Everything Ever is a punk band on the journey of making straightforward music without the gimmicks. Passionate about their roots in Staten Island, bassist John Trotta and singer/guitarist Andrew Paladino (a.k.a ‘Dino’), continue to push forward despite a devastating setback earlier this year when they were robbed of $6,000 worth of gear. The band got together at an early age in elementary school and covered Blink-182 at their first show. With new music in the works, Everything Ever is looking forward to a fresh start in the upcoming year.
ME: How did Everything Ever come to be?
John: You want to take this one?
Dino: We started at the lunch table in like sixth grade. John and I started a band together and we’ve obviously gone through many changes. Many different members and stuff like that but, Everything Ever started in 2012 officially.
ME: When did you know you wanted to be musicians?
John: For me, sixth grade, 2003 I think it was, 2002-2003. I started getting more into music, watching more music videos on TV. At the time that’s how I accessed music. Whatever was big on MTV2 or Fuse or a little bit further back with Much Music before it became Fuse. I asked my cousin, “should I get a guitar or a bass?” and he said, “you should get a bass.” So I got a bass and I’ve been playing ever since.
Dino: I started playing drums as soon as I could stand. Then when I was in seventh grade I had already started the band as a singer. My dad then one night comes downstairs and sees me playing his guitar and he said that I looked like a guitarist. That’s when I decided to be a musician.
ME: How did you know you were ready to be on stage?
Dino: We weren’t when we did. That’s the thing you gotta just go and be terrible and think that you’re great anyway. You just gotta fake it ‘til you make it.
John: That’s the name of the game in the music industry. Everyone is full of shit; you just gotta make it look like you’re less full of shit.
Dino: Every single industry is like that.
John: We started so young we only had plans that seventh graders would make. Know what I mean? Saying ‘yeah we’re gonna be Blink-182, it’s just a matter of time’. But our first show was at our elementary school’s lip synch. Once a year they have this big event where kids from our school will form a little group or a solo act where they lip synch. They’ll have the track playing in the background, usually a two minute excerpt.
Dino: We were the first to actually perform live.
John: They let us play live during the intermission. When everyone went up to get their shit, they let us load up our gear on stage and make a bunch of noise. Everyone got a kick out of it. It’s actually on YouTube. We did ‘All the Small Things’ by Blink-182.
ME: Do you get nervous before getting on stage?
John: Sometimes, yeah.
Dino: It wouldn’t be fun if we didn’t.
John: Certain shows. If it’s a bigger show, a big production and there’s a whole lot of people involved, I get a little more nervous because there’s so many moving parts. There’s a sound guy, stagehands, and there’s so much going on. I have so much on my mind plus I handle all the business, so between all that going on plus performing it’s usually a lot. But then for smaller shows when they are very low key, like tonight, there’s just the promoter and the sound person–it’s not too much to really worry about. I can really focus on getting ready to play.
Dino: The small shows make me nervous too. The smaller the show is the more pressure there is on the band. When there is a big crowd and I know they know our words, sure I’ll be nervous but it’ll take the form of confidence bordering almost on cockiness. If it’s a big difference on what we’re used to, or we feel a ton of support. But, it’s harder if you can tell you’re gonna have to be all the energy.
John: Yeah it’s true. When you’re at a bigger show when there’s hundreds of people and it’s a smaller place, the environment just caters to everyone being around each other. The energy is really cool. If you’re at a hundred capacity venue and there’s only twenty people it’s a little awkward, almost. The people are there and they’re like ‘OK you are the band talk to us’. They are more focused on every little move you make and less on what is going on around them.
ME: What is your favorite part of being on the road?
John: (whispers) Food. It’s up there, I shouldn’t say that’s my favorite part. Playing shows; but food is pretty awesome too.
Dino: I love getting away. The whole experience is an adventure for sure.
ME: Who do you listen to on your down time?
Dino: I mostly listen to podcasts.
John: I listen to a lot of podcasts too. Last weekend when we were driving for like four hours we listened to Rachel Maddow for like most of the ride. Know what’s going on in the world. We’re not exactly your most exciting group.
Dino: I walk dogs all day and podcasts are catered so well to that type of job, where I feel like I’m reading books all day.
John: I sit at a desk all day for my day job so when I’m listening to music in the background it’s almost like silence because it’s so easy to tune out. Podcasts keep me more engaged, my work is kind of brainless so I can forget about that and just turn into a machine. But then the podcast is what I’m really paying attention to.
ME: Does the location of your upbringing influence the writing in your music and style?
Dino: Oh my God, so much.
Dino: In fact the EP we’re gonna put out next is extremely inspired and touches themes that we learned from Wu-Tang Clan. They are like the Staten Island legend. We’re extremely influenced by that. My lyrics and imagery on the next EP are gonna relate to Staten Island. Without being overt. It’s never been so deliberate before, but we feel that Staten Island is such a unique place. We’re born in the most famous city in the world but in the forgotten borough. It creates an interesting dynamic. You have the best and worst of both worlds. The underdog feeling and the ‘Hey it’s the Empire State’ feeling. That dynamic is always interesting to me and I’ve also felt it within myself. That’s what I’m going to write about.
John: I’d also like to point out that Staten Island is pretty much the only borough with a ton of born and bred New Yorkers left. Most of the other boroughs, absolutely Brooklyn and Manhattan by default and even more so Queens and the Bronx. It’s just more transplants move in and I feel the trajectory is move from one borough to Staten Island. Then from Staten Island you move to New Jersey and then to Florida. That’s the chain of events. Pretty much everyone I know, people our age, a lot of their families come from Brooklyn.
Dino My mom!
John: My mom too.
Dino: My dad grew up in Queens.
John: My dad was born in Staten Island and has lived there his entire life.
Dino: That’s pretty rare. Our generation is gonna be the first not from Brooklyn.
John: Also give it ten years, maybe five, Staten Island will be right there with the rest of the boroughs. With more transplants than actual New Yorkers. Everyone’s leaving New York who’s from here. Everyday I hear about a new building that’s being made in Staten Island that’s gonna bring in all the outsiders.
Dino: And we have the cheapest rent right now out of all five boroughs, I know ‘cause I’m looking.
John: By the Staten Island ferry which is the only access to Manhattan without driving, they’re building the world’s biggest ferris wheel. A bunch of different outlets and shopping centers, apartment buildings with crazy expensive rent. it wasn’t known as being the best area, now they’re gentrifying the shit out of it. It’s starting there, it’s the closest to Manhattan. Once everyone starts moving in it’s going to spread throughout the rest of the island.
ME: Being a musician is difficult, how do you balance your career and obligations?
John: It’s not always easy.
Dino: It’s difficult. Substance abuse? (chuckles.)
John: I stay busy trying to handle the band business. It takes up so much of my time. Whether I’m on the road or at home that I barely have time to stop and think about everything else that’s going on in my life. So mentally that preoccupies me and even physically too, to an extent. Even when I’m not working on band stuff, I’m thinking about it.
ME: I watched the music video for ‘Doing Nothing’ and laughed the entire time, how did you guys manage to finish it?
Dino: Oh there’s plenty of outtakes. Especially ‘cause all of the people assisting us were all of our friends.
ME: The B rolls had to have been hilarious.
John: We have to get our hands on those.
Dino: The funniest was the toothpaste part. Oh my God! You don’t realize, the multiple take of putting toothpaste in my mouth. It dried out my mouth so badly that I was like from that fucking scene from Me, Myself, and Irene with the cottonmouth (make sounds like a cat coughing up a hairball for the sound effect and visual). Yeah that was fun.
ME: As 2015 comes to an end what are your hopes for 2016?
Dino: Oh God, money.
John: Money. World domination. Power
Dino: We’re recording our EP live so we want that to go well. We want the EP release to go well. Build a little more. We want to work at our jobs less even though we like our jobs. We still want to work on them less and more of this.
John: Indie cred. For the last couple of years, since we started the band, we’ve just been putting different pieces of the band’s foundation together. Part of that was playing our first handful of shows, going on our first few tours, most of it was putting out first record. I don’t see that as one step after the other but more of part a, part b, part c all making this foundation to solidify us a band in the Tri-State area of New York and nationally. That people will recognize the name, maybe get into our music. But it’s always hard for a band to break out with just their first record and they don’t have a bunch of label money behind them. Now that we have our first record behind us, we’ve done a bunch of touring, now I think that after we record this EP that’s going to be our next step. You know what I mean? We’re done putting pieces together to build our foundation and now we’re starting to build up more.
ME: Winding down, are there any special shout outs you guys want to put out there?
John: Oh there’s a lot of people I wanna say fuck you to.
Dino: We just finished up our tour dates with ROMP and we’re starting up with The Blithedale Romance now and both of those bands are from New Brunswick. They’re both awesome.
John: Great people to hang out with, they’re awesome musicians.
Dino: Animal Flag we should shout out too. They just played a big show in Brooklyn with The World Is and they’re our good friends. They’re going to be famous.
John: Our homies in Yeehaw, we played at their last show in Boston. They’re really good friends of ours, they made great music. They were a band for only a year and a half and happened to do a whole lot in that amount of time. They worked really hard and are fun people. Want to give them a shout out RIP. I think that all the shout outs I wanna give.