Pottsville native band Gas Station Disco has been busy. The group has performed all over the United States, including a recent gig at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, and has been promoting its new album, "Dancefloor."
The four-piece band includes Rob Hampton on drums and vocals; Jonathan "Bug" Price on bass and vocals; Jason Dumm on lead vocals and guitars; and Rick Lienhard on lead guitar and vocals.
The group will bring their mix of rock and indie pop to South Avis Inn, 67 Maryland Ave., Jersey Shore, on April 18. The Sun-Gazette caught up with two members of the band, Hampton and Price, via email to discuss their SXSW experience, the comfort of knowing Jagermiester still tastes the same in different states and advice for up-and-coming artists.
Shown is the band Gas Station Disco.
Check out www.gasstationdisco.com for more information and music.
WIEGAND: Being from Pottsville, how did everyone meet?
DISCO: All of our bands played a lot of the same clubs and we got to know each other over the years. We seemed to think alike so we thought we'd try to put a band together.
BW: How did you come up with the name, "Gas Station Disco"?
GSD: We joked around about how Sheetz has everything and is open all night. Next thing they will probably add is an all night discotech. So we thought Gas Station Disco.
BW: On your website you say you're considered one of the busiest bands on the east coast. Where have been some of the more memorable places you've performed or traveled to?
GSD: In front on the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La., at a place called the Who Dat Shack. There is something magical about that town. The people, the food, the music and the art. We love it. We want some more of it!
BW: What do you do while on tour to keep some sort of normalcy being in different cities all the time?
GSD: I'm happy to say Jagermeister tastes the same in every city, haha. But really, people are the same where ever you go. On our nights off, we will probably hit up a local bar and try to make friends.
BW: You do covers of songs, including AWOLNATION's, "Sail." Are these musicians inspirations? What are some of your inspirations and why? Are there any artists that you would like to cover, but haven't yet?
GSD: Every artist is inspirational in some way. Bug grew up head-banging to Black Sabbath, Metallica and Slayer. Metal will always be his first love. But we all love how funky a Motown groove makes you feel or the catchy melody in a pop song. I could see the band covering Justin Bieber and Jason could throw eggs at the audience.
BW: Where does inspiration come from for your original material? Is writing a collective effort or does one specific person write?
GSD: We all write. Usually someone will bring an idea to practice and we will work it out. Sometimes, someone will bring something almost finished and the rest of us will put our touch on it.
BW: You had the opportunity to play at SXSW in Texas this year. What was that experience like? How was the atmosphere playing in Austin?
GSD: It was like dropping your gun to hug a grizzly bear. So many people from different walks of life and they're all there to support each other's original music. It's the Super Bowl of music conferences. There is something to say about Southern hospitality.
BW: Although you guys travel all over, not just in Pennsylvania, why do you think it's so important to support local music, whether as a fan or a fellow artist?
GSD: We enjoy watching local bands. I think we have some of the most talented musicians in the area and maybe someday we will be considered the next Seattle. I'll go see a live band again and again because a live band can be different every time. It's important for all regional musicians to support each other, that's what makes a good music scene. Some cities we've seen, musicians try to trash other musicians and those scenes die off.
BW: What can the audience at South Avis Inn in Jersey Shore expect from your performance on April 18?
GSD: They can expect to see a high-energy live show. We leave our hearts on the stage. We know we are the entertainment, not just a jukebox. We love what we do.
BW: What advice would you give to musicians who are just starting? Anything you wish you knew before you started this adventure?
GSD: Learn from those who've gone before you and teach those who are coming up behind you. Build a scene by helping other bands gain a following and you will also gain fans along the way. Be yourself ... Too many bands try so hard to different that they all end up being the same. Music is a team sport!