The typical Tuesday night in central PA isn’t the most exciting. So when Punksylvania finds out a killer band is coming through our town, we aren’t staying home. Hailing from Yonkers, American Pinup brought along
The typical Tuesday night in central PA isn’t the most exciting. So when Punksylvania finds out a killer band is coming through our town, we aren’t staying home. Hailing from Yonkers, American Pinup brought along their sound in full force to McGarvey’s Bar in Altoona on 11/5/19 and we were there singing along per our usual!!
Formed in 2010, this band is unique, because they don’t stick to a singular style and can’t be held to one specific sound. They fuse their love of grunge, indie, folk, and punk into a sound thats highlights each genre while creating something else altogether. It’s so refreshing to hear a band cross musical lines, but never lose the sound that makes them who they are. It’s really a skill for bandmates to be able to mesh that well together. This was the fourth time that they brought their flavor to Altoona and we hope that this trend continues. The members of American Pinup absolutely shine when they play and that vibe is infectious.
A lot of these different sounds start with lead vocalist, Lauren West, who also plays guitar. Her vocal range sends you on a trip through time. Her voice gives us some crazy 90’s grunge, but also this light, sweet, pop sound. No matter what, she always carries this grit in the back of her throat that keeps everything connected. She owns her vocals with complete control and confidence on stage! She’s got a wail that we know would make Kim Shattuck proud!!
Alongside Lauren is Tim Robbins: bass guitarist, and Hype Man! He plays the bass in a way that compliments every sound all while getting fans to sing along and to be excited. He alternated between dancing, jumping up on speakers, and goofing around with the other members on stage. You just know he is a fun guy and cares a lot about his craft. He’s a joy to watch!!
Then we have John Casale, the self proclaimed tour manager, van driver, bartender, who just happens to also be the drummer! John is all about life on the road. As a dedicated musician, he will probably tour for the rest of his life if he can and we hope that he does. The dude can play and there were times that we were taken back to the late 90’s era of punk rock during their set. We will never be mad at that… Tony Hawk Pro Skater, anyone?
Last, but not least, is AJ Chiarella, guitarist for the band. So, AJ is actually in another band called Shakeout who played right before American Pinup. Now normally, when we see only a guitarist and a drummer on the stage, it makes us raise an eyebrow. But HOT DAMN!! We were blown away! They shocked us with their distinct rock n roll vibe! Definitely check them out here!
Combined these guys clearly love what they do and are the backbone to creating the awesomeness that is American Pinup!!
We had a chance to sit down with the band and find out a little more about them! So right now, Lauren is working on some solo music…eeeek! We can’t wait to hear what she’s doing for that. Unfortunately, there is no set date for an upcoming album for the band, but we do have on video that album talk is in the works and they kinda promised Bree that there would be more… #JustSayin… So hopefully we get some updates from them in the future and we will be sure to pass the word on to you!
It’s really great to see so much excitement come from a band and they really want that to shine through to their fans. When asked what he hoped to get out of performing, AJ responded with “happiness.” A simple one word response that couldn’t have been more perfect, because really no matter what any of us do, we hope it brings us happiness. On the other side of that, music is our happiness so we think that he’s on the right path.
Thanks American Pinup for coming back to Altoona and for recognizing that the scene here will always want to hear from you! If you ever get the chance to see them, please don’t miss out! They’re some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet and they want to get to know their fans. As John casually put it “we’re the band that hangs” and one of Lauren’s favorite parts of touring is getting to experience new cities and meeting its amazing people.
We can honestly say that we had a blast with these crazy kids on and offstage and our local dive was honored to host them. Let us know when you’ll be back, guys. We will have the tequila and Sheetz food waiting! Cheers!!!!