The New Confusions
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The New Confusions

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"Malfunktion put the funk back into Toronto"

For success one needs struggle, and while breaking from independence to label is a struggle any band needs that journey to grow. Malfunktion have felt this struggle but see the better side of independence, complete freedom in an industry that, for lack of better words, all sounds the same.
The trio birthed out of drum and bass sessions in high school days. Francesco Paonessa was added on guitar and vocals a few months later. Since then the band has gone through a few changes in names, an extra guitarist, and been on hiatus before re-uniting as a trio in 2003. They have played everywhere from the downtown Toronto venues like The 360, Reverb, and The Opera House, to the rowdy student crowds of York University and Georgian College. They have one full-length album, One-Hundred, and their track “Save My Trust” is featured on the Pezmosis compilation Like Nobodies Business.

How would you describe your sound? What influences do you think rendered the sound?

At its core, our sound is a mix between punk and psychedelic; our songs are built around the conventional structure and edge of punk songs, and we incorporate a groove that is reminiscent of bands from the late ‘60s. When asked this question, we sometimes say that we sound like The Clash meets Cream. Yet, our sound is influenced from a host of other genres, such as: grunge, funk, electronic, and jazz. Stone Temple Pilots, Queens of the Stone Age, The Chemical Brothers, The Grateful Dead, Weezer … these kinds of bands have helped mould us.

What is the band's greatest achievement thus far?

We think we’ve got a couple of great achievements. Recording our album “One-Hundred” last winter and having a finished product we can be proud of is really great. Other than that, we’ve played some great shows, but the biggest thing for us is that after five years, we continue to play music that we all enjoy, and that inspires us to go in new directions. Oh, and we’ve also got bootlegs in Italy. We didn’t plan it, but it’s kind of cool nonetheless.

What is the most interesting gig you have played and why?

The most interesting gig is indescribable. It was the gig for the release of a compilation that we are on. It was in Newmarket, a place we’ve never played before, and didn’t know anyone. The crowd consisted mainly of young teens that preferred hardcore punk, ska, and maybe some metal. But from the opening notes of our first song, they were immersed in our music. Before we knew it people that had never heard of us were dancing around getting into the music. On stage, we all knew and felt that there was something special right there, right then.

What bands do you think are underestimated in the music industry?

Blur, when they were around. They have always been cast in the shadow of Oasis and Radiohead on this side of the pond. Blur’s songs have far more substance than Oasis; they can be silly and serious in very smooth way, whereas I have never been able to decipher what either one of the two Gallagher brother are singing about (with the exception of The Importance of Being Idle, a pretty good song). Blur approach their instruments with a sense of curiosity but play like professionals, which is interesting and isn’t respected as much as it should be. Right now an underestimated band would be The Hives. No disrespect to the other bands, but their shows beat out anything by Franz Ferdinand or The Killers.

What are the challenges of being independent and what are the benefits?

The challenges of being independent is to try to be as professional as possible, given that no one represents the band or that the band is not signed to a label, that is, given that we are not part of the industry itself. There’s no promotion so it’s really hard to get shows. The benefits of being independent are complete freedom: we play and create the music we want.

What makes your band unique?

We like to put the music first. Image is secondary. The way we come up with our songs is great too. Everyone in this band is equal. We write the songs together and try to give equal weight in each one to all the instruments and vocals. Besides all that, we try not to play what people think they want to hear. We try to give them something and hope they find it different and enjoy it. So far it seems to be working.

Tell me your goals for the future?

Well there are small goals and there are large goals. We’d like to see our albums get distribution and play larger venues, have steady shows. Larger goals would be to take over the music world! Ok, not really, but it’d be nice to see us get radio-play without conforming to what everyone says we should play.

How do you try to get your band's name out there?

Playing shows, getting people to listen to our album. There’s bound to be a tipping point where enough people will have heard us and then things will snowball from there.

Do you have any upcoming shows?

None yet. We’ve been recording album #2. Perhaps within the next month or two we’ll have a gig, and maybe in the summer you’ll see us at North by Northeast.

Tell me your insights on the Canadian music industry? What frustrates you about it and what is good about it?

Canadian music is a reflection of the nation’s people; it’s diverse. Canada has great musicians in everything: rock, jazz, pop, folk, punk, etc. The problem is the influence of the United States. Take Much Music for example. In the past five years it has gone from playing videos all day and every day to becoming a clone of MTV: no music, or very little music, leaving us with idiotic shows. The Americanizing of Canadian culture inhibits Canadian music from getting the amount of exposure it deserves and needs. The whole Canadian Content thing is good and bad as well. It’s good that Canadian artists have to get a certain amount of radio-play, but instead of playing different bands we’re reduced to listening to Nickleback and Our Lady Peace over and over again.

Malfunktion are:
Francesco Paonessa: Guitar/Vocals
Mario Giovane: Bass
Kyle Thompson: Drums

For more information email the band at: malfunktion2000@hotmail.com
- The Toronto Times


Discography

Tracks with streaming or radio airplay: Barrie Theme Song, Rockstar XS, The 1-10 File, Locos Ambulancia, London Likes Lions, New Years, Sloppy 3rds, Sold on the Romance, Sweet Dreams.

(As The New Confusions)
Self-titled album, Summer 2009 (Available now!)

(As Malfunktion)
EP - "Prototype"
LP - "One Hundred"

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Bio

Rising from the ashes of former Toronto band Malfunktion, The New Confusions were born in a basement where three guys and their love for garage rock, punk, and British bands combined to form an attractively electric sound. They've held their own sharing the stage with bands like Metric, Wintersleep, and Tokyo Police Club, while playing in every Toronto club and bar possible in order to become one of the tightest-sounding bands you're likely to come across. Over a hundred gigs later, and with a stunning debut album about to be released, the metamorphoses for The New Confusions is complete. The only question is, are you ready for it?