Throw away all that whiny emo shit you’ve been wearing for years now, and try something new on for size—something called Speakeasy. From Rochester, N.Y., this progressive punk rock duo brings a sound you can scream to, sing to and above all, rock out to.
With biting, emotional lyrics over fast-paced and complex rhythms, Speakeasy delivers a powerful rock sound that’s both authentic and familiar. Like old school punk that’s had time to cure. Deep, rich chords and double time punk rhythms create an emotional pull that doesn’t let you go ‘til the mics are swinging and guitar strings are snapping.
The current formation of Speakeasy has been years in the making. Members Guato (born Jon Lalopa) and Josh Gailor originally met in 2000 when Rochester bands Proposition 24 and Third Estate mingled members. Lead singer and guitarist Guato began writing Speakeasy songs in 2001 with the first demo of “Morning Kill.”
“I like to write songs you can put your own memories to,” says Guato. “The experience you’re relating it to might be about a piece of cheese, but I was writing about space. The music might sound pretty happy at times, but lyrically it’s pretty dark. And sarcastic. I’m a real sarcastic asshole…”
In 2006, Guato began writing and recording under the name Speakeasy. Josh joined as Speakeasy’s drummer in 2008, and since then the band has been rehearsing, writing and creating demos. Currently, they’re looking for a lead guitarist and bassist to round out their lineup. Expect a strong start in 2009 from the band, who plans to begin playing live shows and touring (while breaking lots of shit on stage) once members are in place.
“It’s not about reinventing the wheel,” says Josh. “It’s about spinning it really well. We’re a hard, progressive-punk band, and we play with time signatures and all that, but at the end of the day we’re not destroying genres or ‘changing the world.’ It’s about playing the music we love and putting on a great live show.”
Songwriter, guitarist and lead vocalist of Speakeasy Guato got his start in 1997, as guitar player and vocalist for Rochester, N.Y. band Proposition 24 until the year 2000. From there, he worked as a tech and audio engineer for Third Estate for the next seven years of the band’s operation. Throughout working with other bands, Guato continued writing and recording Speakeasy songs, eventually creating a full length demo.
In 2007, he worked as a guitar tech for Strung Out on their U.S. and Canadian tour supporting their most recent release, “Blackhawks Over Los Angeles.” For the past year, he also worked as a writer/engineer/producer/studio performer (guitar)/guitar tech/stage manager for major label rock group (and the kind, caring gentlemen in) I Am Ghost.
Before joining Speakeasy, Rochester, N.Y., native Josh Gailor was the drummer and co-founder of local pop rock band Third Estate. During a break, he branched off to lay the groundwork for a career as a touring performer. He rejoined Third Estate in 2006, and continued working with them until the band split up in 2007.
After that, any new projects were put on hold--a sudden injury required major reconstructive surgery on his left leg. In the wake of healing, and with a leg now partially made of metal, Josh acquired the nickname Bionicle when he began playing and recording again. This past spring, he worked for the national ASIA Tour before officially joining Speakeasy in 2008.
bio by Melissa Daniels