Mass Chemistry

PEV was just out in Chicago back in October… and apparently we should have stayed! I mean, the city is awesome, no doubt. And it’s HUGE (I’ve started to realize why some folks call my town Smalltimore). But we’ve featured awesome band after awesome band from the windy city as of late, and it continues today with Mass Chemistry. Will Kelley, Gino Buonamici and Brandon and Aaron Becker have only been performing together for about a year, but the foursome has been accomplishing big things.

When Mass Chemistry isn’t playing to their great fan base, they’re making records. Their self-titled debut is the type of album you can play at just about any time – the band says “We feel we are a rock band that has a good understanding of what works.  But like all great rock bands, we not only have some great rock hits, this album also has its softer ballads that tug on your heart strings as well. We try to write a wide variety of songs to be able to appeal to as many people as possible.” Reminds me of some of the innovative rock acts of the 70’s and 80’s, and most people will agree that those bands “got it” for sure. Mass Chemistry spoke some more about their sound: “We work very hard at writing a chorus with a hook that will keep you humming the melody long after you've heard it.  We feel like many musicians tend to forget that important component. They concentrate on an intricate & complex musical structure, but they tend to bypass the most important part of the potion, the big hook in the chorus. Without it, a song won't translate into a hit.”

In only a year, the band has already opened for the likes of Sammy Hagar and PEV alum Styx, so check out their schedule in the Illinois area. They’re going to be real busy. Don’t forget to look into the self-titled record and keep reading for all the answers to the XXQ’s.

XXQs: Mass Chemistry

PensEyeView.com (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you stand out over the others in your genre?

Gino: We feel that our sound is extremely commercial/radio friendly.  We work very hard at writing a chorus with a hook that will keep you humming the melody long after you've heard it.  We feel like many musicians tend to forget that important component. They concentrate on an intricate and complex musical structure, but they tend to bypass the most important part of the potion, the big hook in the chorus. Without it, a song won't translate into a hit.

PEV: Now calling Chicago, Illinois home, what kind of music where the members of the band into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?

Will: We all listened to so many different artists from quite a few different styles of music, but I think it's safe to say that The Beatles would be a band that we all spent quite a bit of time listening to. They are a prime example of a band that concentrated on the big, sing along hook in the chorus.

Gino: My first concert was Ozzy Osbourne and Motley Crue. Randy Rhodes played a huge influence on my guitar playing and song writing. Growing up I also listened to Stevie Ray Vaughn, Kiss, Hendrix, Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones along with many of the other greats. There are just too many to list.

PEV: Tell us your take on the music scene is like in your hometown and what was it like trying to break into it?

Gino: The music scene in Chicago has changed quite a bit.  There used to be a big focus on original music many years ago. You had to be an original band to get a gig, but now many clubs insist that the bands play covers. With that said, we do a blend of originals & covers. Depending on the venue, we custom tailor our sets to what the club mandates. Our set this week might have more originals, the following show might have more covers. Either way, we just enjoy performing.

PEV: With that, what can fans expect from a live Mass Chemistry show?

Gino: The thing that is so special about a Mass Chemistry show, is the level of pride we take in making sure every song be performed second to none.  We are there to put on a show & our goal is to expand our fan base every time we perform. To have them leave there saying how much they enjoyed the show and that they want to bring their friends out to see us the next time we play. We bring a lot of energy & always give 110% in our performance. Bottom line, we like to have fun.

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?

Gino: I'm usually scanning the crowd, visualizing the entire show.  I picture the journey we are all about to go on.

PEV: Tell us the story behind how you met and the name of the band?

Will: The Becker Bros and Gino were already connected through the Chicago music scene when they decided to start this project.  They found me through an ad on Craigslist.  We decided that we wanted a name that represented our goal to the public.  Music makes you feel something.  Our goal was to have a chemistry with our crowds and to the bring music to the masses.  Hence Mass Chemistry.

PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for songs?

Will: If you look at most of our music, we are inspired by overcoming things. We feel like people need positive music.  Don't get us wrong, we love a great song like "Yesterday", but our tendencies lead us to writing music that is inspiring.  You can never say enough about the topic of love.  It's the base of everything good, and we all need it.  That can be found at the base of a lot of the tunes we write.

PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out do you ever look back at your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?

Will: Everything happens for a reason.  There's a reason why I responded to that random Craigslist ad.  There's a reason why Gino and I started to share song ideas with each other and are now writing songs that are making waves.  We all look back on the earlier days to help us find our way today.  It's also great inspiration for songwriting.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of Mass Chemistry?

Will: You would be surprised to hear that we've only been a band since February of 2010. Most people are shocked when they hear how new the band is and how much we have accomplished in that time.

PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a career for you?

Will: I showed promise as a young kid, but really didn't discover my true passion until my early twenties.

Gino: For me, I have always had a passion for music since I was a toddler. I had my little record player and would sit in my room for hours listening to records over and over. Then at 7 when I got my first guitar I was hooked and I've been playing ever since. It has always been a huge part of my life.  

PEV: Tell us about your latest release.  What can fans expect from this? How is this different from past works?

Will: Our debut self-titled album is one you can leave on from start to finish.  I truly feel we work on not writing "filler" songs.  We feel we are a rock band that has a good understanding of what works.  But like all great rock bands, not only has some great rock hits, this album also has its softer ballads that tug on your heart strings as well. We try to write a wide variety of songs to be able to appeal to as many people as possible.

PEV: How is life on the road for you in the music world? Best and worst parts?

Gino: Life on the road can be tough because you can almost always count on something not going as planned.  Sometimes we'll have issues with our gear or miscommunications with the venues that can sometimes cause some hickups, etc.  But in the end we get through things & put on a great show for our fans. The best part is seeing new faces at the shows.  Making new fans makes all our efforts worth it.

PEV: Is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?

Gino: On either coasts.  We would love to play Madison Square Garden and all of the big, well known major arenas across the states.

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What’s it like when you get to play at your hometown?

Will: Friends and family are super supportive.  There's nothing like playing in front of a home crowd.  They can take a show with imperfections and make it more than perfect.

PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

Gino: We all love to spend time with friends and family.  Being with these people makes us who we are.

PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?

Will: The Beatles and The Foo Fighters.  Both our inspirations and both have the commercial sound that we are striving.  I know that we could learn so much from both of them.

PEV:  Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

Gino: A great up  and coming band is "American Bang."  They've got a southern rock feel with the commercial hooks that I haven't seen in a long time.  Very awesome.

PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think each of you would be your career?

Gino: Sales, because I love people and freedom. I think that goes for both of us.

PEV: So, what is next for Mass Chemistry?

Will: We've sparked some interest from a few big names in the industry.  We're just trying to do our part to create the momentum necessary for this thing to EXPLODE!  Promote, Promote, Promote.  PensEyeView is obviously a part of this plan.  

 

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