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The founding members of Another Astronaut originally formed as a high school talent show act. Ten years later, after performing countless shows across the country, they're celebrating the release their second album, Agoraphobic, now available to stream on Spotify and Bandcamp.
The band has describe their earlier sound as Blink 182 meets the Vandals. Their debut album, Muff! Cabbage, projects a fun, teenage wasteland vibe, while Agoraphobic showcases their growth as matured artists. Their single, 'Arrested Development,' is an existential love letter to the narrator’s parents. It's cynical and honest as he questions whether he’s accomplished enough in his young adulthood, assuming the worst. The album had taken the band 5 years to compose and this song alone has made it worth the wait.
Tell me about the moment you first felt a strong connection to music:
Nick: Probably when I was like in 6th grade is when I started listening to a lot of shit. I would say 6th grade or 4th grade maybe, when Blink started being a big thing.
And did you starting writing music around that time?
Nick: I started writing garbage poems that I guess turned into music at some point. So not really music at all just poems and stories
And when did you start playing guitar and bass and whatnot?
Nick: When I was 13, my dad got me a guitar. So I started at 13, not any better, but that's when I started.
Christian: Probably since always, because my dad was a musician, or he sang when he was a kid, in his 20s. My brother sang and my sister. They tried to teach me guitar and drums and piano. I just never latched on to anything that I felt that I was good at. Then when I was in high school and I started finding music that I liked, I started playing the drums. And when I felt like I could actually play music and I enjoyed it a lot more, I started recording stuff and felt a real connection after. So I guess high school is my answer when I met Nick and the band.
Mike: Strong connection to music aroud, I'd say when I was around 6 or 7. I grew up with two sisters. My brother moved to Florida, so that left me with two sisters, so everything that was on the radio around that time was like Mandy Moore, Christina Aguliera. Fun fact, Mandy Moore was my first crush ever.
Nick: That explains a lot.
Mike: Yeah, she's an actress now.
Christian: Yeah, she's a good actress.
Mike: And then the Tony Hawk Pro Skater soundtrack came into my life. And then it became just punk, rock music. And it was like fuck whatever my sisters are listening to I'm going to listen to what I want to listen to. As for instruments, I didn't start playing an instrument until I was 13 and it was piano. Then I picked up guitar a year later and now I do too much.
How did you guys form?
Nick: In high school. We started in high school around 2008 as a three piece called Stapler Remover. It was me, our old bassist,Paul and then our first drummer, Nick. We started just to do a talent show. And then just random shows years a year or a couple years later. Then Nick left and Chris started drumming for us because we always practiced in his basement, so it seemed fitting for him to be in the band. That was since 2008 and Paul just recently left. That's when Mike and Danny joined.
What was the first song that you wrote for Another Astronaut?
Nick: Oh crap.
Christian: Well, Staple Remover was 'Last Midnight.'
Nick: Was it? Yeah, okay.
Christian: That was the first song we put out.
Nick: Yeah, so it was 'Last Midnight' when we were Staple Remover.
And then when you changed your name?
Christian: Probably, 'I Gave Her My Heart (and She Made Me a Sandwich)?'
Nick: As Another Astronaut?
Christian: That's the one that we had the mailing list for and we sent it out to everybody.
Nick: Oh, yeah, so, 'I Gave Her My Heart (and She Made Me a Sandwich).'
What's the song writing process like for you guys?
Christian: Nick usually writes it on the computer through tabs and then he'll send it to us to mess around with it on our end. And then we'll meet for practice and formulate it. He'll write drums and bass too, but usually we'll change it based on what we like better and make it our own.
Do your albums have themes?
Nick: I don't think they do. I mean, a lot of the songs we write tend to go together, but I don't usually write them as themed albums. I kind of just put together the ones that fit. So, not really, but kind of.
Is there a particular artist that inspires you?
Nick: Artist as in music? Well, there's a lot. Recently it's been Into It. Over It. and all these emo bands.
Christian: Philly core.
Nick: Yeah, the Philly core bands, like whatever Evan Weiss is doing.
Mike: I'm really proud of Nick right now.
Christian: I feel like this is everyone's answer but Blink 182 has been a huge influence on us. People always tell us we sound like them. And it's because that's where our passion for even picking up instruments has come from them. Their songs are so easy to learn and it's like 'hey, I can do this.' They're like a gateway to our influences now. So from Blink all the way to the Philly core bands that you name.
Nick: And also NOFX and Lagwagon too.
Mike: Lagwagon as hell.
How did you and Behind the Facade start collaborating?
Nick: Well, we met Danielle a long time ago when we were headlining at the Knitting Factory. Because we were going to play their album release show. And then the way that I joined was that their bassist and guitarist were going to quit. So they just needed someone to fill in for a couple shows. So I did that and then they just asked me to stay, so that's how I joined BTF.
Another Astronaut is:
Nick Quiles: Vocals & Rhytmn Guitar
Danny Briones: Guitar & Backing Vocals
Mike Freyre: Bass & Backing Vocals
Christian Estrella: Drums & Backing Vocals