Greg Antista (Greg Antista & the Lonely Streets)
SPB: You’ve seen a lot of changes (and cycles) in the music scene. What stands out to you as a constant both when you started and today?
Antista: The common denominator in the music that has moved me over my lifetime is powerful songwriting with a hook you can’t get out of your head. As a teenager coming of age in the late 1970s, I fell in love with the music and culture of that time. The songs that never got old — the ones I listened to hundreds of times — became connected to milestones and memories that remain embedded in my mind. With bands like the Ramones and the Clash, you may not have caught all the lyrics the first time around, but the choruses and melodies had you hooked at the start.
By the time I started to venture out into my local Orange County punk scene in the early ‘80s, once again, bands like the Adolescents and Social Distortion grabbed me with their strong, relatable songwriting. Songs like the Adolescents’ “No Way” simply bring to life what every teenager wants to yell at the top of their lungs. Later would come Rancid, followed now by the Interrupters. Both bands deliver choruses and melodies that make you move and sing along at the same time. I know there are many who find great value in subtle, textured songwriting, but I’ve always preferred a three-minute musical punch to the face. That’s what I’ve tried to achieve in my own songwriting as well.