By Khosnur Alam
I have recently had the pleasure of interviewing Joel Kanitz (lead vocals) and Sean Silverman (guitar) from one of the finest Arizona-based bands, This Century, at the Vibe Lounge in Rockville Center March 30. They were on their east coast Acoustic Tour inspired by their newest release called Acoustics EP, which came out January 31, 2012. They were nothing but kind and respectful. Here’s what we talked about:
Khosnur Alam: For anyone who’s new, give me a brief highlighted summary of your band’s history.
Sean Silverman: We started in 2007, and we’ve been together in matrimony ever since. We’ve put out one full-length record [Sound of Fire, released April 19, 2011], a bunch of EPs  and are currently working on our second full-length record. This new record will be a little different.
KA: Do you have an anticipated time of release?
Joel Kanitz: Nope; no time. We’re hoping for this summer, but we really can’t make any promises.
KA: You have self-released almost all your EPs. What’s that like?
SS: We’ve always been about the DIY culture: making everything ourselves, doing everything ourselves. A lot of punk bands did it in the past and we’ve always thought it was a kind of cool thing to do. There’s something personal about doing something yourself, something that you’ve done with your own hands and then giving it to somebody.
JK: Yeah, a lot of the grassroots kind of stuff. Thinking back to my teenage years, when I was really into the music scene, it would have meant a lot more to me, if it was more self-made. Kind of like our second EP, Look What We Made [released October 31, 2008], which was handmade by the band. It means a little bit more and it makes the fans feel like they’re a part of the process.
KA: What’s the song-writing process like—who contributes what? Influences?
SS: Usually, I’ll bring a skeleton of an idea to Alex [bass guitar], who’ll add the rhythmic element, Ryan [drums] too, and then Joel and I’ll work out the lyrics and melodies.
JK: It’s really hard to pinpoint what our influences are; it rotates a lot. I think as long as we’re having a good time and enjoying writing, it comes through when we record it and perform. I think it goes over better with our fans too.
KA: What has this tour been like thus far? Tomorrow’s the last date—any fond memories?
SS: It’s been amazing. It’s really nice to play these small, intimate shows. Given that we haven’t done any national touring in about six months, we still have incredibly devoted fans who will keep coming to see us perform, singing along to all the songs.
JK: That’s my favorite part. The other night in Philly, they were all singing like every single word to every song and I like when I can just stand back and hear them sing. I don’t know. It’s special to me for some reason.
KA: To all the new listeners, why would you say they should listen to This Century’s music?
JK: That’s hard to answer…we don’t want to toot our own horns. We want our music to have a positive impact on people, and that’s what I hope would happen when someone takes a listen to it.
During their set, Kanitz and Silverman played twelve songs and the crowd was indeed singing along to every one. They invited four lucky ladies on stage to sing along to “No Way Out,” off the To Love and Back EP (released June 12, 2009). These guys are great musicians, live performers and wonderful people. After their performance, they made themselves available to their fans. During this time they were bombarded with things to sign, stories to hear, pictures to take, and the guys remained until every last fan was able to obtain what they had wanted. This is a completely unbiased statement when I say that everyone should at least give This Century a listen—you won’t be disappointed. For more information, you can go to their official site, www.thiscenturyband.com, or check them out on iTunes.