What is your names?
We are Dave Paulson (acoustic guitar, vocals) Connor Konecnik (drums), Julia Aiello (vocals), Brendon Gardner (bass), Eddie Woodcock (electric guitar), and Alex Kerssen (keys, saxophone).
What is your genre of music?
We are a pop-rock group with historically some Americana and folk influences but we’ve been influenced more and more by rock, funk, and jazz, especially with our current lineup of musicians and artists.
Give us a little bio about you.
Dave first started playing solo gigs in coffeehouses, farmer’s markets, and tiny restaurant corners in 2011. He met our drummer Connor in high school, and together they were part of Water Street’s original lineup that formed in 2014. Years later, Dave’s cousin Julia recorded harmonies for All We Tried To Be, and from there joined the band. In early 2023, we completed our current lineup with Brendon, Eddie, and Alex, who we all met within maybe two weeks. We all became close to one another pretty quickly. There was this collective respect and admiration for what we individually bring to the table. Each of us have slightly different musical backgrounds, and yet we’re combining them to make this americana-pop sound you wouldn’t expect us to land on. I think our music is different from the “traditional” sound in those genres because of the variety of musical influences that we’re throwing in the pot together.
What made you go into music?
Dave: Well for me, it was when I saw School Of Rock when I was 10. Up until that point, I had always exclusively viewed musicians as adults but seeing that movie for the first time was like this light bulb going off in my head. It made me realize I could start playing music then and there, so from that point on, I was hooked. I started taking lessons in the basement of a church; I would practice with the door to my room shut and teach myself to play new chords and songs. Eventually I worked up the courage to sing, and just started challenging myself to perform in front of more people, build out a setlist, and write my own material.
Who are your influences?
We all have different musical “roots,” but there’s a lot of interest and respect in what inspires each band member. Dave grew up on early John Mayer, and his writing is definitely influenced by acoustic artists like Jason Mraz and Ed Sheeran. Connor loves punk and pop-punk; he’s big on Paramore and Blink-182. Julia has a musical theater background, but she also likes songwriters like Billy Joel and Elton John. Alex is 100% down the jazz rabbit-hole; he will literally talk about chord progressions and music theory all day. Eddie brings classic and hard rock influences to the table and Brendon’s background is in early reggae, ska, and funk music.
Are you a signed?
We are not currently signed.
You released your new single ‘ Carolina’ is out, tell us more about the single and the meaning behind the song.
We wrote “Carolina” with a friend of ours who recently went through the experience of their significant other suddenly leaving one day unexpectedly. It’s a song about processing the immediate shock and new reality of someone who was once so central to your life who is now not a part of it at all. We didn’t want the song to feel heavy or melancholic though. We wanted it to feel upbeat, celebratory in a way, as if the song carrying on is symbolic of moving on from that person (“This too shall pass!”).
Describe the track in two words.
What was the writing and recording process like?
We wrote the song with a friend of ours who had recently gone through the experience of someone he loved suddenly leaving one day with basically no notice. It was a really therapeutic process for him to be able to express what he went through in a creative way, and a great opportunity for us to tell this story of processing that initial shock and heartbreak that comes with somebody instantly disappearing from your life. In terms of recording and arranging, we had a pretty solid outline for the arrangement of the song before we recorded it; what you hear on the final track is basically the same arrangement we had going into the studio. What was really interesting about the process for this song though was that a lot of the tracks (bass, electric guitar, keys, and saxophone) were actually all recorded post-studio. Brendon, Eddie and Alex jumped into Water Street after our time in the studio and dubbed their parts into the track you can hear today. You never know how adding a track after the fact is going to blend into your mix with the instruments you already have but everybody locked in their parts really well and enhanced the song. The guitar solo in the middle is melodic without being heavy-handed and the saxophone at the end gives the outro this added lift. We were really impressed by how well the new parts blended; it was really clear that these musicians recording these new parts not only understood the song, but that they also had great instincts and taste for how to build on what was already there in a way that was still respectful to the core sound.
Who did you work with on the single?
We recorded the song at Sound On Sound studios in Montclair, NJ. It was produced and mixed by our very talented friends Joe Webster and Matthew John, and mastered by Joe Lambert.
Will we see a music video for ‘Carolina’, and if so, what can we expect from the creative process?
The music video for Carolina was released on November 4th and you can check it out on our YouTube page! We tried to capture the road trip vibe of the song but we also wanted to showcase this as our first song in this new chapter of Water Street. The music video features a lot of us driving around in a van and of us playing our instruments. We’re really happy with how it came out!
Will we see an album or EP and I so can you tell us what to expect from the creative process and when to expect it?
We’ve actually got a solid foundation for our next EP! We’re in the process of narrowing down which songs we want to include on the EP and fine-tuning the ones we choose. We’re trying to go for something that ventures from our typical sound while not abandoning our roots. We have plans to record in November and the EP should be available by March or April of next year! We don’t have a name for the EP yet but something will come to us.
Do you have any live shows coming up?
We love playing live so we try to fill up our schedules with as many live shows as we can! Our next big live shows are on February 2nd at Debonair Music Hall in New Jersey and February 3rd at Arlene’s Grocery in New York City!
Let us know where we can get tickets if so.
You can get tickets to our show at Arlene’s Grocery by visiting their website! https://www.arlenesgrocerynyc.com/upcoming-events
What else can we expect in late 2023?
Well as we mentioned earlier, we’re planning on putting out our new EP in 2023 but we are also planning on releasing some singles too! We’re really focused on the EP right now but we definitely have some really cool ideas floating around for what comes next. And of course there will be some music video releases as well!
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
We’d love to be playing at festivals around the world and opening for or collaborating with some of our musical inspirations like Lawrence. We have so many ideas for new releases, music videos, and live shows that we’re excited to build and share. It feels like we’re just now scratching the surface of the music we can make together. We want our music to be enjoyed from all over and hopefully strike a chord with those who are listening!
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
“Serve the song.” A lot of times, I feel like musicians have a tendency to overplay or solo too much because they feel like they have something to prove. But especially in the pop genre, where most songs are built off of relatively simple chord patterns, the magic is in the little nuances in how you structure the song, and how you use each instrument. You can have a song that’s musically simple, but so much more dynamic and interesting if all of the players are locked in with each other and using their talents in a way that highlights the message of the song and the feeling you’re trying to convey to your audience.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
-Lots of seltzer
-Keys to the van (which I’m always losing)