This interview was conducted via email with lead singer and lyricist John Maiello February 26 - April 3, 2017.
For more information on Dead Bars check out the band's Facebook, Twitter, BandCamp, and Spotify pages.
Dave: How did the band get together?
John Maiello: I was a drummer in a bunch of bands on the East Coast from age 14-22. When I was 22, I moved to Seattle to start playing drums in a band with my friend Tom who was living out here. We played a handful of shows with that band, but in the end my vision for the band was not the same vision as the other members. I realized that as a drummer, it was difficult to grow a band the way I wanted to. I decided to pick up guitar and learn a few power chords and I wrote a few songs. I kicked them around for a few years and then in 2013, I put a band together to play one show. People thought it was good, so I decided to play more. C.J. joined on drums for show #2 and has been in the band with me the whole time since. We've had a bunch of friends join/fill-in/help/tour since the early days but we have a good group now. Blom on guitar and Oddo on bass.
Dave: What’s the story behind the name Dead Bars?
John: A long time ago, my friends dragged me to an overcrowded bar with lines just to get a beer. I told them that I would never go that bar again, and that the only places I will ever go for the rest of my life are dead bars. I thought it was a good band name, and it stuck.
Dave: For those who have never heard the band, how do you describe your music?
John: Punk Rock band with fun sounding songs about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness.
Dave: You recently released your debut full-length album Dream Gig on No Idea Records. What's the story behind the record? How did you get hooked up with No Idea?
As far as No Idea, early on in 2013, we recorded a demo and thought that it would fit on that label. We got really fucked up one night and sent them an email with a link to our songs. The next morning we woke up and got a response that they wanted to release our records. They released our first two seven-inches and then a tour split with The Tim Version last year. Over the last few years we were crafting Dream Gig. We're lucky to be apart of No Idea Records.
Dave: Do you have plans to tour in support of the new record? What are some of your favorite places to play?
John: Yes, we will definitely tour both coasts. I'd love to get back to the Mid-West too. I don't know where or when, but sometime in 2017. Our favorite places to play are the Pacific Northwest, Southern California, NYC, Boston, Chicago, and Gainesville, FL.
Dave: Do you have any specific type of songwriting process?
Dave: What are your thoughts on the music scene in Seattle?
John: I think Seattle has a great music scene. I guess like any big city, it is kinda split up into different smaller scenes. There are also bands that are what I like to call "Seattle Big" which I don't really understand. They play really big shows and have a lot of fans in town but I don't think anybody cares anywhere else. We are lucky enough to play in a bunch of different scenes with a bunch of different bands.
Dave: This is a High Fidelity inspired question. What are your top five favorite bands, albums, movies, television programs, books/authors?
John: This is tough one. I'll just give you one of my favorites from each category cuz this question is kind of stressing me out!
1) Band: Bouncing Souls
2) Album: "Blue Album" Weezer
3) Movie: Dumb and Dumber
4) TV: Seinfeld
5) Book: Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerad
Dave: What’s next for the band?
John: Gigs. Sleep. Writing more songs. Some beers. Recording new stuff. Probably touring.
Dave: Any final thoughts?
John: Never Give Up On Your Dreams