontosaurus: We have our debut record coming out June 14th. Plus Tapes is putting out the cassette version and we're self-releasing it on vinyl. Pretty much immediately after we go on tour which will take us into July. As our record release show will be July 7th at The Empty Bottle. Additionally we have a number of new songs that we intend to finish writing. I would love to start recording the 2nd LP before the year ends.
Deli: What was your most memorable live show?
Brontosaurus: All of them have been pretty memorable for one reason or another. But most recently we played a house show in Wisconsin with Des Ark. A bunch of college kids crammed into a living room with the music reaching incredibly loud levels. It was just a really warm atmosphere with a really kind and receptive crowd.
Deli: Is there someone who has helped your band grow through support?
Brontosaurus: We have litany of supporters too many to list. We recently received funding for our vinyl pressing by doing a kickstarter campaign and people really rallied around that. Additionaly local promoters like Rebecca from betta promotions and pete at the empty bottle have been key in getting our band in front of good audiences.
Deli: Is there a piece of equipment you couldn't live without and why?
Brontosaurus: That would be a toss up between my nord electro or my Roland bass pedals. Both are integral to our live show.
Deli: Why do you read The Deli?
Brontosaurus: There isn't a site out there that supports the local music scene better than the deli. It's a great resource for me to find other Chicago bands to share the stage with.