FOR FANS OF: MOVEMENTS, CITIZEN
WORDS: JO COSGROVE
Coming up from the California scene, alternative group Commonwealth did not let time nor distance stop them from getting together and doing what they are passionate about. All gaining experience from previous bands in their respective areas, they each had their own unique background with music. “It was just an instant connection because we all just knew what we wanted,” guitarist Brett Chiodo explained how they all get along together. “We didn’t have to fight about how to write a song, we just all knew, ‘this is how we’re gonna write a song’.”
According to Chiodo, it all comes down to knowledge and experience. “It’s been a huge advantage to have people in the band that are experienced and know what they want to do themselves,” he commented. “That’s what makes us work.”
“The coolest thing is seeing a local band as they’re just starting out, and you see their progression.”
Things have been going well for the band recently, with them gaining the attention they deserve, but it hasn’t stopped them from keeping their feet firmly planted on the ground, still taking the musicians in their local music scene seriously. They believe that musicians that have made it big in the industry should never forget where they came from, and as a group they love to stay connected to their local music scenes, seeing something “magical” in it. “Going to local shows, you see the next generation of what’s coming up. Why wouldn’t you wanna be a part of that?” he mused. “When bands get huge, that’s cool to see their progression and how they transition into different styles and mature…The coolest thing is seeing a local band as they’re just starting out, and you see their progression.”
He succinctly summed up the group’s overall opinion on up-and-coming acts in their local scenes with one simple statement: “We’re all super passionate about local music and supporting our friends.”
Staying true to their style and their attitudes towards their music are of the highest importance to every member, and it shows in the music they create. They switch out metaphors, phrases, and another ambiguous lyrical language, for more blatant and “brutally honest” alternatives that would be difficult to interpret in any different way than what they mean by them themselves. “When it comes to writing lyrics, [it’s] one thing we can do to separate ourselves,” Chiodo explains. “I enjoy the clever metaphor just as much as the next guy or girl, but sometimes it gets old. Sometimes I get myself feeling, “get to the point, what are you trying to say?”
“I enjoy the clever metaphor just as much as the next guy or girl, but sometimes it gets old.”
Honesty, brutal and bare, is not always of great importance in the music industry, but that’s not the case when it comes to Commonwealth and their lyrical content. It’s all about working the way they know best for them. “I think for everybody in the band, we all just like to do things on our terms…If it wasn’t on our own terms, I don’t think we could consider it a success.”
The band are clearly hard workers and even harder rockers, but it’s still hard to find that perfect harmony of what everyone wants and can embark on in the early stages of a musical career and with Commonwealth, the plans of touring and promoting are still being ironed out. “That’s a difficult one,” Chiodo confesses. “Each of us is having to battle in our heads about what our personal goals for music are…We’re in this weird area where all we can focus on is trying to release this record the right way, and then we’re gonna be figuring out what exactly is in store for the future.”
Staying humble among this new growing attention is essential. Humbleness keeps their minds focused, their drive and dedication strong, and most importantly, it keeps them in touch with their humanity.
“Each of us is having to battle in our heads about what our personal goals for music are.”
Living life and being a human being is obviously something the band holds dear to them. “I think the human experience is the best part of life…the most important thing….Regardless of music, that’s just the most important and fulfilling part of life: meeting new people, challenging your views and thoughts, and becoming more intelligent.”
Promising the world “honest music for the worn-out soul”, Commonwealth are beginning to make a change in the alternative scene. Keep an eye out throughout 2019; they may surprise us all.