Down To Earth Approach

Down To Earth Approach
Location:Batavia, NY (USA)
Genres:Rock / Alternative
Record Label:Vagrant Records
Band Members:
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Album ReviewDown To Earth Approach - Come Back To You
Posted by Julia Conny on 07/14/07
Album ReviewDown To Earth Approach - Another Intervention
Posted by Saves The Night on 09/19/06
InterviewDown To Earth Approach - 08.02.04
Posted by Greg Thimmes on 10/02/04
The Billboard
ABSOLUTExclusive: In Memory of...

Download three B-sides from Come Back to You.
1) "If You Leave" (Right Click > Save As)
2) "Let It Go" (Right Click > Save As)
3) "Saving Nothing" (Right Click > Save As)

Click here to download full .zip file.

In Memory Of...This is volume 3 in an ongoing series of random moments on tour.
“Random” is a lousy word to use.

This is what tour feels like. You wake up in Indiana and go to sleep in L.A.

This is the second video featuring the late Down To Earth Approach (and most defiantly not the last).

However, this video is special! It marks the one year of Down To Earth Approach’s last show. In a moment of reflection, here’s a spattering of places and events from the year 2004. We started our touring career that May with As Tall As Lions (who were also on their first tour). But this video has none of that footage.

After that tour we left again for our first west coast tour, this time with Piebald headlining. Northstar and The Jealous Sound played support after Down To Earth Approach opened.

It was my first time west of the Mighty Mississippi, so (thankfully) I filmed every moment I could. What you’re about to see (or have just finished watching) is two drastically different locations of the U.S. It begins with the midlands, which unto itself are an entirely different country than what you find on either coast. The second half of the video takes place in L.A., home of the loonies and the drunks. Although, for as much shit as it gets, L.A. is a place everyone should go to, even for just a moment.
But then again so is Buffalo, so is Chicago. So is Detroit, Las Vegas, and Batavia.

And like those cities, tour is also a place everyone should be able to go to at least for a few moments.

We were fortunate enough to get at least 4 years worth.

- AJ5

We've been around since the year 2000. We moved to LA in 2001, and started touring in 2004. We've been doing it since! We're on the verge of releasing a new album, our second for Vagrant. It's going to be called "Come Back to you". We started recording in May and June and then went on the ENTIRE Warped Tour. It was quite an experience. We're home in NY now for the rest of the year finishing the album, practicing and playing the occasional show. Our friend Dan joined the band in August after dropping out of college (like the rest of us!). He's playing guitar, keyboard, and singing background vocals. We're really excited about the new record and hope you, the reader, will be as well! It'll be a new world, which we will conquer!


Past Exclusive:

We are proud to bring you the ABSOLUTExclusive Down to Earch Approach Acoustic EP.

01) The Wizard
02) When You're Around
03) Honey & Vinegar

Tracks 1 & 2 Produced, Engineered and Mixed by MIke Poorman at Strangeways Studios in Burlington, VT (sometime last year).
Track 3 Produced, Engineered and Mixed by Kevin Bruschert at Viking Studios in Medina, NY (sometime really early last year).
Keyboards on "When You're Around" by Zac Clark
Cover photo taken by Deanne Dubrall (aka... John's girlfriend).
Layout by Ben Goetting (at Vagrant).

Band names usually have little or no correlation to a given band's music or personality, seemingly serving no higher purpose than trying to make a band sound cool. Down to Earth Approach however, are lucky enough to have a name that acts as an apt description of not only their overall musical aesthetic, but their laid-back approach to the harrowing world of rock and roll as well. The story behind how this decidedly straightforward melodic rock band got from the small town of Batavia, New York to releasing their debut full-length Another Intervention on Vagrant Records is thus rather appropriate to their chosen name.

As frontman and guitarist Jonathan Lullo-who, along with Ryan McClurg (guitar, vocals), John McCampbell (bass, vocals), and Peter Metzler (drums), make up Down to Earth Approach-recalls, "we all are grew up together, all went to the same school in a town called Batavia, NY, so we all just knew each other from around. Back when we were in high school three of us started a band, but that kind of disappeared because I went to France after my senior year of high school and the other guys were older so they went to college. But as soon as I got back I really wanted to play. We got back together and got a new bass player and that's how this band started." However, the well-honed unabashedly melodic songwriting featured on Another Intervention came about only after a bit of trial and error. "The band we were in before was this really poppy punk band and we were kind of disgusted with the whole thing; we didn't really want to be a part of it anymore," explains Lullo. "We were listening to more of the experimental indie rock after that and we just wanted to stay as far away as we could from the poppy stuff because we were just so burned out on it." As the band toyed with more experimental varieties of music, they began to realize that maybe they had turned their back on their true calling. "It was more experimental at first," recalls Lullo of Down to Earth Approach's formative period in early 2000, "but after awhile I realized that pop songs were the kind of songs we wanted to write so we went back to that." This was inspired in no small part by the records coming out on a then-upstart LA record label by the name of Vagrant Records. "Before we were even a band we kind of worshipped all the Vagrant bands at that time," says Lullo. "When we first started we were listening to The Get Up Kids' Something to Write Home About, and later Saves the Day's Stay What you Are came out and we lost our minds to those CDs, we just thought they were amazing."

It was not surprising then, that when the band decided to make the jump from east coast to west, relocating to the sunny shores of Los Angeles that Lullo would seek out Vagrant Records. However, it wasn't in an attempt to get his band signed, it was in search of gainful employment. "We all moved out to California as a group and kind of just got shitty jobs out here, but then I started interning at Vagrant," remembers Lullo. Surprisingly, rather than trying to push Down to Earth Approach, Lullo tried to downplay any interest his superiors showed in his increasingly buzz worthy band. "The general manager and some people at Vagrant had been checking us out and talking about signing us, which was weird because I didn't want to bring it up, I just wanted to work there." Lullo eventually would get hired on, doing tour marketing for the label. But despite his desire to keep work and pleasure separate, Lullo's new employers couldn’t help but like what they saw. "There were a few other labels that wanted to sign us and we didn't really know what to do, but it just kind of ended up with Vagrant saying 'don't bother, we want to sign you.' It was kind of a weird process, definitely not the standard way of getting picked up."

Luckily for Down to Earth Approach, any charges of nepotism are immediately dispelled by listening to Another Intervention. The album—produced by noted engineer and producer Dave Schiffman (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine, System of a Down)-presents Lullo's distinct vocal presence and the band's well-honed melodic crunch in crystal clarity. Lullo credits Schiffman with helping take the band to the next level both sonically and musically. "He did the Mars Volta record, the last Juliana Theory record, and right now he's working on the new Jimmy Eat World record. Basically I loved the way all of his records sounded. So when we met with him I was just trying to see if he would be as good of a producer as he is an engineer; I wanted to make sure he had an ear for what we were doing because we really wanted someone to like work on the songs. We wanted outside opinion." The partnership would certainly prove to be fruitful. From the opening anthem "Exhibit of the Year," to the mid-tempo rocker "Face First," to the album's austere closer "Living Rooms," Down to Earth Approach successfully find the musical middle ground between the textured rock of bands like The Get Up Kids and Jimmy Eat World, and the all-out melodicism of pop punk. Lullo sums of the band’s distinctly down to earth approach to songwriting succinctly. "We don’t want to reinvent the wheel; right now we just want to write some really good pop songs. We don't want to change the music scene, we just want to have our own place in it."
Last Updated: 08/29/08

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