The 1,2,3 Interview + Album Release Party

Published On May 19, 2014 | By Kymbo Slice | Interviews
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Local band 1,2,3‘s catchy blend of sultry, dynamic vocals showed signs of staying power since their first show in Pittsburgh back in 2011. Their timeless pop riffs reminiscent of the rock n’ roll days of our parents’ age appeal to those with the most pretentious music tastes, as well as casual listeners. Of all the bands to come out of Pittsburgh in the past five years, 1,2,3 is one of the few to break out beyond city limits and enjoy some buzz along the festival circuit and blogosphere, landing a deal with the likes of Frenchkiss Records in the company of bands such as Local Natives, Bloc Party and Passion Pit.

With such a promising debut, one might wonder where they’ve been the past couple of years. We had a chance to catch up with Josh Sickels, the band’s drummer, recently.

After New Heaven came out, we did a few U.S. tours, a few SXSW trips, a lot of recording at our singer’s house, a lot of purging of the team around us (label, management, booking agents). Lots of experience, lots of debt, lots of fun. Change, change, change. And then we broke up. But now we’re back.

2014 finds them releasing a double album, Big Weather, (available May 27) and performing their first show since November 2012. Their album release party is slated for Friday, May 30th at the Brillobox, a space they can easily fill with their friends, family and biggest fans in town, for one of the most anticipated local album releases and shows of the summer.

There will definitely be some dust shakin’ going on. Considering our set will be made up of 70 percent songs we’ve never played before, that also ups the stakes. Really, though, we’ve done so much touring, in this band, and others, that once the first song starts, it will be like riding a bike. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.

Their ambitious sophomore release, Big Weather, is a double album comprised of songs the band spent recording at a house they rented in the burbs, which would often flood. They’d record the sounds of passing storms through the house’s screen door, and listened to only local oldies stations while making this album. Their gear was equally as dilapidated. The band used old guitars and anything they could bang on to create the album’s different textures. According to vocalist Nic Snyder,

“It’s more interesting to be lonely in the eye of the hurricane than it is to be in a bedroom. This album is undoubtedly ridden with flaws, but so are its creators, and the circumstances under which it was created… and in that regard, this album feels very special to me.”

Additionally, Josh states,

Big Weather is filled with so many stories, from so many walks of life, and its not all tragic or filled with strife – plenty of humor, hope, resolution. It was certainly not the intention of the record, even after we broke up and got back together to finish it. I guess you could say its just an eerie coincidence!

And a double sophomore album isn’t the only thing 1,2,3 has been working on lately. After their departure from Frenchkiss, they’ve also started a new label of their own, American Hermitage.

With Frenchkiss, there were just fundamental disagreements about the best way to market the band, and even then, going into Big Weather, creative differences. It was best to split up, even though, now, there are no hard feelings. American Hermitage came about because we wanted to take the reigns on this thing. We, and lots of bands in general complain about why their label didn’t do this, or should’ve done that… well, now, that’s not something we need to worry about. It is definitely an expensive endeavor, but it’s OK because you can succeed or fail on your own terms without the “what ifs.” American Hermitage is currently made up of 4 artists – 1,2,3, Dana Corina, Baby Jon Leach, and the Mhurs. We are planning to put records out by at least three of us this year. Heads up, world.

We caution you not to get too excited, though, for the band’s return to playing out. As if you needed any more reason to check out their album release show, Josh warns,

There are definite shows in the works… and more recording, believe it or not. Our album release party at Brillobox will be our only Pittsburgh show of 2014. Bring your smiling faces.

We’ll see you Friday, May 30th for 1,2,3’s album release party at Brillobox. They’re bringing label mates Mhurs all the way from St. Louis to join them for this special occasion. Doors are at 9:30PM and $8 tickets will only be sold at the door, so get there early!

Pro Tip: Nylon Mag is currently streaming their album in its entirety! Catch the exclusive over here.

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