Music is all about feeling. It is the expression of emotions or ideas, which translates from musician to listener—something that The Montauk Project and PUSHMETHOD know all too well.
The two New York bands will share the stage for the second time in their musical careers tonight, Saturday, July 26, at 8 p.m. at Swallow East in The Montauk Project’s home town. PUSHMETHOD will open the show, which is free to the public.
For The Montauk Project, the members’ journey in the music world began in high school, before the band even existed. High school friends Mark Schiavoni, guitarist and vocalist, and Jasper Conroy, drummer and backing vocalist for the band, played together during high school. They had their own band when they were around 15 or 16-years-old.
Although they attended different universities, after college they reunited.
“He was just one of those people I always played music with,” Conroy said about Schiavoni. “We ran into each other and were like ‘oh let’s jam.’”
After spending time making and playing music, Conroy and Schiavoni created The Montauk Project three and a half years ago.
They draw their inspiration from artists like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Jimi Hendrix. Conroy added to this, saying that the band is also influenced by 90s Grunge and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
As Montauk natives, their band name seemed to fit. But, it carried both a literal and double meaning according to Conroy.
“There’s a book about government conspiracies and time travel and mind control experiments that is all based out where we live,” he said. The band incorporated this in their earlier music with songs like “Mindcontrol.”
But the rock band was not free from complications in previous years. In the beginning of 2013, The Montauk Project had a new lineup.
“Musicians are some of the hardest people to work with,” Conroy said.
Band members need to work together to create their music. But for The Montauk Project, this was difficult since member’s egos would interfere with their music.
“There were creative differences so we lost our lead guitar because he wanted to go on a different musical direction,” Conroy said.
Their current lineup includes Schiavoni, Conroy, Chris Wood on bass and Jack Marshall playing lead guitar. The quartet released their debut album “Belly of the Beast” on March 25, 2014.
Tavis Sage, lead singer of PUSHMETHOD—a fusion of genres from hip-hop, blues, rock and more— feels that a band’s relationship outside of the rehearsal studio is also important. For Sage, PUSHMETHOD is not just a band, but a crew.
“It’s a personal thing. I grew up in Brooklyn with my crew. When you’re like that, I think people can hear that in your music and they can see it on stage,” Sage said. “We’re just a bunch of friends that love music.”
In addition to Sage, PUSHMETHOD band members include Michael Dustin “Dusty” Youree on vocals, guitar and keys, Michael Lapke on drums, Dan Hymson on bass and Doug Atkins, who does vocals and plays the guitar and synthesizer.
Sage and Youree created the band nearly four and a half years ago.
They named their band PUSHMETHOD, which serves as a metaphor for people’s everyday lives. Sage expanded on the reason behind the band’s name, saying that, “You’re always pushing. You’re always going for something.”
While the members of PUSHMETHOD still have day-jobs, Sage says that they are full-time musicians. But for the men of The Montauk Project, that’s not entirely the case.
Although Conroy says The Montauk Project performs three to four times a week during the summer, he says it is not something they do full-time.
“It’s a second job. We make really good money out here in the summer time, but in the winter it’s very dismal,” Conroy said.
Outside of the band Schiavoni runs a surf shop, Conroy builds houses, Wood owns an AT&T store and Marshall is a music teacher.
Saturday’s show is not only a chance for The Montauk Project to perform at home, but also for both bands to reach a larger audience. For new musicians, stepping into the music scene is tough.
“Driving to another city where no one has ever heard you and you play to five or ten people and you make like 10 dollars. You can’t support yourself like that. It’s a good hobby. You’re playing music and having fun but it can be discouraging,” Conroy said.
Both bands are hoping to expand and further their band’s success in the future. But for now, on their home turf, The Montauk Project is expecting a larger turn out.
“It’s hometown pride. Everybody loves our band where we’re from,” Conroy said.
As for PUSHMETHOD, Sage thinks the show is not just about the music, but about having fun.
“The best compliment for us is when people come up to us after a show and they’re not saying ‘Yo those songs were great,’ they’re saying ‘Yo I had a great time’ and that what’s more important to me.”