New Collisions at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Collisions
New Collisions began in Spring 2009, when lead singer Sarah Guild and guitarist Scott Guild began swapping songs with bassist Alex Stern and drummer Zak Kahn of Britpop band The Sterns. Casey Gruttadauria constructed an imposing rig of organ, keyboard, and synths. Sessions were booked; shows began to sell out.
Three months after their first performance, the band was on tour with The B-52s and Blondie. Six national tours later, they have shared stages with The Morning Benders, Missing Persons, You Say Party! We Say Die!, and Owl City. Greg Hawkes, legendary synth-player of The Cars, became an early fan and collaborator, live and in-studio.
Their first recordings, a self-released 7-song EP from late 2009, garnered a truly unexpected response. Multiple pressings sold out; there were over thirty thousand (documented) downloads. There were also features in CMJ, URB, New York Magazine, Time Out New York, The Boston Globe, Herald, and Phoenix, Fearless Music, Comcast On-Demand, Vans Online, the Zune frontpage, and iTunes "New and Notable" and "Best of Month" in the U.S., UK, and Japan.
After a busy SXSW 2010, their first full-length was recorded in under ten days. Producers Sean Slade and Paul Kolderie (The Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., Radiohead, The Sounds) chose a live, direct aesthetic for the album; first takes were given preference throughout. The result is an intense, cathartic record, reminiscent of the punk and pop classics of 1977-1983.
THE OPTIMIST has gained an even stronger response, giving New Collisions a firm national footing. Glowing reviews/features have appeared in All Music Guide, The Big Takeover, Aol/Spinner, Fuse, Venus Zine, New York Magazine, Magnet, PopMatters, Delusions of Adequacy, NY Press, and LargeHearted Boy, in addition to dozens of regional outlets. CMJ 2010 saw New Collisions at the top of many critic lists, including College Music Journal, Blackbook, NY Press, and This Week in New York. They were also included on the exclusive CMJ Player CD that goes to all festival badge-holders.
The band will finish 2010 with a tour of the southeast (its sixth national tour), before heading back into the studio to prepare a 7" release for March 2011.
"Backed by a pantheon of rock and indie elite, New Collisions are getting ready to take over the world with their thought-provoking brand of pure pop-new-wave-punk."-- Fuse (10/2010)
"A lot of bands travel this ground, few do it so well." -- The Big Takeover (11/2010)
"The aesthetic serves the sound well, giving the music a crunchy edge and breezy, downhill momentum. Check them out before these guys are all over the radio."
-- Magnet (Top Release, week of 10/5/10)
"A fresh, biting spin on femme-fatale lyricism and power pop-punk instrumentation. The Boston-based band is finding abrupt success for such a brand-spanking new group (they’ve only been together about a year)." -- Venus Zine (10/2010)
Top 10 CMJ 2009 -- New York Magazine
Top 20 CMJ 2010 -- College Music Journal
Top 20 CMJ 2010 -- BlackBook Magazine
Top 10 CMJ 2009 and 2010 -- This Week in New York
CMJ 2010 "Band to Watch" -- Paper Trail Music
Best Boston Band 2010 -- Improper Bostonian
Best Boston Band 2010 -- Lucid Culture
Top 5 Boston Band 2010 -- CBS Boston
Top 5 New Act 2009 -- Boston Phoenix
Top 20 New Act 2009 -- The Deli
Charlotte Russe: Lead track for Summer 2010 denim campaign
Aol/Spinner Exclusive Premier of The Optimist (LP) (10/2010)
PopMatters Exclusive Premier of "Dying Alone" (single) (8/2010)
Magnet Exclusive Premier of "Over" (single) (9/2010)
Magnet Exclusive Premier of "Dying Alone" music video (11/2010)
Sarah Guild - Vocals
Alex Stern - Bass
Zak Kahn - Drums
Casey Gruttaduaria - Organ/Keys
Kevin Verni - Guitar
Invisible Embraces (EP) November 2009
"Dying Alone" (single) September 2010
The Optimist (LP) October 2010
"Fire in the Neighborhood/Richard Cross" (45) August 2011
New Collisions - The Optimist (Review)
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Boston's New Collisions are a relatively new band, but have made such a splash in Boston that they h...Boston's New Collisions are a relatively new band, but have made such a splash in Boston that they have attracted legendary recording team Paul Q Kolderie and Sean Slade (you'll find their names on the back of albums by Pixies, Radiohead, Hole, etc). The band was discovered by Greg Hawkes of The Cars, and has toured with Blondie, B-52s, and Missing Persons. Their sound is a perfect blend of new wave edginess with solid pop hooks. Throughout the album, they keep the tempo pogo-appropriate and shower the listener with compelling melodies. A lot of bands travel this ground; few do it so well.
Fuse: New Collisions Feature/Download
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Backed by a pantheon of rock and indie elite, New Collisions is getting ready to take over the world...Backed by a pantheon of rock and indie elite, New Collisions is getting ready to take over the world with their thought-provoking brand of pure power-pop-new-wave-punk. After being discovered by Greg Hawkes of the Cars less than a year into their existence, they were asked to tour with Blondie and the B-52s. When the tour wrapped, they went right to recording The Optimist (October 5th, self-released). With the help of famed producers Sean Slade and Paul Kolderie (The Pixies, Radiohead, Dinosaur Jr.), New Collisions were able to tell an oddly uplifting tale of fractured lives through dark storytelling and refreshing sounds. Take a listen to Sarah Guild's invigorating vocals over dance-happy keys and drums, as she coos "And now you're sorry/ It's the same old story..." on "Over", the next single after "Dying Alone" off of The Optimist.
MP3 at 3PM: New Collisions
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New Collisions was discovered by Greg Hawkes, keyboardist of the Cars, and three months after its fi...New Collisions was discovered by Greg Hawkes, keyboardist of the Cars, and three months after its first show the band was opening for Blondie and the B-52's. The group’s debut album, The Optimist, was recorded in only 10 days by Sean Slade and Paul Kolderie (producers and engineers for Radiohead, the Pixies
and Dinosaur Jr), who sought to capture the energetic feel of the band’s live performances. The aesthetic serves the sound well, giving its ’80s-inspired dance pop a crunchy edge and breezy, downhill momentum. Check out “Over” below before these guys are all over the radio. The Optimist is out October 5.
Film at 11: New Collisions
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The Optimist is the debut album from New Collisions, who were discovered by Cars keyboardist Greg Ha...The Optimist is the debut album from New Collisions, who were discovered by Cars keyboardist Greg Hawkes and were opening for Blondie and the B-52s a mere three months after their first show. The Optimist was recorded in less than 10 days by Sean Slade and Paul Kolderie (Radiohead, Pixies, Dinosaur Jr), who sought to capture the energetic feel of the Boston band’s live performances. MAGNET is proud to premiere the Andrew Nisinson-directed video for album track “Dying Alone.”
The Optimist (Review)
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Produced by Sean Slade and Paul Kolderie (The Sounds, Radiohead, the Pixies, Dinosaur Jr.), New Coll...Produced by Sean Slade and Paul Kolderie (The Sounds, Radiohead, the Pixies, Dinosaur Jr.), New Collisions first full-length The Optimist melds the sounds of those bands with a fresh, biting spin on femme-fatale lyricism and power pop-punk instrumentation. Strong moments include the opener “Dying Alone” and “In a Shadow,” a particularly B-52s-ish number. Despite what people may think of this first release, the Boston-based band is finding abrupt success for such a brand-spanking new group (they’ve only been together about a year). Makes sense, though, considering they were discovered by the Cars’ Greg Hawkes and have toured with legends like, yes, the B-52s and Blondie, which attributes to the strong presence of ‘80s and early ‘90s post-punk and new wave found throughout The Optimist.
PopMatters Exclusive Premier of "Dying Alone" (single)
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Boston power-poppers New Collisions have been touring with ‘80s pop legends Blondie and the B-52s, q...Boston power-poppers New Collisions have been touring with ‘80s pop legends Blondie and the B-52s, quite appropriate given that the female-fronted band’s slightly punky brand of pop bears a clear debt to the guitar-driven end of the ‘80s new wave explosion. The band has been scoring some early praise with New York Magazine putting them in their top 10 of CMJ 2009 performances and features in Time Out New York, The Boston Globe, and URB.
New Collisions recorded their upcoming debut album, The Optimist, in a mere 10 days using a live setting to best capture the band’s energy. The album produced by Sean Slade and Paul Kolderie (the Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., Radiohead) will release in all formats on October 1. Today, we offer the exclusive online premiere of the group’s new single “Dying Alone” from the upcoming record.
New York Magazine - Top 10 of CMJ 2009
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The Boston pop-rock act has been together for less than a year, but has already logged tours of duty...The Boston pop-rock act has been together for less than a year, but has already logged tours of duty with the B-52's and Blondie, and you can see why in their ultraenergetic live show. Make sure to check them out them if you like fun.
The New Collisions Release Debut
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The New Collisions Release Debut Nov 17, 2009 Story by: Rachael Lee Boston quintet the New Co...The New Collisions Release Debut
Nov 17, 2009
Story by: Rachael Lee
Boston quintet the New Collisions will self-release its debut EP, Invisible Embraces, November 17 through In Grooves distribution. The band, which is less than a year old, owes its discovery to Greg Hawkes from the Cars, who was immediately taken with the band's new wave when he saw one of their earlier performances. In support, Hawkes hooked them up with famed producer Anthony Resta, who has worked with Duran Duran. And it wasn't long before Blondie (their biggest source of inspiration) was on the phone, offering the opportunity to open for them. Guitarist Scott Guild tells CMJ that he was so excited that he stood on a mailbox when he heard.
Since then, the New Collisions played two sets at October's CMJ Music & Film Festival, which they described as being their most packed New York show so far. So what is next for the New Collisions? Following the release of their EP, they plan to tour and continually release singles, according to Guild, rather than disappear into the studio for months to record a full-length.
NY Press Does CMJ: New Collisions
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(Paragraph 2) Just one hour earlier at R-Bar on Bowery, two B & W photos of Debbie Harry in the b...(Paragraph 2)
Just one hour earlier at R-Bar on Bowery, two B & W photos of Debbie Harry in the back room were fitting as another petite fireball, Sarah Guild of Cambridge, Mass.-based New Collisions, filled the small backroom.
More high-pitched than the legendary front woman, Guild leans more on Toni Basil in vocals and stands out, holding her place off stage, front center, for the entire set. She’s a tiny, punk rock firecracker. Something else: It looks like New Collisions are genuinely having fun on stage with guitarist, and Guild’s husband, Scott, randomly jumping on one of the two stripper polls on stage and sliding down. The band just released their debut LP, The Optimist, helmed by The Pixies and Radiohead producers Sean Slade and Paul Kolderie, earlier this month.
Invisible Embraces Review
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The New Collisions have created a short but intense album with shades of Rogue Traders or any number...The New Collisions have created a short but intense album with shades of Rogue Traders or any number of 80’s bands. The music is bright and moves along at a good clip, although you may not be able to shake the suspicion that they are going to break into “Roam’ by the B-52’s at any moment. However, while this music may have the outward appearance of light, fluffy fun, repeated listening reveals a surprising originality jumping out at you…
Lyrics are extremely vivid and there’s repeated imagery of wastelands and deserts, mostly charging through them, or weathering them, perhaps most directly in “Free Ride,” a song with music that gets your heart pounding, but the unusual message that there’s “no free ride for being pretty on the inside.”
The lyrics don’t clash with the upbeat music, they actually merge wonderfully with it, and you may be left with the impression that this could well be the soundtrack for some sort of tank-girl style over-the-top post-apocalyptic narrative. The energetic, bright music saves a lot of lines that would otherwise be very stale clichés from sounding mopey. Above all, it remains a very hopeful and positive album. When the band takes the energy level down for the heart-rending “Fireflies” it doesn’t feel at all like a sudden departure, it’s terrifically organic and emotionally engaging. The same can be said for closing track ‘Total Control’, which straddles a line between the high-energy calls to arms that dominate the rest of the track, with the brooding introspective “Fireflies.” It’s a CD with substance and imagination that at the same time is the sort of music that gets you on your feet feeling like you can tackle anything that gets in your way. All high-key danceable music should be this good.
There’s not a lot to criticize on a CD that’s this short and solid, although it seems to cry out for a longer incarnation that can do more with the rumbles of the epic that are clearly visible in the background. There’s probably enough ideas here to base a really good full-length album on, but as it is this is just a sampling of songs that are, admittedly, quite good. If you’re a fan of the kind of 80’s influenced pop that’s on full-display here, you’ll find a lot to enjoy and more than you probably expected. [By: Ryan Simmons]
On a Collisions Course with 80s New Wave
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Nodding in sound and style to new wave's heyday in the late 1970s and early '80s is one thing. Lots ...Nodding in sound and style to new wave's heyday in the late 1970s and early '80s is one thing. Lots of bands have done it - some with a dash of fashion-conscious fun (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), some with a deadly dose of seriousness (Interpol). Doing it well enough to attract the attention of a bona fide member of one of the era's most iconic bands - and then recruiting him to play on your debut EP - is quite another.
But that's exactly what happened when the New Collisions, a fast-rising Cambridge band, reached out to former Cars keyboardist Greg Hawkes online and invited him to check them out sometime.
"He came out to one of our shows and we just sort of asked him [to play], and it just happened," says New Collisions singer Sarah Guild, whose platinum-blond locks are nearly as bright as the hooks on her band's self-titled EP, which is being released digitally today. "It was as easy as it sounds, really."
Well, technically, flattery and a few old friendships might have had a little something to do with it too, according to Hawkes.
"[New Collisions guitarist Scott Guild] said, 'Whenever we try to get a keyboard player, we tell them we want them to play like Greg Hawkes' - so I liked him already," recalls Hawkes, breaking into a chuckle in a separate phone interview. "I saw them at Great Scott and again at the Middle East, and I thought they were really good. And as it happens, they were recording their EP with [producer] Anthony Resta, who is a friend of mine. I had been corresponding with Anthony and mentioning that we should work on a project together sometime, and this came along."
Hawkes, who played on four of the EP's five tracks (the lone exception being "The World Transformed," which is more of a brief atmospheric interlude, really), even plans to sit in with the band when the New Collisions take the stage at T.T. the Bear's tonight to celebrate the EP's release.
The material, written over two months and recorded during a three-day span at Resta's Bopnique Musique studio in Chelmsford, is nearly as new to the group as it is to the rest of us. Sarah Guild confesses she only just heard the final mixes for the EP - which, besides getting a digital release, will also be available as a customized multimedia flash drive - a couple of days before.
"Yeah, we were cutting it close," says Guild, who, with her husband and co-writing partner, Scott, had experimented as an acoustic duo before settling on the New Collisions. "This is our first rock band and our first opportunity to do what we love. I grew up with Pat Benatar, singing along to the radio, and Blondie. The strength of their vocals really inspired me to gravitate toward that '80s sound."
So too, she hopes, will audiences. The signs are encouraging. Clubgoers have quickly embraced the outfit, which formed roughly six months ago and now includes a rhythm section plucked from the excellent Britpop-leaning Boston band the Sterns. Even before they went into the studio to write and work on the EP, the delightfully frothy "Parachutes on the Dance Floor" fast became the group's calling card. On the EP, the number greatly benefits from canny, colorful production supplied by Resta, who knows a thing or three about the '80s new wave aesthetic, having played guitar with Missing Persons and produced sessions for, among others, Duran Duran and Blondie.
"I started off in the music business during that era, and it's funny how things come around," says Resta. "Kids today are digging that kind of sound, and that's exciting for me. I've got all these great old analog synthesizers and a lot of the instruments from that period. So we started hashing out arrangements and we had a chemistry, and it worked.
"When somebody has as much charisma as Sarah, I think there's an enormous potential," adds Resta. "They call it that 'certain something,' and they've got a lot of that going on. And I think they're going to continue to develop as songwriters."
Hawkes agrees with Resta's assessment, but sounds a tad startled that, some 31 years after the Cars released their debut album, fizzy pop melodies stirred by synthesizers are again in vogue: "It's obviously a nod to the '80s new wave sound - it's retro but it's modern."
Smashing Success: The New Collisions Start Things Off Right
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It feels as if all the music people these days were rushing toward a hyper-electro-modern future whe...It feels as if all the music people these days were rushing toward a hyper-electro-modern future where they'll be programming drum machines hard-wired directly to their erogenous zones. Or else they've plucked a retro-cool muse from an era they weren't old enough to experience in the flesh. This development could be the result of a collective boredom with rock and roll. Or simply the circle of life. Or the wheel of fortune. Something.
Belonging to the retro-cool-muse camp are the nexus of the New Collisions, Sarah and Scott Guild, who set off my sarcasm detector when they tell me they're siblings. After vacating Vermont's Marlboro College to roam the earth — like Caine in Kung Fu — they dwelt in Mississippi, Florida, England, and Connecticut, in 15 different apartments over four years. Having fully indulged their wanderlust, they landed in Cambridge about a year ago, and they found new purpose with the music Sarah first discovered in her childhood, while listening to the radio on car rides with her mom.
"Being a singer from a young age," she explains over drinks at Phoenix Landing, "I was so floored when I heard Heart or Pat Benatar, things you can really rock out to. So we're children of the '80s in that way."
"There's something about the late-'70s, early-'80s period of music that's unabashedly epic," says the suavely attired Scott. "It's not afraid to make a major statement, or be really in your face. We feel a lot of music nowadays can be a bit understated, or ironic, or jaded."
Sarah: "We want people to feel like part of the experience, not alienate people and make them think they're not part of the scene, like they're on the outside. Some bands project that vibe. They want to keep you out. We don't want to keep you out. A lot of the lyrics of the music that we're inspired by aren't about social commentary. They're not really about trying to get to the core of things. It's just like a big party, or being sassy. "
"We also like being sassy at the big party," adds Scott.
The sassy party of the New Collisions, who began playing out only six months ago, has fallen into place so well it's actually kind of fucked up. Regardless of how many dance parties they've provoked via updated, sparkling new wave that's more like hard candy than bubblegum, and no matter how fervently they've self-promoted (Scott was doing his own street-team duties by flyering Allston before we met up), years are supposed to elapse before anybody who helped inspire your genre wants to jam with you, much less play on your record. But Greg Hawkes, who acted as template setter for new-wave synth licks back when he was in the Cars, lives around Boston, and he was quickly converted into a New Collisions devotee when they sought him out. That he laid down characteristically blithe melodies for most of the New Collisions' new EP is some seriously serendipitous shit.
It's also theoretically difficult for a nascent outfit to enlist the production proficiency of someone who's worked extensively with Duran Duran, and briefly played drums for fucking Megadeth. Nonetheless, the construction of this EP saw Anthony Resta producing and shattering many a drum stick to splinters at his Studio Bopnique Musique in Chelmsford.
"Most of the songs aren't about our personal experiences from when we were young," says Scott, clarifying why New Collisions lyrics occasionally use the past tense. "A lot of it is coming from this youthful place of rebellion against the emptiness of modern life, and searching for something more. We feel like we've been doing that in our personal lives, leaving school, living all over the place, and trying to really discover what life is about, instead of what you're sort of handed."
"Forty hours a week doing something you don't particularly enjoy, and being around people and environments that you wouldn't choose for yourself if you had the choice," Sarah elaborates. "I feel like we have to be pro-active in our own lives and encourage other people to do the same."
The aforementioned new EP will be innovatively disseminated digitally — via snazzy USB cards — amid a mighty promising bill this Friday at T.T.'s. Swing by for a refreshing interruption to your boring-ass adult life.
The New Collisions at The Middle East
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The New Collisions are one of the most exciting Boston bands to emerge in 2009, and they cap off on... The New Collisions are one of the most exciting Boston bands to emerge in 2009, and they cap off one stylish year with the release party for new EP “Invisible Embraces” tonight at the Middle East.
It’s been quite a year for Cambridge-based new-wave darlings the New Collisions. Buzz built steadily over the spring with an EP-release party at T.T. the Bear’s Place, a now legendary gig that found the Cars keyboardist Greg Hawkes joining the band onstage. Over the summer the band, led by platinum-blond pixie singer Sarah Guild and her guitar-wielding husband, Scott, opened several national dates for the B-52s and Blondie. Friday night, the New Collisions tie a nice synthesized bow on 2009 with a headlining gig at the Middle East downstairs to celebrate their new effort, “Invisible Embraces.” Produced by Anthony Resta (Duran Duran, Missing Persons), the new EP is another sleek rhythmic romp through a late-’70s throwback style that somehow sounds as fresh as ever, and the release party is a fitting salute before the New Collisions set out to conquer 2010 on a national scale.
The Lucid Culture Interview: The New Collisions
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June 30, 2009 One of the first things you notice about the New Collisions is how catchy their so...June 30, 2009
One of the first things you notice about the New Collisions is how catchy their songs are. How your head starts bobbing to that fast retro 80s dance beat. How they sound like some great new wave band that’s just about to be rediscovered. But there are a zillion retro bands out there. What distinguishes the New Collisions from the rest of the pack is how smart their songs are. “The world’s onfire? Not our problem,” platinum blonde frontwoman Sarah Guild sarcastically chirps on Beautiful and Numb, the centerpiece of their killer new ep (full review here due soon – watch this space). With a potential national breakout gig upcoming at Gillette Stadium (home of the New England Patriots) the Boston band’s on the verge of leaving small club gigs behind. The band’s brain trust, Scott and Sarah Guild (guitar and vocals, respectively) took some time out of their insane schedule, recording with former Cars keyboardist Greg Hawkes, to answer a few questions:
Lucid Culture: What happened to the Collisions? Or was it the Old Collisions?
Sarah Guild: This is actually a funny story. We’ve lived in Boston for a year and launched the New Collisions about six months ago, so we weren’t too familiar with the Boston scene. There had, apparently, been a successful local band called the Collisions, which broke up a few years ago. When we started to pick up steam, people assumed it was members of the Collisions resurrecting the project. But no press is bad press; there are actually lemmingtrail threads on this [laughs].
Scott Guild: Contrary to public opinion, however, we actually wanted to be called the New Collisions. The music is about history, culture, religion, human connection, and all their strange permutations in this era. The collisions are “new” because they are the changes and the tensions that are happening right now, shaping the identity of this generation.
LC: You weren’t even born yet when the bands you resemble were in their heyday. And don’t tell me you grew up listening to classic new wave hits…or did you?
Sarah: Yes and no. We were always eclectic, so we grew up listening to everything. When the time came to pick a definite direction for the band, it was the great melodic pop of the 60s and 80s that grabbed us. We love many many kinds of music, but there’s something timeless about Blondie, the Beach Boys, the Kinks, the Cars–we’re trying to make that same kind of musical statement.
LC: I’m curious to know Sarah’s musical background. You belt, you wail, you chirp sometimes. You probably have more stuff up your sleeve than I know about. Is this style you’re using now something you’ve adapted from listening to Missing Persons, or Cindy Lauper, or is it just how you’ve evolved, or what?
Sarah: Well, I have a background in classical and choral music, and have sung every type of music on the planet in my brief time on this planet. I’m such an avid fan of so many bands that I imagine you can hear everything from Billie Holiday to Ray Davies in my delivery. But yes, Dale Bozzio especially is a huge influence. Funnily enough, when I started listening to Missing Persons, I was amazed to hear a few vocal tricks that I had been doing for a long time. In any case, it really starts new with every song, trying to find the vocal approach that will fit the melody, the message, the overall feel.
LC: Is there a neat backstory to the band, I mean, something like Scott saw Sarah on the T, looked over her shoulder at her ipod and saw she had Blondie on it…something like that?
Scott: Well…we met at college, dropped out together, and then lived in many many places over a few years–England, the south, all over the northeast. Finally we decided to move to Boston and form the New Collisions. The musical direction came from taking our favorite influences and then trying to merge them into something new and unique.
LC: What’s up with the drummer situation, you guys have been like Spinal Tap except that all those drummers are still alive. I’m guessing anyway…
Scott: We had a few fill-in players for New York shows, as you rightly discerned. Really it was a search for the right person, which took a few months, but we were too impatient and started gigging anyway! When Zak came along, we knew within the first thirty seconds of the audition.
LC: Whose vintage synthesizer is that, and is the use of all those weird, oscillating settings a deliberate attempt to get an 80s sound? Or do you just genuinely like that vibe?
Sarah: Actually, our keyboard player has no background with this kind of music. He somehow has almost the exact musical aesthetic of Greg Hawkes, but he had no knowledge of the man when he wrote most of these lines. Casey brought in his stuff, started messing around, and it all fell into place. Spooky.
LC: For a band with some pretty poppy songs, they’re awfully dark sometimes. I don’t want to open any old wounds, but to what extent do your lyrics draw from personal experience?
Scott: Almost none of the lyrics, actually, are about our personal experiences as such. We try to write about the condition-slash-struggles of people our age at this point in history. They’re deeply personal, but not about our personal lives per se.
LC: Were you guys teenage delinquents? The Ones to Wander? Is that what that song’s about?
Scott: Ones to Wander is more personal than most. We’ve always been restless, and spent a few years roaming about before settling in Boston to form the New Collisions. Even in high-school, we were always going on odd adventures, getting into trouble, and so forth. When you have that kind of wanderlust, you’re always in tension with people who are living normal, relatively peaceful lives – there’s a huge gap between you. So that song is about having this endless yearning, and trying to survive in a society that doesn’t support it at all. “I don’t know how the rest survive/But oh my eyes, oh my eyes.”
LC: Can you explain Parachutes on the Dance Floor?
Scott: This lyric, apparently, is quite obscure I guess [laughs] A parachute catches you when you’re falling. So parachutes on the dancefloor is about living a totally empty, vapid life, based around some mindless job, then finding relief and meaning in music, art, expression, etc. “The world had betrayed me/My parachute’s on the dancefloor.” In our own lives, music has been the saving grace.
LC: You have a big following in Boston, you get great gigs and have a lot of media buzz going there. How has it been you outside your home turf?
Sarah: We seem to go over well everywhere–I think it’s that the music is fun and melodic. That being said, it’s hard for a new band to immediately get buzz in a huge city like New York, where none of us live or have lived previously. Also, our first real recordings have been out for less than a month. To answer your question, it’s been great, but we’re excited to see it grow even more.
LC: I’ve always believed that pop music can be smart and accessible at the same time, is that something that factors into what you’re doing or is it just more of an unconscious thing?
Sarah: That’s definitely a factor. Our goal is to make fun catchy music that is also about something. We’re trying to have the best of both worlds – Blondie on one hand and Leonard Cohen on the other – serious fun and serious poetry. Hopefully it works!
LC: Here in New York – and I’m seeing elsewhere – there’s been a big backlash against indie rock, musicians and audiences both getting into styles that are more fun. Is fun back in style? Or is the whole indie world full of shit, fun never really ever went away in the first place?
Scott: I think fun is definitely coming back into style. It’s kind of a paradox, but I think standing around and sulking is less in vogue when everyone’s broke. When you’re dirt poor and have a horrible job, you want to have some fun with your small amount of money. We’re all paupers and peasants these days.
LC: Unlike a lot of new bands, you draw a remarkably diverse crowd. You even seem to get some of the people who listened to that stuff the first time around in the 80s out of the house. Does that offer some validation of what you’re doing?
Sarah: Sure, we want everyone to love us! A good melody, whether it’s Elvis, or the Velvet Underground, or ABBA, or Pat Benatar, is essentially timeless and can connect to everyone. We work hard on the lyrics, but I think we’ll go as far as our melodies can take us.
LC: What’s the sickest thing that’s ever happened to you at a live show?
Scott: Sick as in gross? Or sick as in, “Dude, that was sick!” Hmm…we played a strange show once at the upstairs of this bar, and they put us on this slippery linoleum floor with no carpet for the drums. We were all falling and moving positions, a cymbal stand went flying past Sarah in the middle of one song…it was a gig on a slip-and-slide. Fun, but we would never ever do it again.
LC: OK, now what’s the best thing?
Sarah: Well, we had Greg Hawkes from The Cars sit in with us for three songs at our ep release show last month [TT Bears in Boston]. That was an amazing experience and privilege. Performing “You Might Think” with him at the helm, to an absolutely packed house, was probably the high point of our lives as performers.
LC: Any breaking news about the band we should share? Like, you just got a song on the L Word – oh yeah, that’s off the air. But seriously – you know what I mean…
Sarah: Well, we’re headed back into the studio to do two new singles in July, and we’ll also be filming 2-3 music videos. A bunch of really excellent people found out about us and were excited to be involved with the project, so we’re making it happen. There’s going to be a ton of new stuff, and we’ll probably book a tour around releasing it come late summer or early fall.
LC: Any shout-outs you wanna give to good Boston bands? Here’s your chance…
Sarah: Yes, yes, and yes. Everyone should check out, in no particular order, the Sterns, the Motion Sick, Freezepop, Passion Pit, and the Luxury.
In a Shadow
Give Me Back My Man
No Free Ride
Parachutes on The Dancefloor
In a Shadow
Ones to Wander
Caged Us Kids
Beautiful and Numb
Silence at the Heart