March 31, 2020
Tune-In Tuesdays #63: Balcony Talk on Breaking Free From the ‘Calendar Daze’
‘Calendar Daze’ by Balcony Talk is out now!Source: Balcony Talk
Not feeling his message was being heard within a band, Anthony Cafiero decided to fly solo and start a deeply personal, alt-rock project: Balcony Talk.
Earlier this month, Balcony Talk released the EP “Calendar Daze,” which was inspired by Cafiero snapping out of the trance of his daily grind and reconnecting with his love for music.
Recently, we had a very heartfelt discussion with Cafiero via email about Balcony Talk and “Calendar Daze.”
Tell us a little bit about Balcony Talk. Where does the name come from and how would you describe your sound?
The name Balcony Talk came from a time where I was going through a very tough time due to my mental health. I’ve struggled with severe anxiety and OCD starting from the age of 15…I really believe those two disorders have been trivialized to the point where people scoff when they hear a person say they suffer from them…
Anyway, during the time, I was in a band I was dedicated to, but felt as though it wasn’t projecting the message I wanted. So, I decided to start a solo side project.
I created the term when I got home from a very deep conversation I had with a close friend of mine. That talk took place on a balcony…bam! That’s when I put two and two together to create the name.
I would describe my sound as very melodic and catchy.
Could you tell us a little more about what inspired you to start a solo project?
I was inspired to begin a solo project based on a few reasons. One reason is, being in a band is amazing when all members have a mutually agreed-upon message to convey.
The creative freedom I have in being a solo artist is very important for what I’m writing about. I was greatly inspired by an artist by the name of Johnny (WATERMEDOWN). I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with him and seeing how Johnny was able to establish himself as a solo artist and play live shows with a band showed me I can have the best of both worlds.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE collaborating and playing with other musicians. However, as far as Balcony Talk is concerned, it’s my baby and I know how I want it to grow.
What was it like transitioning from your role as a band member to fully dedicating yourself to Balcony Talk?
The transition took a lot of time. I never considered myself a songwriter because I was always the guitarist in my previous bands and honestly? It’s all I ever wanted to be.
There was a lot of self-doubt on whether I could even write songs on my own without a band behind me. I think comparing my first EP “Birdhouse” to “Calendar Daze” shows how much improvement I’ve made. And now I can confidently say I’m just as good a songwriter as I am a guitarist.
In the press release for your EP “Calendar Daze,” it describes how you had never considered yourself much of a singer/songwriter prior to going solo. Why?
I never took an interest in any instrument as much as the guitar and singing was the LAST thing I ever wanted to attempt because I was a very shy person. My ability on guitar was something I’ve always taken pride in.
What helped you begin fleshing out your lyricism and vocals?
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Spending the next week finalizing my first full length album. Can't wait to blow it up and go on tour… . . . . . . . . #hopelessrecords #photography #blink182 #sensesfail #brendonurie #brooklyn #poppunk #emo #musician #chon #oceansatealaska #tinymovingparts #balconytalk #anthonyraneri #epiphonelespaul #famous #mathrock
What helped me tap into my lyricism and vocals was studying my favorite musicians and looking at their styles of writing as well as their styles of singing. While doing so, it’s helped me discover my own style of writing and singing.
As “Calendar Daze” is about getting caught up in the daily grind and forgetting what truly matters in our lives, what would you say are the three most important things in your life and why?
The topmost important thing in my life is my family. Without my family, I wouldn’t be the person I am. The support they give me is something I never take for granted and I always make sure to set quality time for them as well as be there for them the way they are for me.
Music is another major part of my life, and without it, there’d be no meaning or purpose for who I am.
Last but not least, as cliche or as simple as it sounds, my appreciation of life. I take a second to stop and look around and think of how lucky I am to be alive in a beautiful world like this one.
Those are the things that keep me grounded in a life that can be hectic at times.
Could you tell us a little bit more about the story behind “Calendar Daze?”
The story behind Calendar Daze was written at a time where I was overwhelmed with major responsibilities and fell into a vicious cycle of work, waking up, and repeating in order to satisfy those responsibilities. As the months passed, tunnel vision kicked in. It blinded me from my loved ones and I began to neglect my music.
I noticed I was getting depressed and my anxiety was getting worse, becoming more agitated and aggressive as the days went on.
One night, as I got home from work, I decided to take a breather and sit on my bed. I noticed the calendar hanging on my wall filled with scheduled dates, appointments, and a bunch of other highlighted obligations related to work.
I then noticed my guitar and remembered the amount of fun and fulfillment I felt when playing it. I wrote the song “Iamlostwithoutyou” that night and the name Calendar Daze hit me when remembering that night while coming up with the EP name.
What track means to you off of the EP and why?
- Iamlostwithoutyou – This song is about music itself and what it means to me. I work and pay bills just like everyone else, but I make sure to not get caught up in the “Calendar Daze.” Music is everything to me and I would be lost without it in my life, hence the name!
- Scapegoat – This song is about my family and people I care about. I wish I could take their suffering and have myself suffer on behalf of them so they can live freely with no problems. More of an extreme case of selflessness.
- Why seven eight nine – This song is about someone very close to me being in an abusive relationship and having to be the shoulder to lean on. At times, it could feel as though you’re a ghost watching everything happen. The number seven means the abuser. Eight being the act of violence. Nine being the victim.
- Cut my nose (to spite my face) – This song is about how impulsive and repeated poor habits can ruin one’s life. This song is about recognition and turning them around to better oneself.
When you find yourself getting sucked into the daily grind, how do you break out of it? What’s your favorite way to re-ground yourself with your priorities?
As I catch myself getting stuck in the daily grind, I always try to connect with close friends, play video games, or listen to music. I also really enjoy skateboarding, so that’s another thing that keeps me mentally and physically fit.
What was your favorite part of producing “Calendar Daze?”
My favorite part of producing “Calendar Daze” was the closeness I experienced with my best friend Michael Mykeyvandelay. He produced three of the four songs on this EP. I practically lived in his basement for an entire year!
He really pushed me to reach my fullest potential and the songs wouldn’t sound as they are had it not been for him. It really showed me the value a friendship can have when two people care about each other and want nothing but the best for each other.
We’ve had ups, downs, and fights, but at the end of the day, it made our friendship stronger and we didn’t give up on each other.
What did you find most challenging about writing the EP?
What I found most challenging about writing this EP was being honest with myself and putting that honesty out into the world. It really made me feel vulnerable to all kinds of ridicule and belittlement.
Another thing I found very challenging was learning how to sing/scream properly. It’s probably the one thing that made this recording process take so long, along with Michael being a neurotic producer who wanted the best takes possible, haha love you Mike!
Could you tell us a little bit about the cover of “Calendar Daze?” Is that you in a clown mask or a clown figurine?
I wanted to focus on the reality of life. It’s certainly not a pleasing message, but one we must all realize.
What do you hope listeners take away from “Calendar Daze?”
I hope listeners will ask themselves if their “grind” is really for the right reasons.
What’s next for you, Anthony? Will you be releasing any music videos for the tracks off of the EP, or do you have any additional songs in the works?
“Iamlostwithoutyou” by Balcony Talk music videoSource: Balcony Talk – Iamlostwithoutyou (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO) |
I also have a bunch of other songs in the works that’ll be released on my first full-length album, hopefully by next year.
Until then, enjoy the music video, expect a single or two, and keep listening to Calendar Daze!
Do you have any additional comments or final thoughts to share?
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Have you listened to birdhouse yet? Want to see it played live? Should I play another show? So many questions left unanswered. ? @danielzvisual . . . . . . . . . . #alternativepress #birdhouse #watermedown #live #music #emotional #emomusic #guitar #pentimento #poppunksucks #equalvisionrecords #hopelessrecords #thenoise #nyc #musician #nycmusician #tinymovingparts
I hope Calendar Daze touches someone in a way music has touched me over the years. I hope to see you on the balcony (at my live shows) and keep an eye out for the music video along with new music!
Give Balcony Talk’s “Calendar Daze” a listen now on Spotify!
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