BY JOHNETTE FIGUEROA
You’ve taught classes or bartended to make ends-meet, you’ve been denied entrance to venues because of your age, you’ve pondered what it means to “make it,” and now here you are—your first show. Adrenaline is pumping through your veins and the lights are almost blinding. Now you know exactly whose sweat is dripping from your body—it’s yours, just like this moment.
Ken De Poto and Jared Saviano, the duo better known as FRANCE the band, understand that you need a sense of humor to accompany your passion for music. The Clifton, NJ-based band recently played their first show at The Loop Lounge in Passaic, NJ.
“The night started off with us fearing for our lives and getting stuck inside of an elevator. It was quite possibly the scariest 30 seconds of our lives,” recalled Saviano. “We thought we were going to have to try and rebuild humanity in there. The elevator decided we weren’t ready to die and it opened the doors, so after that we headed to the show. We were grateful, and felt the rest of the night had to be better. Then all (of) our friends and family showed up, and the nerves started kicking in. Ken had some technical difficulties at one point, but then I told a really funny joke that made everyone laugh and made everyone forget about that. Other than that it went pretty well.”
De Poto and Saviano currently have six original songs on their set list, which is both impressive and crucial for any new band trying to make a name for themselves. The two pride themselves on a factor that they believe sets them apart from many new indie-rock bands – quality.
“I personally think that the quality of the songs is more important than quantity of songs when it comes to making a good set,” said De Poto. “Too many times I’ve seen a good band play a set that was way too long. I’ve always thought to keep it short and sweet rather than load it up with mediocre filler songs.”
De Poto has a very zen-like outlook on how he knew FRANCE the band was ready for their first show.
“It was definitely a feeling kind of a thing,” said De Poto. “Obviously you don’t want to sound like your unprepared when you’re on stage, but you should never strive to sound a certain way. Things just have a way of falling into place, and you can feel when it happens.”
From a band’s first show, to a band’s final show – some barely hit the 100 mark. But the New York- based band, Cinema Cinema, who recently played their 200th show, is no where near finished. Ev Gold and Paul Claro, the two-piece experimental band who like things loud, have toured through many states but remain humble and are grateful for all the shows they have played.
“Its pretty surreal to have played so many shows, especially in such a short amount of time,” said Claro. “It’s even more crazy to think we played 100 of those shows in one year! But, I think I speak for myself and Ev in saying we are very proud of that fact and see it as a huge accomplishment.”
Cinema, Cinema fans will tell you that seeing them perform live isn’t just going to another show. They say it can only be described as an experience. With songs that range from deep lyrics to no lyrics at all, Cinema, Cinema will take you along on a musical journey.
“I’m never really aware of what’s going on when we play,” admitted Claro. “The music brings us to different places every time. It’s really a transcendent experience for me personally. It’s the easiest way for me to express myself; I’m really a different person when I’m on stage.”
The pairs’ first show was in February 2008 and their on-stage performance has only gotten better with time.
“We’re always growing and improving as musicians and as a band in general,” said Claro. “As we’ve gotten more comfortable jamming with each other, our energy has greatly increased. So, our live show has become more intense over the years.”
If the bands’ current synergy and immense passion for music continues, it is safe to say that we’ll be seeing Cinema, Cinema at their 300th show in no time.