Those People talk working with producer Bill Moriarty, the Philly scene, and more

Philly- based rock band, Those People, will be releasing their first official EP, Be Careful What You Wish For, this Friday, December 5th at Northstar Bar. After hearing the new music earlier this month, it will be cool to see how the music translates to a live setting. Rock On Philly got the chance to talk to the band in advance of the show about recording with Bill Moriarty, The Philly Scene, music streaming, and much more. Check out our interview below!

ROP: Guys, thank you so much for taking to time to chat with us! First off, what brought your band together? What’s the story behind your name, Those People?

Those People: Daniel DiFranco and I (Seth Carter) are English/Music teachers in the Philly system. After producing student music—performance-based covers for several years—we felt the need to do something original to our own preferences and style as musicians. The rest of the players arrived over time. Our singer, Assad Khafre is an ex-student of ours. Bass, drums, backup vocals, and synth came as the band evolved. We’ve reached a point where each member enjoys their own place in writing and recording original music.

Our band name comes from our love for words. As “Those People” is a label often used to describe a stereotype or difference between people, we see it as a way to describe us all, hence the band: common folks writing music about common experiences.

ROP: Let’s talk about your latest EP, Be Careful What You Wish For. Is there an overall theme connecting the songs?

Those People: If I had to pick a thread that ties the work together, I’d say the songs thematically cover the gamut of hope and despair. Lyrically, the collective EP voices a realistic vision of the world we see, often using vibrant, make-believe characters (Sylvia, Margaret Long) to illustrate this vision.

The EP title refers to the band and its desire to move people with our own style/spin on rock music. It refers to the work involved to produce good music and the inevitable feeling at a projects culmination: “now what do we do” once its done. “Be careful what you wish for” ‘cause it’s just getting started.

ROP: What is the writing process like for your band on this EP?

Those People: Dan and I, to varying degrees come up with the core base of our songs. A first draft usually has lyrics, melody, and chord changes. Then, the band as a whole polishes their parts, develops a structure and endeavors to create a dynamic and energetic flow throughout. We are all writers in this band and the songs are written and recorded with everyone’s two cents included.

ROP: What was it like working with Bill Moriarty and Brian Lucey?

Those People: Both the experience working with Bill and the studio itself (Kawari studio) was amazing. We’re not sure we can ever go back to making good demos without having that professional approach and experience. The sonic result of these recordings is clearly better than anything we’ve done before. Bill’s mixing style/talent, placing elements of song (voices, backup-parts, effects we wouldn’t have thought to use) into a balanced mix was essential for these songs. The choice to use Brian Lucey was his suggestion, which was prudent given the edgy, driving rock elements that thread the EP. These elements blossom in his mastering style and it was a no-brainer since he has mastered some of our favorite artists and records—The Black Keys, Beck, The Arctic Monkeys, and Philly’s own Dr. Dog.

ROP: What are your hopes and dreams for Those People?

Those People: The larger dream is to make a living writing/recording songs that move and entertain people. The smaller dream is to become a relevant part of the conversation about new music, to be part of the exchange and trade of musical ideas in a thriving local-music community.

ROP: What is your experience with the Philly music scene? What do you like about it? Who are some of your favorite local acts?

Those People: Nothing to fix about the Philly music scene. It provides the opportunity for any band to play in multiple environments from professional venues to local music festivals and events. It’s good to be a musician in Philadelphia! Local acts: The Districts, War On Drugs, Shark Tape. There’s really a lot of great Philly bands.

ROP: How can the Philly music scene be improved?

Those People: In respect to the local musician/band: I feel the promotion and events system that supports the multitude of bands like us needs to return to the 80’s, 90’s model of throwing shows that are cohesive events—events that emphasize the bill and not the band. For example the Punk Rock scene 80s-90’s. People would go out to venues and know they could catch a great night of music without being familiar with the bands beforehand. That doesn’t seem to exist anymore—at least from our experience in Philadelphia.

ROP: What is your opinion on Spotify and other music streaming services?

Those People: From a consumer point of view, it’s a great way for people to become exposed to new music that they would not have been otherwise. From an artist’s point of view, we’re torn. Exposure is good, but there’s got to be a point where an artist can make a living from their art without giving it all away. As an aside, we have heard our students say they have never, not once, paid for music or a movie. This is the climate and as far as our place in it, it’s scary and exciting.

ROP: Tell us about your big release show on December 5th at Northstar Bar. What will your setup be like? Do you have anything special planned for the audience?

Those People: We’re a six-piece, and The Northstar has a big stage, so, we’re pretty happy with that! Each gig we have to figure out where each of us is going to set up camp, but we’ve been doing this a lot the past year and have gotten pretty good at getting comfortable up there. We hope to put on a great night of rock music for our fans, and the fans of the other bands on the bill: When Ships Collide, and Coral Teeth. We took the charge on this gig and created a night of cohesive music—kind of like what we mentioned earlier about the scene. People coming out on the 5th won’t be slapped upside the ears with a metal band or a three-piece blues band playing covers after any of the bands play. We chose these bands because of that.

ROP: What’s next for Those People?

Those People: Now that we have a product, we need more fans. We plan on playing less local shows this year, every 6 weeks to 2 months, we are planning dates outside of the city to play new audiences. We have a date scheduled Hebe Lounge, NJ Jan. 24th—our 1st date outside of the city. We also plan to play dates this coming year in as many venues along the east coast as we can. As for recordings, we hope to get back into the studio this Winter or Spring. We have a host of new songs, some of which warrant recording. Our live show incorporates 4 of these right now.

Those People performs Northstar Bar along with When Ships Collide and Coral Teeth on Friday, December 5th. You can purchase tickets here.

2 Comments

  1. Lauren S

    December 5, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Their perspective on the music scene in Philly is really enlightening; I would like to see more cohesive events as well.

  2. Pingback: Those People Throw Exhilarating EP Release Party - Rock On Philly

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