WSOU Exclusive Interview: Anthony of E-town ConcreteDate: February 15, 2015
Anthony from E-town Concrete calls in to discuss the state of E-town, making it as a band, legacy, and life live on WSOU.
Below the transcribed version is the full audio version.
Adambomb: Hey guys what's up, this is the Adambomb here on
89.5 FM, and joining me today I have a very special guest. Can you introduce
Anthony: It's Anthony [laughs] from E-town.
Adambomb: What's up man what's going on?
Anthony: You know just chilling, getting ready for the show tomorrow.
Adambomb: Right on. You guys are playing the St. Valentine's
Day Massacre tomorrow at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey. Why don't you tell us a little bit about that?
Anthony: It's sort of become a yearly tradition, we play a
show in Jersey every year, and tomorrow is the day. It actually falls on Valentine's Day for the first time ever.
Adambomb: What does your wife/girlfriend think about you
guys playing on Valentine's Day every year?
Anthony: I mean s*** it doesn't really matter because I get paid to do it. I know as far as fans, I'm sure they aren't so happy that it's on Valentine's Day. Because of that we're going to be giving out free roses tomorrow. So guys, if you're trying to get your girl to come, tell her she's getting free a rose. You don't even have to tell her that it's a free rose. We'll just give you the rose to give to her and you get to give it to her and look like the hero.
Adambomb: Oh absolutely. It's a great incentive for everyone
to bring out their wives and girlfriends.
Anthony: But you're making the natural assumption that most
of our fans are guys. Like-
Adambomb: No. No. No. [laughs] OF course. There are obviously lady fans of E-town Concrete. I've seen you guys before, there are people of all genders, races, and creeds in those pits. So [laughs] is tomorrow going to be more or less hardcore than the actual Valentine's Day Massacre?
Anthony: Uhh.. what do you mean? Like literally, the actual mob hit where everyone got murdered?
Adambomb: Yeah [laughs].
Anthony: It'll be less hardcore than that. I don't think anyone's going to get murdered. I hope not. I'd probably get sued for that. I don't need anyone else suing me. [laughs]
Adambomb: Alright Ant, what has E-town been up to? I know you guys released an album two years ago, and I saw you guys at This Is Hardcore last year, but you guys have been under the radar right now.
Anthony: Well, yeah. We're retired right now. We're old men. I'm chilling on a beach in Miami right now like a retired person. We're not an active band, but we do this once a year, every once in a while. Like if there is a festival like This Is Hardcore people will ask us to come out. We do it for fun. We aren't actively touring or writing anything. We just have no time. We want to leave the legacy what it is.
Adambomb: How involved with the hardcore scene are you still?
Anthony: I'm really not involved at all. [laughs] For a while I was managing hardcore bands, you know Terror, Behemoth. I kind of transitioned from that into hip-hop. As far as the current hardcore scene, I don't know much about it. I know the bands we're playing with.
Adambomb: Right, right. Sub Scum, The Banner. I'm assuming you guys have played with Vision of Disorder, it must be cool playing with them
again. What's it like playing songs you wrote ten years ago when you were this angsty, angry kid as opposed to right now? Like you said you're retired now, you're in Miami just chilling.
Anthony: I mean s*** ten years ago? Try twenty years ago. I mean, honestly, that's kind of why we stopped doing it. At least for me, that
was my decision for why I wanted to stop touring and being an active band. You know, just because a lot of the songs we wrote were when we were young kids and angsty teenagers, you get older and more mature. You learn a lot more about life. I just didn't feel authentic anymore. I didn't want to be that dude who's like a "weekend warrior" and playing half a**ed shows in f***ing North Carolina in front of like 200 people. The thought of that was depressing to me. So it was just like, let's stop while people still like us. It just so happened that this became a byproduct that we were able to this every year or so. It's weird. I feel like people understand us more than when we were out in the mid-90s when we first started. The hardcore scene was very snobby. You were either punk rock, or like straight New York style like Madball, or straight hardcore, or true hardcore. Two-stepping all day. Or like Hatebreed with breakdowns. We came in and we were doing different s***. We had like hip-hop parts in our songs. People didn't know what to make of it. Certain areas, like where we're from, New York, New Jersey, even some of the coasts like LA, they understood it more, and we were accepted. When we were a touring band, going to places like the Midwest, and down South, they really didn't get it. There weren't even bands that we were touring with that mad sense. We were lumped in with the rap-rock category. We couldn't go on tour with the PODs and the Limp Bizkits of the world because we were heavier and more aggressive than that. We were in our own lane, we had to build our own thing. Our fan base was our little thing. People that didn't understand it lumped us in with bands like that, and people who did understand it knew that we were different.
Adambomb: Yeah cause you guys didn't go out to be a rapcore band, or to be a hardcore band, or even to be a metal band. You guys just set out to be E-town, right?
Anthony: Yeah, we never set out to be anything really. First of all, none of us knew about the hardcore scene before we started a band. One of our original guitar players, Kenny, he was into hardcore music and the whole
Victory scene and all that kinda s***. He exposed us to that, but as far as Dave, Teddy, and Eric, everyone just had older brothers that listened to metal. I grew up listening to mostly hip-hop, and Rolling Stones, and Metallica, just the general s***. But, Dave and Teddy exposed me to the metal world. They played instruments, we decided to start jamming. It just turned into E-town Concrete. It was just a natural sort of occurrence. It seemed natural just to fit in rap parts, we didn't really set out to do anything specific. It just happened that way. We fit into the hardcore scene because of the people that gravitated toward us in the area. We didn't know much about the hardcore scene because we were young. We were 16 years old when we learned about this s***. We learned about it when we were touring and all that kind of stuff.
Adambomb: Do you have any advice for kids trying to make it as a band today? Not necessarily a hardcore band, but just trying to make it in any sort of scene.
Anthony: It depends on what you mean by "make it". It's so hard to make it as any sort of artist. The odds are just against you. It's going to be hard to make a living and be a successful band in any aspect because so many people are doing it, it's hard to break through the noise, and there is so much competition. At the very least you can make it in terms of learning a business or learning other things. Just because you're a musician doesn't mean you have to be a famous rich musician. You can learn things from being in a band. What I learned from being in a band put me on the career path that I'm on now. I'm still in the music industry. I manage artists and stuff like that.
Even though I'm in a totally different world now, I'm working with hip-hop
artists and producers, everything I know today I learned from hardcore. I
learned how to book shows, and make merch, and stuff like that. So no matter what, whether you're gonna be the most famous band in the world or whatever, you can gain experiences and knowledge from whatever you're doing to put you on a career path for life. You can take these lessons and apply them to other things. It depends on what your definitions of "making it" is.
Adambomb: So just gaining experience from whatever you do.
Anthony: Yeah, you can learn a lot. Honestly, being in a
band and touring the world, even any band that isn't "big," there is a market.
You'll have a moment where you can go overseas and see other countries and see the world. You don't have to be the biggest band in the world. There are bands that are still around, bands that we've toured with, or even new bands, they'll get to go play Europe for some festival. They'll get to go play Australia, they'll get to play Mexico. These are the things that if you weren't in a band you probably wouldn't be able to do. You're band doesn't even have to be the biggest band in the world. Because of the hardcore scene and the networks that are there, you'll get offers to go to these other countries. Even if you're just playing in front of a few hundred kids, it's still an experience that you wouldn't get if you weren't in a band. So that's success in a way in itself. You're doing things that other people don't get to do. That's sort of in hindsight that we've learned from being in a band. While we were in the band we were like "we want to be the biggest band ever and bla bla bla" but, looking back no matter what, even though we weren't the biggest band ever, we had success, sold records, we got to tour the world, we did things and gained experiences that most people don't get to do. You've got to be grateful for that stuff.
Adambomb: That's some inspiring stuff, man.
Adambomb: I want to go out and make something out of myself.
Anthony: [laughs] Well you're in college, what are you trying to do? You trying to be a radio guy?
Adambomb: [laughs] No I'm a PR major, but I want to work somewhere within the music industry.
Anthony: Listen man, I'm just going to tell you and everyone there, college is a forest. Unless you're trying to be a doctor or a lawyer, you don't need to go to college. It's all about life experience. I mean you're going to learn things about whatever you're doing now but-
Adambomb: Yeah, no, I know. I'm definitely learning things, but WSOU has really given myself the avenue to teach myself things.
Anthony: Yeah, that's the thing. You'll learn and gain knowledge, but you're not going to truly learn unless you go out and start doing things on your own.
Adambomb: Yeah, I think it's mostly what you take out of it. You can just sit there, and go to class, and do your homework, and do your essays, and you will gain things out of that. But to truly have a college experience, to really grow as an adult, I feel you have to go past that and do stuff on your own.
Anthony: Yeah there are things that you can't learn in the book. Only life can teach you that. A lot of people that I know that went to college, they just kind of owe a lot of money and they're not even working in the field that they majored in. It's unfortunate that that's how our system works in America. Take it with a grain of salt, but you're really going to learn the most when you're out of college.
Adambomb: Getting back to the music, E-town has a sound
pretty much unlike any other band.
Anthony: [jokingly] Unlike anything EVER. We are the most original
Adambomb: I think what I said is a fair statement though. You can't really call yourself rapcore, you really can't call yourself nu metal even, it's weird, and it's hard to define. As humans we have this need to categorize and put things into their own neat little boxes and say "this is that and this is that" or whatever. But anyways, I didn't want to get into that. I saw you guys at This Is Hardcore last year. And that fest has one of the most intense crowds I've ever been in. Everyone is super into the music, everyone is throwing down in the mosh pit, it's crazy. But as soon as "So Many Nights" hits, everyone is just best friends, everyone is just hugging. It's a surreal moment. That was the weirdest moment of the entire fest for me, is when you guys played "So Many Nights." [laughs]
Anthony: I tell everyone that that's our most hardcore song ever. It's the softest song we have but like you see the hardest dudes f***ing breakdown. They go crazy, they're like crying. All around the world it's the same thing. The thing is we used to try to cater our set to what the crowd was. Like "people just want to hear hard s***." At one point I was just like f*** this
s*** we should just- I'm sorry if I'm cursing, -we should just play what we
play. Just be who we are. It's funny that "So Many Nights" is our softest song, but it's the song people want to hear the most.
Adambomb: It's the song that they've taken the most out of and added to their own life.
Anthony: Yeah, especially at This Is Hardcore Fest, the craziest bands are playing and people destroying each other. Then we come out, play that song, and the whole crowd is crying.
Adambomb: Yeah, you played right after Fury of Five, then Madball came right after you, then Bad Luck 13 Riot Extravaganza came out and that was crazy. Anyway, would you mind if I played something for you? Because
you guys have an Artist ID up here at WSOU, which is probably the most hype Artist ID ever. I want you, if you remember, to give some back story on it if you can. I'm going play that right now.
Anthony: [laughs] Play it, I don't remember so play it.
ARTIST ID: 89 POINT 5. STATION IDENTIFICATION. COMPETITION
ERASIN'. YOU REMEDIAL CLASSES, I'M ADVANCED PLACEMENT. YOU GOT YOUR DIALS LOCKED, SETON HALL PIRATE RADIO WE JUST DON'T STOP. WHAT. E-TOWN CONCRETE BABY. OH-OH.
Adambomb: Okay, so, you don't understand. Whenever any DJ up here plays E-town Concrete, it's an unwritten and unspoken rule that you have to play that spot. It doesn't matter if you had just gone on air, if you had just played E-town, you have to play that spot. It's probably the best one we
have in our systems. I'm wondering if you remember recording that at all.
Anthony: After you played it I remembered.
Adambomb: Do you remember how long ago that was?
Anthony: I mean, that was probably like, hmm. That was probably like thirteen years ago. It was probably like around 2000ish I think.
Adambomb: I don't want to put you on the spot right now, but could possibly freestyle something new for us?
Anthony: Nah, I'm retired bro. [laughs] I don't do that unless people pay me.
Adambomb: [laughs] Right, right, right.
Anthony: That was just me trying to make it in the world and have people like me. Now I don't care.
Adambomb: Dude, that was amazing though. It's awesome. It's amazing.
Anthony: It's funny. I actually sound young on that.
Adambomb: [laughs] You don't sound too much older now. But, thank you for spending some time with us. I'm just going to give you some New Jersey quick fires. I'm sure you've answered these before. Is it Taylor Ham, or is it pork roll?
Anthony: Taylor Ham man.
Adambomb: Right on, I agree. Giants or Jets?
Anthony: Giants all day.
Adambomb: Ooooh oooh, disagree with you on that one. Is Central Jersey a thing?
Anthony: I feel bad for you. Central Jersey? Nah, nah. I don't think so.
Adambomb: It's North and South. That's it. Well Ant, thanks so much for spending some time with us. I'm super hype for the show tomorrow.
Anthony: You're gonna be there?
Adambomb: Yeah man, I'm gonna be there.
Anthony: How old are you man?
Adambomb: I'm twenty.
Anthony: It's interesting. It's funny the newer generation of music fans. The This Is Hardcore Fest, it was interesting seeing this younger crowd react to our stuff. Usually when we play Jersey, it's a lot of the people we've seen over the years. It's like a nostalgic thing. A festival like that with all new kids it's interesting to see this younger generation for hardcore and metal fans-
Adambomb: Well, I can't speak for all of your fans, but in Jersey kids still get pretty hype for you guys. WSOU plays E-town at least once or twice a day still.
Anthony: We want to thank you guys for always supporting us. You were the first station to ever show us any love. We actually faked it and used to call the station all day and request ourselves. We would do it all day. Then we started getting on the countdown over there. You guys are probably the
best college in the entire country.
Adambomb: Thank you. I don't want to receive thanks for the
entire station, but I will. [laugh]
Anthony: No, but seriously. Because you guys are in the New
York area, you guys are probably bigger than some Top 40 stations in the middle of nowhere. You guys have a listener basis that is really wide. You've always supported us. We want to thank WSOU for always being there for us. We're psyched to be doing this every year, and you guys want to talk to us and stuff like that. We'll see you at the show tomorrow man.
Adambomb: Absolutely, man. So once again that's the St. Valentine's Day Massacre tomorrow at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey. Thank you so much Ant, have a good day my friend.
Anthony: Alright man, see you tomorrow.
Adambomb: Alright later bye. You guys heard it here. That was Anthony from E-town Concrete. Up next we got some Sworn Enemy, "The American Way." Keep it locked for Stetzosonic's shift.