Tuesday, December 1, 2009

N I G H T L I G H T S... Read all about it!

01. Heart of Gold
02. Changing Lanes
03. Pretty Petty
04. Over You
05. She Always Leaves
06. Castaway (punk version)
07. I Live A Lie
08. Behind The Scenes
09. Downtown
10. Let A Lion
11. Battlescars (acoustic)
12. Coldest of Calendars (piano version)
13. Getting There Is Getting By (acoustic)
14. A Trip To The Other Side
15. Icicles
16. All Hopped Up On Jingle Bells
17. Don't Try This At Home (acoustic)
18. Greenlight (acoustic)
19. Pretty Petty (2005)
20. Punish Or PJ

Below you can read a track by track synopsis of our release Night Lights: A Collection of Previously Unreleased Songs!

1. The music and basic melody for "Heart Of Gold" was written while I was in Texas working with Barely Blind on songs that would later become their EP, My Life With A Giant. I was in the hall of their practice space with my trusty little voice recorder, which was sitting on a pile of boxes. Within two minutes of the original idea, I had written the melodies for the verse and pre-chorus. I wrote most of the lyrics while making my way from Texas to New York City, hence the references to Brookyln, the L Train, and the Roosevelt stop. "Heart Of Gold" was recorded the following spring at the Hazlett Theater on the North side of Pittsburgh. We also filmed a concert of ours in the same venue with the plan to release it on DVD. That along with footage from the past few years is in production, we're hoping to have something ready to release for the Spring.

Us performing "Heart Of Gold" at the Hazlett Theater.

2. "Changing Lanes," like most of these B-sides, was recorded at Innovation Studios in Steubenville, OH under mastermind Mike Ofca. I wrote the basic ideas for this song and "Green Light" both in the same night, which must have been a joyous day in my life for both songs are incredibly upbeat. This was the only new song recorded after Action with Paul. To this day, "Changing Lanes" is one of my favorite songs of ours. We recorded this song for Geppetto's Secret, which was a sort of prequel to Pinocchio that never quite made it.

3. Maybe someday "Pretty Petty" will make it onto one of our albums. I'm not sure why it didn't make the cut on either 37 Everywhere or Just Say Yes. Is it too late to change my vote? I'm pretty happy about the 2Pac reference.

4. "Over You" was recorded in the same session as "Pretty Petty" and a demo version of "The Hit," which was the only song to actually make it onto Just Say Yes. There is nothing I would change about the first three tracks of this album, but in my opinion, "Over You" is a true B-side. I would love to hear what YOU think!

5. Now I gotta find your ass. "She Always Leaves" might be the most pop-punk song of all-time. Recorded by Vince Ratti of Zolof The Rock and Roll Destroyer at The Skylight Studio in Fairless Hills, PA, "She Always Leaves" sings about wet paper sticking together. My favorite thing about this song is the mid-song 2 BPM tempo change... can you find it?

6. We also recorded this punk version of "Castaway" with Vince in the same session as "She Always Leaves." This was after the recording of Just Say Yes - some have asked if we changed the song to ballad form after originally formulating it in punk rock fashion - no, we did not.

7. Now we get into the Salad Days sessions. In 2005, thanks to some wonderful string pullin', we spent two weeks at Salad Days Studio in (I believe) Beltsville, MD. Engineer Oliver Chapoy's internship was at it's end. Studio owner Brian McTernan let him have the studio for a few weeks to test out his skills. We became the guinea pigs. Guinea pigs that threw 13 songs together and hauled crass on down to Maryland. Most of the songs from this session ended up on 37 Everywhere. I'm glad that "I Live A Lie" finally gets to see the (night) light of day. That's your boy Greg Wood singing the second verse.

8. I regret that "Behind The Scenes," also recorded at Salad Days, never made it onto an album outside of demo fashion. Don't mind the Lord Of The Rings reference, I was going through a phase.

9. Chris wrote the lyrics to "Downtown" and I think they are pretty intense. This is our first song that sings about monkeys. This song is so Bad Religion. It was also part of the Salad Days session.

10. I don't even remember writing "Let A Lion," but I remember recently recording a poem from Whistle Pig over top of the music. Let a lion defuse what the prey gets confused. Yep, another Salad Days guy.

11. Back to Innovation Studios for the acoustic version of "Battlescars" I'm not exactly sure when we did these Action jams. I remember it being cold. I remember how good the drums sounded for two microphones. This song was once part of our 7" TDR Records release, which was a split acoustic 7" record with Over It. Good band!

12. We need to do more piano songs like this version of "Coldest of Calendars." I added the line "It just takes a little time" after the first chorus. I wish it had been like this on the album recording.

13. The acoustic version of "Getting There Is Getting By" was done in the same session as tracks 12 and 13. We slightly changed the lyrics to this one. That's always fun.

14. We debated adding this one to the Night Lights collection. It is the only song that wasn't recorded in a studio. It was put down on my Boss 8-track inside the apartment we lived in while recording 37EV in New York City. The song is about our friend John "Beatz" Holohan, who died in a tragic van accident on Halloween 2005. He was the drummer of Bayside and a great friend to everyone who knew him. I fell asleep the previous night, which was my 25th birthday, to Bayside "Blame It On Bad Luck" on repeat. I'll never forget Nightbeast calling me at 7 AM to tell me the horrible news. Chris and I got together and wrote this song later that week.

15. We hear "Play Icicles!" shouted out at every other show we play. Our response, "It's a Christmas song!" I remember finding out on a Thursday that we were picked to be part of the "A Santa Cause" punk rock Christmas compilation. We played that Friday and Saturday, I'm not sure where but I think Saturday was in Allentown with Ritter (PJ put a staple through his finger that night for fun). We rushed home Sunday to write a Christmas song that we would then record on Monday. "Icicles" was written in about 3 hours. We had zero ideas going into the practice space that day, which at the time was in McKees Rocks (we shared with A Week In July). Chris and Paul took the reins on "Icicles." I sat back and watched it come together, although I did contribute the confusing line, "I'm working on another list." People always ask me what I'm saying there, because it sounds like "I'm working on a nautilus." Aside from the "Carol of the Bells" riff, this song isn't very Christmasy sounding. I can't believe that Christmasy is a real word, at least according to my trusty spell check. Maybe it isn't that trusty. Anyhow, "Icicles" was also done at Innovation Studios.

I found this on YouTube. Someone made it with their own two hands.

16. When we had the chance again to write a Christmas song, we tried our hardest to make music that actually had elements of Christmas music. I think we did just that with "All Hopped Up On Jingle Bells." Twas recorded in November of 2007 at The Playhouse in Pittsburgh by Mike D. It took writing this paragraph to get him to finally decide on a name for his studio. I think Belan had written the basic idea for this song back when he was in his old, old, old band Chimney Sweepin' Jack. We wrote the lyrics together. I remember being happy about working in the thought of stealing fake reindeer. I've always wanted to steal all the fake deer from my town and put them on my back deck as a Christmas present for my mom. I would return them. I promise.

17. Once more we return to Innovation Studios for some 37 Everywhere acoustic songs. I've always been really happy with how "Don't Try This At Home" came out. It features John Lopez on the harmonica. He's clearly the man.

18. We never posted this version of "Green Light" until now. I'm not exactly sure why. I haven't even listened to it in years, but I know the gist of it. It's supposed to sound like we're at a party with our friends and everyone is singing along. Do we say something about a Sidekick phone in there? Probably a reference to Chris's longtime Sidekick 1. He finally got rid of it and got an iPhone for all of you who stalk Chris. We also did a piano version of "For The Second" time in this session, but I don't think it will ever see the light of day.

19. The 2005 version of "Pretty Petty" is much shorter and much more confusing! We always felt like the song needed more of a chorus, which is why it was revamped and re-recorded in 2007. This version, however, features Greg Wood on the lead guitar, opposed to the latter which has Belan (aka Snarl). We love having different guitarists. Yep, also recorded at Innovation Studios.

20. And finally, "Punish or PJ." We originally demoed this one during the Salad Days session (I love that there are two versions of this song) and used it as the soundtrack to our short film "Mr Shrimpley's Sandwich." I didn't have lyrics or melodies for the second verse, so I scribbled down the first thing I could think of (on a napkin I believe) and handed it to PJ and told him to go sing it. The lyrics came out like this...

She's got some sexy moves (yeah), that'll really get me in the mood (alright), she's got some killer curves, and I'd like to give her my ring.

I enjoy the implication that, to become engaged, a man must give a woman a ring from his own collection. This is the Just Say Yes album version of "Punish or Privilege," but we brought PJ in to track this now sweet alternate version. Versions, I love 'em.

Thanks for reading!


Steve Soboslai

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Love Thy State.

My favorite sketch comedy show of all time was MTV's THE STATE, which aired four seasons in nineties. Below are some of my favorite sketches. The cast went on to star in such shows and movies as Reno 911, Stella, Wet Hot American Summer, Michael and Michael Have Issues, and I Love You, Man. You should appreciate this incredible cast.







Tuesday, June 23, 2009


This tour has brought us major (minor) success. That was all we were asking for. Morale is high. Socratic is a cool band to tour with for sure. Their concentration on musicianship is impressive - the way it should be.

We kicked off this run in Toledo, where one of the opening bands, The Light Ahead, covered our song "Getting There Is Getting By." They asked me to sing it. I was flattered. It is so cool to see someone inspired by something you've been a part of writing. We didn't get pulled over after the show this time, but did get a good look at the "No Left Turn 7 AM - 9 PM" (or close to that) sign down the road from the club. We were pulled over last time for making a left at that sign at around 2 AM. Thanks guys man. Here's a video of us playing "My White Collared Shirt."

The second show was in Hazel Park, MI. I felt bad because it was belittled by the Stanley Cup with our Penguins vs. their Red Wings. We obviously won. We obviously had cupcakes thanks to Amanda Huey. Talked to David Harris and his mates for a bit about ink and holes. I wanted to get my lip re-pierced that night, but Fish didn't make it out to the show. Fish is my "piercist," as if I have several. I have none but wanna make it one.

Show 3 was in the windy city. That's what they call the Chicago. The windy city nickname was actually coined from the political wind and not the wind wind. Do you know what I mean? We played at Reggie's, which is a beautiful club. Just Left, Scissors, and Thrillage were on the billage. Two of the guys in Thrillage had been in Spitalfield, with whom we toured with in late 2006. I actually think that was Belan's first tour with us. It was. JD is a good drummer. The girl from Scissors is going to fill in for Heather on some upcoming Teen Idols show. Very cool. I remember this show in Missouri somewhere with Less Than Jake and the Teen Idols where Heather said she'd make out with the first guy that came up on stage.. Kyle Baker was the man for the job. Heather was intimidating. After the show we tried to find a watering hole to have a drink with the odd array of women we had with us. I don't know where our guy friends were in Chicago that night! We had a drink with about 12 women including Amanda Yu and Kris and Michelle from Fearless Radio. You can listen to our interview on Fearless Radio via this podcast. Speaking of Chicago, I am listening to This Is Me Smiling right now. Click here to see us play "Heart of Gold."

Day 4. Cleveland. This was possibly the best show of the tour. Peabody's offered us to play a show which was basically free to the public. Who would turn that down? Good times with good bands. Man, I love The Promise Hero. Me and Dan are good at having an awkward conversation every time, haha. Saw some old faces. My apologies to Herbee & crew, who had some trouble with getting into the show. Here's a video from that show,

Day 5. Lemoyne, PA @ The Championship. Good times with our old friend Blag1. I love to call people by their tenured online aliases. Sidenote - this bridge makes me dislike our nations first president. I think I'll tweet that now. I support the Championship because it is SDIY. "Super Do-It-Yourself" for those of you who thought I meant "Stupid Do-It-Yourself. "

Day 6. Baltimore. We hadn't played Fletcher's in years. I really like that club. I guess it's down the street from where I'll be in August when I'm co-producing the new Spontaneo record with my good buddy Kory Gable. There's a bread factory near Fletcher's. I totally recommend everybody to make a point to smell that out next time your in B-more. The band Left Hand Out has a great style. Their singer has a voice that you wouldn't expect to come out of him. Kinda like Gilbert Gottfried, but not at all.

Day 7 (I am really stuck on this format at this point). Johnstown. Ghost town. I love the people that come to our shows in this area. They have been there for us for a long, long time. Troy and his little brother's band opened up the show. They were invited to play the show as the band Arc, but showed up to play as Noah's Bark. Perfectly fine. Spontaneo played second - got to see the songs post pre-production . They are brilliantly constructed jams which remind me of old Brand New meets Lola Ray meets Pinkerton. We went to Denny's after the show with some great Johnsfolk. Three guys gave me directions to a hotel that was visible from where we were standing.

D-eight. Vineland, NJ. We were late to this show. So what if you show up a little late? No. We're late. We're having a baby, Carlito. The sound at the club was incredible. Made this show very fun to play. We let some of our fans pretty much write our set list. He picked all the right songs!

Nine. New York City. I love NYC. I used to kinda hate on it, but then I went there on foot. So many friends that I'd call family. I had dinner and a beer with Timmer and Matt the Hat. You should listen to Timmer's band - www.myspace.com/smilefromtokyo. I sing on one of his songs. Some of the FBR crew came out to the show. Always a pleasure. John Oliva came out and even bought me a drink on his own birthday! We went out with him afterwards along with some other great all stars. Jack O'Shea even made an appearance. He and I have had zero conversations that make any sense in the last few times that I've seen him. I love it. Our band stayed up 'til sunrise together. Something that our band hasn't done together in ages. Symbolism.

Tenn! Day off in Jersey. Kevin from Socratic had us over to his house for a lovely barbecue with games and drinks and good company. I was wicked tired all day, didn't have the energy to drink even an energy drink. Kevin's dad made fun of me, but I'll bet it's because he was jealous?

Evelyn! Jersey just. Woke up and haggled with the hotel manager about the cost of a night's stay. I inquired of the Sunday rate because hotels are generally more expensive on the weekends. He told me that it cost $25 more than what I was originally quoted for a Friday night. Everything is negotiable in New Jersey. They don't have prices. They completely make them up as they go along. Yes sir, I like to buy this Tropicana Orange Juice. Ehhh, give me 2 bucks. Some guy tried to sell Belan crackers for $1.50, and they were actually marked 75 cents. That really grinds my gadgets. My girlfriend calls me to tell me that she just met Jason Segel at a park in London. A sunny celeb filled day in London. A towel-less overpriced hotel room in Jersey. Hmmmm.... Anyhow, we played at a snazzy venue in Teaneck called Mexicali. Try the chicken burrito with the sweet potato fries! Thought about this one song all day that Chris wrote. I can't live without your love.

Day one to the two was in Danbury, CT @ a club called Billy Baloney's. Listen to the podcast to hear about this one...

In other vibes...

I am pretty excited about this iPhone update. I've been doing nothing but copying and then pasting. Then I cut. Copy. Paste!

I want to listen to nothing more than Superdrag, Nada Surf, and the Phoenix.

I am excited to go to Europe in less than 2 weeks. London, Venice, Barcelona. I won't even know what to do. I think I'm playing a radio show in Spain. I will have been to the two most bridge filled cities in the world after visiting Venice. And London, what can I say.

I get to meet my newest niece when I get back from Europe. I had a dream last night that I had a baby that was the size of a hot dog bun. My friend Seth just had a baby. I wonder how big it is. Both of these bigger than bun babies live in North Carolina. Maybe they'll be friends.

I am producing the Spontaneo record in Baltimore in August. So, so excited to give this record everything I have.

Maybe working on the new BTE record as well after that?

This fall we are heading out on tour with Between The Trees, Farewell, and Action Item. It feels great to have it all lined up. I don't know if I'm supposed to announce this yet, but it's all over the internet. What's the BD?

Word count. 1 million.

Life is good.



Thursday, April 30, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

A good old fashioned fruit fast.

I told my brother that I was thinking about fruit fasting. I read about it on the net from a few sites, including this one. This is his response, which I find both informative and hilarious...


Nothing against your fruit thing but where did you get that? I think vegetables would be better cause they aren't filled with sugar. Fruit has a lot of sugar even though its not sugar like you would think in a candy bar it can have the same effects. For instance bananas have been processed to taste so good they have evolved basically into a sugar cube. That's not to say you can't eat a banana but you wouldn't want to build a diet around them. Sugar is almost like a drug. That means its bad. Excess sugar turns into fat. Berries are very good. I always eat blueberries. They are a great food for you along with almonds. Not salted almonds just plain boring almonds. The best carbs are whole grains. Whole wheat pasta, 100 percent whole wheat bread. Frozen meals and anything processed is terrible for you. They are really high in salt which causes your body to store excess water especially around your midsection. Eating a lot of protein is great for you even if you aren't working out. High protein and lower carbs is good for burning fat. I drink a 40 gram protein shake in the morning with a bowl of chex cereal and maybe a piece of fruit. Lunch is two chicken breasts with broccoli and carrots. Two protein bars as snacks during the day. Dinner is a steak or chicken with brown rice and broccoli. Late snack is almonds, blueberries or cucumbers and a protein shake. Water is probably the most important thing though. It is a natural antioxident. Not vitamin water either, which has more sugar than a can of coke. Just regular water. If you want to clean your body out nothing works better. Its the best supplement and yet most people disregard it. Fasting for 24 hours but just drinking water would be a good start to get all the toxins out of your body. Then you could switch up your eating patterns. Food is like drugs. They all contain different chemicals ehich cause your body to react different ways. By giving your body the right food it changes the entire chemistry of your body for better or for worse. You wouldn't inject heroin so why live off of frozen pierogies and pizza. If you are going to do that you may as well do heroin.


This is fruit.

This is my brother (with a framed picture of Chris Cooper).

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Today is the 5 year anniversary of Action.

Chris informed me that Action came out 5 years ago today. I thought I'd pick up the guitar and bust out this acoustic version of "A Beautiful Green" before I head to DC to see Jimmy Eat World. Click on the links below!



1. Open Up

2. Not Afraid

3. The World

4. Heart Transplant

5. Time In A Picture

6. Coldest Of Calendars

7. Getting There Is Getting By

8. Why Is He Right

9. Battlescars

10. A Sharp Is A Flat

11. A Beautiful Green

12. Just Getting Started


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Chet Folds

Chet, from the Real World Brooklyn, recently interviewed us in New Jersey. He was very nice and made it a point to slip in that he is a virgin. Good for you Chet, good for you. I hope you find that lucky lady soon!

I was lucky enough last night to get to meet Ben Folds. I gave him a copy of Just Say Yes with and told him that I had bought www.BenFolds.me... Hopefully he'll check out the site and bookmark it! Here's an awesome Ben Folds Five live video.

I watched two special movies this past Valentine's Day- "Walk Hard" and of course "The Break Up." Here's a really funny scene from Walk Hard. I love to support small films by spreading the word!

I am off to the costume store to rent a lion costume!
Pretty pumped to make a video for Ghostie.
See y'all on the internets.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

I am branching out into professional photography.

I have finally decided to get more serious about my photography. I realized that I was born with a gift the other night after taking pictures at the Bayside/TGUK concert. Please contact me if you are interested in licensing my work or hiring me to take pictures at your wedding, funeral, etc.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Go to this show and celebrate 3/7.
Chris made a commercial for this show.
He makes a lot of videos, this one is an instant classic!


Saturday, February 7, 2009

belan hates

Sometimes it's hard to notice all the little quirks your friends have. When Greg Wood joined Punchline in 2006, he entered our humble community with a fresh perspective. A circle of friends that consisted of basically guys from Belle Vernon, who have been hanging out together since the early nineties. At the time, Belan was slanging' our dise (merchandise) and keeping wonderful company with us on the road. He told stories, sang songs, and helped us out a lot even before he was in the band. That's what friends are for. After a tour or two, Greg picked up on a particularly hilarious characteristic of our beloved Belan- he is a hater. Every so often he would casually (or not so casually) mention the things he hated. Greg started keeping track in his sidekick. PJ and I followed suit and continued the list even after Greg was gone. Belan busted us about a year after we'd started keeping track. Here's the list!

belan hates
being on a plane for a longtime
talking to people
depending on people
take off your shoes houses
when people ask for blair's number
when his dad comes home from work
flava flav
the song blue by eiffel 65
the greg wood west hartford term "budgie"
when he offers someone a food that's in a bag, and the person doesn't grab the bag and just reaches their hand in
when teachers are real serious about fruit break
how its socially acceptable to dress like a freak
how every college student is against the war
when fast cars weave on the hi way
loading equipment in the street
his phone
sharing food
dark chocolate
apple computer stickers on cars
when people don't call you back
when people try to grow up
new wave baby names
say anything
falling asleep sitting up
when math teachers won't let you use a calculator
bowling shoes
when cars beep at you but don't let you in
when people cheer at the movies
bobby brown
when you lose internet connection while driving down the highway
nelly furtados voice
when people like books
myspace noises
car bass
loading into the charleroi italian club
the thought of living in chicago
midget league fumble rules (in 6th grade he weighed 112 lbs.)
When people look at his set list on satge
bringing out character in his voice
brook hogan
when people call him from a weird number

"if a girl either has a dirty room or dirty car,
then they definitely hate their dad."
-Jon "Snarl" Belan


Monday, February 2, 2009

i wouldn't mind reliving today over and over one bit.

2009 has thus far been quite memorable, life changing, and very exciting.

1) The Steelers won the superbowl last nite.

2) Barack Obama is president.


3) PJ Caruso has quit Punchline after playing drums for us for 11 years.

3) I am a part of releasing a book that my friends wrote called "Whistle Pig."

4) My grandma recently turned 86 and is the sharpest knife in the drawer.

5) I have been on the edge of my seat watching the first 4 seasons of Lost. What a great show.

6) A plane crash landed into the Hudson River last week after being struck by a giant flock of birds. The plane landed safely and everyone lived.

7) I am working on writing a collection of 35 songs to be used for the next Punchline album as well as other musical adventures in the making.

8) Today is my brother Mike's birthday. He recently told me, "I hope that if we become estranged, we still keep in touch."

9) We are doing 3/7 right this year by playing a Punchline show at Diesel in Pittsburgh.

10) I am going to leave this last one open for wherever 2009 may take us.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Time, which changes people, does not alter the image we have retained of them.

In very sad news, drummer PJ Caruso decided last week to leave Punchline and go his own separate way. It is going to be very hard to not look back and see him beating those drums with all his heart. We will all miss him very much, and wish him the best of luck. We are all still friends, and we're sure we'll still be seeing him every day...we just won't be playing in a band together anymore. The remaining three of us will continue to write, record, and perform music.

Jeff Kopanic (Anti-Flag Warped Tour drummer, Voice In The Wire) will be filling in at our currently scheduled performances. We are excited to play with him as he has been a good friend for a very long time.

Some have assumed that we will stop playing music as we have been "pushed aside" in the music industry and forgone several member changes over the years. Our intention has always been to write and perform music, throwing in the towel would just prove otherwise. Although it would be great, we are not interested in platinum albums or competing with the Jonas Twins. We want to continue to write and record songs that we like. We will most likely be a band for another 10 to 20 years, and most likely release another 10 to 15 albums. Music is what makes us happy, and its what we're into.

Look for Punchline on the road this srping with a new DVD and a new full length album this year.

just say yes.


Here's a note from Peej himself:

Hi everyone! I just wanted to take a second here and thank everyone for everything they have done for us over the years; whether it was coming to a show, letting us sleep on your floor, bringing us cookies, or just listening to one of our cds. Walking away from the band was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made in my life, but I felt like it was time for me to move on and try something different (not musically just in life in general). I'm going back to college and I have taken a full time job, you know, settling down. Being in Punchline has filled me with incredible memories that I will cherish forever. I always had a great time playing for everyone and made more great friends than I could have ever imagined. I'm going to miss all of you, but if you want to talk to me just come find me on the facebooks… I'll be around. I'm not giving up music. I'm still going to play my drums, but now it's just going to be on the weekends. Thank you all again for helping me have the time of my life.

Your friend,