Hometown Lovin' with The Demos
>> From the moment we met The Demos it was clear that the band has unbelievable chemistry. The self- classified “Alt Indie Party Music” band mixes up a little bit of pop, alternative, indie, rock, and dance - something for everyone to jam the hell out to! Jason Milton (Guitarist/Singer), Callan Saunders (Bassist/Singer), Caela Moore (Keyboardist), Jeremiah O'Reilly (Guitarist), and RJ Papaleo (Drummer) are The Demos. They hail from Rochester, New York and have been playing together since 2003.
Jay and Cal formed the band in high school. The band went through many name changes but it wasn’t until their 4-track EPs to their friends that set “The Demos” into stone. The CDs had “the demos” handwritten on it, and everyone asked, “Oh your band name is The Demos? We looked at each other and said ‘Yes, yes it is.’ It has been The Demos ever since. We are the only Demos in the history of recorded music. We own the trademark.” Cal and Jay recorded their first full length as part of a high school senior project. “At the end of the senior project, we put on this show where we played the entire record and had all of our friends up there.” They went on to joke about how ridiculous it was that there were so many people on stage and claimed, “If you had an instrument you could join the band, that was the number one.” That being said, they wished people came up to them to ask to be in the band as Caela said, “We need a Saxophone!” So if you are a Saxophonist and would love to join The Demos, call The Demos Hotline!
Recently the band played a show alongside The Aces, Joywave, and Kopps in Rochester, NY to kick off Joywave’s “Thanks. Thanks for Coming” 2017 Tour, of which they played a number of dates following. “I love doing shows with Joywave especially out of town. I feel like when we show up at a venue together everyone knows each other. We know most of the crew. It feels like we are taking Rochester on the road. Taking Rochester and moving it to another city in a building for one night. Everyone hangs out there is a ton of comradery. It’s really good to have that safety net when you’re going out on the road.” Everyone was really excited about meeting new people and going to new cities.
One of the other places they were most excited to play was the Bowery Ballroom in New York City. According to The Demos, “If you’re a local Western New York band and you play there you’ve made it!”
Touring is where The Demos love to test out new material. They refer to it as, “road-testing”. “We’ve always been kind of a band where we don’t hold things very sacred when it comes to new music. When we’re vibing on a song we’ll play it live. We don’t hold it until the new record comes out. We’re super into road-testing. That’s a really good way to gauge songs!”
Since most of the Floated crew are Rochestarians, we asked The Demos how this city has influenced them. Their response was full of admiration for the musicians they’ve come to call family in this small city full of humble talented people.
“Everyone knows each other and everyone is super interested in helping everyone else succeed. I don’t think that is common anywhere. I think there is a huge competitive aspect in general. But I don’t feel that competition in the local scene at all. It is very much like, let’s help each other we are all in the same predicament. Collectively all the music that is coming out of Rochester bands is really good. It doesn’t sound local either. Everything sounds like it could be national. We could be the new Seattle.”
We then asked where is their favorite place to play, the answer circled right back to Rochester. The Bug Jar, of course! Referred to by The Demos as “Rochester’s Rock Mecca”. For those unfamiliar with The Bug Jar, we asked The Demos to describe it, “Imagine your Grandma’s kitchen from when you’re growing up as a kid. Picture that in your head. No picture that nailed to the ceiling above you. There are dishes in the sink. There is this weird splash tie-dye painted on the wall, I can’t even describe it. It smells like an 80s roller rink. All the amps are face level. If you’re standing in the front it is real loud. The bar area there are two bugs flying around hanging by ropes attached to a ceiling fan. That other room, that is not the dance floor, is like everyone’s living room. If everyone in the Rochester music scene had a communal living room it would be The Bug Jar. That’s it.” The bugs have been flying over the bar for over 20 years strong!
Finally, we asked one of the most important questions, what bands are you currently listening to. This sparked a huge eclectic list. A wide range Oasis, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Britney Spears, Grateful Dead and Zuli just to name a few! Now we see why they had a hard time classifying themselves as one genre.
It was an absolute pleasure to sit and talk with The Demos! We can’t wait to see what these talented people create in 2018! Here’s to good vibes and great music, cheers! <<
If you missed them at Anthology on November 11th they will be back January 11th with Guster for a sold out show!