Last Saturday the doors to Toad’s Place opened and in poured avid fans of Cartel and Hey Monday. As the crowd thickened and the excited screams grew louder, I was below stage, talking with lead singer Joel Kanitz and guitarist Sean Silverman of This Century, one of the opening acts.
As we sat down to begin the interview, Kanitz closed the door to shut out Cassadee Pope’s (of Hey Monday) vocal warm-up next door. (She hit every note flawlessly, I should point out.)
With several individual releases to iTunes and an album release coming this fall, the musicians of This Century propose an interesting musical request.
“Musical integrity is really important to us,” Silverman said. “It’s not something we’re willing to sacrifice.”
Pioneering a new revolution of “musical integrity” and conveying a message of music appreciation, the upcoming pop-punk band is looking to change the world of pop music, one song at a time.
“We’re trying to pull music forward slowly,” Silverman said.
Originally from Phoenix, Ariz., the band formed four years ago and recently signed with Action Theory Records. This past summer kicked off their first official tour, opening up for bands like The Maine and A Rocket to the Moon, and playing Warped Tour.
Check out This Century’s cover of M.I.A’s “Paper Planes” on the “Punk Goes Pop 3” album.
Asked to introduce themselves to Quinnipiac, Kanitz said, “We’re here on this lovely tour with Hey Monday and Cartel–I’m a Scorpio and Sean’s a Taurus.”
Horoscopes aside, the two discussed the joys of touring and the unique details of their label.
“Our summer tour with The Maine was specifically amazing because we were friends with everyone on tour–it was very comfortable,” Silverman said.
“This is a good second tour, as everyone is incredibly friendly,” Kanitz said.
Action Theory Records is a unique label in that it specifically targets bands with a certain form of growth in mind.
“It’s a really cool system,” Silverman said. “The way it works–it gives off a unique family vibe–a community of sharing the same resources. An indie band can get the same resources as a [headliner]. It’s pretty cool; we were actually signed with development in mind.”
They cited bands like The Strokes, The Killers, the Beatles, and Kings of Leon as musical influences.
“We’re also really into Britpop,” Kanitz said.
At the mention of their musical heroes, Kanitz and Silverman got into the importance of following in the footsteps of those who believed in “musical integrity” as well.
“We really respect the process of songwriting and the bands we look up to have those qualities,” Silverman said.
The guitarist also offered a bit of advice to anyone who wishes to become a musician.
“As a young, aspiring musician, don’t just try to have a cool Myspace page,” Silverman said. “Learn how to play your instrument well, and learn how to write.”
During the show, I stood in the crowd as This Century began their set and noted in my head their excellent sense of stage presence, as well as Silverman’s sharp style (armed with bow tie and cardigan).
“As a band, we hope to spread joy,” Silverman said. “We want to expand music in a positive way, you know, pay it forward.”
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