Interview – Commonweather

Apparitions is the latest EP from Chicago-based rockers, Commonweather. The band formed back in 2014 and members include Justin Olin (vocals/guitar), Patrick Maloney (vocals/bass), Alec Mackowiak (guitar), Kyle Ahlstrom (guitar), and Jon Clark (drums). Prior to Apparitions the band released two separate EPs, their self-titled record followed by Smoke & Decay. Commonweather has a cool blend of alternative, indie and emo that may remind you of other bands such as Bayside, Pentimento, or Citizen. Learn more about Commonweather and their new EP from the responses below and be sure to check out some of the tracks from Apparitions.

How would you describe your music to others?

That’s tough, we’ve always had trouble finding a completely fitting label. We usually just go with alternative, and throw in some grunge influence and that’s us.


What is the story/meaning behind the name, Commonweather?

We actually got the name Commonweather from a Citizen song. No real big story behind it, we just thought it was an awesome name.


Who and what influences your music? Why?

Experiences from growing up and the people we love. Also a fair amount of WWE.


What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

We all love video games, movies, books, and enjoying some good beers with our close friends.


Who is the pickiest eater?

Definitely Alec, he has a stomach condition.


How often and how long do you practice together?

At least twice a week for about 4 hours each time.


How would you describe your writing process?

We start with a base of just a riff or lyrics someone wrote and then we demo everything out ourselves and write and rewrite till we feel it’s the best product possible.


From start to finish, how long did it take to create the Apparitions EP?

We first started two years ago and it’s weird because we wrote and rewrote a couple songs for Apparitions. But for the finished product in Apparitions I’d say about a year.


Can you talk about the inspiration behind a couple of tracks from Apparitions?

“The Devil You Know” is a very personal song to us because it is about the struggles of addiction, which a lot of us have witnessed our close friends go through. For Cantigny we wrote it about the passing of people close to you, and how we all go through the grieving process in that situation.


Do you play covers at practices or shows? If so, which ones are your favorites?

We’ve only played one cover at a show, and that’s “Everlong” by Foo Fighters because we made an impulse decision, so we kind of made it our own. But at practice we like to jam “American Idiot” and “Tears Don’t Fall” just because why not.


What do you typically do post-gig?

Go out with our friends and have a good time. Or, if we’re too tired, we go home and sleep. But no matter what we always slip some post-show Mr. Sub.


What image do you think your music conveys?

We don’t really know, it’s all up to the listeners interpretation.


What has been one of your biggest challenges?

Making the connections to be where we want to be and reaching people with our music, here and across the country.


What has been your funniest or craziest fan/show experience?

When kids yell the words of our songs back to us that means the world to us and is just unreal.


What is something odd you want fans to know about you?

Well Pat doesn’t like cheese, Justin has a list of all the best sandwich restaurants in the state, Jon will eat literally anything… seriously anything, Kyle has a secret tattoo, and Alec refuses to paint over the dinosaur wall paint in his room.


What can we expect from Commonweather in the coming months?




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