>> A school teacher by day and very often, a host of touring bands at night. Greg McClure is one of the cogs that keeps Buffalo’s local music scene alive. He’s also the drummer of Del Paxton, a math-rock leaning emo band. He’s quick to correct you on this modern fact though. “We grew up to what would be considered, ‘First Wave Emo’. We wanted to sound like Braid or The Get Up Kids. A lot of people who are younger in the music scene are thinking of Taking Back Sunday or Fall Out Boy, which is second wave.” Either way you put it, the band has been making strides on the indie circuit. Just last year, they were signed to Topshelf Records, a label which was founded in 2005 by Seth Decoteau, Kevin Duquette and Dan Sullivan out of Peabody, Massachusetts. Now based in San Diego, California, the label has signed some heavy hitters like Donovan Wolfington, Sorority Noise and Slingshot Dakota. Del Paxton appears to be in good hands.
Greg grew up just outside of Ithaca in a town called Trumansburg. A surprising amount of musicians seem to come out of this tiny town and a lot of it might have to do with the bustling music scene of Ithaca. One of the biggest things Greg mentioned a young musician should do is to bring bands through your town. Your name gets around even when you think it doesn’t. “Almost every local show we play now is to support a touring band coming through. People will be going around the country and saying that they had an awesome show with you. That’s how we got to where we are.” They released an EP in 2013 entitled, Worst. Summer. Ever. Just so their friends could hear it. “It hit the blog world and just started bouncing around. It was kind of surreal watching it happen. Bandcamp would tell us where people were coming from and we put up our first merch order overseas. It was crazy to think that these people were ‘real’ and listening to us.”
Being such a veteran to the music scene, we asked about his first time heading on the road and how it was different now. “When I went on my first tour, I didn’t have a cell phone. I was 17, a senior in high school. I still can’t believe my parents said ‘okay’. I came home and said, ‘Mom and Dad, I’m going on tour’ and they said, ‘No you’re not.’ I think that was the first time I was like, ‘No, I am doing this!’ Another difference, thanks to cell phones, is that you can now patch up a show that would have fallen through on the road, something that can be lifesaving for bands.”
Del Paxton is currently in the middle of writing their first full-length and Greg wasn’t shy about how exhausting it’s been to get it done while having a full-time job to support his efforts. “Writing a record is tough, the album is going to be 11 tracks. We had to write 11 songs in the little spare time we had. It can be stressful but every once and while I look back and say, ‘I’m having the time of my life.’ I’m so glad I connected with Dylan and Zack and I’m so glad that we’re still going out on tour!” You can expect to hear new Del Paxton early next year off of Topshelf Records and you can catch them playing with Pinegrove and Charmer at the Bug Jar on November 30th. <<