Jonathan Capeci and Joey Beretta, cousins and formerly of Dinner And A Suit, have taken the world by wind with their recent EP, Honest. The connection of the two was emphasized in their stage presence at ACL and their songs were coupled with a chill pop melody. The soft, melodic instrumental and unique take on pop music gathered a crowd for this band that was swaying to the music and fully entranced. With just four songs in this EP providing a hint of what this band can bring to this music scene, many are waiting in anticipation for more songs and to see more of what this unique pop/alternative band will offer. I had the opportunity to interview this cousin duo at Austin City Limits and their thoughtfulness in lyrics was evident in the thoughtfulness of their answers.
Can you describe how the band was started and how it came together?
Jon: So we’re cousins and we’ve kind of been making music together for a long time, even before this band, other bands and church and all of this other stuff. And, we were in another band but that band broke up. We spent some time in L.A. just kind of spending the last few dollars we had, making music. It wasn’t really a band or anything; we just made these songs we really loved and like, when we were done making those songs we just felt like they were really special and we had to make something of it. We felt like even if we just do it for fun and nothing ever happens, we should still just do it. So we started the band, played a live show and put a song on the internet and it just really took fire organically. It really was that simple. We just really love music and making it and it was something we couldn’t really escape, you know?
How would you describe your fan base and how would you describe your music?
Jon: The easiest way to describe us is all pop like, we’re kind of an alternative band but we love pop music and hope to reach enough people to influence pop culture and music. Our fans are amazing; they’re super passionate and loyal. They came for our set, we had an early set, and people were waiting up front. Some of those same people saw us last night so to see us two days in a row, brought us flowers… We just got so lucky with our fan base. They’re the only reason we’re here, you know. So we love them.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Jon: Not really.
Joey: We do reset all of our computers and stuff because a couple of experiences and we have a little bit of superstition about it like we have to reset it in a certain amount of time before we play or we feel like everything is going to go wrong. So that’s just a little superstition we have.
Jon: Drink some water. Do some push-ups to get the blood flowing. Jump around a bit. Get loose. That’s it, nothing crazy.
How does it feel to perform in Texas, especially in a large festival like ACL?
Joey: We’re just super stoked to be here and it’s an honor for us to be a part of this and we were super excited. The crowd was great and the people down here are awesome. The city definitely has a similar vibe to Nashville and I like it down here. We played a couple of festivals down here and everyone is always awesome and the crowd is always super excited and they just really love music down here.
Jon: We love it here. It’s just an honor to be like, we started this band a little over a year ago, maybe fourteen months ago, and to already be playing ACL, it’s an honor.
What is a social issue that is neglected by the media?
Jon: Net neutrality.
Joey: Net neutrality! That’s exactly what I was going to say. Well I think that more than anything else right now, it’s interesting you ask this but, more than anything right now in terms of the future of information and people’s access to information, it’s super important that people are aware of what it actually is. How net neutrality, if it’s repealed, bigger companies can take advantage of that and put paywalls in front of whatever they want or not give you access to something or charge you for a news package where if you don’t pay the extra five hundred dollars a month, you can only see certain websites. They can also completely slow down your speeds so like, you can barely use anything. I think it’s really important and obviously, there’s a lot of things going on in the world that are important as well but I think it’s physically being swept under the carpet. I think no one really talks about it at all. I think it’s THE most important thing that’s happening right now. Making sure people are at least aware of what it is and how it needs to continue being a thing and not repealed at all.
Is it affecting you two directly and have you seen its impact?
Joey: Nothing has changed as of yet but if it was to be repealed, I mean Verizon or AT&T, not necessarily they would do this but they would have the ability to charge whatever they want for access to different things, which is kind of horrifying to me.
Jon: Imagine if something happens, you know a major event, whether it’s an election or a natural catastrophe and instead of being able to have access to live coverage, you may in theory not be able to without paying more money. People can basically, in theory, restrict the information we can get as consumers. It’s just a scary thing. Obviously, people are always like, “Oh, no no no. That’ll never happen. We’d never do that.” But it’s like, the same reason why bands sign contracts because obviously you don’t think your manager’s going to do like something bad but like, stuff happens. You can’t go on strictly goodwill when it comes to like trusting the media because they’re already messed up with what they’re showing you anyway but, yeah.
What is an impact you would like to leave behind with your careers?
Jon: We grew up listening to bands that really affected our lives and whenever a band has like, truly reached the pinnacle of artistic expression, kind of exposing yourself and putting your soul into the music. Bands like U2, Coldplay, The Killers who have really affected so many people. And obviously some of the people we lost like Tom Petty, David Bowie, Prince, they left behind their soul in their music. I think that’s the highest form of compliment to have as a musician, to be able to have left – we all know what it’s like to have a record that has helped us through a scenario or you think about a record that puts you right back to where you were when you were like sixteen. That’s just kind of, that’s our goal – to be the soundtrack to somebody’s life. Whether it’s their whole life or a portion of their life, or their breakup or their love song. That’s the kind of legacy we want to leave behind. A band that means something to somebody.
Do you have a personal statement on philanthropy?
Joey: I would say that the grand picture of life comes down to how you treat people on a daily basis and I think that you should as kind to people as you can be in every way. Not necessarily about the grand spectrum of philanthropy or anything like that but that’s what I personally believe. Just be good to people and treat people kindly and like give when you can.
What advice would you give to teenagers on finding a passion?
Joey: I think that it’s important to find something you like doing, that you can also express yourself in. It doesn’t have to be art-related or whatever but I think self-expression is really important in order to be mentally healthy. And I think that if you can find a way to make money doing it you’re even better off but either way, if not. Don’t ever give up on what you’re passionate about or what you find emotional release in.
Jon: Also, I think just taking pride in what you do. It doesn’t matter, we have like managers, booking agents and booking managers, there’s no scale on what one thing is more important than the other. You can be the greatest business manager but being really great in what you do and taking pride in your work. Just the fact that I can call someone I know, who is great, and just rely on them, you know? It’s just like no matter what you do, just take pride in it and that’s important.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Jon: Stay hydrated out there.
Joey: Call your mothers, let them know you’re all right.