Finally! A band with a moniker that completely and accurately reflects my life: Running Late. Awesome. The jam-band out of Madison, New Jersey composed of Noah Giglio, Alex Fillimon, John Hall, AJ Zienowicz and Mike Hall is more than just a name that connects with me – they totally line up with my taste in music. Adding a cello and a saxophone to an alternative band is a pure winning recipe; something that’s easy to figure out on the band’s latest self-titled EP.
The band says the work is “slick, smooth and something we are very proud of. It is leaps and bounds above any of our previous releases.” They continue: “Our sound can be described as Alternative Rock with elements of funk, jazz-fusion and pop. We also have a Jam Band feel live. Our original songs have just enough mainstream appeal to allow us to connect with a wide array of audiences from pre-teens to the beatles generation. Our music is genuine and heart-driven.” Check it out and keep an eye on the horizon for Running Late’s first full-length record. There’s more to get into, so keep reading for all the answers to the XXQ’s.
XXQs: Running Late
PensEyeView.com (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you stand out over the others in your genre?
Our sound can be described as Alternative Rock with elements of funk, jazz-fusion and pop. We also have a Jam Band feel live. Our original songs have just enough mainstream appeal to allow us to connect with a wide array of audiences from pre-teens to the beatles generation. Our music is genuine and heart-driven.
PEV: Based out of Madison, New Jersey, what kind of music where the members of the band into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?
The first concert we saw as a band was Dispatch. They inspired our Jam Band "chill" ska-like vibe. We all grew up with a variety of influences including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Third Eye Blind, Matchbox 20, Dave Matthews Band, Sublime, Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Boston, JET, Jack Johnson, Counting Crows, Spin Doctors, Collective Soul, Blink 182, Sum 41, Incubus, Squeeze and others
PEV: Tell us your take on the music scene is like in your hometown and what was it like trying to break into it?
There seems to be little overall embrace of live music in Madison. There is no venue devoted to live original music in Madison. There are no music festivals. We have taken advantage of the bars that do have live music as well as town events where live bands can set up and play. Breaking into the scene has honestly been all about finding opportunities to play and taking full advantage. We have always taken our gigs seriously, even if no one was paying attention. Actually, I don't think we turned down any opportunity to play when we were trying to break into the scene.
PEV: With that, what can fans expect from a live Running Late show?
You can expect to be entertained from start to finish. Above all else we understand that we are putting on a show and the goal is to keep you entertained as much as possible. We always leave a little room for improvisation, which keeps the show fresh. There are periods in our set where we break into jams that allow us to explore in the moment. More often than not one of us pulls off something special. You can expect us to have fun and interact with you. Often we will jump down into the crowd while we are playing. Some of us will spontaneously break into dance. Overall we will take every opportunity we can to do something special and memorable for you to enjoy.
PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?
PEV: Having all played, practiced or just been booked with other musicians from time to time, how is playing with Running Late as a group, different then the others?
We have all been friends long before we ever started playing as a band. When we set foot in our band room to practice we feel right at home. There is no pressure or insecurity. Unlike playing in an orchestra or big band we give each other as much freedom as we want to discover new things and experiment with new sounds. Our band is the medium through which we can all freely express our art with complete comfort.
PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for songs?
The underlying inspiration for our music is the feeling we get when something seems to click. Often we are simply jamming when suddenly something great happens and we simply expand on that feeling we get. We are inspired by the potential to take something of simple beauty and grow it into something much bigger. Our lyrics come from whatever our minds and hearts may be talking to us about. Many times lyrics will come to us at a random moment when we are playing the jam back to ourselves in our heads. Again, something clicks. It is important for us to make the most of these moments but also to be patient enough to not force it if it doesn't all come together at once. We consider all of our songs works of art that can always be improved or corrected. The main thing is getting to a point where the songs are matured enough to be set free to our audience.
PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out do you ever look back at your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?
Running Late today is not just a group of guys playing music. It has become a way of life. It is both our escape and our main passion. I don't think we appreciated just how much the band would change our lives when we first started. In many ways Running Late is our hope. The way we got to this point has been hard work and dedication to something that doesn't have immediate financial return. We are still keeping the faith, however, that our career as Running Late will finance our dreams.
PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of Running Late?
We speak our own language. It's actually sort of a dialect. It's english but with weird emphasis on certain vowels and with a unique clicking sound at the end of every main word in a sentence.
PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a a huge – if not the biggest – part of your lives?
Music has carried us through the darkest times in our lives. It has also brought about some of the most joyful moments in our lives as well. Hearing the crowd reaction at Starland Ballroom was a momentous occasion. Our fans were crying out for us. It convinced us all that Running Late is something special and bigger than ourselves.
PEV: Tell us about your latest release. What can fans expect from this? How is this different from past works?
Our EP is slick, smooth and something we are very proud of. It is leaps and bounds above any of our previous releases.
PEV: How is life on the road for you in the music world? Best and worst parts?
We still have yet to book a tour. Our gigs are spread out in terms of dates and close by in terms of distance from our hometown of Madison, NJ. We are still "on the road" from time to time when traveling to our gig destination. Unfortunately we don't have a "band van" or any type of vehicle that can fit all of us plus our equipment - that's the worst part. The best part is living in the moment of the journey to our gig and the travel back home. We are living the good life during those few hours.
PEV: Is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?
3 out of 5 of us have been to the West Coast. We honestly feel that our music has a big Cali appeal to it.
PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What’s it like when you get to play at your hometown?
Of the countless opportunities that our friends and family have had to come out and support us, it has been a rare occasion for them to let us down. We packed one of our hometown bars with 95 heads this past April. We are not heartbroken, however, when we book a gig on labor day or on 4th of July weekend and only 10 or 15 show up. We still have fun at those gigs too.
PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?
Taking classes for both undergraduate and graduate degrees, working in a lab, teaching science classes. working at a radio station, acting, coaching football and most of all listening to music.
PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?
Red Hot Chili Peppers would be our dream collaboration as both the present and past artist. They have been our biggest musical inspiration.
PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?
Our hometown of Madison is the breeding ground of Delta Falling, Circus Animal, Bed Of Thorns and Blue Panel. Other artists we respect in the NJ underground are Killing The Messenger and I Am Fighting.
PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think each of you would be your career?
Either a college student, grad student, scientist or actor who's life is more boring
PEV: So, what is next for Running Late?
Running Late's debut LP. All of our efforts are now geared toward production of our first full length album.