Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
For fans of: Rookie of the Year, This Love, Relient K, Emarosa
Social networking: @aristotheband, myspace.com/aristo.music, facebook.com/aristo.music
Suggested Audio Favorite: “Wake Up Ohio” (listen at myspace.com/artiso.music)
Interview by Ella Goldsmith (twitter.com/ella_goldsmith)
New to the Cincinnati music scene is 5-piece pop/punk band Aristo. Though a young band of only 6 months, the 5-piece has established themselves with a hard work ethic and a unique sound. You may be slightly confused as to the bands I said they have similar qualities to. How can you put Relient K and Emarosa in the same sentence? Well one of my favorite parts about Aristo is my inability to place a finger on exactly who they sound like, which is good, because it means they have a unique sound. When I listen to their recordings (up now on myspace and produced by Dan Malsch and Alec Henninger (Forever The Sickest Kids, Nottingham), I hear traces of the pop of Relient K, but the vocal qualities of Emarosa and Rookie of the Year all the same time. Confusing? Maybe. I’ll let you be the judge.
Drummer Chris Glover was nice enough to answer some questions for me. Though I haven’t gotten a chance to see them live, I will definitely check them out when they come to a town near me, and I urge you to, too!
Q: What is your name and what do you play in the band Aristo?
A: My name is Christopher Glover and I play drums for the band Aristo.
Q: You must get this all the time, but how did Aristo become the band name?
A: Aristo is actually James’ great grandfather’s first name. When we were all talking about possible band names, that one came up in conversation and we all just unanimously agreed that it fit us. Now we realize that in Greek it also means “excellence” or “the best” which kind of sounds arrogant, but it’s funny at the same time.
Q: You’re a fairly young band. How did you guys begin?
A: Eric, and Graham, and myself were all in a band together prior to Aristo. However, due to creative differences with the singer, that band broke up and we decided to start something new (what would be later known as Aristo). But we weren’t happy with just a three piece… We wanted a fuller band, so we began to search for members. Fortunately for us, we didn’t really have to search too hard: Evan was brought in to the band after Eric and I stumbled upon him playing an acoustic set at a local coffee shop and I found James one day at school after he performed a song for a class project. Before we knew it we were all jamming and writing together… and that was the birth of Aristo.
Q: What are your thoughts on the Cincinnati music scene? How is it in comparison to the Dayton scene?
A: To be honest, the Cincinnati and Dayton music scene have kind of melded together into one big scene in the past few years. That is both good and bad. Good because you can draw people from all over Cincinnati and Dayton to your shows now (distance isn’t too much of an issue anymore). Bad because both scenes have been considered dead for about five years now… But with the help of friends and fans, we hope to make an impact on the local music scene by beginning to rebuild it.
Q: This summer you went into the studio to record. How would you describe working with Dan Malsch and Alec Henninger (Forever The Sickest Kids, Framing Hanley, Nottingham)?
A: In June we went to East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania to record our debut single “Every Day & All Night” with Dan Malsch and Alec Henninger. It was an amazing experience. Both Dan and Alec are extremely fun to work with and they are both so talented at what they do.
From the second we started it was just a giant group brainstorm on what we could do to improve the song… After 30 minutes of making changes to the arrangement we were already tracking the acoustic guitars. From then on it was just a giant whirlwind of tracking until we were all satisfied with our performances. And to top it all off, we worked surprisingly fast in the studio… We even finished production earlier than expected. They just made tracking such an easy and relaxed process for us.
“Every Day & All Night” wouldn’t be anywhere near as powerful as it is now if it wasn’t for Dan and Alec. They are both extremely talented at what they do and we are so stoked we got the chance to work with them… Hopefully we will be back there soon.
Q: How would you describe your song writing process?
A: When we write songs, usually one of us comes to the table with a guitar hook or vocal melody or some combination of the two. Then if the band all likes the sound of that particular hook or melody, we all start jamming with it at rehearsal until we have molded it into a very roughly structured song. Then James (sometimes Evan and I help) begins to write vocal melodies and rough lyrical ideas.
Lately, I have been recording demos of our new songs that we have been writing just so that we can have something to listen to. It is actually a really great thing to do for songs that are new. Because this way we get to hear what fits, what doesn’t fit, and we can mess with things that we may not think of during practice that would sound better. After completely solidifying a demo recording, we practice the song at rehearsal until we are all 100% comfortable with it. And that is when we make our final workshop changes to the songs.
Q: What artists out there have heavily influenced your sound? Anyone that fans wouldn’t expect?
A: We all have different influences as a band, and it all shows through our music. But that is what makes Aristo unique in a sense. We pull our sound from three or four different genres and styles of music to create a weird hybrid of everything.
For example, Evan and I are stylistically influenced by bands like Mayday Parade, Paramore and All Time Low. Eric is influenced by bands like Bayside, Four Year Strong, and Every Time I Die. James is influenced by bands like Death Cab and Manchester Orchestra. And Graham is influenced by a variety of metal, punk, and hip hop music. If all of those bands got together and played a tour together it would be the strangest tour in the history of tours, but for Aristo that is what influences our sound and our songs and it works for us.
Q: How does your music make you different from other up and coming bands?
A: Like I said before, our music is derived from a bunch of different styles and genres of music. When we are asked, “What band do you sound like?” usually we never have an answer because we can’t think of any other bands we sound like. In our opinion, that is what makes us different from other up and coming bands.
Q: Design your dream world tour with 4 other artists as supporting bands (you can literally pick anyone).
A: Yellowcard (because I have loved them for years), Paramore (because they are amazing), Say Anything (because everyone needs comic relief), & A Day To Remember (because they’re brutal).
Q: If you, collectively as a band, were only allowed to eat at one restaurant for the rest of your lives, where would you choose?
A: Bob Evans, of course.
Q: What’s the hardest part about being in a band? The best part?
A: Hardest Part- To find a band filled with five guys that are all talented, dedicated, and motivated is the hardest part about even starting a band. After that, you have to make sure that everyone in the band gets along that way there is as little drama as possible. Trust me, drama between members TEARS bands apart. But since Aristo has basically already got all of that under control, the hardest part about being in a band for us is scheduling. Scheduling around five guys’ busy lives to practice, play shows, record, and tour is probably one of the hardest things to organize collectively.
Best Part- The best part about being in a band for us is watching ourselves improve and grow together. When we first started as a band in May, we were all talented but we didn’t really have a direction. We were tight musicians but we didn’t gel together. After the past six months and after constantly practicing and playing shows together, we finally have chemistry as a band. That chemistry is clearly visible to our friends and fans, and now we just keep growing and growing as a team (hence TEAM ARISTO).
Q: If each of you could be in a different band, which one would you pick and why? (you can bring people back from the dead on this one).
Chris: I would be in Bon Jovi… So many amazing songs, such a huge cultural impact, oh… and I’d be rich!
James: I’d have to pick Manchester Orchestra, just having the opportunity to work with Andy Hull would blow my mind.
Evan: All Time Low because the have great energy and their live show is always fun and goofy.
Eric: Every Time I Die, because they’re nuts, and their energy is incredible.
Graham: Motorhead because they are credited as being the loudest band ever and Lemmy is a God.
Q: What is an upcoming tour that you’re excited about?
A: It’s a bit a ways, but we always enjoy going to the Van’s Warped Tour during the summers. There is a reason that the Warped Tour is the longest lasting tour in the history of North America… It’s awesome!
Q: What could someone who had never been to an Aristo show expect going into one?
A: Expect a lot of energy, great music, and fun times. Oh, and expect to become best friends with each and every single one of us!
Q: Do you all have any specific goals for the next year? What can the world expect from Aristo?
A: Well first, we plan on making it to the finals of this year’s Battle of The Bands at the Underground. After that, we hope to win the battle… and if we do win we plan on putting a nice down payment on a brand new 15-passenger van to tour in. Then we are planning to release our debut EP in early 2011 followed by several tours supporting the new EP.
As far as what the world can expect from us… Expect to never run out of great songs to listen to from Aristo. We are dedicating everything we have to this band and we aren’t planning on stopping any time soon. We want the world to know who we are. Whether you love us or hate us, we strive to be a household name.
Q: Anything else you’d like to say?
A: If you know who we are and you are already a fan, then you already know that we love you and you are more than just a fan to us… you are part of our family and our team. For those of you who don’t know who we are, come to a show. Get to know us and we promise you won’t be disappointed.
P.S. We play Round Two of the Underground Battle of the Bands this Friday, November 5th. Come vote for us, support the local music scene, and visit our friends from Inspire and Infect. They will be selling merchandise alongside of us throughout our whole journey at this year’s battle!