By Amy Pijanowski
As a mere freshman in high school in 2003, I discovered how much fun it was to journey to a southeastern Massachusetts American Legion hall for an evening of local music. These small, young bands developed followings that were large and dedicated, but rarely extended further than the borders of their zip codes. One band that I watched in that very hall has now grown far beyond these geographical constraints.
Based in Boston, Andrew Cook, Brendan Brown, Alex Bars, and Nate Patterson make up The Receiving End of Sirens, an emerging band quickly picking up steam across the country. After signing with Triple Crown Records (a label that sports acts such as Brand New, Lux Courageous, and As Tall as Lions) two years ago and releasing their debut album “Between the Heart and the Synapse” in 2005, it has been non-stop touring for the guys of TREOS. I had the opportunity to talk with drummer Andrew Cook about musical influences, emerging on the national level, and growing extra body parts.
Buzzsaw Haircut: Who are your influences, both musically and otherwise?
Andrew Cook: We are all pretty avid readers, so aside from music, that is probably our biggest outside influence. Movies also influence us a lot; we watch a lot of them. Musically, some of our biggest influences are Radiohead, Bjork, Thrice, The Mars Volta, Glassjaw, Muse, Explosions in the Sky, Mew, and Elvis Costello.
BH: If you had to describe your sound to someone who had never heard your music, what would you say?
AC: I usually say something like, “It’s really melodic heavy rock music with electronics and lots of harmony.” That’s the best I can do. I like it when the songs speak for themselves, I guess.
BH: Could you give a brief history of the band?
AC: We started out with the four of us in 2003 and originally had a lead singer, who left the band shortly after we got going. Then we had another member named Casey join the band who was with us from that point until May of this year. We started touring full time in January of 2005 ,and our album came out that April. We’ve been touring ever since and have yet to slow down.
BH: Do you have any new tours coming up? What are some of the bands you have toured with in the past?
AC: We’re about to head to the UK in a couple weeks with two great bands called Fightstar and Oceansize. We’ve toured with a lot of great bands in the last couple years. Many of them have become close personal friends of ours, and the times we’ve shared with them make for the best memories for sure. Some of the bands we’ve played with are Cartel, Panic! at the Disco, Atreyu, Circa Survive, Underoath, Gatsby’s American Dream, Thrice, Acceptance, and Senses Fail.
BH: When did you first sign with Triple Crown? How have your lives changed since signing? AC: We signed with TCR about two years ago. The main thing that’s changed for us is that we have a label behind us for support, which in some ways kind of warrants us dropping everything and being a full time band. If we didn’t have them to release our record, things would have been a lot tougher for us, but granted, we would’ve worked twice as hard to make sure we could do nothing but play music every day.
BH: If you could pick one favorite moment from your time in TREOS, what would it be? AC: The day our album came out in stores was a very proud moment for me, and for all of us. It was the biggest accomplishment of my life to date. It really was everything we’d ever wanted coming to fruition, and you can’t ask for anything more than that.
BH: What are your all-time favorite books and movies?
AC: I have plenty, “Killing Yourself to Live,” or anything else by Chuck Klosterman. “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert Pirsig, “Choke” by Chuck Palahniuk. For movies, my favorites are “Adaptation,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “The Usual Suspects,” “V for Vendetta,” “On the Waterfront,” “Van Wilder,” “Old School,” and “Sin City.”
BH: If you could have one extra body part, what would it be, and why? AC: In the interest of keeping things PG, I’ll say an eye in the back of my head, or a third arm so I could take this drumming thing to the next level.
BH: What is the next step for TREOS?
AC: We’ll be writing lots of tunes, touring in the UK, doing the MTV $2 Bill Tour with 30 Seconds to Mars and Head Automatica, then recording our new record. We also have a fabulous new website in the works which will be launched this month, so check out www.thereceivingendofsirens.com for that!
Amy Pijanowski is a freshman TV-R major who understands the unavoidable visual confusion between the band TREOS and the delicious snack OREOS. Email her atapijano1[at]ithaca.edu.