Some of you may remember the band Socratic from their 2005 release “Lunch For The Sky” on Drive-Thru Records, some from when they self-released “Socratic (The Album)” this past year and some may never have heard of the band at all. What you do need to know is that they are a determined bunch of friends that won’t let anything stand in the way of their dreams. Recently, we were lucky enough to ask their bassist Lou Panico about their past, their future and a little extra..
First thing we really would like to know is, how are you doing? Are you back up to 100% after the accident?
I’m recovering just fine, thank you! I wouldn’t say 100% just yet but pretty damn close. Full recovery will take about a year. I won’t be doing the riverdance anytime soon. Everyone has been extremely supportive throughout this entire ordeal. Good friends go a long way.
While we are on the subject of traumatic events, being a band from NJ, how did Hurricane Sandy affect you?
Some more than others. Tom, our drummer, was without power for 13 days. Duane and I only lost if for a few. Luckily, we’re all safe. A tree missed my house by mere feet. Unfortunately, some of our friends and family members were not as lucky. Many homes further south from us were destroyed. Many cities will never be the same. The worst storm in New Jersey history. Not to mention the fuel shortage and miles long lines at all the local gas stations. People were going nuts. It was chaos!
Lets bring the focus to your music, do you miss being on Drive-Thru Records? Do you still stay in touch with anyone from the label?
No and no. The only people we’ve stayed in touch with have been a few of the interns and assistants who no longer affiliated with the label.
With things like Kickstarter being around now, do you think its even necessary to be on a label?
Depends on how deep your own pockets go and how many connections you have in the industry. Unfortunately, the music industry is a class war just like anything else. The rich get richer and the the starving artists seem to never catch a break. But you never know in this industry. Guess it depends on how talented you are and how much of your soul you’re willing to sell. I think Kickstarter is a great idea.
What was it like working with Mark Hoppus? Do you hope to work with him again?
It was a pleasure. He’s exactly the person you’d expect him to be. He’s hysterical and super fun to be around. He welcomed us into he and Travis’ studio with open arms and we can’t thank him enough for that. I’d love to work with him again. Will it happen? Probably not. I stopped by one of his FUSE TV taping in Manhattan last year to say hello. Good Old War were the special guests. I had a blast.
What is the difference between who you were as artists then and who you are now?
Once convinced that we had all the answers, we’re now very much aware that we don’t. We’ve matured into adults and musicians alike. We’ve finally learned to take ourselves out of it and to go with the flow. Our most recent release took us two years to record. We recorded it ourselves. That experience alone has humbled us greatly.
Looking back on the older songs, how do you feel about them? Are there certain songs that still hold a strong connection to you? Are there any that are embarrassing to you?
There are plenty of songs that still hold a strong connection to us. I still love a ton of the tunes off Lunch For The Sky. If Spread The Rumors wasn’t rushed as much as it was, and more time was spent on it, I’d be able to say the same about that record, too. But even with that being said, the title track off Spread The Rumors always get to me. The funniest part is that to this day we really only play one song off that record – “May I Bum A Smoke” is a closer in many of our sets. In terms of embarrassing, Tom refuses to play “Boy In A Magazine” (ironically the song that gained us the most exposure during that time). Guess that’s how the cookie crumbles, eh?
Fans like to feel like they are part of a family, how will future material connect with both old and new listeners?
We’ve made a promise to never release any music that we’re not proud of and wouldn’t listen to ourselves. We’re our own biggest critics. For those who have stuck by us throughout the years, we thank you. We’ve been down many roads but have always stayed true to the music. We never stopped writing. And honestly, I’m nothing but confident in regards to the new material we’re currently working on. As a band, we’re the best we’ve ever been.
You basically grew up together in the band, what were some of the biggest challenges doing so?
Not killing one another, learning patience, and understanding that after all of these years of playing with one another, friendship is most important.
What does 2013 have in store for Socratic? Are there any tours in the works?
We have a live EP in the works for those out there that we haven’t been able to reach since our van and trailer were repossessed by our former label. It’s our way of apologizing for not touring as often as we should (and would like). Until we’re able to afford a new van, the only place we’ll be touring is the tri-state area. We’re constantly in the studio and promise to release as much new music as possible in the new year.
Be sure to check out facebook.com/socraticmusic for more info on the band. We really appreciate Lou taking time out to chat with us and look forward to seeing them live soon.