Interview: Carpool on Their New Video and Surviving 2020

Posted: by The Editor

Released in June, Carpool’s Erotic Nightmare Summer is a thirty-minute blitz of self-deprecation, drunken phone calls, and witty couplets wrapped up in sparkling emo/punk with some seriously impressive riffs from guitarists Stoph Colasanto and Tommy Eckerson. Frontperson Colasanto describes the record as tackling “depressing subject matter, but delivering it in an upbeat, fun, whimsical kind of way.” Their description is spot-on, as the glockenspiel and saxophones that accent the crunchy punk feel of the record certainly add feelings of whimsicality and fun to lyrics such as “I think I’m bad, I know I’m bad at everything.”

Obviously, dropping an album in the middle of 2020 did not go exactly the way the band planned. In an interview with The Alternative, frontperson Stoph Colasanto spoke candidly about this struggle, saying, “It’s been tough, honestly. I feel like I’ve been setting markers for when I thought we would have been touring again, and it just keeps getting pushed back and back and back.” Despite not being able to tour off the album, Erotic Nightmare Summer has gained a lot of praise and attention, marking Carpool as an exciting young band in the emo world.

“It would’ve been like a dream come true [to tour for the record], but I was really proud of it and still am,” Colasanto tells me, reflecting on the response to the release. “I like talking to people about it, whenever they have any questions or anything. I think that’s pretty cool. Definitely an odd feeling.” They cite Third Eye Blind (one of their favorite bands), Prince Daddy & The Hyena and Glocca Morra as influences on the record, adding “I was listening to a ton of pop.”

When asked about the 2020 releases they’ve been enjoying to offset the general dread of the year, Colasanto brought up Nothing, Equipment, Clearbody, Fooly Cooly, and Strange Ranger, adding “Charli XCX might have dropped the album of the year.” 

The swirling influences of pop and emo on Carpool’s music are on full display in the excellent track “The Salty Song (Erotic Nightmare Summer),” which the band recently released a video for. The band was approached by Rochester-based production company Lil Stish Pictures with a concept for the video, portraying “someone struggling with their addictions or whatever and they keep seeing a sleep paralysis demon that they can’t get out of their head.” The creepy and tense—but fun—vibe of the video perfectly fits the song and record.

Colasanto describes the surreal experience of filming the video, saying “They had a whole team with makeup, art design, and set shit. I’ve never really acted in anything before. And it’s weird watching it back, seeing yourself. It’s definitely, I dunno, I feel like I’m in a little music video – which I am! It’s wild, we all are!” 

Going off the momentum of Erotic Nightmare Summer, Carpool is gearing up for the future as much as is possible in these odd times, saying, “for 2021 we have just been writing a ton. We finished writing our next record and we record that in December.” While any tour announcements are shaky right now, keep your eyes peeled for new music on the horizon as well as a live session the band has planned.

This is all great news because Carpool does an excellent job of confronting the uneasiness of reality and flipping it into a raucous celebration. Colasanto puts it best when reflecting on what their band is about: “I hope that people can feel more comfortable and happy, that they can find some fun out of it.”

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

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