If you haven’t heard of the NY-based pop punk band Timeshares, you’ve been missing out on some killer music. With the release of their first full-length, Bearable, the four piece is making a name for themselves. Bassist Mike Natoli recently did Scene Point Blank the pleasure of an interview, where he discusses the dynamic of the band, their first LP, and what Timeshares is all about.
Scene Point Blank: The band’s first show was over two years ago. Looking back, has anything majorly changed from that first show?
Mike Natoli: For starters, for three of us that was the first show any of us had ever played and sang in. Jon was the only one that did any singing in previous bands before Timeshares. That was definitely something, at the time, that we were conscious about: singing and playing our instruments at the same time. That has gotten to be a lot more comfortable than it was then. I’d say that, as far as people and the environment at the shows and whatnot, not a whole lot has changed. Just that we have more stuff recorded for people to hear.
Scene Point Blank: Did you think that the band would still be playing together currently?
Mike Natoli: Yeah, definitely. I think we put the band together with the mindset that we wanted to accomplish things that, obviously, a band wants to accomplish like put out music and go on tours. We definitely wanted to do it with a little more longevity than other projects we had been a part of. I think that was at least a bit subconscious from the onset. You know, make this not just a quick, over-and-done project.
Scene Point Blank: There can be so many challenges when it comes to keeping a band together. Is it difficult or fairly easy to keep the band going?
Mike Natoli: For us, specifically, there’s a lot of both. We’re really good friends and that comes into play a lot when it comes to keeping a band together and keeping moving. We also have four people that really want to be doing this, and that’s important. At the same time, we are spread out on opposite sides of New York City, there are work schedules to deal with and personal schedules, and then there are travel expenses. So, it’s an extra challenge for us, doing things that a band needs to do to stay with it, but we do it out of friendship and love for what we’re doing.
Scene Point Blank: The band’s first LP, Bearable came out recently. Was it a hard process to finally put out a record?
Mike Natoli: It was more of just a getting to a point in the songwriting process where we felt we had what we wanted to put forth. We definitely wanted to put out an LP. It was the ultimate first goal for recording and releasing music. It wasn’t so much us sitting down to write a record as a record, it was more like “Okay, we have these songs and we’d like to put them on a record and we’d be happy with that.”
Scene Point Blank: The feedback has been super positive. Did you expect this kind of reaction?
Mike Natoli: Obviously with music there are plenty of opinions, differences, and tastes. I’m absolutely happy and flattered that people seem to be giving positive feedback about it; that’s awesome. We really just set out to make a record that we were happy with and hoped that people were as happy with it as we were. I think it definitely has a little something for everybody and reaches out to a bunch of different styles, all within the realm of punk rock, pop punk, this and that.
Scene Point Blank: I asked because your lyrics seem super personal, but they’re also so easy for people to relate to. Would you agree?
Mike Natoli: There was never a concept or direction behind putting a full record together lyrically. There were no intentions of sticking to this topic or that topic. Really what came out of it was this documentation of the last couple of years for all of us. There’s definitely personal lyrics on the record that everybody contributed. It’s just that time in the early 20s when people are moving, you’re finishing school, and figuring out what you want to do. It’s one of those definitive points in a person’s life and I assume there’s plenty of people out there going through the same kind of stuff.
Scene Point Blank: A lot of musicians tour with bigger bands, like Chuck Ragan touring with Social Distortion or Off With Their Heads touring with Street Dogs. Have you guys ever considered doing this?
Mike Natoli: We would definitely be interested in exploring all the possibilities of touring. So far we have either toured by ourselves or toured with another band or two of peers. It would be very cool to go out on tour with a bigger band. We’re gonna have to see what comes up and take it from there, but we’re definitely open to that. We’re open to everything.
Scene Point Blank: Speaking of tours and shows, how stoked are you for the Latterman reunion shows?
Mike Natoli: I’m going on Saturday, and obviously that’s an important thing. Our drummer, Eric, grew up in Huntington, so that was a very local band for him. When he was in high school he was around them a lot when they were still a very locally known band. They came up when we were in college and played in Oneonta, and that was a big deal when they came to town. It was a big deal when any band came to town up there because it was a small, rural college town, but when they came up it was pretty special. It’s definitely a band that we care about and it’s gonna be good to see them doing their thing again.
Scene Point Blank: If you had to pick, what’s your favorite song off of Bearable?
Mike Natoli: I would have to say the last song on the record, “Math & Science,” because it really hits home for me. Jon wrote the song, and it’s kind of about the area where the two of us grew up. In 2004 I went away to school, and he stayed there the whole time. Then, four years later, I came home to find it different. That whole song embodies the transformation of that place in that period of time. I think putting it at the end of the record was a really cool period to put on the whole record.
Scene Point Blank: What else can we expect from Timeshares?
Mike Natoli: We’re really going to try to get out there with the record and play it around for as many people as possible. In the next year there are some tours in preparation, with other bands and by ourselves, but it's all in the formative stages. We definitely want 2012 to be a busy year and to get out as much as possible and show people a record that we made.
Photos by Katie C. Thanks!