Usually when you see a show there’s a band that stands out. Sometimes it’s because they’re the band that you got the best spot to see, and you got to be in the front row and get a high five from the singer during their set before someone spilled a beer on you and your ears began to ring, causing you not to be able to hear the rest of the concert and leaving you with a hammer of a headache. Sometimes it’s because they’re the only band you remember being able to recall before you blacked out. Mostly, though, it’s because they make music that you like and want to listen to.
The Composure is one of those bands for me. Playing in a lovely line-up at Yesterday’s Draught House and Stage in Wheeling, West Virginia that also included 60612, Vanilla Sounded Chocolate, and Sunday Morning Pint, The Composure kept up with their name. They were in control, consistent, and can be counted on to come through with some sophisticated songs. Music makers Paul Menotiades on vocals and guitar, Cory Muro on drums, and Seth Milly on guitar and vocals stood out on stage.
Founded in 2007 by Cory and Paul, formerly of the internationally famed Punchline, The Composure makes power pop music from Pittsburgh, PA. They previously put out a full-length LP entitled “Strings Attached” which includes the song “The Spinning of the World” and is out now on Modern Short Stories and also available on itunes. They have had music mixed by Mark Trombino (Blink 182, Jimmy Eat World), wowed the crowd at Warped Tour, and have a video available of their song “Stop Now, Start Again.” With a new EP to entice everyone due in December, they may not be snugly touring in a small SUV for long! With songs that should be on your stations, The Composure surely does stand out, but with a fierce, dedicated fan base (that includes myself), they certainly don’t stand alone.
Sara Fincham: You are definitely working men, and this is your job. Doing this and dedicating yourself for over 40 hours a week – it’s obviously more than a means to money for you. What is so special about music?
Seth Milly: Music is really all we know, I don’t know what else I would do if I wasn’t playing in a band.
Cory Muro: Making music has never been about making money for me, I say this all the time and it’s cliche but if I get to make music and play shows with my friends then I’m fine with that. It’s definitely hard at times but that’s when you realize that you don’t have to get up at 6 tomorrow for your job you hate.
Paul Menotiades: It sometimes feels like a job and should be treated like one at times, but we realize that we get to drive around, see places, play shows, and write music and it’s what we all want to do so the hard things are well worth it.
SF: Nobody is perfect, but practice does pay off. What has been the biggest reward?
CM: Playing live shows is my favorite thing to do in the world and we all take our live sound really seriously, so when people give us compliments like they can tell how much we play or they love seeing us play live, that is the biggest payoff.
PM: We always want to be tighter and sound more like we do on our recordings. We all sing and play close attention to the smallest details so yeah, when people recognize the small things you spent a lot of time on its very fulfilling.
SF: How hard has it been to replace and have rotating bass members, if at all? Is that something that will be resolved soon?
CM: Losing members definitely isn’t an easy thing. We have lost 3 members and the hardest thing was trying to turn into something that benefits your band, you can’t just go get someone who can play bass. Taking your time and finding someone who is on the same page with everyone when it comes to chemistry, song writing, singing, live show, and dedication is always how we look at it and at this point I’d honestly say the misfortunes we have had with past member changes have been good for us. Hell, we wouldn’t have Seth if so! I really think it’s our best line-up and right now we are just trying to find that dude that fits all those categories… it’s going good!
PM: Yeah like Cory said losing members is never easy but it just comes down to trying to make it a positive thing and moving forward rather than letting it bring you down.
SF: What are your personal goals as opposed to your group goals, or are they the same?
SM: My personal goal really is to just be able to keep putting out music and tour. I think the idea of being in a band and making music nowadays has gotten all warped and I’m glad to be in a band with dudes who feel the sane way. Doing what we do makes us happy and if we can continue to do it then goal accomplished.
CM: Seth pretty much said it, when I started playing music it was never about money or anything more than just making music and having fun. As I’ve gotten older the money and stability thing definitely has had more weight but I’m glad to say that my goal is still the same and that’s just to wake up everyday and to go jam with my friends rather than go do something I’m not stoked on doing for the sake of stability.
SF: You allow your fans full participation! I really commend you for that! You set up a separate e-mail for them to contribute – what has been their biggest contribution?
CM: We have a great group of fans that always support us and always come see us when we are around their city. The email has been a great thing, people can send any photos, videos or anything media related. We did a video of random video footage people sent in for “Spinning of the World” and we plan on doing more stuff like that. Love when fans get involved!
PM: Obviously fans are very important and I think fans feeling like they are directly part of what we are doing is so important. The email address has been cool to get a lot of stuff we wouldn’t normally have access to and we plan on coming up with some other ways to get everyone involved!
SF: This will be your first EP with these current members. How does that work with old songs – do you just update them, or do you start from scratch?
SM: We have had this line up for a couple years now. Our last release had a few songs that were recorded before I joined but we finished the record in L.A. and half of it was with the 3 of us. So this new EP is front to back what we are now and we are excited for people to hear that.
CM: One of the biggest things we pride ourselves on is our ability to all write songs. I always hate when a band makes it obvious who writes the songs and who just plays them. There’s parts that all of us have written on EP and that make it personal to us and hopefully to everyone who hears it. You can definitely tell it’s a collaboration and not just one of us writing everything. Old ideas make their way back a lot of the time and get a new perspective they needed to come to life.