Friday, November 7, 2008

Interview - Better Without You

Better Without You are bringing the pop-punk goodness with their new EP, titled Seriously... Read my interview with this young group to see how they are building their band from the ground up.

PPJ: First tell us your name and what you do in the band.

Myles Vlachos: I’m Myles Vlachos, I play guitar.

PPJ: Your MySpace says that you're from both Philadelphia and Frederick. So who is from where, and how did you meet?

Myles: I am from Frederick, along with Ryan, and Brian. Brandon was my freshman year roommate at Drexel University, and he is from New Jersey. We met Alex at Drexel too, and he is from MD as well. Currently we operate out of Philly mostly while we finish up our senior year.

PPJ: Where did the name Better Without You come from?

Myles: Well, despite all Ryan’s songs being about girls the name is about a boy. Unfortunately that overly ambiguous hint is all I can give.

PPJ: How did you get in with Criminal Records?

Myles: Brandon and I started that. We incorporated over the summer. We signed Ryan, and are signing a few other acts. We are kind of the house band, and play on all the records like The Funk Brothers were for Motown. We really respect what Motown did and want to be that for the kids today.

PPJ: What went into writing and recording your EP?

Myles: Ryan came to me with “The Long Drive.” We laid it down, and beefed it up with a nice vocal arrangement, and some production stuff, and then Ryan wrote "You’re Going Down (Not In A Good Way)", and "Cutting Ties." Over the summer we slept in the studio and spent 72 hours strait in there and got those tracks recorded, mixed, and mastered. The EP is gonna be a teaser for the full length. Expect even more polished versions of these songs in the future.

PPJ: What was the best thing about recording? The worst?

Myles: The best thing for me was when I kicked Ryan out of the studio to mix "Cutting Ties." I had a lot of playing with delays and various busses to create an interesting space for that song. The worst was Ryan singing the chorus to "You’re Going Down" in nothing but his boxers because it helped him sing. No one wanted to see that.

PPJ: It looks like you guys have been writing a lot of new songs lately. Can you tell us what they're like?

Myles: We have this one called “Little Miss Stalker.” It is an upbeat, energetic, rocker that has more hooks than a pirate ship. That one is gonna be single. I have a few written too, really catchy up-beat stuff. We also are gonna have some slower emotional tracks to balance it out.

PPJ: Are you planning any big tours soon, or are you just sticking to recording?

Myles: Well, we are gonna record and play “showcase” shows regionally until we are done with school. After that Better Without You will unleash their fury on the world!

PPJ: What do you hope to do with Better Without You in the future?

Myles: We want to be a touring force, and give to our fans what our favorite bands have given to us. We just love making music, and we want to bring our music to a huge audience.

PPJ: Finally, tell us three bands you think we should be listening to.

Myles:I’m gonna give some bands that really deserve the attention some spotlight.

As Tall As Lions

And... The greatest songwriter of all time, Ryan Adams. He is a prophet.

Thanks again to Myles for taking time to answer these questions, and to Brandon at Criminal Records for arranging it. Make sure to pick up a copy of Seriously... and to watch out for Better Without You on tour.

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