PHABRIK Magazine

Stereos

By Jacqueline Parrish

September 2010
Popular Electronics

Vocalist Pat Kordyback dishes on the band, female fans, and how their lives have changed.

From humble beginnings in a dilapidated bunker off of Whyte Ave, Edmonton hip-hop/pop band Stereos have accomplished what every musician dreams of; a contract with music giant Universal after a successful stint on MuchMusic’s reality TV show disBAND. In less than a year, the energetic -and exceptionally attractive (I’ll admit to having a bit of a crush on the lead guitarist) – quintet has exploded onto the music scene; playing alongside pop superstars like Katy Perry, garnering dedicated followers and #1 hits, as well as recently joining popular pop/punk band Hedley on a cross Canada tour to the delight of thousands of screaming fans.

A combination of catchy riffs and lyrics make for memorable songs you’ll find stuck in your head -on repeat. As I type, Stereos’ recent hit ‘Butterflies’ is blasting from my earphones, my iPod is tuned into one of Toronto’s most popular radio stations. Comprised of Pat Kordyback (vocals), Miles Holmwood (lead guitar), Daniel Johnson (bass guitar), Robb Chalifoux (rhythm guitar) and Aaron Verdonk (drums), Stereos have gone from playing to empty crowds and working dead-end jobs to Juno nominations and performing for crowds of thousands; their posters hanging on the walls of virtually every teenage girls’ room. Taking a few days off of their tour to come back to Toronto, I had a chance to talk to Pat about the band, their music, their fans, and their future plans;

Where are you guys on tour right now?
We’re heading off to Cleveland in the next couple of days to continue our tour. We just finished shooting a video here in Toronto for She Only Likes Me When She’s Drunk.

I just listened to that song this morning; was it inspired by or based on a personal experience?
(Laughs) Yeah, unfortunately, most of my songs are based on my life. I write from personal experiences, and let’s face it, we’re not talking about world issues or anything, most of the songs are about…..

Girls?
(Laughs) Yeah, exactly, girls. I write songs that I would want to listen to, what I think other people would want to listen to.

So you write all of the music?
I do. I write ninety percent of the songs, instruments, vocals. I bring it to the guys and then they put their own personal touch on it.

I hear that you guys are going into the recording studio soon? What can we expect from your new album?
It’s going to be more us, more R&B as opposed to pop/punk. I think that it will better reflect our personalities. When we released our album, it was a deluxe version where you get a new song each month so we keep busy recording. But I have enough written material to start on a new album.

Were there ever moments where you guys debated ‘throwing in the towel’ and quitting?
We never quit, even if we were playing a show where no one showed up, there were a couple of times when we probably should have just because we were flat broke, but we never did. At the time I was going to college, and I would go home [to my mom’s] and find pamphlets for colleges sitting on the table (laughs).

So was your family supportive, then?
My family was extremely supportive, actually; they were happy that I loved what I was doing, but I think they wanted me to go to school and be in the band at the same time.

How have your guys’ lives changed since signing with Universal?
Our lives have changed quite a bit, we went from [everyone] having two jobs, bills, no food, and playing on the side for fun, to being able to focus on what we love full time. It’s great being able to do it one hundred percent. I think the worst job we had was immediately after the show (MuchMusic’s reality TV show disBAND) we flew home and went from being on television to working for a couple of weeks at a warehouse for Winners. Robb and me, unloading boxes. It was terrible. We lived in this really crappy house just off of Whyte Ave. So disgusting, when we came home from disBAND we actually had a mouse and fruit fly infestation.

The band is very popular with the female population; what’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you guys?
We woke up one morning when we first moved into our house in Toronto -after playing football outside on the front lawn the day before- to kids going through our trash. Once the TV show aired, our lives changed literally overnight. We’d never had to keep to ourselves before so it was a bit of a shock. We actually had to move out of that neighborhood and into a new house.

What are the best and worst parts about being on tour?
I think the best part is that we get to meet new people, make new fans. They don’t really know about us in the states because we haven’t been released there yet. We’re touring around in a van and a trailer; it’s very cozy. But we all get along great. We’re just a band on tour playing live; sometimes you think that the grass is always greener on the other side.

What’s the most embarrassing thing on your iPod?
You’re going to laugh, but I’d say the most embarrassing thing on my iPod is my own demos. But it’s only because I like to critique myself!

What artists would you love to collaborate with?
I’d love to collaborate with The-Dream, The Black Eyed Peas and Rancid.

How does the band deal with negative attention?
I love it. I think it makes us work harder, and even if people are talking negatively about us, at least they’re talking about us.

What are some of your wardrobe essentials?
You seem to be rather fond of jerseys……
(Laughs) You noticed that! I did have an obsession with basketball jerseys last year. Actually I had a fan bring me a really expensive jersey to an autograph signing once. It was crazy that she would shell out that much money for the two seconds I had to meet her. It was very nice of her.

What’s the weirdest gift a fan has given you?
Socks.

Socks?
Yes! And to all of the fans, bring us socks. We love socks!

What do you guys hope to accomplish within the next year?
We’re going to keep going, and I think we’ll have a clearer picture of where we’re headed. We are not a flash in the pan, and we want to keep away from the whole boy band image.

Anything else you want to add?
Uhm……..no?

Usually this is where you thank your family or fans or give a shout out to people…….you don’t have to, just helping you out…..
(Laughs) Yeah, thank the fans! Tweet us, Facebook us! Bring us socks!

Check out Stereos on their website http://WeAreStereos.com, and download them on iTunes.


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