Interview with: Steve Soboslai of Punchline
When & Where: 12/09/03 - The Sphere - Buffalo, NY
For the record, who are you and tell me something random about yourself.
Steve: My name is steve, I'm from the band called Punchline and something random about myself is that I'm left handed. But, the only thing I do left handed is write. I do everything else with my right hand.
(Kendyl from rockinundies.com) Do you think your sound has grown since Major Motion Picture?
Oh yes. That was our first album that we put out. We've been a band for a while and we were a three piece for a while and then Paul joined the band that's where we kind of became the Punchline that we are now. So that was like our first album and I think we really grew a lot since then.
Tell me a brief history about the band and how it got it's name. Even though, you kind of just went over that.
Well, we got our name because it actually started out as more of a joke. Me and Chris, our bass player, we've been in a band before and that band broke up and i was in another band with our drummer P.J. and this one day, we were all hanging out around a fire and mae and Chris were talking and bummed out about how we had all these songs written and we didn't have a dummer and P.J. was like, "Why don't we just get together tomorrow, mess around with the songs and joke around or whatever?" But, it actually worked and we became a band, out of a joke. So, Punchline.
(Kendyl from rockinundies.com) Have your goals as a band changed at all?
My goal as a band is to keep pushing forward and always try to get our music out there as much as we can. The music industry is hyped up to be everything that it is. It's hard work, it sucks, but sometimes you get a lot of shit for no reason. I'm not sure if that made any sense but it came from the heart.
What do you want your fans to walk away with after seeing one of your live shows?
I want them to remember at least 3 parts of 3 different songs and I want them to walk away with a soda.
(Kendyl from rockinundies.com) Tell me about the writing process.
We all contribute to the writing process. Someone like myself, or Chris, or Paul, we'll write a basic idea for a song. For me, I'll write like a minute version of the song and then I'll bring it in to practice and then I'll play it for them to go, "It sucks!," or "I like that, but maybe we should do this to it." Then we build off it. Writing sonfs is like lightning. Songs are written really quick.
Tell me how you got picked up by Fueled By Ramen and why the band decided to go with them.
It was acutally a girl through our street team who is a huge fan of ours. She got them to come out and see us in Gainsville where we played and they liked it and we got a phone call like the next day. I love Fueled By Ramen and I think we totally made the right decision. It's like a big family. I love everyone there.
Do you think that MTV and radio changes the wat fans are for a certain type of music?
Oh yeah, to a certain point. I think a lot of people look to those placed for new music. So, it's not always the best stuff that makes it on there. People just kind of like whatever they see.
(Kendyl from rockinundies.com) Do you think that labeling bands like emo and indie and so on can hurt the band?
I think it can. Especially since I really don't understand what exactly emo is or what indie is or what punk rock is. I usually just like pop punk.
So you've toured with a lot of amazing bands like Fallout Boy, Less Than Jake, and Rufio. What bands would you like to tour with that you haven't yet?
I'd like to tour with Don't Look Down. I'd like to tour with Motion City Soundtrack. I really would. I like them a lot.
(Kendyl from rockinundies.com) What's your all time favorite boyband?
Kristie: They're not a boyband! I like them!
I love them! They're all boys! So it's a boyband! [laughs]
(Kendyl) Like, Backstreet Boys, Nsync, LFO...
They're all the same to me and they all are great singers so it doesn't matter, but Nsync.
How hard is it to establish your own presence without having to deal with ties to another bands work?
Well, we write what we want and do what we want and I hope that when stuff comes out, that we won't get confused with anyone else. I like to think that we have a different writing style. I'm all about writing a good song. Well, I hope that we write good songs.
(Kendyl from rockinundies.com) What is one word that describes everyone else in the band?
Weird. No, just kidding. Everyone in the band is extremely different.
Do you feel that following a certain pathway of music or lyrics can put a strain on what you might want to experiment with outside of it?
You have really good questions!
Yes! Like I was saying before, we write what we write. Say we wrote a song, and the best way it would come out is as a country song. We would record it that way. Some music sounds better a certain way. We try not to be held back by that kind of stuff.
You guys are still rather young. What do you think is the hardest part of establishing yourselves?
It's hard to establish ourselves because physically, we're all really small and you walk into a club and see a lot of big guys who are really intimidating.
Okay, well put it in perspective of the band as a whole.
You mean because we're like a newer band?
Yeah! There we go.
Okay, you know, it's always hard and the only thing we have to judge on how we're doing is by the fact that we are doing this show. It's really awesome. I'm not exaclty sure if I'm answering your questions because you have very ellaborate questions and I think that's cool.
(Kendyl from rockinundies.com) What's a typical day like for you?
A typical day like on tour? I usually wake up as late as possible because I always stay up really late. So, I get up and I'm usually drowsy in the morning so I'll have my gatorade and then go on instant messanger, make some phone calls, reflect on the day before and how it was, then look at the schedule and then there's the show. Then there's the after show. My favorite part is the after show.
What motivates you to keep growing and to stay strong with what you are doing?
It's my life and that's the only thing I have going for me. [laughs] I couldn't do anything else besides this.
(Kendyl from rockinundies.com) What are your thoughts on music downloading?
I think it's awesome. I think that music downloading has helped us get further a lont than we would have ever been. Like when Major Motion Picture came out, we made sure that the day it came out that enough people could download it so it could get to number one. For some reason, every song that we had to download, we had like 300,000 downloads and that's amazing. I wanted to put the whole album on the internet but our label wouldn't let us. But, I don't blame them because that can lower sales. It's awesome and I like it. That's right!
If you were to die tomorrow what would you say you got out of this?
I'm one of the happiest people you'll ever meet. I lived a very happy life. So, If I were to die, I'd feel pretty happy. Not that I'm asking to die or anything, because I don't want to die! [laughs]
What would you say are the pure elements of writing a good song?
Doing something different. You know what, no. I wouldn't say that. A lot of times people will write something and they try to make it sound different and it bothers me that a lot of people would do what sounds different instead of what sounds good. I think that's the pure element. Of knowing what sounds good and not what sounds different.
Lastly, how would you describe success?
Waking up everyday with a smile on your face. I'm extremely happy and I feel like we're successful.
*A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to Steve for being so awesome! Thanks Steve!!*