All Systems Go
All Systems Go
All Systems Go is a band that I spoke to over a year ago when I was writing a music blog. These guys are so down to earth and so fun to interact with. They’re from Delran, NJ, on the other side of the Delaware River from Philly.
It’s been so cool to see how far they’ve come since we last spoke and their eight-song album Non-Fiction sounds great.
It was great catching up with them again I hope you enjoy the interview.
Ian: Thanks for agreeing to let me feature you on Audio Angst, again! It’s been a while since we last talked. Before we get to the juicy stuff, tell everyone who you are and where you’re from.
Band: Thanks for interviewing us! We’re All Systems Go, we’re a pop punk band from Delran, NJ (right across the bridge from Philadelphia). Our band consists of Matt Pezza and Devin Kollmar on guitar/vocals, Dean Mason on bass, and Joe Codispoti on drums.
Ian: How did you all meet and how long have you been playing together?
Band: Devin, Joe, and I (Matt) have all known each other since elementary school as we were all in concert band together; Dean joined All Systems Go in late 2019 after our original bassist had left the band.
Devin and I, as well as our other original members were in a band in high school together, from 2011 to 2013. After that project had ended and we all went to separate colleges, we pretty much put music on the back burner, whether that be writing, performing, or playing our respective instruments.
In July of 2016 we decided to regroup, and actually didn’t tell anyone about it until September of that same year after we had played our first show. We didn’t think anyone would take us seriously since our high school band never really got anywhere, but since then we’ve played over 100 shows, put out 3 records, and right now are one of the more active bands in the NJ music scene.
Ian: For those who haven’t listened to you yet, how would you describe your sound?
Band: Pop punk music, rock & roll vibes. When reforming the band I (Matt), had a vision to find a happy medium between Bruce Springsteen’s Jersey shore style rock & roll and A Day to Remember’s hard hitting pop punk/easycore sound.
As a result, our music ends up being some kind of pop punk. We’ve been told our sound is definitely pop punk but not the type of pop punk that you’d hear from bands like blink-182 or All-American Rejects.
I feel like we have more of a “90’s radio rock” type of vibe that’s incorporated into the way our songs are written, and I’d say we sound more like Infinity On High era Fall Out Boy if you’d want to compare us directly to another pop punk band.
Ian: Who are some of your influences in your writing and performing?
Band: So in our writing, we take influence from a lot of music that specifically isn’t pop punk. For me personally, I usually go on a writing kick when I’m listening to Bruce Springsteen, various metalcore bands, or some type of sleepy-sounding acoustic music; but pop punk still comes out the other end.
Devin is greatly influenced by midwest emo and adjacent bands such as Modern Baseball, Origami Angel, and Hot Mulligan, so a lot of that comes through in his writing.
Dean is a metalhead and Joe loves Paramore, musicals, and all kinds of pop/rock music, and both of them are classically trained since they studied music in college, so in some of our songs we have elements of various other genres come through in a pop punk context.
On stage, I’d say we move just as much as a metal core or punk band, you’ll rarely ever see us stand still when performing.
Ian: I think we talked last summer or so? I don’t remember, it seems like forever ago. What have you been up to in 2022, it looks like you released an album in October?
Band: In 2022 we worked with producer Nik Bruzzese of the band Man Overboard on our latest album Non-Fiction. This was the first time we worked on a record with a producer’s input and this was such a great experience for us; our sessions were a lot of fun and we learned so much about songwriting, and about ourselves as musicians.
We agree Non-Fiction is our best work and so far it’s gotten a great response, already outperforming our previous two records. Aside from the new album, we had a lot of other cool things happen this year. We had our previous EP The Waiting Room pressed to vinyl by Otitis Media Records, which they released in September and we celebrated at our band’s 100th show that same month.
We played about 20 shows in 2022, and for the first time got to share the stage with bigger acts such as Driveways, Goalkeeper, Keep Flying, Don’t Panic, and Calling All Captains. In June we played the acoustic stage at the Atlantic City Beer Festival where New Found Glory and Four Year Strong headlined.
We were also featured on our state’s website (twice) and in the Star Ledger newspaper as a band to watch in 2022, and we also made the top 100 in Sad Summer Fest’s virtual battle of the bands. Overall it was a year for growth and the best year our band has had to date.
Ian: What does 2023 have in store for you? Hitting the road, or studio or both?
Band: At the time this interview is published, we’ll probably have about 15 or so shows booked for the first half of 2023. Since we spent most of 2022 recording, releasing, and promoting Non-Fiction, we’re making 2023 almost entirely about playing shows.
The pandemic prevented us from actually touring and playing shows outside the tri-state area for our last record, so we’re planning to make up for that this year. We have shows booked in states we’ve never played before including Connecticut and Massachusetts, and hope to branch out more during the summer.
Ian: If you could play/work w/anyone, who would it be & why?
Band: We’ve said this in interviews before but whether that be for songwriting, guest vocals, or producing, Jeremy McKinnon from A Day to Remember. ADTR is one of my all-time favorite bands, and as a producer Jeremy’s done such a great job on other bands’ work. I wasn’t aware that he produced Neck Deep’s Life’s Not Out to Get You album until a few years after hearing it for the first time.
If you’re talking about sharing the stage with a band, most definitely The Wonder Years - all of us love them, they’re pretty much local to us and their Philly shows are insane, and they’re a huge influence on our band as well.
Ian: What's been your favorite city (or cities) to play?
Band: We tend to remember our best shows by how receptive the audiences were, and while we’ve played many bigger events and venues the ones that are in smaller clubs and bars have always been the best ones.
Last year in particular, we played a few lit shows in the summer at The Grape Room in Manayunk in Philly, Harper’s Pub in Clementon (RIP, this was our old go-to venue that no longer exists), and The Polish Club in Phoenixville PA.
Before the pandemic, some of our best shows continued to be in smaller venues; for example, The Meatlocker in Montclair is a dusty basement under a restaurant, but when we played there we played to a packed room of 50-60 people, with a bunch of dudes moshing for a good portion of our set.
Ian: It’s been great to catch up and hear about all of the exciting things you have going on. Where can everyone find you so that they stay up to date with all the great stuff you're doing?
Band: Again, thanks so much for taking the time to interview us. Our music is available on all streaming platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Amazon, etc.) and you can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube at @allsystemsgoNJ.
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