interview with Aiming For Average
Have any of you played in other bands? Well sort of. Before Aiming For Average existed, we had a different band name and sound. However the name was corny so we changed it.
How is it that you started playing music? Well I (Chris) started playing guitar when I was 10. I saw a commercial about a guy selling guitars and it just caught my attention.
What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you?
Nik Maniotis - Vocals (19)
Christian Castillo - Guitar/Backing Vocals (19)
Chris Perez - Guitar (18)
Zak Vrhel - Bass (17)
Rubem Lopez - Drums (18)
Have you had other previous members? We used to have a different bass player about 3 years ago, but unfortunately he moved to California. Zak was already a good friend of our's and we asked him to play bass for us.
Did you make music even when you were young? Before the band Christian and I (Chris) would jam together in middle school and just play a bunch of random riffs and try making them to songs.
Where are you from? Nik was born and raised in Boston and then moved here in Illinois at a young age. The rest of us are pretty local here in Chicago/Suburbs.
What year did the band form? We started Aiming For Average around fall of 2012.
What's your style of genre? I would say we fall more in the Alternative/Pop Punk genre but we add a more technical sound with our instruments.
How often and where do you reherse? Our rehearsal schedule is pretty bad. We would usually practice in the weekend cause that's when most of us are available. We try to at least once a week, but it's not consistent.
How have you developed since you started with the music? As we get older, the lyrics mature and our creativity improves as well. We're just getting better as musicians and we're understanding our roots better.
Do you have other interests of work outside the band? I (Chris) deliver pizza as a job. Christian works at Chipotle. Nik goes to school at Milwaukee. Ruben plays a lot of video games. And Zak is in his last year of high school.
Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? I (Chris) personally want to for out of state shows. Basically for our tours. It would be less stressful on me to book a tour and then shows start getting dropped. For local shows, I don't think it's necessary because it's not too much work on your shoulders.
Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? It's kind of in the mix. A label can definitely help a band financially, but that's how bands end up broke because they have to pay all that back. You just have to find the best deal for you. Hopefully somebody has their highest interest on us and can help move this band to better places.
What are your songs about? Most of the songs are about families, friendships, and relationships.
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? Christian writes most of the lyrics and Nik does a few. Or they both do it together.
Do you start with the music or the lyrics? Usually somebody has a cool riff and we try to add on to it. Or Christian might have lyrics with a basic chord structure and then we add more to it.
Have you done any covers live? We have done covers before, but it's always hard to pick one because we all have different opinions on a song.
What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? Our gigs lately have been packed. I can't remember the last time we had an empty local show. On our winter tour, we played a few empty venue shows unfortunately.
What ages are most of you concert attendants? Mostly teens from 16-23
Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? We usually play the same songs but we change our setlist a lot, so it doesn't sound boring every show.
Do you have a regular place you play live often? People are pretty familiar with us playing at our hometown venue in Berwyn.
What was your first gig like? My first gig was with Christian and Ruben when we were 14. We were terrible but it's fun to look back at it. It had your typical bad singing, unnecessary guitar solos, and bad overall sound haha
What was your latest gig? Our latest gig was at Wire (Our hometown venue) and it was an acoustic show. Over 200 people attended .
Have you had to cancel a gig? We have about a couple years ago. I don't remember for what reason.
Where have you played live this year? Well 2016 just started and we only played our homecoming tour house show and a show at Wire. Both turned out successful.
Where do you plan to gig the comming year? Hopefully more shows further out in Illinois and go on a summer tour this June to the east coast.
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? We started selling merchandise about a year ago. We're currently selling baseball tees and t shirts with the state bird on it. We also have both our EPs and free buttons & stickers.
Where can people buy your merchandise? For now at local shows, but we're hoping to open our online merch site soon.
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? I'm glad people take the time to get our music, but also being in a band is business. You need to invest in your business or else it crashes. Spending a few bucks can help a band get what they need.
How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? Well it's harder for bands to live off of music because of all the easy access of free music there is on the internet.
What do you think of my work? I like it and it's a very cool job getting to know bands.
How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? It helps us get our name out there. Social medias are so involved, it's easy to find something online.
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? I would say more active bands because the industry changes as time passes by and we see how those bands fail or succeed in the industry.
What have been your biggest obstacles? To find the time to practice or sometimes we're judged by our age. We're a pretty young band and sometimes we're looked as amateurs in some shows. Hardly but mostly shows with bars.
What advice would you give other bands or artists? To take the time to promote your work because writing good music doesn't give you a pass to be lazy.
How do you get psyched for a gig? Usually by the amount of people at the show. I get excited knowing people want to see us perform.
Do you have any new material? We're currently writing a lot of new music.
What are your web sites?Facebook.com/AimingForAverage
Instagram and Twitter: aiming4average
How can people reach you? People can message us on facebook or twitter!
What are your plans for the future? To comtinue writing and perform as many shows as possible.
Do you have something to add? Our music is free on bandcamp. Make sure to get your downloads at aiming4average.com