- Arts & Life
Huddled together at The Space on Feb. 25, the five members of Voted Most Random close in, put their hands together in a circle, and give one another a pep talk before performing their sold-out show.
“You’re my best friend” and “I love yous” are exchanged among the group, who reached a milestone that week with the release of their first album, “Everything You Want and More.”
While Voted Most Random formed in 2008, the band didn’t solidify their line-up until last year. However, that didn’t stop them from planning for the future.
“In the beginning, we did everything backwards,” said Joe Mauti, the bass player of the band. “We were playing shows before we had songs to play a show. We would book a show before we had a singer.”
With Mauti on the bass, Ian Reibeisen providing the lead vocals, Scott Gunter on the lead guitar, Bennett Pisaniello playing the rhythm guitar, and Sal Salemme working the drums, Voted Most Random is now complete.
The band comes from different musical backgrounds. Several of them grew up listening to Blink-182 and have an array of influences as far-reaching as Aretha Franklin-surprising for a band with a punk-rock-pop sound.
Since each member of the band has input writing songs, they take a collaborative approach when making music. Sharing that music with fans outside of Connecticut is one of the band’s current struggles.
“Our fans are so dedicated in Connecticut, and I know we can do it in any other state,” Reibeisen said. “We just need the opportunity.”
Mauti adds that any band needs to be able to prove themselves in any particular city or state.
“If no one is willing to give you that opportunity, you have to get creative with how you promote and just reach out to them more,” he said.
Gunter realizes how fickle the music industry is, and he knows there are several bands trying the same thing. He acknowledges the talent out there, which makes it more difficult for Voted Most Random to find their place.
“I think the hardest part for me personally, and something we all had to deal with, is getting noticed among these other different people trying to do something,” Gunter said.
But Voted Most Random did get noticed. Mauti looked into studios and producers who collaborated with bands in their genre. They attracted the attention of record producer Rob Freeman, who produced albums for bands such as Hit the Lights and Cobra Starship.
After doing everything backwards, the band started to move forward with this opportunity.
Freeman worked for a reasonable price and had time in the studio available for the band. When writing songs, Freeman advised the band to “make it simple, make people clap.”
“That’s how we write our songs now, and that’s all thanks to him,” Mauti said. “He’s helped us and continued to help us even when he’s not directly interacting with us.”
Voted Most Random
According to Reibeisen, the band hopes to record another album in the near future and find a label to sign them. They have spent hours looking up booking agents and record labels.
“We want this more than anything,” Salemme said. “We take it very seriously and we appreciate any support.”
Soon, they’re starting Kickstarter, a funding platform for musicians. They’re trying to raise money so they can tour, a significant expense for college students.
“The little that other people can do for us can make all the difference in the world,” Reibeisen said.
Almost completely out of breath, Reibeisen prefaces the next song with the brazen playfulness that makes watching the band perform so entertaining.
“I’ve been in love once,” Reibeisen said to the crowd. “This song is about that bitch.”
Sophomore Erin Williams watched the band at The Space that night. She respects them and cites their catchy songs as one of several reasons she is a fan.
“The band is very interactive with the audience. The passion and joy that each member has for performing is instantly illuminated when they step on the stage,” Williams said. “My favorite song is ‘Here I Go’ because the lyrics are real and relatable, and the beat is appealing.”
Ultimately, Voted Most Random is happiest when they’re on stage.
“It’s just where we belong,” Salemme said. “There’s never a second of time when one of us does not have a smile. It’s being exactly where the universe thinks you should be.”
Listen to more of Voted Most Random’s songs here.
Photo credit: Amanda Shulman