Hoping for a good future- (Interview with Steve Wozniak of Civil Warmth)
Q: Can you introduce yourself and tell me what part you have in Civil Warmth?
A: I’m Steve, and I have all the parts in Civil Warmth. I write all the songs. On the first demo, I recorded all the parts.
Q: How and when did Civil Warmth get started?
A: I was just feeling bummed out all the time. The band I was playing with fell apart after our first big tour, and I wasn’t doing anything productive with my life. I was living in this irrelevant part of New Jersey and eating an embarrassing amount of Taco Bell. But I really didn’t want to stop playing music, so I took a few of the songs I had been working on for that band and recorded some demos. I released one back in April and the feedback was more than good enough to convince me to proceed.
Q: Is there any meaning or story behind the band’s name?
A: I’m guilty of over-analyzing just about every single situation in my life. It’s exhausting. I really liked the wordplay of all the battles in my head being classified as my personal civil war. I’ve always used punk music as an escape from stress, so it only makes sense it would be represented in the band’s name.
Q: You released your debut single in April called “A Dry Run, If You Will”. What feedback did you get from the release?
A: Incredibly positive. It’s the first recording I’ve released where I am singing lead, so of course I was going to be self-conscious about that. I also like playing fast, loud, and short songs. I wasn’t too sure what kind of a reaction a two-minute debut single would receive, but I also really didn’t care. I’m pretty sure I have never ever thought, “man, if only that song were longer…”, about any song, ever.
I should clarify that “A Dry Run, If You Will” is the name for the entire demo release, but I didn’t like how the other songs came out, so I cut them from the public release… so “All The Little Battles” is the only song on it. Two names, two minutes of audio. I might release the others at some point.
Q: What is the meaning behind the song?
A: It’s basically a mission statement for the band. It’s the first time I’m opening up all of my thoughts to the open ears of others, which can be intense.
Q: You’re writing for your EP, how has that been coming along?
A: Well, it’s moving along well right now, but that’s a new thing. I haven’t been able to write at all for the past few months. I work full time and assorted freelance jobs, and it seems like every few months I was moving again. But I’m getting back on track. I have about six songs that are either finished or almost finished. I’m hoping to try those out in a full band environment by the end of the summer. I’m actually aiming for a full-length release, but we’ll see how it goes.
Q: Do you have a backing band behind you, or are you doing all the instrumentals by yourself?
A: Everything on the demo was done by myself. I’ve been writing all the parts but that gets very exhausting. I don’t think I can pull off the Atom and His Package thing on stage, so there will definitely be a full band live.
I don’t really want to have a permanent lineup for now. I’ve met lots of awesome musicians all over the country, and I would actually love to have backing bands in different areas. This way when I want to avoid the snow next winter, I can just fly down south and tour down there for a few days. But that’s a huge feat to coordinate.
For starters, I’ll be trying these songs out with two of my best friends who live in New York. They play in other bands, so it’s a low-commitment situation. Mike Costa (Bomb the Music Industry!) will be playing drums for me and Justin Conrad (Censors) will be playing guitar or bass as I see fit. Or both. I’m actually going to make him learn to play both at once.
Q: How does it feel finding out you were in this month’s issue of Alternative Press?
A: Totally caught me off guard. But it’s awesome, and everyone I’ve dealt with who’s associated with AP has been very awesome, so a big thanks to all of them.
Q: How did you find out you were in this month’s issue?
A: Jason, the editor-in-chief over at AP, reached out last month. He said he liked the single a lot and was interested in featuring the band in the AP&R section. He asked me a few questions, and that was that. Next thing I knew, I ventured into a store and found a copy… it was pretty surreal. I think my mom bought all the copies she could find in Barnes and Noble. So if you were hoping to find out how Warped Tour is going to save the world, but went to the same store she did, sorry.
Q: What can your fans and future fans expect from your new EP?
A: I really like writing short songs, but I plan to mix it up a lot. I want to keep it loud, fast, and melodic. I also have a lot of perspectives I want to share that I don’t hear too often, so I am as always curious to know if I’m the crazy one.
Q: Will you do shows and promote after the release of it?
A: Oh, most definitely.
Q: If so, where will you be doing shows to promote?
A: I’d like to do Brooklyn and New Jersey for sure. Maybe one of the surrounding states, too. Or anywhere someone will give me a million dollars to play.
Q: Other than releasing your EP, what other plans do you have for this year?
A: I’m all about touring once the record is ready.
Q: I know it might be a little early, but what do you hope to accomplish in a couple years?
A: I’m all about touring once the next couple of years are ready.
Q: Is there any last thing you’d like to add?
A: The Doritos Taco sucks.
Interview by: Wellington Gibson
http://civilwarmth.tumblr.com/ -Tumblr/Official Website
http://civilwarmth.bandcamp.com/album/a-dry-run-if-you-will -BandCamp Page
Future interviews will include my assessment of Taco Bell’s veggie Cantina burrito.