Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Alex Vasiloff/Dan Calderone Of Eerie Shores

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

Photo courtesy of Eerie Shores Facebook page.

A longtime campus favorite at SUNY Fredonia State University, Buffalo, N.Y.-based alternative rock/metal act Eerie Shores released their new single “Cover Me” on Aug. 28, 2020.

A followup to their 2019 debut EP ‘Wicked Disposal,’ they chose to work once again with RJ DeMarco at Skyway Studios for this single. According to vocalist/guitarist Alex Vasiloff, the song covers “living and trying to grow in a confusing, unforgiving world and not knowing where or who to turn to when you’re overwhelmed with life’s curveballs.”

In addition to Vasiloff, Eerie Shores is guitarist Dan Calderone, guitarist/vocalist Andi Pszonak and bassist James Sprecker.

The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with Vasiloff/Calderone about “Cover Me” and more.

Music Bugle – Given what 2020 has brought us so far with COVID-19 and other current events, does that make the meaning and message of “Cover Me” any different for you?

Dan Calderone – Essentially, “Cover Me” touches on trying to escape from a confusing and cruel world, trying to find a path through overwhelming burdens, so yeah, you could basically apply the song to anything faced in the world. With COVID, the band all graduated with music business degrees and here we are, fresh out of college with the entertainment industry indefinitely disrupted and no idea where to go. Things went 180 degrees backwards for music, but we just gotta keep chuggin’ forward.


Music Bugle – How was the band name decided?

Dan Calderone – Eerie Shores actually came from some random song lyrics I had written in the notes on my phone. I threw it out to the band when we first started jamming and they were like, “Alright, that doesn’t suck!” We just kept it. (Laughs)


Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your type of music?

Alex Vasiloff – We’re really not limited to any specific direction, structure or sound we think we might “need.” We test the waters with lots of sounds and melodies and progressions. Each of our backgrounds touches many different genres and it’s fun honing in on someone’s idea and where it came from. We also challenge each other to think as afar outside the box as appropriate when songwriting.

Dan Calderone – Finding that balance to the Eerie Shores sound for sure. We’re still new and defining it. We strive to make each song true to ourselves and experiment with new song routes, but still want to write something every fan can connect with emotionally. I love that puzzle piece mentality we have.


Music Bugle – How would you describe Buffalo, N.Y. to someone who has never been there before?

Alex Vasiloff – From what we’ve seen as a band, Buffalo is very diverse, yet very supportive, ya know? City of good musical neighbors. It has so much outstanding talent in all corners of music that it’s truly a “melting pot” feeling and no one’s left out of the picture. Everyone works together to put on shows, showcasing new talent at the forefront of certain scenes where it’s deserved to meet, network, and create. We love it here! There’s always something to do and music to be heard.


Music Bugle – What are some challenges that come with being a band with four different members?

Dan Calderone – The only real issue is trying to schedule a fuckin’ practice! (Laughs) Other than that, four people just means more creative ideas flowing into the music and art.


Music Bugle – What was the hardest song for you to write or compose?

Dan Calderone – Probably “Cover Me” to be honest. A year ago, “Cover Me” was a completely different song we wrote. We played it at a few shows before the band decided we didn’t love it, so we went back to square one and completely reworked it until this current version.

Alex Vasiloff – For me, it was “Ghosts (Dried Out).” At that time, believe it or not, it was the heaviest song I had ever played because I don’t normally play that style. I had to really work outside my songwriting and skill comfort zones, but when I finally unlocked the tune, it became one of my favorites from the EP.


Music Bugle – What was it like making your debut EP ‘Wicked Disposal’?

Alex Vasiloff – Best confidence boost a young band could have! I loved every second of the recording and mixing process, because not only were we stoked with the end result, but we learned a ton as a band and individuals. We finally knew what we were capable of creating. Our engineer, RJ DeMarco, really guided us and he made it a lot of fun to be apart of.

Dan Calderone – Frustrating, confusing and completely amazing, all at once! (Laughs) A lot of the songs were the first songs we wrote and it was the first time the band entered a professional studio, so there were many lessons we carry into everything we do now. I’ll always be proud of that project.


Music Bugle – Does social media make it easier or harder for a band to stand out these days?

Dan Calderone – This is a tough one. Social media basically gives us marketing at our fingertips and infinite creativity within a digital world. Everything can be very transparent though and people don’t want inauthenticity. It can be hard to stick out amongst the saturation online, but we just try to show our real personalities online and hope people stick with us! (Laughs) Staying true matters.


Music Bugle – Away from music, what’s something people might be surprised to know about the band?

Dan Calderone – We’re really just a bunch of dumbasses who live, eat and breathe music. We all went to college and lived together there. We had a huge part booking shows at SUNY Fredonia and even ran a very prominent house venue called North Pole Strip Club – not a real strip club, by the way!

Alex Vasiloff – We all go fishing together when we get the time to! We’ll walk a creek and cast morning ’till evening sometimes. Band bonding is key.


Music Bugle – What has been the most productive thing you’ve done while in quarantine?

Dan Calderone – Definitely taking the time to thoroughly demo out the new songs we write and then, really honing in on our tones and presentation in practice so we are more fine-tuned live. I feel like we would skip over a lot of these fine details before.

Alex Vasiloff – A little bit of time away from the band was actually kinda healthy and turned out to be beneficial because we we had our first official band meeting a few days ago since May and noticed our vision as a whole was still strong and motivated to kick ass when the world opens.

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