The Woulda Coulda Shouldas
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The Woulda Coulda Shouldas


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"Making a Mix of the Space's Battle of the Bands (We Won This, FYI)"

What: We’re down to six. It started roughly two months ago, with about 40 bands, but come Saturday, The Space’s annual Battle of the Bands will crown two much-deserved winners. The six groups competing will have gone through three different rounds by the end of the show Saturday. On the bill for the finale are Save The Moment, Sounds Like Spring, Castles, The Woulda Coulda Shouldas, Suburban Monkeys and Krispy and the Skinny Kids. As you probably know by now, The Space chooses two winners of each battle. One champ is strictly determined by the crowd. Whichever act gets more fans through the door, wins. So that’s plenty of incentive for backers of any of those six groups to get out to The Space. The other winner is determined by a panel of esteemed judges, one of which will come from us here at Weekend.

Where you can see it: The show goes down at 7 p.m. Saturday at The Space (295 Treadwell St., Building H, Hamden). But enough with all the buildup, it’s time to preview the competition with a killer mixtape. Now, of course, there will be only six parts to this mix because, well, there are only six bands performing. And, with that said, we here at Weekend have caught every one of these bands but two at least once, so here goes nothing:

Castles — This New Haven band really writes deceptively complicated indie rock that feels a lot like Coldplay. The group uses lead guitar parts well. At times, the guitar just rocks hard, but other moments deliver patient and searing leads. Without a doubt, the star of the show is the guitar, but Castles even delves into a little emo with its vocal delivery. All in all, it works out to be a fine combo of indie, one that could definitely win this Battle.

Save the Moment — This Ansonia group is certainly, um, interesting. At one semifinal round, the band delivered an instrumental guitar tune that so badly wanted to be Van Halen’s “Eruption,” they might as well have called it that. But, actually, the guys named the tune “Millennium,” even though the members of the band were probably 8 in 2000. But besides Eddie Van Halen histrionics, Save the Moment also plays some power punk and screamo. It’s an interesting juxtaposition.

Sounds Like Spring — Let us get something straight: We have fallen in love with Sounds Like Spring. We like calling them Smells Like Spring, but that’s just a little joke that makes no sense to anyone but us here at Weekend, and WPLR’s Rick Allison. Sometimes Smells Like Spring tries to do more than it can really pull off, but this is the kind of young band that makes us excited for the future. A little Vampire Weekend, a little Talking Heads and even some jazzy moments is what makes this a really unique act.

Krispy and the Skinny Kids — So we know that by looking at this Guilford band’s name, you’d really expect a ska band. We sure did. But Krispy and the Skinny Kids most assuredly does not play ska music. Actually, the group makes something way more akin to 1980s heavy metal. In fact, we have this feeling that the group, if they weren’t in high school and it wasn’t 2010, would fit right in on the Sunset Strip, playing the Whiskey and getting into backstage brawls with L.A. Guns or something.

The Woulda Coulda Shouldas — Another big favorite for the Judge’s Choice winner, the Rowayton-based The Woulda Coulda Shouldas is a trio that makes traditional indie rock. The young guys display an uncanny knack for song structure and pop sensibilities. The songs are simple enough, but they soon embed themselves in your head. You’ll be singing along by the end. Oh, and the occasional cheesy synth? Just perfect.

Suburban Monkeys — Now, we know we said Krispy and the Skinny Kids sounded like a ska band’s name. Suburban Monkeys really doesn’t. But, guess what? Yep, Suburban Monkeys is a ska band. We’ve never actually seen the guys perform, but you kind of know what you’re going to get with ska. It may be really good. It might be really bad. But, no matter what, it’s going to be fun, right? Well, as long as it’s not really bad. - New Haven Register

"Th Woulda Coulda Shouldas To Take The Stage At OysterFest"

"Woulda, coulda, shoulda" is more than just a cliché on regret.

Woulda Coulda Shoulda may mean the next great local band to make it big on the national stage.

Proof of this group's potential came when it was voted to open for one of the headliners of this summer's Alive@ Five concert series in Stamford following the city's first ever Battle of the Bands contest.

In early July, the Woulda Coulda Shouldas opened for Rusted Root at the Alive@Five and later headlined the Rowayton Summer Music Festival.

Three natives of Norwalk, Chris Sammons (vocals and guitar), Phil Osgood (drums) and Alex Swift (vocals and bass), who graduated from Greens Farms Academy in 2005 and currently live in Rowayton, formed the Woulda, Coulda, Shouldas in the summer of 2005, shortly before they headed off to college. The trio took into account teen angst and wanted to make a punk rock statement in choosing its name.

"When we started the band, it had a catchy name with dark undertones," Sammons said. "It's a constant reminder to us and we try to make the name ironic. We want to see the name Woulda Coulda Shouldas in big print in magazines."

Next stop for Woulda, Coulda, Shouldas is at the Norwalk Oyster Festival on Sept. 11 at 1:30 p.m.

"We're really excited because it's a big festival," Sammons said. "We will do what we do and hopefully, enough people will enjoy it."

Sammons, Osgood and Swift are aware of their following and are happy with how they are making a name for themselves.

"If this is what a Woulda Coulda Shouldas can do, it is great," Sammons said.

"I don't know if it's cool because we're good performers or have a catchy name. There are so many bands out there and it's good to be connected."

Sammons and Osgood were originally in a band together called Easy and became a threesome when Swift joined them.

Shortly after Woulda Coulda Shouldas formed, its members went off to college with Swift attending the Berklee School of Music in Boston; Sammons studied English and performed as a solo artist in Scotland; and Osgood studied history and worked on his drumming skills in Pennsylvania.

Despite being away from each other during the school year, the Woulda Coulda Shouldas performed together every summer when they were home.

"It never ever seemed the band was up in the air," Sammons said.

"We knew we'd be playing together when we came back. It wasn't a question of dedication because it was a given we'd be playing together. Music was a year-round thing for us and when we were together, we played together."

Being away from each other didn't hurt the group's chemistry, either. If anything, the distance had the opposite effect.

"The chemistry was with us when Alex Swift came into the band," Sammons said.

"When we were together, we played as much as we could and the distance, if anything, helped us with the chemistry."

Currently, they are closer than ever and live under the same roof in one big house in Rowayton. Even though they look alike and are like brothers, Sammons believes that having a big house is healthy because they all need their own space at times.

The three of them work well together writing songs, drawing on their individual inspirations.

"Everything is an inspiration as far as songwriting goes and it's more about the melody," Sammons said.

"It's an itch we have and it's something we do. We're on the piano and are playing a song or we're walking down the street, and the tune comes to us. Songwriting is a part of who we are. We pick up a new album, listen to the new artist, envy the songwriter and it motivates us to write our own song and do our own thing."

Woulda Coulda Shouldas' songwriting prowess can be heard on the band's first five-song EP, titled TiPi, which was released four months ago. One song on TiPi is titled Savannah, and, according to Sammons, is about a guy who is being played by a woman.

Three other songs in the album are also about the angst and desire involved in relationships.

"Each song has its own emotion and tone to it," Sammons said.

The fifth song is about Phillip Seymour Hoffman, which was written about the actor in minutes.

"It's a melodic and catchy tune and we decided to record it," Sammons said. "We were able to create cool harmonies and we went with it."

Eventually, Would Coulda Shouldas hope to release a full album but have no set plans on a release date.

It's a matter of having enough material for one, which they are working hard to make happen. Currently, they are selling their songs through the internet on iTunes and have been successful with it.

Some venues they like to play in include The Bitter End, The Knitting Factory, Kenny's Castaway, Arlene's Groceries, Wicked Willies and Santos Party House in New York City. They also enjoyed playing at the Place in Hamden and Webster Underground Theater in Hartford.

Playing at the Oyster Festival is one of their few gigs scheduled for Norwalk, but they would love to play in their hometown more if they were asked to do so.

So what sounds will you hear when they do play in their hometown next weekend?

"It's hard to put us in a specific genre," Sammons said. "The type of music is punk but we're not punk's poster child. We see each other as a pop band because we write pop tunes and we see each other as a rock band because we do rock solos and drum solos. We try to incorporate different genres of our music into our routine."

When they aren't making music, all three have day jobs with Sammons running a café in Stamford, Osgood working in newspaper advertising and Swift working at a liquor store and teaching bass-playing lessons. Their goal is to make it big in the music industry and be able to quit their day jobs.

"It's unexplored terrain for modern artists," Sammons said. "People are adapting in the music industry and there's no one way to get to be able to quit your day jobs. Finding the way has been a challenge but we hope to do it. We want to go deep in New York City where things are vibrant or get in front of a booking agent who can put us in a place where we can do something special.

"We definitely have faith. It's a hard road but we keep on trying and every month, we have more people wanting to talk to us instead of us wanting to talk to them, which is a good sign."

Band members would relish the possibility of playing at Madison Square Garden.

"That is the goal for us," Sammons said.

"When we graduated from school, our goal was to pursue being a rock band." - Connecticut Post

"The Woulda Coulda Shouldas: Your Musical Energy Drink"

When you think of a great music scene and rock stars, you probably don’t picture a band out of suburban Connecticut. The Woulda Coulda Shouldas (a.k.a. WCS) wants to change that. Chris Sammons (guitar/vocals), Alex Swift (bass/vocals) and Phil Osgood (drums) are also revamping the three most meaningful words in the English language (I Love You) into the catchiest, feel-good chorus we’ve heard in a while (yes, we have the YouTube to prove it…see below!).

We got the scoop from drummer Phil Osgood on the meaning of their name, why you (and your mom!) should listen, and why jamming to The Would Coulda Shouldas is better than your 7 a.m. coffee or 3 p.m. Red Bull. BONUS! You can hear The Woulda Coulda Shouldas live at Arlene’s Grocery (95 Stanton Street, New York, NY) this Saturday, August 28. Show starts at 8pm, WCS takes the stage at 11pm.


WOULDA COULDA SHOULDAS: The purpose of the name is similar to the purpose of Bruce Wayne’s alter ego, Batman; to embody and confront one’s own personal demons in order to conquer them. No one wants to be a woulda coulda shoulda, so to overcome that perpetual challenge we decided to identify ourselves as The Woulda Coulda Shouldas.


WCS: Musical energy drink.


WCS: I see us as the musical love child of Green Day and Coldplay. Green Day was a punk band that wouldn’t apologize for the fact that it was a little pop-ier than usual. We’re an indie-rock band that’s also not afraid of our pop sensibilities. Plus, we like to play hard! Coldplay symbolizes a brand of rock-pop that has universal appeal, which we also like to aim for. Their hooks and lyrics embed themselves in the listener’s mind until they can’t help but sing along and fall in love.


WCS: Well, we all have day jobs. So when we get home, we get right back to work: Sending and answering emails, writing, recording and practicing. Chris (Sammons) and Alex (Swift) are the main songwriters. Other than that, it’s just the usual drinks and crazy dance parties.


WCS: Whatever song gets the crowd dancing! “I Love You” is a newer tune that gets the girls singing along. (Fun fact: “I Love You” songwriter Swift is superstar Taylor Swift’s cousin.) It’s got a very simple chorus (I Love You, repeated 12 times), so when they catch on and start singing back, it’s a great feeling.

WCS performs “I Love You” at Stamford Downtown – Alive @ Five Battle of the Bands.


WCS: If we share blood with a person they seem to enjoy us more…. For instance, we consider it to be the oddest of coincidences that all our mothers think our music is incredible. In general, anyone with an appreciation for honest, organic energetic music.


WCS: In a year, we’d love to be opening up for or going on tour with bigger bands. It’d be great to be able to learn from established acts and earn new fans every night. We’d love to play the big introduction festivals like SXSW and Warped Tour. A year from now, we want to be the musical world’s next big thing. In five years, we’d like to be able to say we made good on that hype.


WCS: Coming off stage or out of a practice knowing that we nailed something or made something really cool is one of the best feelings in the world. When other people feel it too, it makes it even better.

Our biggest accomplishment so far is winning the innagural Stamford Downtown – Alive @ Five Battle of the Bands. In a state with a minimal music scene, Stamford’s Alive @ Five is the top of the ladder. We got a lot of good press, opened for Rusted Root, and played on an awesome stage in front of family and friends, so it was a special experience.


WCS: TV and sushi are essential aspects of our lives.


WCS: Our debut EP, Tipi, is out on iTunes. You can check us out online at, like us on Facebook or hear more at

-Cait Rohan

GIRL TALK TIME: What do you think of the band? Are you going to catch them this weekend? Know any other awesome up-and-coming bands? Email and tell us now! -

"The WouldaCouldas play Alive @ Five"

STAMFORD -- As the Woulda Coulda Shouldas finished up their sound check with a song called "Do I Do," the crowds slowly started to roll in to July 8's Alive @ Five concert, headlined by Rusted Root.

The band walked offstage and turned to a cooler of cold water bottles, its drummer wiping sweat from his forehead.

"That giant fan over there is our biggest fan yet," Phil Osgood said, pointing to the massive fan blowing cool air over the stage.

The Woulda Coulda Shouldas were one of three bands voted to open for the headliners at this summer's Alive @ Five concert series, presented by the Stamford Downtown Special Services District, after the city's first-ever Battle of the Bands competition leading up to the annual concert series.

The three bands were selected after three rounds of performances, with the final round serving as the deciding factor with a popular vote. The new event, which was organized by DSSD Events Coordinator David Klein, began with a group of 11 different bands.

"It took us more than six months to plan, and we couldn't be more thrilled with the results," Klein said. "All 11 bands were fabulous, and the final three were who the people most wanted to see."

Creating the Battle of the Bands competition, Klein said, was in response to the innumerable amount of submissions the DSSD receives each year for local bands vying for a spot at the coveted Columbus Park stage.

With just a half-hour until show time, the three members of the Woulda Coulda Shouldas -- lead singer Chris Sammons, bassist Alex Swift and drummer Osgood -- leaned against a bar in Tiernan's Bar & Restaurant, engaging in what they call some pre-show rituals.

"We like to have a beer or two and psych each other up a little bit with gut punches and push-ups," Swift said, nursing a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer can. "We used to get a little bit of stage fright, but I think tonight, more than anything, we're just anxious because it's our biggest show ever."

At 4:50 p.m., Swift left the group to grab the set list and head over to the stage with 10 minutes until they were to begin their show.

"We don't have a manager, so we book our own shows, choose our own set list, manage our MySpace. We do everything," Sammons said. "We're just hoping to make a splash somewhere."

All of the members from the unsigned band hail from Fairfield County, two-thirds of whom are from Rowayton, and deem themselves "an original band" with a mesh of indie, pop, alternative and rock sounds. The members all said that if they could open for anyone ever, it would be The Beatles, but a modern-day favorite is Brooklyn-based Vampire Weekend.

At 5 p.m., the Woulda Coulda Shouldas took the stage as more concertgoers began to arrive for Thursday evening happy hours. The band played for 45 minutes, the three members bouncing, shaking their hair and jumping around stage the entire time.

One Alive @ Five enthusiast leaned against the railing, mouthing over and over to himself, "They're unbelievable," raising his can to the stage.

"It wasn't our best show, but it was a really fun show. A lot of people came out, and we just hope they had a good time," Sammons said. "We can always gauge how well a show went by looking at the page views on our MySpace over the next few days." - Stamford Advocate


The TiPi EP - Available on iTunes
Singles 'Best Part of the Night' and 'You Got What I Want' have received radio airplay on numerous CT radio stations.

New Song Demos and Old Demos are always being streamed on our website ( and our Facebook page.



The story of the Woulda Coulda Shoulda’s began in the summer of 2005, when the musical paths of long time friends Alex Swift (Bassist/Vocals), Christopher Sammons (Vocals, Guitar) and Phil Osgood (Drums) finally collided, full force, in a small Connecticut basement. Although they departed for college after only one month of playing together, they knew then that a musical bond had been born; a creative relationship that can only be described as unique and passionate. The three members, all in their early 20’s, have known each other since high school. They bring to their music inspiration from such diverse artists as The Beatles, Muse, and Kings of Leon and admit to searching for the perfect 3 minute pop song. The band fuses energetic guitars with a remarkable rhythm section and skillful harmonies to create a new breed of youthful indie pop-rock.

Although the Woulda Coulda Shouldas played and recorded music together before the fall of 2009, they never really had the chance to take it seriously. Upon graduating from their respective colleges, the boys returned to their homes in Connecticut and regrouped as a band (and recovered from a broken leg). With their passion for the WCS as strong as ever and an arsenal of intriguing indie-pop tunes, the boys decided to rent a house, move in together, and aim for the stars. The band’s live shows are a sight to be seen. The three members display infectious energy while crashing their way through a set of tight, well crafted songs.

Their memorable performances have gained recognition throughout the NYC/Brooklyn/CT area since they came back into town in 2009. Last year, the band won two of Connecticut's most competitive Battle of the Bands shows: The Space (Hamden) BotB and the Stamford Downtown Alive @ Five BotB. The earned a slot opening for Rusted Root at last year's A@5 and also played the Oyster Fest in September 2010. Their five-song EP (available on iTunes) is already gaining internet and radio buzz from standout songs “Best Part of the Night”, “Phillip Seymour Hoffman” and “You Got What I Want”. The future is surely bright for this power trio from southern Connecticut.