Pittsburgh Premiere

Pittsburgh Area Band Recording with Craig Owens of Chiodos

by: Stephanie Connell

Down a back road to a small piece of suburbia near New Castle, there is an old high school that was closed years ago.  It has since been turned into a venue for local musicians.  Bands that have played in this venue include Squid the Whale, whose lead singer now fronts Warped Tour veteran Emarosa.  January 14th 2012, it was the home of New Castle’s own Drop the Act’s first show as a band.

“It was freezing, and we weren’t allowed to turn on the heat.  The sound was terrible, and we packed the place.”  DTA’s bassist Josh Hoffman recalls in a recent interview.  The band began as pop-punk five piece consisting of Adam Alfano on drums, Jacob and Joshua Hoffman on guitar, and Chaz Spath on bass.  Spath would eventually leave the band and be replaced by Adam Kaminski.  After some rearranging, Kaminski would take guitar and Josh would play bass.  This set the line-up for the band up through present day.

drop-the-act-on-cute-is-what-we-aim-for-tourThe band has progressed over the last five years, releasing two albums and playing a Warped Tour date, a date on each of two “10-year Anniversary” tours (Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Cute is What We Aim for), as well as approximately 50 shows every year.

The band is now in the process of recording a new EP with Craig Owens (formerly Chiodos).  This will be the third time they have entered the studio, and they are both anxious and excited about this adventure.  Their first EP, When the Going Gets Tough, took place at a studio whose name Josh preferred to not share.  He was not fully satisfied with the outcome.  “They didn’t give us any creative critique,” Josh stated, “They charged an astronomical price per hour.  The process was long.  They didn’t give us, really, any type of advice to the recording experience.”

DTA re-entered the studio with Greg Parker to record their first full-length album, Let’s Plan a Robbery.

“We were unprepared for our first visit,” Josh admitted, reflecting on the band’s time at the recording studio in Baltimore with Parker.  The time there was strenuous, and Parker was stern, but his input, Josh adds, shapes their song writing even today.  “Now, Greg Parker blew us out of the water!” He reminisced.

The album was recorded in two separate sessions.  The second half of recording gave the band more of a chance to bond with the producer.  His thoughts were taken into account as the band finished the album and released it in 2015.  That summer, the band performed on the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands Stage at the Burgettstown leg of Warped Tour.

In August of 2016, the band officially decided that they would be working with Craig Owens on their newest EP.  They have been communicating with him since that point, and are finishing up in the studio this week.  “This is the most interactive that we’ve ever been with a producer, and this is the most willing a producer has ever been to interact with us,” Josh commented on the communications the band has already had with Owens, “I am hoping that the experience we are going to get out of this is going to be one full of growth and us realizing our true potential as song writers and musicians.”

The band will be releasing the new EP in early 2017.  Click here to listen to their newest single “Guide Me Away.”