Interview with new Cornell band, REFORMAT
'''Andy Hall''' – guitar & vocals
'''Mitch Wynnyk''' – guitar & vocals
'''Rachel Brenc''' – bass
'''Dan Joseph''' – drums
''How did you all first get involved in music? Did a musician or album inspire you?''
'''Andy''' – "I went to punk shows when I was 13-14 years old. I bought a guitar and started listening to punk, like the Ramones but then I got into more obscure stuff...some screamo stuff even."
'''Mitch''' – "In the womb. I started playing classical piano early and moved onto the sax and French horn starting in 5th grade...Then I got into guitar upon receiving an acoustic and taught myself based on romantic rock songs like ''Slide'' by the Goo Goo Dolls.
'''Rachel''' – "I've always been involved in music since a 4th grade music teacher put a French horn in my hands." Always been involved.
''How & when did you meet & form?''
'''Andy''' - Mitch and I met in Mechanical Engineering class class and we started playing guitar together in Mitch’s basement. We posted for a drummer on craiglist and Dan responded. Then Mitch knew Rachel from playing French Horn together in Wind Ensemble-Symphony and asked her if she wanted to learn bass. We had had another bass player, but he was unreliable - he never showed up. Mitch: Andy, Dan & I started playing at the end of last summer. We practiced once last semester and then picked up Rachel at the end of the semester and practiced once [before winter break], but we've been practicing two-three times a week since January.
''How did you get your name?''
'''Mitch''' - It was a long process. We called ourselves "Harold & the Purple Crayons" for awhile but no one understood the reference so we decided to change it. We considered Radio Surgery but everyone compared it to Radiohead and we didn't like that. Then one day, I was reformatting his computer and put an away message up that said “Reformat” - which is also a song by Les Savy Fav - and Andy suggested it as a band name.
''Who are your primary influences?''
- The Pixies, The Clash, Velvet Underground, Pavement, Husker Du, Portraits of Past and many more.
''How would you describe your sound?''
'''Mitch''' - "I would say early 90s meets post-punk - sort of Lo-Fi and Indie. We're still young and 'finding" our sound; I'd like to add a keyboard. Then Rachel is graduating...but we have a replacement already chosen that's waiting in the background.
''[Rachel rolls her eyes]''
''You just performed your first show, so to speak, as a band at the Phi Delta Theta fraternity last week - how did it go in comparison to your expectations?''
'''Mitch''' – "WAY BETTER! I was really nervous at the beginning of Bone Machine, playing both lead guitar and lead vox, but I felt good after"
'''Andy''' – "On par. We messed up some but most of our mistakes were undetectable. We tried covering “Where is my mind?” but it didn’t go well." [I personally disagree]
"But Rachel is sort of analogous to Kim D."
'''Rachel''' – "Our friends say they had a good time"
'''Dan''' – "This was my first show ever - I think it went pretty well."
''Where do you hope to go from here? Any more concerts?''
'''Mitch''' - "We’ve trying to get another show lined up at JAM [Just About Music] or Risley dormitories - hopefully free. Our ultimate goal would be to play at the Nines. Maybe for a Ski-Club fundraiser. Then there's the Charity Art Auction for Kids with Cancer at the Johnson Museum on April 17 that they’ll probably be playing at - along with a Philipino String Band.
'''Andy''' – “We’re arguably more arty than a Philipino String Band...not that there’s anything wrong with a Philipino String Band. We're trying to make an EP by the end of the semester, but we need to find a good place to actually record. Everything so far is just “garage quality.”
''What do you enjoy most about being part of a band? About performing?''
'''Mitch''' - I've been a performer all my life so it's more of a personal fete, but it’s nice if people are enjoying it. It's more about whether or not I can pull this off under all kind of pressure...
'''Andy''' - I like to think I have awesome taste in music and I find it rewarding to put something I’ve made in people's minds and hopefully they like it. That’s the point.
'''Rachel''' - Our schedules are really busy so it’s a good way to unwind and not think about school.
'''Dan''' – I love listening to music so creating it is the next step on the line.
'''For a peak at Reformat's music, check out their [[link|url=http://www.myspace.com/reformat]]myspace[[end-link]]'''.
A large part of what WVBR is about is giving recognition to the greater Ithaca community - especially local music. I had the privilege of catching a concert at the "Phi Delta Theta" fraternity of Cornell a few weeks ago. Major apologies for only writing about it now! After enjoying the music of "Reformat" and "Farewell Republic" I decided I'd try to get interviews with both of these bands. Unfortunately, the latter group hails from Michigan and had a busy tour schedule that forced them to leave Ithaca the next morning, but the first group, "'''Reformat'''," is actually made up of students of Cornell University. So I sat down with the new schoolyard band and asked them a few questions:
(March 21, 2009)