By Emyle Watkins
“Hopefully they can use our songs to help them get through whatever problems that they’re having.”
Emo, but what does emo mean? We use it a lot, especially to describe rock music. Maybe you think black hair; maybe you think about your punk phase. What emo is really short for, though, is emotional. And what’s emotional? The Queen of Heaven. The Traditional.
For lead singer and bass guitarist Anthony Musior, music isn’t just his life; it’s what helps him get through life. It shows not only through his thunderous vocals, but through the illustrative lyrics he uses on The Traditional’s latest release, The Queen of Heaven, to describe moving through a broken heart and learning to love yourself again.
“At the time in my life when I was writing this record, I was going through, like, a rough end of a relationship, and that definitely played a lot into it. I wasn’t feeling the best about myself and who I was, and I think that played into it a lot as well. I think being to hear these things back, I feel so much better now about who I am and where I’m at, and I think that definitely played a huge part to it,” Musior said.
Musior works with his band mates, Jon Coric (drums, backing vocals) and Mike Bienias (guitar), to build off a skeleton of a song and create the raw, real songs that have helped raise The Traditional to being a well-known band in the Buffalo rock scene.
“I think that having played in other music scenes is cool to experience, like, their kind of thing, but I think being part of Buffalo music scene it makes you feel that it [has] so much more love and so much more family,” Musior added. “I don’t know; it just feels like everybody really gets on each other’s back and supports each other. That’s such a beautiful thing about a music scene, ‘cause I know that there are a lot of music scenes that don’t have something like that. It’s good to be surrounded by people who are so supportive all the time.”
The three-piece rock band’s sound strongly relies on almost metalcore echoing melodies, a hard guitar backing, and a blistering drum. The guys of the band themselves don’t just rely on each other to make up their unique sound, but to keep growing as they’ve moved into the scene. Musior and Bienias found each while playing in the band Young Youth, and when that fell apart, they formed what would later become The Traditional. Coric would join them after playing in Voice of Autumn, and the boys would release their initial tracks as The Traditional after cycling through several names.
As The Traditional continued to expand in their early words, they encountered the band Heart to Heart as they were both playing a show in Erie, P.A. Heart to Heart was the connecting factor in bringing The Traditional to signing with Anchor Eighty Four Records. With Anchor Eighty Four, they began embarking on longer tours and released their record How To Live Without Blood in 2014
“I think we’ve matured a lot into the second record, but I think that just because it was a full length too, it explored so much more,” Musior said about their progression into releasing How To Live Without Blood.
The band has only continued to grow in popularity as they blossomed into doing a full US tour and releasing The Queen of Heaven, which Musior believes shows their growth since their initial release under Anchor Eighty Four.
“I think The Queen of Heaven is the most proud I’ve ever been of a record that I’ve been a part of. I think our sound grew a lot, we kind of fell into our own on this one. There was just… A lot of the songs really go with how I was feeling, and the three year writing process we had between [How To Live Without Blood] and this one. It was real therapeutic for me to be able to get these things said, and on paper, and out into the ears of people,” Musior added.
New York to California, the boys expanded their horizons traveling and exposing their music to new audiences. While still being a fairly fresh band to the rest of the US, their success in Buffalo has carried over in their travels.
“The first time we ever played out in Nashville, we,you know, didn’t expect anyone to know who we are, and there’s this group of kids who came out and saw us, and they knew the all the words to our all our songs” Musior recollected. “It was just like this crazy like thing to think, you know, we’re twelve hours away from home or however long and these kids came out, and go crazy or whatever.”
Musior also added that their next time in Tennessee also led them into playing for the same group of “kids” in a house show, in what he remembers as a wild experience. House shows and playing in “weird ass venues,” Musior says, is a part of the touring experience when touring at your own cost. The experiences they have on the road, like that one, have been risks worth taking.
“Touring in itself is such a crazy experience. You hop into a van with, you know, three or four dudes, and you’re just crossing your fingers that these shows are going to be good, and there’s going to be kids at these shows at all. It’s such a big gamble to take everything that you got, put it in this van, and travel the country, always crossing your fingers,” Musior said.
The Traditional are back in town this week for the release party for The Queen of Heaven at the Studio at the Waiting Room. Super American, Cooler, Younger Then, Southpaw, and Michael Brady of American Low will also play, in a show that begins at 6:30p.m. on Saturday, April 8.
“It’s kind of overwhelming, the amount of people who actually care about this. I really appreciate everybody who actually gives it a shot,” Musior said.