This past Monday I covered "Top to Bottom" which is the latest
EP from Philadelphia's own On Top. Now I'm happy to present an
interview that I did with On Top front-man/bassist Jaron Gulino.
Jaron, who is currently out on the road with his other
band Mach22,is not only a fantastic lead singer/bass player,
but an all-around nice guy and I want to thank him for chatting
with us about On Top's past and their future plans! Be sure
to pick up a copy of On Top's killer debut-album "Top Heavy"
and keep an eye out for their soon to be released new EP!
Andy-This is probably a question that you've been asked before,
but (for clarity sake) how did On Top come about?
Jaron-On Top started as a creative outlet in 2008.
At the time I was playing in thrash and death metal bands
and wanted to branch out and do something more rock related.
Andy-Your band's first album, "Top Heavy", is one of my
all time fave debut albums. Can I just say that?
Jaron-Thank you very much. A lot of time and effort went
into that album and we are very proud of that release.
Andy-Has On Top ever been more then a part-time project?
Three years is a long time between releases after all!
Jaron-During the release of "Top Heavy" we were fully
committed to running full time. After a little while we
were beginning to have a conflict of interest with our guitarist
and it soon fizzled out into a lull. We had begun work on what
would later become "Top to Bottom" within a year after the
release of "Top Heavy" but our guitarist ended up
leaving halfway through the recording process. At the time we
didn't have anyone to replace him so we took some time off to
work on our other projects until the time was right to resume
Andy-Talk to us about your new guitarist would you?
Where did you find a musician of that skill-level?
Especially one who seems to have such a distinct style?
Jaron-Brian Davis was actually the very first person to ever
get involved with On Top back in 2008. He played on the band's
first demo and also engineered both the first and second demos.
He is known locally as a great player and teacher, though he
wasn't interested in perusing any band commitments for a long
while. He taught everyone I know from back home how to play the
guitar and is respected by just about everyone. His skill comes
from years and years of playing and teaching. He is
multi-talented at many instruments as well. He and I have
always gelled musically and in taste for the most part, so
it was a natural step to ask him to be a part of
"Top to Bottom". He was originally on board to engineer and
help produce, as well as appear on the album as a session player.
He ended up loving the end result and asked to join the band.
Andy-While it's true that I love both On Top releases the
new EP sounds less like a follow-up and more like a statement
that this is who you are and this is what you stand for.
Was there a conscious effort to give these four tracks
their own identity?
Jaron-I appreciate that. I think the difference with this
album was obviously the change in guitarist. We also wanted
to take what we did on "Top Heavy" and make it bigger and better
in every way we could. I think we have finally found our groove
and know exactly how to get the best out of each other.
The identify simply shows it's true colors, there was no
specific label or sound that we were looking for. We wanted
to make music that we could love and still be excited
to listen to after the completion of the album.
Andy-Well, you're not the only ones who ended up loving the
final product Jaron. I've now listened to the EP a half dozen
times in just a couple of days!
Jaron-Right on! I'm glad you like it.
It feels great to see something that we have worked so hard on
being well received by people.
Andy-New guitarist in place and all can we now expect a more
formal version of On Top? More shows and more studio works?
Please say yes to both!
Jaron-Absolutely! We are gearing up to record another EP in the
next month or two. We want to keep cranking out material and take
whatever gigs seem of interest. We rehearse and write together
like crazy but don't feel any pressure to chase gigs if they
aren't there. Hopefully the more people that hear the releases
will help generate a demand for us to come play.
Andy-To the point, but what would it take to make On Top a
full-time band? I know I've said it before and I'll say it
again-The scene needs On Top. Rock and rock needs On Top.
We all need On Top if we are going to survive!
Jaron-It wouldn't take much. We play because we love it and
aren't doing it for any sort of fame or fortune. We work
full time behind the scenes already, so if a full time
schedule of gigs appears, we will by all means pursue them.
Help us get the word out so we can take the world by storm!
Andy-What can people do to keep the On Top dream alive and
rocking then Jaron?
Jaron-Just check out the music and support us. Shoot us a
line on our Facebook (Facebook.com/ontopofficial) or
web page (Www.ontoprocks.com) and let us know where we should
Andy-Well, you should come to my part of Ohio to say the least!
How about my back yard for my birthday on July 11th?
Seriously though, any last words for fans of old and those
who are new to the band?
Jaron-Keep the scene alive by supporting new bands and
spreading the word. Buy, steal, or bootleg... Whatever it takes.
The more ears it reaches, the better! Check out our newest
EP "Top to Bottom" available on our website and on iTunes
starting June 3rd.
Andy-Thanks Jaron! As for you readers, what are you waiting for?
You heard the man! Check out the band's latest EP asap so that
you'll have pleanty of time to get caught up with what will
most likely be one of your new fave bands!
Labels: 2014, hard & heavy, interview, Jason Gulino, On Top, U.S. metal