Papadosio Discusses Inspiration, Their Upcoming Album, and Their Brush With European Death Metal [Exclusive Interview]

Papadosio Interview
Papadosio at The Werk Out 2015. Photo – Phierce Photo of FX Media Solutions – Facebook.

Bridging the gap between organic and electronic sound, Papadosio has been on the cutting edge of music since their inception. Consisting of members Anthony Thogmartin, Rob McConnell, Mike Healy, and brothers Sam and Billy Brouse, the five-piece’s multi-faceted sound is hard to pinpoint without digging deep into musical debate.

As a band with a heavy jam streak, they’re known for their high-flying improvisational skills.

As producers, the band delves into the realm of electronic sounds with their screaming synth work and ancillary electronic timbres that step well outside the sphere of traditional music. Whatever you want to call it, Papadosio’s tunes are distinctly their own.

Drawing from new influences and pushing boundaries with each and every release, fans are anxiously waiting to get their hands on the quintet’s upcoming album, Extras In A Movie, the follow-up to 2014’s Night & Day.

Slated for release on Friday, October 2, we waiting in silent pandemonium as Extras In A Movie’s unveiling approaches.

We sat down with Papadosio at Imagine Music Festival to explore the band’s sound, musical philosophy, and their upcoming Extras In A Movie release – here’s what they had to say:

For our readers that don’t know too much about how you guys started, can you tell us about your origins?

Sam: We started in Athens, Ohio. We were all hanging out in Athens; some of us were going to school, some people weren’t, and we all kinda met at an open jam at this place called O’houley’s at that point. Now it’s called Jackie O’s. We would meet there on I think it was Wednesday’s and we started practicing and then said “let’s go!”.

Did you guys always start with the electronic mix?

Mike: It’s always been a mix from the start. From the very beginning we’ve had some computers and some sample pads and lots of electronic keyboards and stuff and we’ve always meshed the two.

That’s kind of been our thing since day one, just like the organic analog sound and the digital, technical, electronic sound mixed together… all different styles of music, all together, it’s been kind of what we do from day one really.

Who do you pull inspiration from?

Rob: Pink Floyd.

Sam: We’re really influenced by Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Tool, Pink Floyd, and a lot of bands that have a really impressive career because you really learn a lot from their music and kinda take a lot of inspiration from that but we learn a lot from their careers and the way that they did things. Just like, epic bands. For me, that’s [where] I draw a lot of influence from.

Papadosio Extras In a Movie
Papadosio playing Legend Valley, Ohio. Photo – Papadosio – Facebook.

You guys self produce all your albums, right? So what’s the process like?

Papadosio's Anthony Thogmartin at the Artist Meet and Greet Booth at Imagine Festival. Photo - Mary Cormaci Photography.
Papadosio’s Anthony Thogmartin at the Artist Meet and Greet Booth at Imagine Festival. Photo – Mary Cormaci Photography.

Anthony: We went that approach because it allows for a lot of creative freedom and a lot of time. Studios, especially for a growing band, [are] quite an expensive thing.

Nowadays a studio for most people, especially at this festival, is a laptop and some headphones whereas to record a drum set and to record all of this other stuff we just kind of borrowed mics, found mics, and did the best that we absolutely could with incredibly limited gear.

The payoff was that we didn’t get charged by the hour, so we were able to piece together an album over a very long amount of time.

That’s kind of how almost every album we’ve done thus far has been except for this one that’s about to come out. 

We were actually able to put that one together pretty quick, but that’s because we’ve built the skill over the years. It’s trial and error… we were able to write the songs in the studio.

Regarding the new album, is there anything that you can tell us about it?

Sam: It’s a really diverse album… honestly without even thinking about it we hit on a lot of different genres and a lot of different timbres that people are looking for and themes lyrically and musically.

I don’t think we’ll even know exactly what it’s about until we’ve played it out live a bunch of times. It’s definitely really thematic and we all did a good job pooling our ideas together, but I don’t think it’s going to take shape until we really get out there and play it.

Papadosio Interview
Papadosio and The Main Squeeze throwing down a pre-show dance party in Indianapolis. Photo – Aaron Lingenfelter of FX Media Solutions – Facebook.

What’s the overall message and feeling that you want people to feel when listening to your music, what’s the goal?

Anthony: We try to write lyrics and emotions based on feelings that aren’t as popular to feel all the time, such as the idea of universal unity and love kind of emotions because in a public sense it’s considered sappy or considered strange.

So we hope that our music, in some ways, can give people who are experiencing those emotions a sense of connection and a sense of “it’s okay that I feel this way” in a world that’s so perceivably mean and kind of like nonchalant and uncaring. It really is a human emotion to experience these things.

A lot of our lyrics on this album are really personal feelings. A lot of them are frustrated feelings, some of them are even sarcastic feelings, and some of them are expressions of love like “Glimpse of Light”, our single that is out now, is hopefully considered an expression of love even though it is a heavier sound.

Do you guys have any tour rituals?

Anthony: Honestly, we rehearse man… we have to be constantly playing our music and thinking about it because are parts are pretty intricate. We have really long songs that are progressive. Sometimes 10, 11 parts to remember per song.

I think when you get into complexity like that you don’t have a choice, you can’t, I guess like do a bunch of drugs and get on stage and expect to play. People want to be entertained by this in a way that’s deep… maybe back in the day when we were younger we were just wylin’ out, but [now] we’re trying to wyle out by being as good as we can possibly be.

What is the worst show that you’ve ever had?

Papadosio Music
Papadosio’s Mike Healy. Photo – B.Hockensmith Photography – Facebook.

Mike: There was this European death metal band that toured around with severed goat heads. They’d hold them on stage, and it leaked all this rotting juices all over the stage and it smelled like roadkill whenever we got here.

The whole night was like “ahhhhh” lighting incense trying to cover it up. It was literally one of the worst show memories that I’ve had in my live.

Sam: I haven’t been able to eat lamb to this day.

Anthony: It was 3 days after, wasn’t it? It was 3 days after they brought those goat heads in there and it still smelled like death. Like zombies, you know what I mean?

So do you guys try to get out and explore the cities before the shows when you can?

Mike: It depends on, you know, the venues and cities and the time schedule. There’s usually a decent amount of time. I feel like we’re always on restaurant tour, we usually remember those pretty well.

Billy: Usually, the first thing is we like to look and see if there’s any gangster music stores within a reasonable cab ride.

Rob: Yeah, that boosts morale, looking at gear.

Billy: Stuff that one day we can afford.

Anthony: We’re hoarders, pretty much, of musical gear specifically and only… none of us have anything, really, except for musical gear. We just try to find whatever’s going to make the next cool sound. Usually you have to look for it, it’s like a little nugget in the back of some store somewhere like, “What is this thing!?”.

Is there anything that you guys are bringing out, musical gear wise, on the new album?

Rob: Oh yeah.

Anthony: Lots, lots of stuff

Mike: A lot of guitar, debuting people playing a lot more guitar than they ever have.

Rob: A lot more synthesizer, maybe a lot more singing.

Mike: A lot of singing, a lot, of singing.

Rob: I forget all about the songs. I’m like, wait, we have 16 songs on the new album.

Sam: It’s funny, like this is how bad it gets… I bought a new guitar, and amp, and all these guitar pedals. It’s like a whole new world within my world. I haven’t even used it live or played it live, but i’m already looking at synthesizers that I want for whatever we’re going to do next… it’s just going to constantly be more stuff, always.

Papadosio Discusses Inspiration, Their New Album, and Their Brush With European Death Metal [Exclusive Interview]
Rob McConnell (left) and Anthony Thogmartin (right) of Papadosio. Photo – Aaron Lingenfelter of FX Media Solutions – Facebook.

Is there anything that you’d like to leave your listeners with?

Billy: Thank you!

Anthony: Thanks and we’re really stoked to play these 16 new songs.

Rob: Thanks for the patience!

Anthony: Thanks for the patience because it took us, how many years, 3 years?

Billy: Thank you and sorry, because it’s been a long time.

Promising 16 new tracks of amorphous musical goodness, get ready to snag Papadosio’s next studio album, Extras In A Movie, when it drops on October 2.

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