Sound Scene Express

Interview with T.J. Connolly of Chrome Moses

Photos by Randy Jarosz

We recently caught up with bassist T.J. Connolly of the Pittsburgh band Chrome Moses. The rest of the band also includes Joe Piacquadio on lead guitar and vocals and Clarence Grant II on drums. The photos shown are from their opening gig for the Bastard Bearded Irishmen on St. Paddy’s Parade day party at Rex Theater.

Sound Scene Express What’s the name of your band? What’s the origin of that name? Have
you changed the band’s name before?

T.J. Connolly Chrome Moses. Joey came up with the name. It is semi inspired by the title of a Wilco song. Hardcore Wilco fans should be able to figure out which one. When Joe and I were in college we had a band called Royal Jelly. Joe and I still play in the Pittsburgh based band The Wheals.

SSE: What are your day jobs? If any.

TC: We all balance various forms of construction based jobs with traveling, rehearsing and recording.

SSE: What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your
major influences?

TC: We are a Rock and Roll band. We seriously lay claim to that term. It describes us best. Our music has a lot of energy and at times some punch. But, we really try to let it swing as well. There is a blues element to our music, we dig Cream and a lot of real deal 50’s and 60’s rock bands, we also love The Strokes and The Clash and Queens of the Stone Age. And, the aforementioned Wilco.

SSE: How long have you all known each other? How did you meet?

TC: Joe and I met in high school. We started playing music together not long after that.

SSE: Who writes your song lyrics? What is your inspiration?

TC: Joe writes most of the stuff. I don’t want to speak for em, but I think it’s safe to say, he is an artist and thus inspired by life.

SSE: When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music together?

TC: Moses has been around in one way or another for a few years. Joe and I always wanted a band that can kind of cut loose. We love the simplicity of a 3 piece rock band. Plus, at the time, Joey was writing some really good stuff but The Wheals were not the perfect vehicle for the material. He was renting a place in the West End, it was basically a farm house, fire pit in the yard, no neighbors, up right piano in the kitchen. That’s where The Wheals and Chrome Moses were born.

I also want to note; about a year and a half ago we started playing with our current drummer Clarence Grant II. He is a really great drummer and gives Moses a ton of throttle and sway. I met him years ago when we were both playing in a band called 9th Ward.

SSE: Where have you performed? What are your favorite

TC: We perform in small clubs and theaters. Bars and festivals. Standard places. We’ve been working with an agency called Rubber Tramp Live who have been helping us get out of town a bit more. In Pittsburgh we absolutely love The Thunderbird. We have known John and some of the staff for years, and we really feel at home there.

SSE: What are your rehearsals generally like? Do you have a set time each
week in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?

TC: Our rehearsals our fairly rigid and structured. We work hard at our music and we don’t like to waste time. We rent a really nice space in Dormont. We practive at least every Thursday night. When we have new material or are getting ready to record we get together more often.

SSE: What’s your ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame
and fortune?

TC: As artists we obviously want our material to reach the largest possible audience. We have been playing to rooms that are a bit more crowded lately and it feels great to share Rock and Roll with an engaged crowd. So yeah, it would be nice to get more well known. Fortune would also be nice because Gasoline is expensive.

SSE: How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website
with sample songs or a demo CD?

TC: Our albums always stream for free on our official website. We have an on line store for mail order merch.

We are on Spotify and Itunes. You can also find us on Facebook and @ChromeMoses on Twitter. Our Youtube channel has been getting more and more popular.

SSE: When is your next show?

TC: Our next show is Friday May 30th at The Park House in North Side. We’re having Paul Luc open the night. Really looking forward to it.

SSE: Is there any thing else you would like to add?

TC: Just to thank you for the interview. And remind all the people reading this to help out the bands they dig. Even if it’s not always in $$. Likes, follows, and shares help out more than most people think.

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