“I remember one year for Christmas when I was around 8 years old, they got me an old record player for Christmas, and gave me some of their vinyls. That was it for me… I would lock myself in my room and sing for days.”
popVLTR: What’s your hometown and where do you live today?
Justina: Our band was actually formed by Avi (guitar) and I around 2009, in our hometown of South Plainfield, NJ. We are still pretty based in our hometown, but when it came time to find other band members we branched out a little bit. We found Mike Lyon, our drummer on Craigslist and it just so happened that he lived in the next town over. Coincidentally enough, he actually lived right next door to my best friend that I grew up with. She lived there for years, and I never would of thought that I would be in a band with her next door neighbor who I didn’t even know existed. It really is a small world, and it’s really funny how things turn out sometimes! We found our bassist, Neil Brown, through someone I met on a musicians network on Facebook. He is actually a little more South Jersey than the rest of us. Mike ended up finding a house in a town between ours and Neil’s , so Parlin is kind of the middle ground for our whole band. We practice there every week.
popVLTR: What kind of music was played in your house when you were growing up? What influence did it have on what you play today?
Justina: Personally growing up, I listened to a lot of classic rock and 80s girl bands. My parents raised me on The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, Paul Simon, Carly Simon, James Taylor, Pat Benatar, The Bangles, The Go Go’s, Joan Jett & Scandal. I remember one year for Christmas when I was around 8 years old, they got me an old record player for Christmas, and gave me some of their vinyls. That was it for me… I would lock myself in my room and sing for days. I went through really different phases with my interest in genres throughout the years. I went through pop music, christian rock, R&B, & ultimately acoustic pop rock with my own solo career for almost a decade. But it wasn’t until I met Avi, that I actually started writing Rock music with this edge that I have never been able to write on my own. It was refreshing and I loved it! We had met about a year prior to actually forming this band, and during that time (2008), we would sit around and jam to Paramore, Incubus, and Envy On the Coast songs. We really bonded over the Rock genre and eventually when Mike came into the picture, they got me more into progressive type bands like Coheed & Cambria, and Periphery, and we got Mike into Envy on the Coast. Mike also grew up being a diehard 311 fan, and you can tell in his drumming. Neil comes from a pretty big jazz background, and also grew up listening to a lot of industrial music like Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, so we really do have a little bit of everything in our sound. It’s awesome to be able to share our own individual influences with each other, and it’s cool watching them all come together and mesh into what is now Stelladeora.
popVLTR: What was it like the first time you performed on stage? Do you still feel the same way?
Justina: All of us in the band have been performing for a really long time prior to being in this band together. I, with my solo career and in and out of multiple bands, and Mike & Neil both had previous bands. I think the person in the band most green to the performing thing had to be Avi. He had some previous recording work under his belt. When him and I started writing songs together , we played some acoustic shows, but he had never played a live plugged in show before. I think the first time we played a show together as Stelladeora, with everyone plugged in, we all felt that we were all finally a part of something that had a tremendous amount of potential. Things have only gotten better from there. We have gotten a lot tighter as a band, we have learned a lot about pacing ourselves. We now play with in ear monitor systems, and more recently we started playing to a click track live, and eventually we added backing tracks to the mix. I think we are constantly trying to push ourselves out of being pigeonholed as just another local garage band who gets on a stage and just thrashes around on instruments for 45 minutes. We aim to get more and more professional with each show we play, and I think slowly but surely we are achieving that. It is a challenge, and it takes a lot of work. The learning process never ends, but we love playing live, and we love playing for the people who enjoy watching us play live!
popVLTR: What are some of your proudest moments in music so far?
Justina: In the short amount of time that we have been a band, only forming in 2009, I would say that our proudest moment would be recording a few songs shy of a full length album and releasing it on our own, without the help of any sort of label (A Dosage From Delusional produced by Mike Lisa, My Arcadia, BeAware). Music listeners take for granted most of the music they hear, and many don’t realize how many man hours, and changes, and little fixes, and crashing gear, and long treks to the studio in shitty weather, lugging your gear in the cold, snow, rain, wind, etc., It’s such a long process, and can be very frustrating and draining, doing take after take, for hours at a time. But once that final product is in your hands, it’s such a rewarding thing to be able to say, “WE did this”. Also Mike Lisa was great to work with, we learned a lot from him about the recording process, and we plan on taking what we learned from our experience working with him, and applying it to whatever future projects we may work on. We have also had some other accomplishments. Our first single “Magnetic Poetry” made it into the first season of a growing web series titled “Hollywood Girl” (www.youtube.com/user/HollywoodGirlTV ), we have been featured on some radio shows (103.9 WRCN’s The Real Radio Show, 90.5 The Night, Brookdale College Radio). We have also played some festivals around the Tri-state area, and have also played Six Flags Great Adventure Live & Local Stage, & last years ING Marathon in NYC.
popVLTR: What cool stuff is on the horizon for you?
Justina: We are currently working on recording some new material, just writing more, playing more shows. We are gearing up to do a new promo photo shoot, since Neil is the newest addition to the band having joined this past summer, we have yet to take some pics together of the band as a whole. Be on the lookout for new photos in the next month or so! Also during the making of our EP we filmed a documentary using the behind the scenes footage from the studio. We are looking to release that after the new year, and are planning to have a premiere party for it. We would really like to make it into some kind of Hurricane Sandy benefit, as we are from New Jersey, and many of the places where we spent our summers as kids, are now destroyed. It is so heartbreaking, so if there is anything we can do to help “Restore Our Shore” and help out the victims, then we will try to do it! Be on the lookout for an announcement on that event, but In the meantime, we have some trailers available on our youtube page where you can learn more about the meanings behind all of the songs and the process of writing/recording them which will be featured in our documentary.
Neil Brown (Bass)
Mike Lyon (Drums)
Justina Carubia (Vocals)
Avinash Patel (Guitar)
www.stelladeora.bandcamp.com << FREE DOWNLOAD
Stelladeora is a punk pop progressive band from Central New Jersey. They love long walks in the park and buffalo wings.
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