Daily Discovery is a feature that highlights a new or recently discovered artist who we’re excited about. See the rest of our Daily Discoveries here.
Typically, we find out about new music the old-fashioned way: through the internet. Public Access TV, however, entered our lives through a new phenomenon called a “concert.” This is what it’s called when a band goes on a stage, in front of an audience, and plays their music on actual instruments. It was invigorating.
Public Access TV opened for P&P favorites Hinds at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, and within the first 10 minutes, they converted us into fans. Their music is timeless rock packed with sing-along choruses, sharp guitars, and New York energy.
Their debut EP Public Access is out now, and they’ll be dropping their full-length album on Terrible Records next year.
Can you introduce yourself? How did you get started? Where did the name come from?
I’m John and I’m the lead singer of Public Access TV. I picked the name because my friends and I used to always get fucked up and watch NYC Public Access TV late at night and sometimes even call in. The shows were so insane because they seriously let anyone have a TV show and do whatever they want on air. That whole vibe and concept of being an outlet “for the people” and not worrying about what other people are gonna think always stuck with me. Also I think it just sounds cool and different that the usual band names you hear. I wanted it to stand out.
What music are you guys inspired by?
I grew up listening to all my parents old records like The Beatles, Stones, Kinks, all the classic rock stuff. As I hit my teens I got into all the ’70s punk stuff like Buzzcocks, Richard Hell, Television, The Clash. All that stuff. I’m inspired by all of those bands still. Everyone else in the band is on the same page musically. In the van we listen to a lot of Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan.
We first saw you opening up for Hinds. How did that come about? What was the experience like?
That tour was amazing. We met them in London a year ago and just hit it off. We instantly felt like old friends. We would see them at places like SXSW or in Spain throughout the year and would always hang out and party. So when they asked us to support them on a full US tour we were beyond psyched. It was really the most fun we have ever had on tour. It felt like summer camp or something. We would stay at the same hotels, ride in each others vans, party every night. I love them all and miss being on tour with them.
My favorite night was probably San Diego. We all got to stay at this amazing house together and just raged. The next day we were all hungover together and watched that terrible movie Anaconda and went to the beach.
Is life on the road exhausting?
Even when things are stressful or there is a long drive or anything we always have a good time. I get to travel the world playing music with my best friends, so I try to always appreciate it and remind myself of how lucky I am. There are definitely some terrible hangovers though.
What do you think about the state of rock music and guitar bands in 2015? Seems like with pop, electronic, and hip-hop, there’s a lot of interesting new stuff happening in other genres, but we haven’t seen a lot of emerging rock bands pop up and catch on.
I think people in rock just follow such a dead model. Releasing an EP or single and then rushing out an album immediately is just so boring. People don’t really consume music like that anymore and every genre except rock has realized that. We’ve release a few singles so far and an EP, and we’ve been asked a lot where our debut album is… which drives me crazy. I want to put out an album as soon as possible, but I want it to be perfect and I want to have as many people listening as possible for when it comes out. The debut album is what you have to build towards.
I also think most of rock has just gotten stale where its either extremely pretentious or it’s extremely ironic and sounds like shitty ’90s pop-punk. It seems like there isn’t much of a middle ground anymore for just great rock and roll bands. I don’t think we really fit into what’s going on right now.
How important is NYC to your sound?
I moved to NYC when I was 17 with our bassist Max. I dropped out of high school and was coming from a small town in Tennessee with a population less than 3,000. Since I was a kid I always dreamed of living in New York City because of all the movies I loved like Taxi Driver and also all the bands I loved were from there. It just seemed so romantic. One day I just said fuck it and got on a Chinatown bus to NYC for $40. It’s extremely important to the music we make because the city has an energy that you just can’t escape. The city makes me go fucking crazy sometimes and I feel like I have to get out, but no matter what it always gives me inspiration to write. It’s home.
Do you guys feel like part of a scene?
We definitely aren’t part of any scene. We all live in Manhattan and that is pretty rare these days for bands. I don’t really know of another young band that does. Brooklyn is definitely where it’s at with venues and bands and I think it’s all great and cool what’s happening… we just aren’t part of that scene. The band and I really only hang out with each other, we all live on the same street, we all go out together every night to the bars. We really live in our own world and try avoid any noise around us.
What’s your goal with music? If you got offered a major label deal, would you want it?
Our only goal is to make great music and be proud of it. Really nothing else matters to us at all. It’s amazing that we get to do this. It’s also really important to us to work with people who we like and believe in this band as much as we do. I think as long as we keep making music we believe and would want to listen to if we weren’t in the band, we will be OK.
What are you working on now?
We’ve got a bunch more singles ready to go for the rest of the year and early next year, and were gonna be announcing more tours and festivals and all that good stuff soon. We also recently recorded our debut album so that will be coming out in 2016. Working on details for that now.
Anything else you guys want us to know about you?
We really want to get a sponsorship from Winston Cigarettes. If anyone has a connection, please hit us up.