11/07/2012 in Music
Money/Paper/Hearts is a four piece from Brooklyn, New York. They’ve been mostly a local band for the last several years but are finally are branching out to more East Coast states in the US. Like every other band, in the beginning it’s taken on different shapes and forms and now they finally have the right line up that they are happy with. Money/Paper/Hearts is essentially a Punk-Pop band in the same vein as Jawbreaker, (early) Alkaline Trio, Samiam, the Clash, Archers of Loaf, Misfits etc. They’ve also been known to be a cross between Seaweed and The Jam. “I love both those bands especially The Jam! Paul Weller is an amazing songwriter. I could only hope to one day be that good” said Jonnie, who took the time to speak to us at Kill Your Scene about their band.
Hey guys, how are things going for MPH?
Everything is going really well right now! We are about to release our first full length LP later in July, it’s called “Let Me Panic” so look out for that. We also have been invited to play FEST 11 in Florida this year so we are extremely honored to be apart of it. It’s taken awhile but people in the punk rock community are finally taking notice of Money/Paper/Hearts.
How long have you guys been playing, how did you meet?
We’ve been a band since late 2007 and released a self titled EP in 2008. We were a trio at that point and although it was fun, something didn’t click with our old bassist. When Andrew and I decided to part ways with our old bassist it was Jonathan Rafalski who really completed our sound. He just came in and got where we were coming from sound and texture wise. The bickering stopped and it was just simple when it came to new song ideas and such. Everything started to really pour out. We played around town for awhile really honing in on the song structure and then made an album. That album became “Let Me Panic”. We then realized to create the album vibe live we needed a second guitarist. So we recruited our very good friend Bret Ritter as a fourth member. So that’s where we are now.
Why Money/Paper/Hearts, what does it mean?
Our name derives out of lyrics from an older song we wrote called ‘Identify Yourself.’ We formed in the latter half of the Bush Administration, and were fed up with how capitalism was truly taken advantage of in those 8 horrific years. Money Paper Hearts to me is summing up that era. It was a time of greed, which still reflects upon us now, but hopefully is changing although it doesn’t appear to be. The original lyric was ‘money paper hearts and coins for eyes, we will curse the human race for electing such power.’ Picking the name is obvious sarcasm to how we feel.
I’ve noticed your previous label is Break Up Sex, are you now with warbird entertainment?
Technically we are not with Warbird, but I respect the label immensely. I went to this weird fucked up private high school with Bird (owner of Warbird Ent.) and we were the only punk rock misfit kids in the school amongst a few others. We were literally called “CobainHeads” by the jocks and so on. Long story short after I left the school my junior year I lost contact with Bird, until a few years ago when face book became a necessary evil. So yeah, we’ve been talking a lot lately about putting out a four way split with M/P/H, Campaign, Karbomb and Subwaste. It’s so astonishing how sometimes you can reconnect with old friends and really admire what they’ve become and to do a split on Warbird is an honor because…well it’s just an honor. I went to high school with him and he was always this badass, really quiet meek dude that always overcame what people under expected of him and always proved them wrong, always. To me he was always punk rock even at times I forgot what it meant to be punk rock. So yeah anytime a dude like that wants to put my bands music out I’m always going to say yes. He believes in the community for the right reasons. That’s rare these days.
Any Albums/EP’s released or coming out in the near future?
Yeah “Let Me Panic” will be self released later this month on Vinyl and digital formats. Any video clips online we can check out? A new video is in the works but here’s an older video of our song Negative Feelings:
Who is you’re favorite band you’ve shared the stage with, so far?
We’ve shared the stage with I Am The Avalanche a few times and just when I’ve given up on punk rock having a furious yet respectful crowd, they always make me hopeful that kids will and can still have fun at shows. Always! Hands down an amazing live act and we as band love playing with them. They are really good friends as well. Ratt their drummer tracked and produced our new album. Also, Nightmares For a Week from upstate NY write some of the best songs I’ve heard in a long time when it comes to their type of style. Banquets from NJ are also a fun band to share a stage with.
What bands have inspired you when you were younger and did that change over time?
I always liked singers that can’t really sing but were really good at getting the feeling across within their own melody and style. Eric Bachman is my favorite singer of all time. Blake Schwarzenbach comes second. Joe Strummer comes in third. I feel like they did it from all heart with , no fake posturing and no real yearning to get on magazine covers. Much Like James Brown, Ray Charles or Marvin Gaye. It’s all from the soul. And it’s sung hard on all accounts. No pussyfooting around. On a side note Blake schwarzenbach’s guitar playing is just as great as his lyrics and is way over looked. So yeah, The Clash, Jawbreaker/JTB, and Archers of Loaf are my favorites and that will never change over time.
What bands have caught your eye recently?
Sharks from the UK, Campaign from Atlanta GA and The Menzingers newest album is amazing.
Got just one good story you care to share from shows, rehearsals or just some random drinking sessions?
Um, we actually opened for Lady Gaga at Pianos in NYC back in like 2008 and she was phenomenal. It was just her and a keyboard with a drum machine/ DJish person, whatever. She killed it and the room was left in awe. She is something else, and it’s not my bag but she really has that effect on you.
What about an embarrassing story, every band has at least one?
Honestly we don’t have one yet, I’m still waiting, but we’re honestly a band full of pranksters so it takes a lot to embarrass us.
So who writes the lyrics, what do you guys mainly sing about and what do you stand for?
I (jonnie) write the lyrics and they are usually based on social commentary. I dont write “LOVE” songs because the world has enough of those. What we stand for is just speaking from the heart and singing about what you see, what is really going on. Truth is my main interest.
Got any shout outs you want to give?
Always! Sad and French, Spirit Houses, I am the avalanche, Nightmares for a week, Man the Change, Model Homes, The Broosevelts, Campaign, Banquets, and the Glen Danzig Kitty Kat salvation fund.