-Interview- Complicated Arrangement (7/12/16)

Complicated Arrangement gets interviewed and talks about the impact of their music, the current state of punk and much more.


From: Nassau County, NY
Sounds like: Punk

1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name “Complicated Arrangement” and is there any meaning behind it?

CV: Noza and I were literally just sitting around making fun of band names in 2012...some of my favorites were Dreen Gay, Kink-169...then Complicated Arrangement happened when we were looking for a parody of a Canadian Pop-Punk band...10 points if you can figure out who it is. The meaning came later after we had a lot of ups and downs as far as the band goes and having members coming in and out. The real development of our music, however, comes from our diverse tastes. We were originally supposed to be strictly Pop-Punk...guess that didn’t work out.

PS: Well, I started officially playing the drums when I was 4 years old and haven't stopped playing since. My sound is basically a large variety of drummers who I have listened to over the years put into the form of my playing. I have a good ear, so it's easy for me to learn something that was recorded. Vanni and Noza created the band name. They're basically geniuses when it comes to writing lyrics so I guess it shows with the name choice because I happen to really like the name. If there were any meaning to it, it would be this: music in general is complicated. And the fact that certain bands, like us, have a mix of genres, it's basically a complicated arrangement.

Noza: oh boy, that’s quite the story. There was this one night that i heard my brother recording a rap on protools 8 in his room with a few of his friends, and at the time i was getting into a lot of trouble in school and i was unhappy with my life. After i walked into his room, he said “Yo John you wanna be apart of this” and i said “umm sure what would you want me to do?” and then he replied “You’re gonna sing”. After i sung for him he was like “Bro you can sing!” and i said “Really?” then he said “I didn’t know that is awesome”. From that moment on I knew that i finally found what was missing. I developed the way i write and the way i play from Michael Jackson, William Shakespeare and from punk bands like Green Day, Bad Religion, and The Ramones. The name Complicated Arrangement came from a spin off of one of mine and Vannis favorite bands of all time.

2. What do you want listeners to take away from the "March Through Hell" single?

CV: I want listeners, when listening to “March Through Hell” or any other song of ours, that you don’t need to shred or show off to make a good song. That just putting your all, being creative, and knowing yourself can be your biggest benefit. Every time I tried to be something I’m not, the song didn’t make the cut. On a very rare occasion, lyrics will be more creative/realistic fiction than true feeling...but I never attempt to manufacture it. It comes out awful.

PS: To be honest, I'm not truly familiar with the genre of metal as a whole however, I understand the melodic, powerful and intricate components that make it what it is. So I would say that if you were to interpret "March Through Hell" into your own personal beliefs, for me, I would say that it has a unique and powerful drive throughout the song. The lyrics are indeed worthy of high praise. They are very clever and well worded. Overall, "March Through Hell" is indeed a worthwhile song.

Noza: I want the listeners to take away the meaning behind it, and the powerful riff and of course Stix killing it haha.

3. What can people expect from your live show?

CV: If you come to one of our shows, you can expect something as real as it can get. We don’t act on stage. All of our humour is ad-libbed. We try to interact as much as possible. If you come out and see us, we appreciate it. We’ve played for crowds from 5-25 people. And we love every single face we see there that can be out doing anything else.

PS: Two words can describe our live performances. One is "comical". We as a band love to show that ourselves and the crowd as a whole are having a great time. All our jokes are 100% improvised and original(original most of the time.) We love laughs 24/7. Second would be "intriguing". We're different in many ways and we will continue to be different. That's how we grow as a band to this day. For all our live performances, we intend to be "unique".

Noza: People who come to our live shows can expect a good laugh, a bit of moshing, and a wall of death cause hey, we gotta keep people awake somehow.

4. What's your favorite track to play live?

CV: We haven’t really played much of our new music live yet, but we will be this month...so right now, my favorite live song HAS to be “Again” from our first record, PLUG IT IN. CRANK IT UP. Of course...the album was before vocal lessons so it sounds much better now. But it’s so fun to see people sing along to a song about your ex who cheated and broke your heart in a humorous style of songs.

PS: For right now, I have two favorites. One would be off our first album and it's called, "Your'e Lost". It's got that drum solo in the beginning(which is perfect for me) and it's a fast paced, energetic song that really never gets boring. And the second one, off the new album, is coincidentally, "March Through Hell". I love the odd time signatures, the lyrics, and the drumming is just so fast and cool. I have a blast playing that song!

Noza: My favorite song to play live is "Heartless", because I honestly have tons of fun playing the bass solo.

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

CV: Wow...that’s a toughie. I’d love to tour with Blood On The Dance Floor. I’ve met them and they’re really funny guys. I feel like touring with them would be nothing but laughs.

PS: Hmmm...now see that's really tough. One I'd say would be Halestorm. I always loved their sound and beautiful lyrics. Lzzy Hale is a bad ass vocalist and guitarist. Another band would probably be Blink 182. They're so funny live! And believe it or not, they have a very unique sound. Travis Barker is not your average punk rock drummer. Third would most likely be Falling In Reverse. Now here's the thing that makes them different: they have multiple different feels and styles incorporated in most of their albums. And most of their songs are pretty much unique in their own way. Ronnie Radke is a really good front man and everyone else in the band are pretty much some of the best musicians of the era.

Noza: There are lots of them but obviously i can only name three haha. But If i had to choose one out of my top three though it would definitely be Avenged Sevenfold.

6. Any crazy show stories?

CV: One time, before Stix was in the band, we had this drummer from Westbury. I was at camp the day of a freaking show and she called me telling me that she’s in no way doing the show because she thought Noza stole her pot. The irony is, he refuses to touch marijuana. So based on that, we had to do our show with the pre-loaded drum loops on my amp. It was awful.

PS: Well, not really. The craziest it has ever gotten was when we played at Shakers Pub in Oakdale, Long Island. During our performance of a song called "Forever", the fire alarm went off due to the intense smoke coming from the fog machine. Everyone in the pub evacuated except the 3 of us who were basically jamming to the fire alarm, which acted as my metronome. Vanni's dumb ass decided to tune detune the A string to match the beeps....it worked. We were pretty much in sync then.

Noza: To be honest there’s really none besides that one time i needed a toilet plunger because i clogged the toilet before the show, then Vanni like i knew he would, SPOKE ABOUT IT ON STAGE! ;(

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

CV: I feel that the reason punk is dying is because people are trying to stick to a script. Just because it’s angst-y with power chords...doesn’t make it punk. Punk was made to shock, surprise, and create. Create new musical directions. Now that we’ve exhausted that, we think that simply adding an extra guitar would help. I disagree. “Punk” artists nowadays are, like I said, sticking to scripts. What made punk punk a long time ago was its complete difference and eagerness to fight for what the artist believes in with the simplicity so that the instrumentals don’t overwhelm the ideas. Problem is, it all sounds the same 35+ years later. We may not conform to the textbook definition of punk, but that is what makes Complicated Arrangement punk...failure to conform to expectations.

PS: Punk rock is slowly going to deteriorate into nothing if and only if no one advocates for its survival. And as we know, ways to advocate are to listen to the music, feel the music and share the music. And as for current punk rock bands; they are all trying very hard to keep the legacy alive and well.

Noza: I mean i think punk has definitely gotten more experimental over the last decade, and some of it is just awful, and the little part of it that’s not awful is eh.

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

CV: Musically...creative as hell. I’ve seen so many bands that I don’t think are getting the recognition they deserve because these bullshit, self-righteous prick promoters have a problem with bands just starting out that just want to play. How will fanbases be built if all you care about is ticket sales for your shitty, poorly planned, under-promoted show? This is why I don’t respect most promoters. I give many kudos to the artists from where we’re from though. They love what they do and have fun doing it.

PS: It is just awful. These days, the average man listens to over-produced crap. And unfortunately, due to the ignorance of some people, that music spreads really fast. Fortunately, as long as people are actually playing instruments, the pride and joy of "real music" will continue to be passed down from generation to generation.

Noza: The music scene here in New York in my opinion is really good. There are a lot of talented people here in New York, and you can’t deny talent when you see it.

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

CV: If you illegally download our album, fine. Just please support us by buying merch or coming to our shows or maybe even getting a CD...cause if you get a CD and run into one of us with it...we will sign it. Like I said before, we love fans. And we appreciate any love that comes our way. We don’t care about becoming rich. We just wanna make enough to continue making music for you.

PS: To be honest I really don't have much to say about that. I for one, would never start something like that however, if it comes down to me downloading something off of something somebody else is eventually going to take the blame for, i really could care less.

Noza: You know what, legal music downloading, illegal music downloading, who cares. You’re gonna listen to it either way and that’s all that matters.

10. What’s next for Complicated Arrangement?

CV: Our new album is about 90% done and is expected to drop in November. We will be continuing to build our fanbase and make more connections in the meantime.

PS: Well, for right now, we are trying to build a fan base. Ideas for a third album are there but we truly need to focus on playing live shows and promoting this album.

Noza: Definitely a lot of shows, promotion, and our new album which is coming out on November 12th which goes by the title “Indecisive” (FOR FUCKIN REAL THIS TIME).

11. Any shoutouts?

CV: I’m going to shout out some of my locals. This is for all of you. Buz Bomb, Aegresco, Bailout 42, Nexus Canvas, Black Mary...shit I’m missing a lot. There’s just so many. Also wanna give a shout out to Joe Tommasino. Cool dude...genuine promoter. And every single one of my friends. Amiri King for being the first fan to take a true interest and Pops for believing in us from day numero uno. We’ll get to everyone in time.

PS: Yes. My band mates Vanni Noza are truly wonderful people. Both of you will always be my brothers. My family(Mom, Dad, brother specifically); you guys helped me get through tough crap and I would not be this confident as a musician if it weren't for you. My Aunt Lynn, who has been a supporter of mine for many years. You never gave up on me and i thank you for that. And last, but never least, my friend Sam Aronoff. You my friend, will not only be a brother to me, but a friend I know I will be with until the end.

Noza: I’d like to give thanks to the band fund aka 59 year old fuckboy POPS, and I’d like to give thanks to my best friend Jenny that’s going off to the military for always supporting me in everything I do, as well as my mother. Most importantly, I’d like to thanks the greatest musicians and friends in the world, my band members Vanni, and Stix.