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Local Band Breathing Blue Describes Struggle, Passion, Journey To Bamboozle

Ocean County band Breathing Blue talks their music, their passion and their meaningless name.

A band will often times spend hours, days, even weeks coming up with the perfect name for their band. Many times they’ll even come up with a name before making music.  Even more so, they want to make sure it has a hard-hitting meaning.

Hailing from Ocean County, the members of Breathing Blue went the opposite direction. Using a name that came on the fly, Breathing Blue has made a name based on their music. 

Dolla Bil Facciponte: Let’s talk right away about what’s new with you guys. You’re working on the release of your first full-length album. How’s that all going?

Matt Basilotto: It’s going good. We recorded at The Pilot Studio with our friend Dave Ryan. We finished recording in February and we’re all really happy with it.  We’re looking at a late spring/early summer release.

Chris Dechert: It’s all new songs that no one has ever heard. These songs were written strictly for the record and they haven’t been played out, so it’s all fresh and new.

DB:  Do you have a title?

CD: Yeah, it’s called “Inner Animal.”

DB: Is this album different from your previous work?

CD: It’s a whole different ballgame.

Rob Bost: We found our new sound. Our first EP was like we were trying to find our sound. Now with the full length, we know what we want to be which is hard-hitting rock and roll.

DB: Your fans have gotten used to the sound you had when, as you said, you were trying to find your sound. Do you think they’ll accept the new album just as much?

MB: We kind of weaned them into it. We released a couple of singles so they kind of knew what to expect. We kind of frankensteined a couple of songs. We took some dead songs and brought them to the new album.

CD: A lot of the songs had hints of our new rock and roll, southern rock style. All in all, the thing of us is we’ll always have the same sound. Our singer is very different and we’re pretty particular about our tones and way we have everything sound.

DB: So now let’s talk about your past a bit. What brought you guys together to form Breathing Blue?

MB: Breathing Blue started about three years ago.

CD: Yeah, we were all in other bands, some together some separately.  Our drummer was in another band and Matt, Rob and I were in a band together where I was the singer. We broke up and Matt and Rob started a new band with J.T our current singer. They called me out of the blue and said, “Hey man, why don’t you come jam and play bass?” I thought it’d be cool so I went over for our first practice, and the rest is history.

DB: Well where did the name come from?

CD: We were going to play our first show and the promoter kept hounding us because he needed a name to put on the bill.  We didn’t care about a name or even try to think of one. Then for whatever reason, Rob turns around in the car and says “first band name off the top of your head.” I said Breathing Blue and we just carried on with it.

DB: Aside from the upcoming album, you’ll also be playing Bamboozle this year for the third straight year. What’s that like?

MB: It’s cool. Especially since it’s in Asbury this year, it’s probably going to be the coolest Bamboozle yet.

CD: Plus we’re all big Foo Fighters and Incubus fans, so it’s unreal for us to be playing with them in our home area.  We’re pretty excited for that and a bunch of other shows we have lined up. We have a couple of small tours coming up. We’re really just trying to hit the road and play outside of Jersey.  Although, we do have a big show coming up at the Starland Ballroom with Eve 6 that we’re getting ready for.

DB: Are you doing any of your new stuff at the Starland show?

CD: Since the record has been done, all we do is play new stuff. Whatever our set time is – oh we have 30 minutes, we can do the first four tracks. 

DB: You guys are pretty young and have done a lot for your age. Is that a weird feeling?

MB: I think sometimes we forget, but when you put it like that it makes us stop and think, “oh damn.”

CD: It’s like if you’re a football player and you win all these trophies. After that you think, “oh I want to get into this college” or “I want to get into the NFL.” So all the other stuff is cool, but when you think about it and look at all your trophies, you think “damn” and you’re always just striving to do better and progress. We have our glory moments, but the next day we’re right back to work.

RB: It goes so fast. It’s an insane feeling. You forget about it while you’re up there, especially big shows like Grammercy Theatre. It feels like we’re up there for two seconds then it’s over.

DB: What kind of struggles have you guys gone through?

CD: Being in a band. If anyone ever thinks it’s a great idea to start a band and get a trailer and go on tour, don’t do it.

DB: Then why do you do it?

CD: We’re in too deep at this point. It’s all we know how to do.

MB: Aside from that, it’s just rough. We’ll get in several fights a day. If you could imagine a struggle between two people and then on top of that you need money and then you have a deadline for something and then you have a struggle for trying to promote stuff. Everything just adds up and it’s a struggle. Sometimes I don’t even want to tell people I’m in a band because they’ll look at me like a con-headed-ninny-mugget. Nobody knows there’s more to it than playing music.

RB: Everyone thinks it’s just fun, which it is, but it’s still a job. It’s one of the toughest jobs there is.

DB: Have you found it hard to balance the band and your personal lives?

CD: Absolutely.

MB: I think we’re getting used to it because we’ve been doing it so long, but it’s still really hard.

RB: It’s brought some problems especially with girlfriends and things like that. There were some situations where it’s torn us apart and changed us. Now it’s all back to the way it was and we have our sixth member, it was all for the better. If that didn’t happen then this stuff now probably wouldn’t have, either.

DB: You guys clearly put a lot of work into what you do and people respect it. Especially with this interview, you guys were on board right away.

RB: It gets tough because people hear we’re in a band and think, “oh there’s a million others just like you.” It doesn’t get me down because the more people tell me that the harder it makes me want to work. It’s a little discouraging but then I’ll be like “well I just played to 1500 people last night.”

MB: Sometimes I’ll laugh with them and just think “I hate you,” but it doesn’t get us down too much.

DB: Which goes to show you guys are doing this for the love rather than the glory and money.

CD: When we go on a weekend tour or do any shows, it’s like, how do you think we get six or seven hours away? We didn’t make money at the last gig. It’s about whose got money to put in the van or for a hotel. That all comes out of our pocket and it’s so worth it to me because there’s no greater feeling than that.

RB: All bands go through it when they start, you know, going on tour and trying to build a following.

DB: Some bands are fortunate to be financially back, but most aren’t, and I think the ones that aren’t get the most respect because people see bands doing it themselves.

RB: That’s the goal. Hopefully people give us more of a push because we do do it ourselves. We want to build a big family of friends and fans that’ll stick with us forever.

CD: We don’t want to have one big hit and have that be the end of it. I’d love to play to 5,000 people a night. That’d be great, but I’d be perfectly content if we went on tour and there were 60 to 100 people there if every single one of them came to the show because they love our music.

DB: In the worst-case scenario that it doesn’t work out, do you guys have a back-up plan?

CD: (Rob and I have both said) if you have a back-up plan, then maybe you don’t care that much about your plan A.

DB: Finally, if you’re only remembered for one thing, what do you want it to be?

CD: That we’re all around badass.  Cool dudes, cool music. I mean, think of Led Zeppelin. If you had one word to describe them, what would it be, you know?

DB: You guys do what you want to do and it works for you. You’ve found your sound and know where you want to go which is the biggest part of the battle.  You definitely look like you have fun on stage and I’ve had a great time here. Do you have any final words?

Collectively: Rock and roll!

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