Only Living Boy visits WMCX

Lead singer and guitarist Joe Cirotti of the gritty blues trio, Only Living Boy, discussed their new record on WMCX 88.9 FM this past Tuesday.

Dripping with influences of Hendrix and other raw blues elements, Cool Collected Headcase dropped April 30 after their CD release show at the Asbury Lanes this past weekend.

Cool Collected Headcase will be the first of two consecutive EPs released by the band.

“This first one is pretty much straight ahead rock and roll, and the second one has more melodic and softer tones, more acoustic guitars and stuff like that, but we intentionally made this one more straight forward,” said Cirotti.

While the two EPs will be released separately, they are intended to coincide with one another and in the future will be debuted under one vinyl record.

Cirotti explained, “The thought process behind that I guess is instead of releasing one record a year, one big one, we would split it up. Just releasing more material over a period of time, trying to stay fresh and always have something to look forward to and something different to hear.”

He added that both albums are strong enough to stand on their own and when listened to side by side, they cohesively fit together.

Engineer Billy Perez tracked Cool Collected Headcase within two days at SST studios in Weehawken, NJ. Cirotti talked about how the space and engineer ultimately enhanced their record.

“It’s got this huge cathedral ceilings, it’s just this massive open room. We try to go for a really roomy, earthy sound. So this place is perfect.”

Cirotti continued, “Plus, Billy Perez is a total bad ass behind the board. He used really cool engineering techniques, like we had a microphone thirty-five feet in the air above the drums, just to get the biggest sound.”

Following their full-length Hide Nothing in 2011 and two-track EP Spread Your Butter/Scrambled Eggs in 2012, Only Living Boy appeared to achieve a heavier level of rock and roll with each release.

“It’s a pretty eclectic taste, I guess. We kind of got more focused now. We were kind of all over the board when we started,” said Cirotti.

The singer mentioned how their first release included hints of reggae, but has since gone in a different direction.

Based out of Hackettstown, NJ, the trio started playing together around the age of ten years old and eventually fell into a natural rhythm as a group.

“Growing up, we were always into Hendrix and Zeppelin and the classics, but also real into the 90’s alternative scene, like Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age and lots of stuff like that,” Cirotti described.

As for their writing process, Cirotti stated that he brings the primary idea to the table and from there it becomes a joint effort.

“It’s become a lot more fun and more collaborative for sure. They’re like my brothers, we’re always on the same page,” said Cirotti.

After sharing the stage with bands such as: JET, New York Dolls and The Parlor Mob, Cirotti confessed there weren’t any stories he could share that were appropriate for radio, but Only Living Boy was definitely impacted.

“Parlor Mob was a blast to play with them, Paul Richie, the guitar player, produced Hide Nothing, our second record, and he did such an unbelievably awesome job. He’s such a cool dude and they’re all cool dudes and they’re talented as all hell, you know? So we learned a lot from them,” he explained.

Towards the end of the interview a physical copy of Cool Collected Headcase was given away to a caller from Shrewsbury. For more on the band’s upcoming tour dates and to listen to their new album, check out www.onlylivingboy.com.

PHOTO COURTESY of Nicole Calascibetta