New band is Breaking Laces and molds
Published: Monday, October 10, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 14:10
Breaking Laces is a three-man band that has been taking stride in their own path to success. Band mates Willem Hartong (singer/guitarist/songwriter), Rob Chojnacki (bass), and Seth Masarsky (drums), collaborate to create music that is easy-going and melodically soothing. The real buzz behind them rests upon the appeal of their live shows. "The idea was to take simple acoustic pop songs and make them bigger than life," Hartong said, according to the biography on the band's website.
According to Hartong, "The name [Breaking Laces] comes from the many times I had been kicked out of clubs for wearing sneakers."
Growing up in Connecticut, Hartong did not come from a musical background. After discovering his talent, he took to the church to put it on display. "I started singing in the choir and was kicked out for singing too loud," he said.
Willem never gave up on his passion. "After the choir I started singing for different garage bands around the neighborhood, the typical, " he added.
After moving from Connecticut to Boston and finally to Brooklyn, Hartong was contacted by his old friend and former band mate, Masarsky, who proposed they start a band together with Masarsky's friend Rob Chojnacki, later to be called Breaking Laces.
When it comes to the creative process Hartong cites persistence and patience as the two key components. Also, with songwriting, Hartong makes a point that the band's other members have become more involved.
"In the beginning all of the songs for the band were solely written by me, but now there is a little influence from the other band mates," Hartong said.
Hartong's biggest influences include Nirvana, Soul Coughing, and Radiohead. The title track for Breaking Laces' latest album, When You Find Out, makes these strong influences from these sorts of alternative rock and pop bands clear.
Now, six years in the business, Breaking Laces has released a total of three albums. Their latest effort, When You Find Out, was released earlier this year. With an excess of 150,000 digital downloads sold, more than 40,000 CDs sold, and over 500 live performances domestically and internationally, Hartong is pleased, but still motivated.
"I'm happy with what we have been able to accomplish, but there is more to do," he said.
Although he is very busy, Hartong still has downtime when he is not hanging out with friends, drawing cartoons or just enjoying life. Even so, he finds himself writing.
"Funny thing is with what I do you can always work, it never really stops unless you want it to," he said.
WYFO is an album that definitely speaks to listeners and according to Hartong, "speaks to people who don't know us yet."
The first two tracks "What We Need" and "God in Training", Hartong's favorites, set the tone of the album quickly and early. Although they are very different tracks they show listeners that this band is not one-dimensional. This band is multi-dimensional and has the ability to make good music that can make listeners think, reminisce, dance and even relax.
The title track WYFO "is about two people who are really close but one is secretly in love with the other and is wondering when they find out what will happen," Hartong said.
WYFO is one of those albums that you just sit back and listen to. There are occasional upbeat tracks, but overall, the songs tell a story and paint a picture. Breaking Laces' imagery, accompanied by soft, soothing melodies and interesting perspectives, make it a great album for anyone to listen to.
In the future Hartong sees himself "Right here, same place, different circumstances. In the future I hope to [still] be writing. I love the stage and traveling, but there comes a time when you have to slow down." Hartong adds, "I won't stop writing and performing, but when it comes to traveling and living out of a bag constantly, that may slow down".
As a once struggling musician and student, Hartong indentifies with the trials and tribulations that some musicians/students are still going through today. To offer some advice he says, "I never forgot and always reminded myself then and still today, enjoy yourself." He added, "You need to keep in mind that it's not easy, but it's not that hard and it is supposed to be fun". To all of his fans out there he says, "Thank You".
Breaking Laces just finished their east coast tour and is headed out west, but will be back soon to rock out and give more of their all.