By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Erie, Pa.-based grunge alternative act The Standby have released their anniversary compilation to commemorate their debut EP ‘Over, Under,’ produced by Gary Cioni (Free Throw, Kayak Jones, Grayscale) and consists of demos and a previously unreleased track.
The duo has been hailed by various outlets to be the “Modern day Nirvana,” an accolade its members have taken to heart.
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to chat with vocalist/guitarist Jordan Sigmund about the anniversary compilation and more.
Music Bugle – How did you guys decide the band name?
Jordan Sigmund – Just some cut-up technique stuff. Luck of the draw, or maybe lack thereof, really.
Music Bugle – What made you guys want to put out an anniversary compilation?
Jordan Sigmund – Somewhere along the line, we listened to all our old demos and practice recordings we did for the EP and realized that a few of them are really unique and differed quite a bit from the finished tracks we released. We also realized that one of the songs that we ended up cutting was actually one of our favorites to play live, so we decided that we needed to put these out in the world to some capacity.
Music Bugle – What excites you about your particular genre?
Jordan Sigmund – The ever-growing diversity! A lot of smaller bands in the scene, especially in the Midwest, are blending of some classic sounds with more modern ones to create something exciting and new. Seeing them play always makes music feel fresh to me again.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Erie, PA to someone who has never been there before?
Jordan Sigmund – It’s fairly urban, but has a cozier small town vibe. It’s great for young people who don’t want to sacrifice the city feel, but want to start off with a super cheap cost of living. It’s growing a lot, but its post-industrial bones seem like they’re always poking out, at least a little.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Jordan Sigmund – Erie’s not brimming with people, so while regulations have changed like the rest of the world, people’s lives haven’t shifted as much here. Personally, I was working at a t-shirt shop, whose hours were drastically cut for several months, but just left. The pandemic somehow gave me the freedom to go full-time freelance in design. I know several people who are really struggling though, so I guess I’ve seen both sides of things and it’s shocking and sad how wildly different people’s experiences can be.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Jordan Sigmund – I’m always pretty heavily based in DIY-to-mid-level alternative, but right now, I’m flying through music. I’m currently really into indie, R&B and hip-hop. Specifically, Soul Blind, The Last Shadow Puppets, The Internet, Narrow Head and the Dreamville compilations. Also, really love SZA’s new single.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Jordan Sigmund – “When you stop growing, you start dying.” – William S. Borroughs
Music Bugle – Have you been working on any new music?
Jordan Sigmund – Constantly! We’ve found ourselves in an interesting place as a duo presently and we’ve been hard at work exploring what that can lead to for us.
Music Bugle – What surprised you the most about people’s reactions to ‘Over, Under’?
Jordan Sigmund – The Nirvana comparisons. They were absolutely constant. I guess a lot of the songs use that “quiet loud, quiet loud” Pixies formula that Nirvana popularized, but I’d like to think we have more in common with the bands who have innovated on that sound since then, with our own flavor, of course.
Music Bugle – What do you miss the most about performing in front of a live audience?
Jordan Sigmund – Having an outlet to be as loud and as obnoxious as possible and meeting new people, of course.
*Photo credit – Zack Pude*