The TraditionalThe Traditional – The Queen of Heaven
By Dave Schwartz

The Traditional are an emo/hardcore band from Buffalo, New York consisting of Anthony Musior (vocals / bass), Jon Coric (drums / backing vocals) and Mike Bienias (guitar).  They’ve been kicking around the Buffalo scene for a couple of years now and are starting to make some noise.  On March 17th they released their second record, an EP called “The Queen of Heaven.”  I spoke to drummer Jon Coric just a few short days prior to the release to find out more about the record. 

DB:  First of all, congratulations on your new album, “The Queen of Heaven.”  I’m eager to hear a little about the record.

JC:  Well, let’s see, it’s called “The Queen of Heaven.”  It’s a six-song EP that we’ve been writing over the last two years or so.  We recorded it last February, mastered it in March.  We’re getting ready to release it on Anchor Eighty Four Records.  They did our first release (“How to Live Without Blood”) so we’re pretty excited that they’re doing a second one with us.

DB:  I see the record will drop on March 17th.  So tell me about the writing process.  How did the songs come together? 

JC:  As a band we’re pretty much always writing.  So when it came time to record, what we do is write a song and practice it a bunch and then demo it so we can hear the song and change anything that we want to change.  It’s pretty much so we can hear how it sounds as opposed to just playing it live.  We wrote about 16 songs originally.  We chose the best six and then reworked them a little to get them perfect for the record and then we went in a recorded them.

DB:  That’s an amazing process, to focus 16 songs down to six.  How did that struggle work within the band?  I’m sure there was some arm wrestling over a few of the songs! 

JC:  Absolutely!  With that many songs it’s difficult to make the decision because there are three of us.  We all have our own influences and tastes so we had to pick the songs we each liked most and then also consider what the listener would like most.

DB:  That makes perfect sense.  I see that Jay Zubricky (Pentimento, Every Time I Die, I Can See Mountains) was your producer.  How did you select him and what qualities did he bring to your record? 

JC:  Jay is actually a very close friend of ours.  He grew up in the same neighborhood as our guitar player (Mike Bienias).  As far as recording he’s one of the top dogs here in Buffalo.  He’s got an ear for it.  As far as guitar tones he’s one of the best.  With drums, tell him what you want and he does it.  Everything came together really easy with Jay.  We hang out with him away from the recording studio as well, he’s one of our closest friends.

DB:  I would imagine that your close friendship aided Zubricky in knowing just how far he could push you so that you achieve your best. 

JC:  Absolutely.

DB:  So this is your second release.  You also put out “How to Live Without Blood” in 2014.  How does “The Queen of Heaven” contrast with “How to Live Without Blood?” 

The TraditionalJC:  I think the songs sound a bit more mature.  As we continue to write as a band our writing is maturing.  As far as the lyrics, that’s all Anthony (Musior); he writes all of the lyrics.  He tends to write about his experiences and what he is doing within his life at that time.  I feel it’s a good process because people can really relate to it.  Everybody has gone through what he goes through, you know?

DB:  Of course. Is there any single portion of the song writing process that you feel has grown more than another?  Have you matured more musically or lyrically? 

JC:  It really depends upon the song.  We’ve definitely matured as a whole.  A lot of our lyrics are kind of sad because that’s how Anthony expresses himself.  Writing is almost like a therapy for him.  So we’re maturing as people and with our music and the lyrics reflect all of that.

DB:  So is there any one song on this record that you feel accurately represents the entire album? 

JC:  I don’t know, each song has its own feelings and meaning.  For instance, “She Don’t Know” is about going through a breakup and knowing that you long for that person but that you’re bad together, you’re not meant for each other.  But when you look at “Thirty” which is the second song we released, its anger and love and loneliness.  Each song is different.

DB:  “She Don’t Know” is your first single.  Will you be doing any videos?

JC:  We have not yet.  We have a friend who is in Europe right now.  When he gets back we’ll start storyboarding.  We have some ideas floating around.  It’s just a matter of getting everyone together and working out the details. 

DB:  What do you have planned for touring? 

JC:  Right now we’re doing a few shows with Southpaw in Michigan.  We don’t know what the rest of the year has in store for us but we’re hoping to get out more.  It’s just a question of what comes our way.

I want to thank Jon Coric for sharing a moment of time with DaBelly.  Sadly, about a week after our interview with Jon, on March 24th vocalist Anthony Musior announced on The Traditional’s Facebook page the passing of his brother Nick and the cancellation of the tour with Southpaw.  We at DaBelly would like to express our condolences on the tremendous loss. 

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