Welcome to our latest edition of #ViralPirateRadio! Here we present an interview with post-rockers Con Etiquette of Stratford, Connecticut (clever, I know).
Con Etiquette is a four-piece alternative band making its way into this season’s flavor of rock: post-rock. Emerging alongside acts like Can’t Swim and Tiny Moving Parts to join the resurgence spurred by the Brand New and Taking Back Sunday camps, Con Etiquette fits right into the growing niche rock genre. Post-rock is not occupied by those pigeonholed into a one-song formula; it embodies the best of alt-rock today and the best of emo, birthed from the turn of the century.
This past July the boys of Con Etiquette released their freshman LP, “Resulting In…,” a testament to how powerful yet trendy this genre will be in the coming years. “Resulting In…” is an album that fits in well as the soundtrack to any activity for a twenty-something, whether it’s homework or hanging out. The record is both effortless yet intriguing in that it’s easy to listen to and keeps you interested throughout.
The twelve-track release is wary of heading too far into the self-help/self-loathing continuum that occupies much of rock music today; it simply is a piece of artwork and expression from the heart. I would recommend “Resulting In…” to all of my friends and enemies as it is timeless, but not boring; ambient, but not lacking color. The album transcends any person’s expectations for a debut album from an unsigned band — it’s pretty gnarly to say the least.
Enjoy my interview with Con Etiquette, and be sure to take a listen to their exclusively curated #ViralPirateRadio playlist found after the drop!
Welcome to #ViralPirateRadio! Would you please introduce yourselves and state your roles in the band?
Michael Mandanici, a.k.a. “Mikey,” on drums and vocals.
Antonino Lappostato, a.k.a. “Tone,” vocals and guitar.
Vin Testani, a.k.a. “Drin” or “Buck,” on guitar.
Brian Gamse, a.k.a. “Shrugs,” on bass.
For those who have never heard of Con Etiquette, what is your band’s backstory? How did you get together?
We formed after Mikey was tattooing Tone in the fall of 2014. The two started talking about music and past music projects, including Antonino’s solo EP “Profound,” released a couple of months prior to the session. Mikey took a listen on Spotify, came to a show at the Outer Space in Hamden, CT, and jammed the following week.
We started just going over the tunes from “Profound” and were later joined by Drin, and then we started writing new material. Not too long after we found the missing piece to the puzzle and Shrugs joined the band.
How does it feel to have your first full-length album, “Resulting In…” out?
It’s a really incredible feeling. We started writing a lot of songs at first, and then narrowed down our favorites and compiled them into our album. Initially, we were thinking of releasing a much shorter EP, but we’re glad we were able to release a full album.
We spent a lot of time on this record and are very fortunate to have worked with Ivan Fiallos-Zambrano of Endeavor Audio. He took our visions and helped us create something we are very proud of.
What advice does Con Etiquette have for other bands hoping to get started recording on their own?
Our advice to bands looking to start recording is write, write, write! Write a lot of music, and then pick your favorites from there. Also play as tight as you can before you go to the studio, it makes the process easier for everyone involved. Last, but not least, drop any ego you might have when you’re in there, listen to everyone’s ideas, you never know what might work.
Do you hope to catch record label attention, or do you think you’d rather stay entirely independent for the time being? What labels would you be most excited about joining?
It would be rad to catch some label attention, I think it would help propel us in the direction we’re heading for. Some labels that we’d be excited about, to name a few, are Triple Crown Records, Hopeless Records, Pure Noise Records, Topshelf Records and Big Scary Monsters, as they are home for a lot of bands that we look up to and inspire us. And if that never happens, rest assured Con Etiquette will continue to make music — it’s our passion.
If you could open up for any band that is touring today, who would it be and why?
I sense a lot of Brand New in the album! What inspired you guys while writing “Resulting In…,” and how did you go about the writing and recording process?
The writing process was actually very smooth for us. I think we were all just very excited and eager to write some gnarly tunes. Everyone of us has a unique style of writing to contribute, and I think that was portrayed well in our record. As far as the recording process, it started in November 2014, with us working with our friends Coley O’Toole of We The Kings and The Queen Killing Kings and Joe Ballaro, also of The Queen Killing Queens.
Trying to work with busy schedules between everyone, as those guys have many projects they work on, we began working with Ivan Fiallos-Zambrano in the spring of 2015, and worked on “Resulting In…” throughout its entirety at Endeavor Audio.
How does Con Etiquette prepare for a show?
To prepare for a show, it’s crucial that we have plenty of jokes. It puts everyone in a great mood. Followed by stretching, both physical and mental. We drink plenty of water, staying hydrated is key. Last but not least, we get stoned every single time, it’s actually the most important step.
There’s no denying that! What are your favorite songs to play live?
I think it’s definitely the heavier songs from our album. We really focus on bringing a high energy set every time we play. “Human and the Divine” and “Pros X Cons” are songs that we really let loose and just freak out on stage to. “Now You Know” is also a really fun one for us, it’s a fan favorite and the crowd is always singing along to the chorus, and sometimes rushing the stage to help us sing it.
Do you guys include covers in your set, and if so which songs are your favorite to cover?
Almost never. One time, when we were still a 3-piece band, we got really baked and covered some lines from a Kanye song. Actually, we just screamed “Mitt Romney don’t pay no tax” for like a minute and a half.
Haha that’s hilarious! Of all the places in America, where are you most hopeful to play and why?
What are some lessons you’ve learned so far as a band?
I think the biggest lesson we’ve learned as a band is actually being a band. Learning how to communicate and work efficiently. Learning that it’s normal to butt heads, and to disagree on certain things. Compromise, take votes, keep the bands’ best interests. Being a band is kind of just like being in a polygamous platonic relationship.
What message do you hope fans draw from your music and live performance?
For our music, we hope you can relate to it and hopefully it helps you deal with things. We write about life, sometimes it’s good, sometimes it sucks. But all you can do is grow as an individual. Life is just one big learning process and we’re just documenting it. For our live performances, come hang out and have fun, that’s all we’re doing.
What do we have to look forward to coming from Con Etiquette?
That’s a wrap! Make sure you check out Con Etiquette on Facebook and check out their debut LP “Resulting In..”. over on Spotify or Con Etiquette’s Bandcamp. Find Con Etiquette’s exclusive #ViralPirateRadio playlist handpicked by Michael, Antonino, Vin and Brian below!