NXNE 2017 Port Lands: Ferraro Q&A

Friday was the first day of the NXNE Port Lands shows and we were there for the first band of the day, Ferraro.

Ferraro is Cosmo Ferraro on guitar and vocals, Tally Ferraro on bass and vocals, Gianni Ferraro on drums and vocals and Tom Ionescu on guitar and vocals. They are a band of three brothers, plus Tom. The brothers Ferraro come from a very musical background and if you’ve ever been to The Cameron House one of the guys may have served you a drink or two. The Cameron House is the family business and it’s no surprise that music is in their blood.

We took in their set and then sat down for a Q&A.

The band took the NXNE Skyline Stage at 4:45 PM and the audience continued to grow throughout the set. The music is fun and catchy. They have great harmonies and the music makes you want to dance. The guys looked right at home on the big stage and it’s no wonder, they’ve played with the likes of Sam Roberts and The Strumbellas and have been honing their skills for 10+ years. We heard songs from the Losing Sleep album including the title track, On the Ropes and Shake It Off.

The 50’s inspired music is modern and fresh and I woke up Sunday morning with Shake It Off in my head. Let’s get started with the Q&A.
Q. What are your earliest musical memories?

Ferraro: Way back. We all started on piano. We all took piano lessons. None of us accomplished very much on that instrument. I think we got a little appreciation for music and then when we chose our own instruments and we started playing together in the basement and that was the first thing, to learn your instrument well enough to be able to play with another instrument. That was the first milestone, it was the first thing to check off. That happened in the basement, making a lot of noise in our parents’ house.

Q. What’s the best thing about playing with your brothers?

Ferraro: The best thing… hmm… I’m looking for something positive to say here [laughing]. I think they’re pretty good musicians. You can say things that you might not say to someone else. It’s a very open and honest experience.Q. And for Tom – What’s the worst thing about playing with 3 brothers?

Tom: They keep pretty chill. I’ve been told I’m the pacifier.

Ferraro: You know, when you have a guest you try to behave.

Tom: I’ve heard that when I’m not around things get crazy so I kinda wanna see… actually maybe I don’t.

Q. Have you come to blows?

Ferraro: It’s been a while since we’ve physically hit each other. That’s not true, it’s been less than a year. It’s more verbal than physical. We argue. That comes again to being a brother. You’d probably say more to your brothers than to people who aren’t related to you. I think it gets more heated quickly and then forgiven more quickly as well. It’s just like hockey. You just fight out and then you go to the penalty box for five minutes.

Q. Do you have any pre-show rituals?

Ferraro: [Laughing]

Q: Why are you laughing, that sounds like a yes?

Ferraro: Well today we were very short on beer. Today we were desperate to get some beer so we chugged a beer and went on. For a big a show we normally get together right before we go on stage and say “let’s have a good show guys” [laughing]. On a regular basis Tally does the whole School of Rock thing. I would answer with a no [laughing].Q. Do you have a favourite place to play?

Ferraro: The Cameron House baby! It’s our home base. It’s where we’re comfortable. We’re on tonight from 10 to 4. It should be a good show. We’ve learned a lot there, good bad and otherwise. We’ve had shows of all kinds.

Q. “Losing Sleep” was released last year. How has the album been received?

Ferraro: It did as well as we expected. It was our first full-length record and that was a big accomplishment. It took more work than expected to get it out and be happy with the final product, which we were. But it felt good to have our first full-length record out.

Q. Are you working on new music?

Ferraro: We’ve been working on new music. The new stuff is coming. There are some new songs coming. And we’re hoping it’s sooner rather than later before we have some new music out.Q. I love the “Shake it Off” video, tell me about the concept and getting The Strumbellas involved?

Ferraro: That was very largely Kat Webber‘s brainchild. She was the director, she’s a friend of ours. We talked to her casually about making a video, that’s what she does. She looked at us, saw we’re brothers, we’re family. We use mannequins in some of our promotions and we have a bit of 50’s influence in our sound. So she took those 3 things and started mulling them over in her head and remembered this history class she had of the atomic bomb testings.  And they would make model homes with mannequins and see how everything reacted. That’s where it began and it was very, very much her brainchild and we were just, whatever you need us to do. Tell us where to be, tell us what to do. She came to us with the idea and I think expected some input. She told us the whole story and we were like. It’s awesome let’s go with it. We were like, we love it, just tell us what to do.

What also worked out was that we didn’t have a budget to make that video but what was very serendipitous was that our grandmother had this 1950’s looking house. That was our grandparents’ house that we grew up in. They passed away a few years ago and the house has just been empty. It was exactly what we were looking for. We wouldn’t have been able to shoot it off the budget we had without that.

Trish: That scene in the room after the explosion with is amazing! It was so fun to watch.

Ferraro: We did that and she was like okay, really go over the top and rock out here. And we did it and it was amazing. We went for it and we were like, that was fucking amazing and we like, DONE. And they said, that was great, let’s do it again. [Laughing} And we were like “I can’t, that’s the one, we’re just doing one. We were exhausted. It was pretty fun to shoot. That was the last scene of the day and we were ready to let loose a little bit.

And the question about The Strumbellas was that they came up through The Cameron House. So we met them very early on in their career at The Cameron and Kat asked if there was a band or someone famous or a big name you could add in for a little cameo to help. So I called them and they were very, very gracious with their time. They went straight from that shoot to the airport to fly to Australia for their tour.

They used to do a Monday night residency and the first time I saw them it was just me and the bartender. It was just me and him in the room watching The Strumbellas. They have not forgotten any of the people in their past. They’re very gracious that way.

Q. Who are you listening to?

Ferraro 1: They’re a bit old but I’m just getting into The Growlers.

Ferraro 2:
Fast Romantics are friends of ours and they just put out a new record that I’m digging into.

Ferraro 3
: Radiohead just got put on Spotify and I’ve been a longtime Radiohead fan. I used to get all the rare records and now that they’re on Spotify I can get all the crazy stuff on there too.

Ferraro 4: Dan Auerbach. I liked his last solo album better than any of his Black Keys stuff. Also Michael Rault. He’s very underrated. He’s not a really that well known. We tried to befriend him. We had one amazing hang. A great late night. We spent the whole night talking and never saw him again. Maybe we came on too strong. [Laughing]

Q. What do you do for fun when you’re not making music?

Ferraro(Tally): Work at The Cameron House. I’m a bartender there, Cosmo’s the manager there, Gianni’s a bartender…

Trish: What do you do when you’re not working.

Ferraro: Play hockey, we all play hockey. Baseball. There’s a Cameron House baseball team. There’s a Queen Street baseball league. We play The Horseshoe. Softball. Yeah, Sunday softball. I take it maybe too seriously.

Trish to Tom: You look like you’re thinking really hard.

Tom: Yeah I’m really bad at sports, I’m ok at baseball and I’ve played one game.

Ferraro: Tom is very, very talented. There’s nothing this guy can’t do until I saw him attempt sports. And I thought, okay he’s got an Achilles heel, there’s something he can’t do.

Tom: A big Achilles heel. My one softball game was good but then I was like, Peace I’m out of here.

I do a lot of the graphic design and artwork for album covers.

Ferraro: He’s made a lot of our posters and Cameron posters. He’s quite a talented artist.

Thanks for Ferraro for hanging out with us and spilling some great stories. Don’t let the handsome faces distract you, these guys are educated, smart, funny and talented. Keep your eye on them.

Check out the video for Shake It Off and watch for a cameo from The Strumbellas.

MORE PHOTOS OF FERRAROWhitney Rose with Ferraro The Cameron HouseWe pulled this one out of the archives! Ferraro backing up Whitney Rose at The Cameron House in 2014.

Trish Cassling
Writer/Photographer/Editor If you have any questions or are interested in working together you can reach me at trish@thereviewsarein.com. Follow me on my personal Twitter account or my Instagram account – @trishca.

NXNE 2017 Port Lands: Ferraro Q&A

Friday was the first day of the NXNE Port Lands shows and we were there for the first band of the day, Ferraro.

Ferraro is Cosmo Ferraro on guitar and vocals, Tally Ferraro on bass and vocals, Gianni Ferraro on drums and vocals and Tom Ionescu on guitar and vocals. They are a band of three brothers, plus Tom. The brothers Ferraro come from a very musical background and if you’ve ever been to The Cameron House one of the guys may have served you a drink or two. The Cameron House is the family business and it’s no surprise that music is in their blood.

We took in their set and then sat down for a Q&A.

The band took the NXNE Skyline Stage at 4:45 PM and the audience continued to grow throughout the set. The music is fun and catchy. They have great harmonies and the music makes you want to dance. The guys looked right at home on the big stage and it’s no wonder, they’ve played with the likes of Sam Roberts and The Strumbellas and have been honing their skills for 10+ years. We heard songs from the Losing Sleep album including the title track, On the Ropes and Shake It Off.

The 50’s inspired music is modern and fresh and I woke up Sunday morning with Shake It Off in my head. Let’s get started with the Q&A.
Q. What are your earliest musical memories?

Ferraro: Way back. We all started on piano. We all took piano lessons. None of us accomplished very much on that instrument. I think we got a little appreciation for music and then when we chose our own instruments and we started playing together in the basement and that was the first thing, to learn your instrument well enough to be able to play with another instrument. That was the first milestone, it was the first thing to check off. That happened in the basement, making a lot of noise in our parents’ house.

Q. What’s the best thing about playing with your brothers?

Ferraro: The best thing… hmm… I’m looking for something positive to say here [laughing]. I think they’re pretty good musicians. You can say things that you might not say to someone else. It’s a very open and honest experience.Q. And for Tom – What’s the worst thing about playing with 3 brothers?

Tom: They keep pretty chill. I’ve been told I’m the pacifier.

Ferraro: You know, when you have a guest you try to behave.

Tom: I’ve heard that when I’m not around things get crazy so I kinda wanna see… actually maybe I don’t.

Q. Have you come to blows?

Ferraro: It’s been a while since we’ve physically hit each other. That’s not true, it’s been less than a year. It’s more verbal than physical. We argue. That comes again to being a brother. You’d probably say more to your brothers than to people who aren’t related to you. I think it gets more heated quickly and then forgiven more quickly as well. It’s just like hockey. You just fight out and then you go to the penalty box for five minutes.

Q. Do you have any pre-show rituals?

Ferraro: [Laughing]

Q: Why are you laughing, that sounds like a yes?

Ferraro: Well today we were very short on beer. Today we were desperate to get some beer so we chugged a beer and went on. For a big a show we normally get together right before we go on stage and say “let’s have a good show guys” [laughing]. On a regular basis Tally does the whole School of Rock thing. I would answer with a no [laughing].Q. Do you have a favourite place to play?

Ferraro: The Cameron House baby! It’s our home base. It’s where we’re comfortable. We’re on tonight from 10 to 4. It should be a good show. We’ve learned a lot there, good bad and otherwise. We’ve had shows of all kinds.

Q. “Losing Sleep” was released last year. How has the album been received?

Ferraro: It did as well as we expected. It was our first full-length record and that was a big accomplishment. It took more work than expected to get it out and be happy with the final product, which we were. But it felt good to have our first full-length record out.

Q. Are you working on new music?

Ferraro: We’ve been working on new music. The new stuff is coming. There are some new songs coming. And we’re hoping it’s sooner rather than later before we have some new music out.Q. I love the “Shake it Off” video, tell me about the concept and getting The Strumbellas involved?

Ferraro: That was very largely Kat Webber‘s brainchild. She was the director, she’s a friend of ours. We talked to her casually about making a video, that’s what she does. She looked at us, saw we’re brothers, we’re family. We use mannequins in some of our promotions and we have a bit of 50’s influence in our sound. So she took those 3 things and started mulling them over in her head and remembered this history class she had of the atomic bomb testings.  And they would make model homes with mannequins and see how everything reacted. That’s where it began and it was very, very much her brainchild and we were just, whatever you need us to do. Tell us where to be, tell us what to do. She came to us with the idea and I think expected some input. She told us the whole story and we were like. It’s awesome let’s go with it. We were like, we love it, just tell us what to do.

What also worked out was that we didn’t have a budget to make that video but what was very serendipitous was that our grandmother had this 1950’s looking house. That was our grandparents’ house that we grew up in. They passed away a few years ago and the house has just been empty. It was exactly what we were looking for. We wouldn’t have been able to shoot it off the budget we had without that.

Trish: That scene in the room after the explosion with is amazing! It was so fun to watch.

Ferraro: We did that and she was like okay, really go over the top and rock out here. And we did it and it was amazing. We went for it and we were like, that was fucking amazing and we like, DONE. And they said, that was great, let’s do it again. [Laughing} And we were like “I can’t, that’s the one, we’re just doing one. We were exhausted. It was pretty fun to shoot. That was the last scene of the day and we were ready to let loose a little bit.

And the question about The Strumbellas was that they came up through The Cameron House. So we met them very early on in their career at The Cameron and Kat asked if there was a band or someone famous or a big name you could add in for a little cameo to help. So I called them and they were very, very gracious with their time. They went straight from that shoot to the airport to fly to Australia for their tour.

They used to do a Monday night residency and the first time I saw them it was just me and the bartender. It was just me and him in the room watching The Strumbellas. They have not forgotten any of the people in their past. They’re very gracious that way.

Q. Who are you listening to?

Ferraro 1: They’re a bit old but I’m just getting into The Growlers.

Ferraro 2:
Fast Romantics are friends of ours and they just put out a new record that I’m digging into.

Ferraro 3
: Radiohead just got put on Spotify and I’ve been a longtime Radiohead fan. I used to get all the rare records and now that they’re on Spotify I can get all the crazy stuff on there too.

Ferraro 4: Dan Auerbach. I liked his last solo album better than any of his Black Keys stuff. Also Michael Rault. He’s very underrated. He’s not a really that well known. We tried to befriend him. We had one amazing hang. A great late night. We spent the whole night talking and never saw him again. Maybe we came on too strong. [Laughing]

Q. What do you do for fun when you’re not making music?

Ferraro(Tally): Work at The Cameron House. I’m a bartender there, Cosmo’s the manager there, Gianni’s a bartender…

Trish: What do you do when you’re not working.

Ferraro: Play hockey, we all play hockey. Baseball. There’s a Cameron House baseball team. There’s a Queen Street baseball league. We play The Horseshoe. Softball. Yeah, Sunday softball. I take it maybe too seriously.

Trish to Tom: You look like you’re thinking really hard.

Tom: Yeah I’m really bad at sports, I’m ok at baseball and I’ve played one game.

Ferraro: Tom is very, very talented. There’s nothing this guy can’t do until I saw him attempt sports. And I thought, okay he’s got an Achilles heel, there’s something he can’t do.

Tom: A big Achilles heel. My one softball game was good but then I was like, Peace I’m out of here.

I do a lot of the graphic design and artwork for album covers.

Ferraro: He’s made a lot of our posters and Cameron posters. He’s quite a talented artist.

Thanks for Ferraro for hanging out with us and spilling some great stories. Don’t let the handsome faces distract you, these guys are educated, smart, funny and talented. Keep your eye on them.

Check out the video for Shake It Off and watch for a cameo from The Strumbellas.

MORE PHOTOS OF FERRAROWhitney Rose with Ferraro The Cameron HouseWe pulled this one out of the archives! Ferraro backing up Whitney Rose at The Cameron House in 2014.

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