Meet the Band: Surrounding Cities

MEET THE BAND: Paul Kalaani (vocals, guitar), Pat DiCaprio (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Jared Gold (bass), Joe Stefano (drums)

SCHOOLED IN ROCK: DiCaprio has known Kalaani since high school when they played together in the local outfit Agave. They've written tunes together for eight or nine years. "It was always a hobby; even if we weren't in a band together, we'd still be writing," says DiCaprio. When they met up with Gold and Stefano, both of whom work at the School of Rock, they realized that they had the rhythm section they always wanted. "Joe and Jared are a solid rhythm section and so good musically, they quickly dug into the songs we had written," says DiCaprio. "It was like instant chemistry. We were trying to find a drummer and had gone through a few rotations. We just wanted to make music with friends and anything else that happens is icing on the cake."

OLD AND NEW: The new self-titled record consists of "a mix of old songs and new ideas." "It's interesting blend," says DiCaprio. The two recorded the 11 songs on the album on their own at School of Rock. Local producer du jour Jim Stewart mixed it and another local, Adam Boose, mastered it. "All the tracking was done ourselves," says DiCaprio. "The songs have a common theme coming from our personal experience." The songs also reveal a diverse set of influences. "My first concert was the Beach Boys and we all love the Beatles," says DiCaprio. "I love trying to bring in pop harmonies, and there's a strong rock background. I love Butch Walker as well."

WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: Exhibiting elements of Cheap Trick and the Posies, "Can't Believe" serves up a perfect mix of power pop and indie rock as does "Rational," a song with androgynous vocals and crunchy guitar riffs. "I Know a Girl" features snotty vocals and some great guitar riffs. The group has started to write new songs and has a slew of older songs it hasn't fleshed out yet. "There are some songs that have some bones to them, but next time we want to do an EP," says DiCaprio.

WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: facebook.com/surroundingcities

WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Surrounding Cities performs with Burning River Ramblers and Ohio Weather at 9 p.m. on Friday, April 15, at the Beachland Tavern.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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