Artist: Building Rome
Genre: Alt. Rock
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
For fans of Green Day, Alkaline Trio, American Hi Fi
In a world where bands exist by the dozen, within each of them ranging from the standard 5 to a roaring seven members, any hope that a trio of musicians could come together to make good rock music is easily diminished. Long sentence, but I’m trying to get at the fact that Building Rome has managed to restore such hope within myself and even exceed my expectations. Straight from St. Louis, Missouri, the band could easily be linked to Green Day or Alkaline Trio, but not without a hint of something else that is almost unidentifable…until you realize its a sound all their own. If you are easily impressed by an established band with credentials to back it up, I’m happy to say that you’ve found what you’ve been looking for. I could go on, but I want to save the rest for my review of their newest album, “Nightmares”, which was released last fall and desperately needs to be recognized. Until then, check out the interview the band was so kind to do with me (the answers are worth it, I promise) and get ready for the album review.
Free music courtesy of the band is available at noisetrade.com/buildingrome. It’s not often that you hear the word free, so go take advantage!
Interview with Building Rome (www.twitter.com/buildingrome) and Ella Goldsmith (www.twitter.com/ella_goldsmith)
How would you describe the Building Rome sound?
Jon: We’ve been described as somewhere between Alkaline Trio, Green Day, and My Chemical Romance, mixed with a little Building Rome.
Who would you say inspired you most, musically, growing up?
Jon: I was really into songwriters growing up. Rivers Cuomo from Weezer and Kurt Cobain from Nirvana really inspired me. It was a combination of how they wrote songs, their lyrics and the way they acted. I was also a really big Third Eye Blind fan.
What, as a band, are the top seven most visited sites on your computer?
Band: Google, CNN.com, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, and Absolutepunk.net
Design the perfect five band dream tour.
Jon: Back in the day, I would’ve said Nirvana, Green Day, Weezer, Beatles, and Ben Folds.
Who’s your favorite artist out right now?
Jon: Definitely Alkaline Trio. They are awesome.
Brian: John Mayer. I think he is one of the best guitarists of our generation and over time I really think he is going to go down as one of the greats. I am a HUGE blues fan so all of the Continuum and Trio stuff has really impressed me. He managed to take blues and bring it back in a modern way.
Tom: It usually is a constant battle between Springsteen and Fleetwood Mac but so far this month Fleetwood is taking the win.
What’s one musician people wouldn’t expect you to like?
Tom: I get the feeling that people wouldn’t expect me to like most of the music I listen to. Bruce Springsteen and Fleetwood Mac are my two all time favorite bands. People seem to be surprised by that most of the time. I’m also a huge fan of Pink Floyd, Bob Seger, Rolling Stones Styx, etc. I’m a real 70’s nerd when it comes to music.
Which of you would you say has the most game?
Brian: Well the other guys all have girlfriends… So I guess that leaves me, but to be honest I have zero game, haha.
Describe a Building Rome hometown show in 11 words or less.
Jon: Everyone’s face has been rocked off. There are no faces.
How do you guys feel about the music industry? How about festivals such as Bamboozle which are completely revamping their lineups to attract more attendees?
Jon: The music industry as a whole is a vile place where snakes eat at your insides on a daily basis. But other than that, it’s fun as hell, and I’ve met a lot of good people! I don’t know much about Bamboozle, but if they want us to play, then I LOVE THEM and they’re awesome.
What’s the best part of being in a band?
Brian: I would definitely say the lifestyle. I’ve always dreaded the ole’ 9 to 5. It’s amazing to be actually apart of creating something and trying to make something out of nothing, whereas a 9-5 its feels like you just do what’s assigned to you.
Any individual guilty music pleasures? Hidden talents?
Tom: I’m a sucker for power ballads….even if they come from Miley Cyrus. Hidden Talent: I guess I’m pretty good at doing voices….I’ve got a pretty solid grandmother voice at the time. The guys seem to enjoy it. Imagine an old woman saying “My grandson invented the snorkel….it’s terrific” and you’ll get the picture. Haha
How about show rituals?
Tom: I usually just do a little bit of stretching and do vocal warm ups for about 10 to fifteen minutes. I’ll usually latch on to a lyrical line from some 70’s or 80’s rock song from like Fleetwood Mac, Boston, or, Styx and sing that repeatedly.
How would you describe the Missouri music scene? Does it deserve more recognition than it gets?
Jon: We’ve had some really great bands come out of St. Louis, like Ludo and Story of the Year. I think that there are a lot of unsigned and indie bands out here that are really good, and there are some great fans here in Missouri as well. However, I don’t really think that geography really has anything to do with the quality of music. I have noticed that sometimes there isn’t as much enthusiasm at shows and about music in general as there might be in other places, though.
What are some other good bands from your area that you’d like to give a shoutout to? (if any, that is)
Jon: Oh man, there are a lot of really cool bands that I’m friends with. Check out OutRAGEus!, Say It Back, This Is Energy, Last Night’s Vice, Novella, Nothing Still, MEVERSEYOU, The Browncoats, Faux Show, and all of the other bands who we’ve played with in St. Louis. I think my favorite band in St. Louis, musically, is Last Night’s Vice.
The I-pad: love it or leave it?
Brian: Hahaha I’ve actually been going back and forth on this ipad thing. At first I was all for it but I’m kind of leaning on the “it’s pretty pointless” side of things now haha.
Which two artists do you think would make the most amazing collabo?
Brian: John Mayer and Elton John
Have any of you found your doppelgangers? Or do you not believe in all that.
Tom: People say that Brian looks a lot like Tom Cruise, but I would say that Tom Cruise looks a lot like Brian.
Team Kanye or Team Swift? Or are you over it?
Brian: I am team Kanye Swift. I love them both and I know Kanye is a prick but, soully base on music, I would say he is the best hip hop artist out there.
Where do you see yourselves 40 years from now? Still rocking out?
Jon: My Grandpa is in his 80’s and still tours – he plays for nursing homes
a few times a week. So hell yeah, I’ll still be rockin’ out! I maybe old and fragile though…
If your band could have a mascot, what would you rep yourself with?
Brian: Hahaha This is something that has honestly never crossed my mind but if I had to choose something I would say the “Sexual Harassment Panda” from South Park.
The most memorable band experience as of this moment would be…
Brian: Playing a sold out show at The Pageant in St. Louis with Story of the Year. I have gone to that venue sine I was a kid and always wondered how cool it would be to play a sold out show there, never thinking it would happen. The day that actually came true was one of the happiest moments for me.
If you could bring any band/musician back from the grave and jam with them, who would it be?
Jon: Kurt Cobain for sure. I just want to have a conversation with him.
Three reasons why someone should check out Building Rome?
Brian: We fight terrorism in our free time, so supporting us, supports America. Our music is a registered sex offender in Alaska. We are currently giving our music away free at noisetrade.com/buildingrome.
What do you think the world can expect from Building Rome in the future?
Jon: We’re going to be touring our asses off and continuing to evolve as a band and as people. Expect to see us in your town this summer.