What do you get when you take six musically talented guys who are determined and passionate about what they do? You get The Pax Romana from the Lakes Region in New Hampshire. The band, still new to the New Hampshire scene, seem to have already started to take off. Although they love playing hometown shows, the band toured this summer all throughout New England. The best thing about this band is the fact that they are all about jumpstarting the NH music scene again. This week, we got to sit down with Mike and Ethan from the band:
MPR:So, how did you guys form and how long have you guys been a band?
Ethan: We've been a band for about two and a half years, but the current members of The Pax Romana have all been together for about three months. We became a band after Mike's and my band broke up. I called mike shortly after we all went our separate ways and I said "Hey Mike, you and I have stuck with it through the years. If there's anyone I want to start a band with, it's going to be you." He wanted to join up with me again, and we got some other friends together and just started jamming and playing shows. We went from being a 5 piece to a 6 piece to a 4 piece back to a 5 piece and now we're back to a 6 piece. There have been about 10 or 11 kids that have been in the Pax Romana. I think it's safe to say we've been through the most crap like that than any band that's still playing around here, and we're sticking with it. We are a completely different band now than when we were even 6 months ago.
MPR: Now, I have to ask. The Pax Romana? How did you get that name?
Ethan: Our old drummer, Jack, actually came up with it. I went to highschool with him, and we formed the band during our late junior year. He learned about the Pax Romana in history class. We were first called Cold Front, but then we realized there had been like ten hardcore bands in New England called Cold Front already. So then we called ourselves For Crown And Kingdom. Then like a day before our second show, Jack was like, "Dude... The Pax Romana." We all loved it so we changed our name to what it is now.
Mike: The Pax Romana stands for a time in ancient Rome where there was 500 hundred years of peace. We thought it fit us because that's what we are trying to spread, and that's something we all stand for.
MPR: Wow, that's powerful. Can you tell us about your latest song?
Ethan: Our newest song is called "Revitalization". It's off our EP called Opposites. It follows along with someone's life who is indifferent towards the way his or her life turns out, due to things that have happened to him or her that they refuse to face, and instead choose to cover is up with substance abuse and things like that. It all comes down to saying "this is wrong. Man up and face your problems." If you don't get out of these idiotic ways, things aren't going to turn out good in the end. The way the lines are written are supposed to go along with the theme of opposites, hence the name of our EP.
MPR: I think that's a great message to send, especially compared to the message most of the songs on mainstream radio today have. So what's the hardest part about writing music?
Ethan: I think the hardest part of writing music, at least with us, is trying to get a finished song that everyone likes 100%. We try our hardest and work on material until we achieve that, but it's sometimes a pain because we all like different styles of music and whatnot. It's just hard to get it to that point where there's a piece of each and every single one of us, and our individual influences in one song. However, even though it's tough to do that for us, once we do get that that point, the work and extra time that was taken to get there is well worth it.
MPR: How about the best part?
Ethan: The best part is probably when were all jammin' on something that someone has brought to practice or something, and we get that moment where we actually are on the same wavelength with each other and what we're playing just goes perfectly together without even having to try or give criticism. That's just the coolest feeling to us when were writing, and jamming together. It gets us all giddy and pumped about what we do.
MPR: That's awesome, and definitely not an easy thing to do. So who writes the lyrics?
Ethan: I write most of the lyrics. Not that I'm not open to what anyone else will write, but it's just turned out that way.
MPR: Where do you get your inspiration?
Ethan: Well, I never want to write lyrics that are always specific to my life and things I encounter. I do write some self reflective songs but I honestly think if I were to write lyrics that were only exclusive to my personal life without letting the other five members of my band in on the meaning of what I'm writing, then that would just be selfish on my part. So like I said, I do write some self reflective songs, but mostly my inspiration for lyrics will stem off of experiences that I or fellow band mates have and the lyrics are about either the concept of the situation or a thought that has derived from a certain situation, feeling, or setting, that goes along with our message that I or someone else in the band wants to expand on.
MPR: So what about when you're not writing and practicing? What do you all do in your spare time?
Ethan: We don't really get to have spare time. Haha. We work during the week, and when we're not working we're either all together hanging out and talking about what we're going to be doing with our band, practicing/writing, recording, or playing shows. That pretty much sums up our lives right now. The group of guys we have now in that band is by far the most dedicated, energetic, creative, and has the most drive so far. So there's usually not much time for screwing around with us.
MPR: It's good to see a band so serious and really into what they are doing. Do you have any advice for people trying to start a band?
Ethan: Prepare to spend all your money on your gear and all kinds of band expenses. If you want to keep sticking with it, never get lazy about it and always keep your drive. Remember where you came from and try to be different from any other band you know in your area. Never get down and out about changes or mistakes; only learn from them. That goes a longer way than you think.
MPR: So, if you could play with any other band, who would it be?
Ethan: The other guys in my band know what I'd say. Haha. I'd say if The Chariot got back together, I'd play with them anywhere, The one band that we can all agree on liking is Underoath so maybe if they got back together, I'm sure the guys would love to play with them.
Mike: I do like Underoath, but I'd have to say Switchfoot. I've listened to their music for as long as I can remember. They've gotten me through a lot of hard times, and they are much of my inspiration for my music.
MPR: All very great bands! Now for a fun question: If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Ethan: I'd just want to be Master Chief or something. That's not really a super power, but that'd be sick.
Mike: I'd definitlely be a speedster, kind of like Flash. I think it'd be sweet to be able to run fast.
MPR: Great answers, I'd definitely be invisible! Anything else you guys would like to say?
Mike: I guess just that we are a bunch of kids working our butts off to make music everyone can enjoy and spread peace, love, and hope. Also a thanks to everyone who's supported us thus far, and thanks to anyone who's going to help support us in the future.