Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Interview With Eastland Disaster

                                                          L - R Dan Knapik, Gina Knapik and James Farn
                                                                                                Photo by Katie Hoveland
Critical Mass - Thanks for taking the time to talk with Critical Mass. Your band is pretty new on the scene. But all 3 of you are in different bands as well. Is Eastland Disaster a side gig for right now? Or will this be long term? 

Dan Knapik - As far as I'm concerned this is my main musical/creative outlet. 

Gina Knapik - I look at this as long-term, but I'm playing bass in this now and..well..I'm not a bass player. I hope to do something new too where I get to play guitar again that aren't KISS songs...but I do still like playing the KISS songs.

CM - Can you give us a little history on how the band got together?  

DK - Venom Lords was on an indefinite break when Gina suggested we try playing with James. Fortunately he was willing to give us a go as well. Great drummers are hard to come by.  It just made sense to play with him as Venom Lords as opposed to a new project starting from scratch.  However, Venom Lords was on it's last legs (the band just sort of ran it's course) so we thought we'd try something new and non horror/sci-fi related.

GK - I was asked to write a song for a charity compilation for the Black Sheep. I asked Dan if he wanted to write one with me. We came up with this song, "Tell Me I'm the One". It was different than Venom Lords. I had other songs I also wanted to do but they didn't fit either...and I was sick of singing about zombies. So, I suggested we start this new thing. Farn wasn't sick of us yet. We had our friend Ryan playing bass, but we just couldn't consistently all get together, and we are old...and wanted to record right away...so I play bass now. By default.

CM - On the bands Facebook and ReverbNation pages you have 3 new songs up. Is there currently an EP or full length in the works?  

DK - Hopefully 5 of the 6 songs we recently recorded with Matt Allison will be available on at least one vinyl release in the near future - so, yeah, a 7" EP with 4 songs and maybe another one on a 7" comp.  We'll see, though.  And we'll probably record again when we have another 4 or 5 songs down.  Hopefully Spring.

CM - What are some of the bands musical influences?  

DK - I know Gina loves a lot of classic country (not that you'll hear it in our music) and James is all over the board - mainly hardcore though.  I grew up listening to Rush, ZZ Top, and Cheap Trick but quickly switched gears when I first heard Descendents, Government Issue, and Naked Raygun.  I mainly just like short guitar based songs with hooks. Doesn't matter if it's surf, pop, hardcore, metal, punk, or whatever.  Playing different styles of music with a limited set up like drums, bass, and guitar has a way of narrowing the gap between genres. Especially when it's all uptempo.

GK - Im all over the place too.

CM - Chicago historians know that the Eastland was actually a ship that capsized in the Chicago River in July of 1915. Obviously the bands name is taken from this tragedy. So, I have to ask...why Eastland Disaster?  

DK - We wanted a name associated with Chicago and one that wasn't just 2 words side by side that didn't really mean anything.  Also, my grandfather and father both worked for Western Electric. The tragedy happened shortly after employees of Western Electric boarded the SS Eastland on their way to a company picnic.  Also, all the other names we liked were being used by someone already and Eastland Disaster wasn't.

GK - I HATE COMING UP WITH NAMES. I was so sick of trying to come up with names that I was throwing out ridiculous ones and those fools loved them. One contender was Goat Spurm, Pregnant Baby...I think Farn came up with DayBang (which I actually liked for real). Dan came up with Eastland Disaster and we liked it. Sold. Done.

CM - Has the band played any live gigs yet? If so, will there be more shows by years end?

DK - No shows so far.  I don't know if we'll play before year-end. We don't want to half-ass the first show and we aren't in a rush.

GK - Im hoping to play in November. Somewhere...with someone. Dan is never in a rush..I am. I know Farn is wanting to play. I also don't really know what I'm doing on bass...but oh well.

CM - With so much talent in this band, do all three of you contribute when it comes to songwriting?  

DK - We all bring something to the band that the others doesn't have so, yes.  Gina or I usually bring a moderately fleshed out idea to practice but from there it usually changes a lot based on input from everyone.  Sometimes it's obvious that the idea just isn't working so we toss it.  

GK - Yep. What Dan said. Sometimes I come in with something that is just two parts and I make them write a new part to finish it.

CM - Do you have any websites you would like to plug, where we can get up to date news on gigs, new releases and merch?  

DK - Just our Facebook and ReverbNation pages right now.

GK - We will be releasing a 7"..and hopefully a 4 way split with some friends, but I can't even plug them because I have no idea what is going on! this reminds me to harass them.

CM - Thanks again for taking the time to talk with Critical Mass. I love the tunes and I hope we get more songs real soon. Thanks again.
DK -No, thank you! 

GK - Thanks Chris!! I was going to make up answers for Farn...but I decided to be nice.

1 comment:

  1. Yay a new band! Welcome to the dark side, Gina. Bass is pretty easy as long as you can see all the dots.


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