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Growing up in Rochester, NY, I developed a certain sense of hometown pride that is specific to those who live in Rochester, NY (or so I’m told).  It’s a city filled with a rich history, friendly people and beautiful sites to see (when it’s not snowing). While the decline of Rochester’s big businesses over the years has caused a lot of people to move out to the suburbs (we’re working on it!) one thing is for certain: if there is music, they will come! On those special evenings when the International Rochester Jazz Fest is on, there is a Broadway tour stopping at The Auditorium Theatre, or there is a performance at The Eastman School of Music all of a sudden the city comes alive!

If you’re a big local music fan though, there is a show for you almost every night in downtown Rochester. One of those bands that people love to see happens to be today’s 10 question band that I am very happy to share with you. That band is: The Demos!

By Danielle Raymo

Jay and Cal- The Demos

Danielle: Since it’s summer time and everyone likes ice cream, lets start off a bit odd-ball: If The Demos could be one kind of ice cream, what would they be?

The Demos: The Demos would be Lemonchello Sorbet. Classy and elegant. Much like French champagne, which is often celebrated for it’s excellence. 

Danielle: Your new album, “Lovely,” was released in the beginning of May introducing a new sound for the band. How would you compare your older tunes and your new tunes musically and why the switch?

The Demos: To start out, the songs on our latest record are just better. We’ve grown as musicians and songwriters. On our previous efforts we were searching for our sound and the sound of this record developed naturally.

Danielle: Young Lion Of The West is a lost name for my hometown and yours: Rochester, NY. It’s also the name of the recording company you worked with. How did you choose to work with YLOTW?

The Demos: Young Lion of the West recording company is our own independent record label in partnership with our producer and friend, Mike James. “Lovely,” is the label’s third release and we are excited for upcoming releases (Mikey Jukebox, Alison Cowles).

Danielle: What was your favorite part about writing and recording this album?

The Demos: We recorded the majority of the record in a studio that we built. This allowed us to have complete control over everything and also allowed us to experiment without worrying about wasting money by the hour. We are confident that we did not compromise and produced a piece of work that is honest. 

Danielle: What was your inspiration for “Lovely”?

Jay: The songs on “Lovely” are about people you meet and places you go. It all comes back to love and loss. When writing this record, I was heavily influenced by the music of Big Star. I was listening to their records almost everyday while I was writing. This influence brought us to Memphis, TN to mix our record at Ardent Studios (where Big Star made their records.)

Cal: On top of the fact that I am a full time entrepreneur, I have difficulties dealing with chronic health issues. In March of 2010 I suffered a manic episode which inspired the writing of several songs, including track 9 on “Lovely,” “I Might Have You.”

Danielle: My favorite song is track #5, “What About The Money,” but the whole record gives me a great 60’s pop vibe mixed with a bit of light rock. What is your favorite song on the record?

Jay: I like track 12, My City.

Cal: I like Daydream.

Danielle: The Demos is technically a 2-man band but I see a lot of contributors on your list as well as additional members playing at your shows. Any plans to ass anyone as a permanent member?

The Demos - Lovely (2011)

The Demos: There are no plans to add any more permanent members, but enjoy making soul music with our brothers and sisters.

Danielle: Do you have any major touring plans in the near future?

The Demos: We will be touring this fall.

Danielle: Will anyone who comes out to see you get to hear any old tunes mixed in with the new?

The Demos: We are not currently performing any of our old material, however there is a large back catalog that remains untapped. We would like to keep the focus on our new record for the time being.

Danielle: Where would  you love to see The Demos in the next 5 years?

The Demos:  Top of the Pops mate! Spark ’em if you got ’em.

If you just so happen to be in Rochester, NY tonight, see The Demos play live at Waterstreet Music Hall with The Trews, Colors In The Air and Anchorage Nebraska. Or, check out their website here, and watch their music video for “Nervous,” which you can find on their brand new CD, below!