Live It Out’s Anthony Gaglio…No Gimmicks When it’s Illuminated

What’s Michigan known for? To the world it’s “Motor City” of Detroit, to pop culture fiends…8 Mile and to me? The home of Tim the “Tool Man” Taylor. Well now all of us can add Live It Out. Their pop punk style isn’t what we’re used to hearing, leaning way over on the punk side of that spectrum giving them a hardcore shell. They have a raw energy about them that’s conjured up comparisons to Such Gold and Make Do And Mend. Like any band out right now, Live It Out is spending most of their time on the road doing what they do best, and in between gas station stops and drive thru feasts their bassist Anthony Gaglio was nice enough to sit and let us all in on their upcoming EP, fat lips, gimmicks and a whole lot more.

Kendra: You’re a pretty new band still. What were you up to before Live It Out?

Anthony: All of us have been in bands for so long, there was Set Sail, Dream In Stereo and working terrible, dead end jobs just to keep being able to play music.

Kendra: Being a musician is a rough career path, but worth it nonetheless. Do you still have day jobs though that fills the void between tours?

Anthony: Most of us do. Brandon drives an ice cream truck, although, I’d never let anyone I know buy ice cream off of him. It’s a scary thought. You gotta make ends meet, and most places aren’t really cool with you taking weeks at a time off to play shows because it’s really not something most people outside of being in a band understand.

Kendra: Bands like Blink-182 never lost any cred for being MTV staples, but it seems some bands (who’ll remain nameless) kind of fell out of the loop when they became household names. How do you think artists can remain true to their roots and still be mainstream?

Anthony: Blink-182 is kind of one of those bands with a cult following, like AFI, except Blink-182 didn’t completely change their sound. There are so many kids in our generation that started playing music because of Blink, and that always sticks with you. I mean, sure every band has to grow up, Davey Havok couldn’t have pretended to be Danzig for his whole career, but to me, making songs that mean something to you will always be more rewarding than a paycheck.

Kendra: You talk a lot about gimmicks recent popular bands use. What gimmicks are you talking about those bands are using? I don’t see anyone sporting Gaga gear…or are they?

Anthony: I remember a band telling me at a Halloween show that they weren’t dressing up because they had an image to uphold. I’m pretty sure that was the most lame thing I’ve heard in a long time. Gimmicks sell, but at the expense of having fun? I’ll pass.

Kendra: We won’t find any of those things on your upcoming EP…that has yet to be titled as far as I know. How do you guys go about naming it? Pick names out of a hat? Fight it out?

Anthony: We had a lot of names floating around. First it was Shark Week, then something else and something else, we went with Illuminated. There are some songs on there about opening your eyes to what’s going on around you, and I think that’s how we got the name. It just made everyone nod their head and understand how well it suited the songs.

Kendra: Speaking of, can you dive into this untitled EP a little more? Personal favs? Artists you channeled recording?

Anthony: We wanted to make something we could stand back and be proud of. We all loved our first EP, but we always thought we could have done better. But this time around, it was the four of us putting everything we had into it instead of a few of us. It made it that much more humbling to step back and think that we all did our equal share.

Kendra: Okay, do you remember that Nickelodeon show, Figure It Out? Well say you had to figure out “Live It Out’s upcoming EP.” What three could we ask to come up with that? For example…”What EP is going to kick our eardrums ass?”

Anthony: Oh god. I remember Double Dare way more. Can we just pretend instead of Figure It Out we were playing Double Dare and you have to dig our EP out of a nose filled with gak to win a mountain bike instead? Or maybe say listening to our EP is comparable to making your way to the top of the aggro crag and wining that sweet, sweet piece of glowing rock?

Kendra: Haha, fair enough and  really quick, let’s rewind again…Not a lot of bands credit Sum 41 as an influence. What is it about that band that stuck out to you guys?

Anthony: Cross your T’s and Gouge Your Eyes. The DVD that came with Does this look infected? We try to have that much fun at every show. Everyone in this band had watched that DVD 1,000 times before we met. It’s the one thing other than Blink-182 that we can all agree on. Watching it made me want to tour so bad. It’s all I ever thought about.

Kendra: Now let’s fast forward and push play…When you hit the road with bands you’ve never met, how do you break the ice to make things run smoothly?

Anthony: Sometimes that doesn’t always happen. I remember our second show everyone was complaining about our time slot, saying that we were new jacks or something. People threatened to fight us if we showed up. It was awesome. I think what happens most times is, we show up and we’re just genuinely nice dudes. We’re not playing shows to feed our egos; we do this because we love it, and that was the case then, and will always be.

Kendra: You’ve got a pretty catchy catchphrase, “Get drunk Pop Punk.” And I know a lot of bands toss back the brews while onstage, but I’ve always wondered how you can remember what you’re doing up there while drinking because I can’t walk after a couple of drinks…I’m a lightweight.

Anthony: Sometimes I don’t know how we do it. There have been times when we didn’t “do it.” I guess my best excuse is that it always lightens the mood up, it makes it that much easier to let go of the things holding you back. Plus, it makes it more fun. You stop caring about maybe messing up and start having cedar point fun.

Kendra: To kind of make this go full circle, mainstream pop punk hasn’t been all that great in Live It Out’s opinion these past couple years, so I was wondering…if you guys had to make me a mixtape of the Top 5 songs by recent bands who are representing the pop punk realm right, what would you send me?

Anthony:
Such Gold – “Four Super Bowls, No Rings” It was the song that got me into this band, and they’re so full of emotion on stage, it just feels real.
Half Hearted Hero – “Periphery” Another band that is outstanding. Their Running Water EP is flawless front to back.
Maker – “Sink or Swim” Some of the nicest guys in the world. Such a good REAL band.
Living with Lions – “She’s a Hack” Catchiest song I’ve ever heard. Good lyrics, great band.
Title Fight – “Symmetry” I’ve watched this band progress every time they come and they are just amazing. Simply put, they always put on an amazing show, and just constantly put out good records.

Originally published on July 7, 2011

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