By JESSICA A. BOTELHO
Earlier this year, Aston, an Attleboro-based band that defines their music as, “pop-punk/rock,” released an album that took them two years to complete. They titled it, “Home,” and said it is their “labor of love.”
“We had the songs written, but we would play a couple shows, work, save up some money, and then drive up to New York to record a song,” said bassist Mike L’Homme. “It took a while, but the whole experience was absolutely worth it and we got what I consider to be our best achievement. We’re so proud of our songs.”
John Collura and Paul Carabello, formerly of The Ataris, produced the album at Silent Owl Studios in Pine Island, New York. L’Homme said he and the other members of Aston played a gig with them in 2007 and stayed in touch.
“When they ended up leaving the band, they asked us if we ever considered having them produce our next album,” L’Homme said. “They are such good guys and we give them a lot of credit because they helped us take it to a whole new level. They knew the style we were looking for and they helped us achieve that.”
Dan Alteri, Aston’s vocalist and guitarist, agreed and said, “my favorite experience in this band was recording the new EP with Collura and Carabello. Opening up for the Ataris in 2007 and meeting [them] was awesome and then to be able to travel down to New York and have them help us out was amazing. We had a lot of fun and it definitely is one of the highlights.”
While this marks the band’s sophomore album, they consider it an EP. Their debut release contained a dozen songs, but their new album consists of just six tracks.
“It was quality over quantity this time,” said L’Homme.
Aston formed in 2005, but L’Homme’s younger brother, Nick, recently joined and took over lead guitar duties and also provides backing vocals. They have been friends with other band members, Alteri, as well as drummer, Jeremy Quaglia, since grade school.
As best friends, they said they learn a lot from one another. They think their strong bond helps make them to be a solid band.
“We each have our own personalities, ideas, and opinions, so it’s a lot of back and forth creatively sometimes, but we all get along and work together to make our music as good as we possibly can,” Alteri said. “We all vibe off each other when writing [and] performing.”
L’Homme credited Alteri for being the ringleader when it comes to composing music.
“He brings the ideas and we all collaborate,” L’Homme said.
Alteris said that while is he is responsible for creating the base for majority of their material, it’s a group effort.
“I write the frames and then bring it to the rest of the band and they each add their pieces in and we work out the final structure together,” he said.
Bands like New Found Glory, The Starting Line, Blink 182, and even The Foo Fighters have always heavily influenced them. They are proud to write and play music they like to listen to.
“If it’s fun for us, that’s what we want to play,” said L’Homme. “We’re pretty much four friends who are in it for a good time and are doing the most fun thing that we know how to do.”
One concert they said they not only had a great time at but also helped propel their career was an event at Six Flags New England in Springfield, Massachusetts. After winning a contest through MTV, they opened for the Plain White T’s.
“It was right when, ‘Hey There Delilah,’ was the number one on the Billboard Pop Charts,” said L’Homme. “We played for 6,000 people and sold out of our T-shirts. It was the best day of my life.”
Over the last six years, they have opened for other acts like Secondhand Serenade, All Time Low, Permanent Me, Self Against City, Four Year Strong, Zox, Just Surrender, and The Army of Freshmen.
Most recently, they opened for the North Attleboro-based band YORK at the Ruins at the Colosseum on June 3.
“We were really excited to have them ask us to open for them,” L’Homme said. “It’s always cool to make a hometown connection with another band when you’re both from the same area.”
Aston’s new album, “Home,” is available on digstation.com. To further make their music more accessible to their fans, they plan to launch a website in the next few months where people can download the album for free or “name their price” and donate to them.
“A lot of bands have been doing it and we want anyone who’s interesting in hearing it to have the songs and put them on their iPods,” said L’Homme. “We’re really excited about it.”
In fact, L’Homme said anyone who wants a free copy of, “Home,” can get one by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.