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Interview: Departures

Departures is a a four piece punk-rock outfit hailing from Bayonne, New Jersey. The band formed in January 2009 out of the necessity to make honest music in a scene so badly watered down and insincere. In the disbanding of Northern Jersey acts such as Repeating Goodbye!, Mispent Youth and Goodnight Bravado, held four friends whom all met in High School and have been playing music together since their years as teenagers. Their new five song EP, "Without Fear" dropped this year and is worth checking out. The band will be playing Montclair Fest this week with a very secret headliner. They will also be playing The Championship Bar in Trenton on April 23rd and Brooklyn's Party Expo on April 29th.

Interview: Brian C. Reilly

Describe the band's sound to those who do not know of you guys:

The sound of Departures is fast paced, intricate, in your face, pop-punk
tunes with a dash of experimentation and the heart of a hardcore band. We
don't have any limits and its all about honesty.

How did this band form? What bands were you in previously?

Man, the creation of Departures goes way back!  Its a classic story. It all
started when Mike and Steve randomly met in a 9th grade science class
because of a Misfits shirt. They decided to make a band and soon after that,
Doyle joined them on bass.  This band was called "Mispent Youth".  Christian
randomly met Steve through a mutual friend and from then on, was always at
our practices and chinese food hang-outs that followed after. Around 2007
Doyle left "Mispent Youth" to play in a pop-punk band called "Repeating
Goodbye".  The weird part is, Steve sang in "Repeating Goodbye" for their
first two albums, but he couldn't really juggle being in two bands, so he
stuck with "Mispent Youth". After many years, Doyle rejoined "Mispent Youth"
on drums after our old drummer left to join and tour the world with "The
River City Rebels".  Christian used to play bass for "Goodnight Bravado"and
initially had only planned to fill-in for some shows, writing, and the
recording of "Without Fear" until we could find someone who could be fully
dedicated to the band, however, after we finished recording  he changed his
mind and decided to make us his main focus.

Aside from wanting to create real, honest music, Departures formed from a
series of odd, everyday events and four people remaining best friends for
almost a decade.

What are your thoughts on the current New Jersey music scene?

The New Jersey scene is not exactly what it was when we were growing up and
dying to start bands, but it seems to still be alive and well.  I can recall
hearing about the legendary basement shows that had Thursday on the bill or
how easy it was for a 13 year old to get his/her band on an awesome show
without selling 1000+ tickets.

Now, if we are talking about awesome bands, New Jersey always has and will
always have amazing bands and I dont think that'll ever change.

I received a copy of your 2010 EP at the Van's Warped Tour Press Conference
when you approached me to talk up your band -- how important is your
interaction with music fans? I find it really interesting that so many bands
stay behind the digital curtain and seldom interact with fans in person.

The internet is a great tool for bands and we utilize it in every way
possible, but nothing shows dedication like old school, face to face
promotion.  Before the internet was invented so many awesome bands got
discovered by actually playing shows and handing out flyers about their band
and relentlessly getting denied by people who are too good to take one.

Our passion for our music is more than just a facebook status and we want
our work ethic to show it.

Another reason is, Growing up, we always wanted to know people in bands and
talk to them.. it seemed like they always had so much advice and fun stories
to offer. Now that we are in bands, we want our fans to become our friends
and learn about them.  We want to establish something that is more then just
a social networking site that is informing you of our new CD, tour, etc.

How was working with John Naclerio (Brand New, My Chemical Romance, Polar
Bear Club)?

Awesome!  All of us have worked with so many different engineers and
producers, but John takes the cake.  He is one of the funniest dudes we know
and that fits in perfectly with the four of us, since we are completely out
of our minds.

He also is full of some great ideas and had no problem letting us stay in
control of our music.  We can't wait to be back with him in the near future.

What are some of your band's influences? Both musical and non-musical?

This is probably our favorite question because its never what anybody
expects haha.  Steve has always been into crust and street punk.  Mike grew
up on Classic Rock and is a huge Beatles' junkie. Christian has been
studying classical guitar and listening to Sigur Ros and indie like Bright
Eyes or Broken Social Scene since we can remember.  Doyle is a lot like Mike
in the sense that he grew up listening to Classic Rock, but he is always
finding weird new music to introduce us to.

We had no idea were were a "pop-punk" or "melodic hardcore" band until we
completed our new EP in January.  We had a conversation with John on how
people were comparing us to bands like "Transit", "Set Your Goals" and even
"Blink 182" and he was shocked that we had no idea of our genre.  We just
thought we were a fast punk band.

As we all grew older, we branched off from our roots and now our musical
taste is vast.  When we write, we never have a set genre or band in mind; We
just want to be ourselves and write music that we love. So,  I guess staying
true to ourselves is our many influence.

You guys are playing with New Found Glory, how stoked are you?

When I got the call that they confirmed for the show, I told the guys and we
were all pretty excited, but I think since its been a few weeks since the
news we have all calmed down a bunch.  Im sure the excitement is going to
start hitting again in a few days since the date is drawing closer.  Its
crazy that we have been on multiple bills with people that we watched on MTV
when we were kids.  Shits unreal. So, yeah. We're stoked!

I see you guys are mostly playing all-age shows with the exception of the
one in Trenton -- how important are 'all age shows' to you guys?

All-age shows are where its at!  We understand the legal reasons why certain
shows have age limits, and it makes sense, BUT we think music and fun should
be for everyone, at anytime, at any places.

Describe New Jersey in three words:


What are your plans for 2011?

Right now, our plans for 2011 are to consistently tour the United States in
support of our new EP, "Without Fear".  A side from touring and getting our
name out there, we are hoping to release a few new songs over the year or
put out a split 7" with one of the many awesome bands that we play with.
 Find the right home for our music is also something we are interested in
doing, but we dont plan to settle for a label that we feel isnt a perfect
match for us.  Expect a lot from us, though. We have zero intentions of
slowing down.


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