-Interview- Three For Five (9/10/13)

Three For Five
From: Kennett Square, PA
Sounds like: Ska/Punk


1. How did the band come together and form? Who thought of the name “Three For Five” and is there any meaning behind it?

Jake: In November of 2012 I started working out the general workings of what is now “If You’re Gonna Buy Me Over, Buy Me Over” and I brought up the idea to Jason of starting a ska band. For a few weeks we brainstormed who we knew that played horns while Jason worked on structuring the chord progression that I showed him. I guess we got lucky knowing some talented musicians and that they were just as into the idea of being in a ska band as we were. I thought up the name “Three for Five” when I was flipping through a sales paper while eating breakfast before school and Wawa Iced Teas were on sale where you got three for $5 and it clicked for me. We interpreted the meaning as people expect too much from life, but sometimes a good thing (such as a great iced tea bargain) just comes your way.

Matt: We were basically recruited by Jason. He sent out an email to the artists who he thought would fit the part the best, and we were all pretty excited to get the project started right off the bat. Jake came up with the name and I'm sure he can explain the meaning a shit ton better than myself.

Jason: Jake came up to me and asked if I wanted to be in a ska band. I thought, “why not?” and it kind of just took off from there.

2. What do you want listeners to take away from your music?

Jake: I wouldn’t necessarily say I want listeners to take anything away from our music, but I want to listeners to connect with where we’re coming from in lyrical content. When a listener sees us live, I really just want them to have as much fun in the crowd as we do on stage.

Jason: I just want people to have a great time when they see or listen to us play.

Matt: More than anything I want to be that band that people listen to driving down the road that just puts a smile on your face. One of those groups that when you listen it can wrap a series of emotions into one experience and really become the soundtrack to situations in your life. A main goal for any musician is making sure you reach fans on that level, and I hope we can do that for people.

3. How would you describe your music to the average listener?

Jake: The simplest I’ve ever described it to someone is “really upbeat punk music with a catchy choruses and infectious horn melodies.”

Jason: Intense punk rock music with horns and catchy choruses.

Matt: I would say that we're not a typical ska band that you're used to hearing about. We have kind of developed our own style through many different influences, that span all across the board. The best way to describe us is Three for Five.

4. What can people expect from your live show?

Jake: People can always expect to have a good time and needless to say they’ll always be entertained. Even as a young band, we don’t play the same set more than 5 times.

Jason: People who come to our shows can expect everything. Being a band with such diverse musical influences allows us to play a punk, hardcore, ska, and hip-hop show all in one. People can expect us to go crazy on stage.

Matt: We try to involve the audience on a personal level as well as providing an aesthetically fun show. And we jump off of shit.

5. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

Jake: I’d kill to tour with The Story So Far, Transit, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

Jason: The Story So Far, The Devil Wears Prada, and Earl Sweatshirt. Like that would ever happen, though. Haha.

Matt: It's a tough question. For me personally I'll break it down three ways. Personality through experience, people I think would mesh well with us musically, and my wildcard. First category, No Such Noise! from New Jersey. We've gotten a chance to play with these guys a few times and they're a kick ass group of guys. Never a dull moment when we get together. Musically, I could see us with Streetlight Manifesto. I say this because they bring so many different styles to their music; from classic ska sounds to a latin inspired set, they have variation so I could see us working well in that sense. And wildcard, Notorious BIG. Obviously it isn't gonna happen, but he's on of my idols so we have to include him.

6. Any crazy show stories?

Jake: We were waiting to go on at The Fire in Philly when I go outside and turn the corner to see Matt puking his brains out with a bloody nose at the same time right behind the fire station. The firemen weren’t being too nice about Matt’s situation so we walked him away, but 5 minutes later we got on stage and Matt sang the best I’d ever heard him sing and it was all for two people.

Jason: During our last show of the summer of 2013 I managed to break the bass drum head on our final song. I climbed on top of the bass drum and jumped off, cracking the head on my way down. I guess that’s pretty punk rock.

Matt: On our very first show, a moshpit broke out during our song "Bitter". In the midst of it, someone ended up getting bashed in the face with a trombone slide. It was punk rock as shit.

7. What’s your take on the current state of punk/ska?

Jake: It’s not crazy popular right now, but I’m positive that it will take off. When people hear a quality horn melody, it just gets stuck in their head and doesn’t go away.

Jason: Not many people know what ska music is at all, however I think it is on the rise. I can easily see it being one of the next big things in music, after pop punk.

Matt: Honestly, I think both are a dying breed of music. Modern music is evolving with technology and a lot of the time, you can make more money when you're sitting behind a macintosh as opposed to getting a group of guys together to slam instruments and churn out songs. That being said, I feel as though it almost strengthens the bonds between people still in the scene with a demand for organic bands. I have lots of respect for all the new artists as well as the legends that are still kicking it to this day.

8. What’s the current music scene like there in PA both locally and state wide?

Jake: In our local scene, we’re extremely fortunate that people are so open to new sounds and love coming out to shows. That’s really what keeps us going. I can’t speak to the scene state wide yet, but we’ll make our way out there very soon.

Jason: Actually, a year or two ago, Jake and I used to fool around in a band that occasionally played shows but was never truly serious. I think that the local music scene was at its best then. We would be able to see tons of local shows. It’s not so much like that anymore, but we are definitely lucky enough to have our friends and new fans come out to support us. It would be awesome to get out there and be able to reach new fans.

Matt: Locally we're running dry. It's a sad sight because this time 2 years ago our town was full of groups. Theres still a few bands here and there but kids just don't crave making music. On a state wide level it's impossible to say that Pennsylvania is anything but packed with talent. All genres are represented well in my opinion and it's an honor to represent the Keystone States scene.

9. What’s your take on legal/illegal music downloading?

Jake: People will illegally download music as long as there is a way, but I personally have no problem with it. I’ve done it more times than I can count. Illegally downloading makes each legal purchase more valuable to me because it tells me that somebody likes our music enough or is willing to support us with their hard earned money.

Jason: As a musician, I don’t mind illegal downloading. At this point in Three for Five’s career, we aren’t trying to make money off of music sales. We are simply trying to get our name out there, and thus if people download our music, I could care less if they paid for it. As long as people are enjoying and listening to our music, it does not matter to me. However, I do understand the reasoning behind those that are against it.

Matt: I think that downloading can go either way. Some people just don't have the money to go out and buy albums at a record store or online, and it's almost selfish for artists to become upset at someone who is just trying to enjoy their material but doesn't have the means to purchase it. On the other hand, there are dicks who have all the money in the world and just don't feel like they should spend the money and support musicians.

10. What’s next for Three For Five?

Jake: I don’t really know exactly what’s next for us. We’re just going to keep doing what we’ve always done…writing new music, playing shows, and having fun. Maybe one day we’ll blow up, maybe we won’t, but as long as we enjoy what we’re doing and listeners enjoy our music, nothing else really matters.

Jason: There’s absolutely no way to tell. We originally thought that it would just be over, as half of us are now in school, all in different places of the country. But then again, we still have a wide window of opportunity. We will be opening for Big D and the Kid’s Table in November and are extremely excited for that. Big D has been playing music since I was born, and it is a huge honor to be able to open for them. I will be flying home from Boston that night just to play the show. Although we are all away, we plan on progressing the band as much as possible whenever we have the opportunity.

Matt: We hope to leave our mark along a wide variety of the east coast in the distant future, as well as working on a full length EP to be released some time in 2014.

11. Any shoutouts?

Jake: My two biggest shout outs would have to go to some of my best friends Demitri Grivas and AJ Weber. Demitri recorded our demos for dirt cheap and put so much time and effort into them. He also loaned us his PA equipment on numerous occasions for shows and has always been all around supportive. He’s working on a music career out in Nashville and his music is definitely worth checking out. AJ Weber is a great guy who has helped us time and time again whether it be running sound at shows or helping transport gear from gig to gig. These guys deserve our undying gratitude.

Jason: Along with the people Jake mentioned, I want to give a shout out to my best friends Katherine, Jenn, and Jennifer. All three of these people have been so supportive of the band as well as to me, personally. Katherine has been a huge emotional and moral support since my junior year of high school. Jenn has been my best friend since my sophomore year and has been to more shows than I can count. Jennifer, my little sister, has supported me ever since I picked up a guitar. You guys are awesome.

Matt: A big shoutout to all of our fans, they're what keeps us going. Also a shoutout to David Dorwart for being the only person to cover one of our songs. Shoutout goes to Alan Dembek for helping us on many occasions with photography coverage. Another one goes out to Demitri Grivas for producing our first two demos, because without those we probably wouldn't be where we are today.