Stephen Floyd Bass, Vocals Bryan Johnson Guitar, Vocals Evan Wachowski Drums
Years Active 2019 – Current
Current Releases Personal Style 2019 Demo Cassette / CD / Digital
Upcoming Releases 7″ Single Coming Soon LP to follow
Favorite Local Bands Alpha Hopper, Curtis Lovell, Denzel World Peace, Del Paxton, Facility Men, Healer, Nine Layers Deep, RPG, Sparklebomb, Uniform Operator, Medusa, Carmen and Lizzy
Current Album On Repeat Stephen: Waxahatchee – “Saint Cloud” / Bryan: Caribou – “Suddenly” / Evan: “A Partner to Lean On” by Trace Mountains.
(I’ve managed to listen to this album almost every day for a year without getting sick of it. It’s so warm and introspective that putting it on always feels like a hug.)
Currently Reading Bryan: “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn
Previous Bands Bryan: Bryan Johnson and Family, Mutual Friends, Honey Coma / Evan: Figurehead, Honey, Pawn / Stephen: Hot Tip, Mallwalkers, Slow Mutants
Best Wings in Buffalo Evan: Amy’s Place seitan wings. Replace the chicken on the Margie Meal with seitan strips to double up.
Mighty Taco or Taco Bell Evan: Taco Bell hands down. Cheaper, way more meatless options, infinite free hot sauce packets to put in your glove compartment. / Bryan: TACO BELL! All the way. When that fire sauce packet asked to marry me I said “I do”.
Tell us about how this band got started?
Stephen: I met Bryan when he asked my band Mallwalkers to open up for him for his record release show upstairs at the Waiting Room on Delaware. Down the road we started working together when Mallwalkers asked him to help write some songs on what would be our last record together as a group.
Concurrently, I was getting to know Evan at the comic shop I work at: Gutter Pop Comics. We probably got to know each other over a year or two just talking music, comics, graphic design. He did the artwork for one of the bands I was playing in at the time.
I was really liking working with Bryan in Mallwalkers and I found myself learning a lot in the short time we played together and as that group dissolved somewhere the idea of us continuing on together came about and Evan had recently stopped playing with his group Honey.
We had talked about playing together for well over a year and on the one hand considering taking a break from being in bands for a while to focus on the comic store but the prospect of playing with Evan and Bryan was just too awesome. We’ve sort of hit the ground running as they say.
Evan: Stephen opened up Gutter Pop Comics in 2016 when I was going to college down the road at Buffalo State, and I began stopping in regularly to shop and chat about music, comics, or whatever else. We’d often talk about jamming together or starting up a band, but I don’t think either of us had seen the other play live until a couple years later. When we finally made plans to play some music together, Stephen invited Bryan to play guitar with us and it immediately felt like the three of us were all speaking the same musical language and matching one another’s energies naturally. It was an exciting and refreshing process that’s hard to come by in an inaugural band practice. First time jam sessions can sometimes be pretty awkward, but I came out of that one with lots of enthusiasm about the tunes we had written and it’s been a blast playing with those guys ever since.
Bryan: I really feel like Stephen glued this whole band together. He and I had really only known of each of from being in other bands in similar circles. He said he had been talking to Evan about starting a project and now was the time and asked if I’d like to join in. When we played together for the first time the energy was high and exciting. So the decision to move forward was an easy one. Writing music felt effortless and genuinely fun! After our first show at Area 54 I think we were all really locked into making this more than just a fleeting moment.
What has your recording experience been like?
Stephen: I think we’re all interested in using the studio as a creative tool and so I’ve been joking that I want Personal Style to be an overproduced punk band but not like in a slick, pop-punk way but in a way maybe Wire was using the studio to make Chairs Missing or 154. I think I’ve been in a number of pretty good live bands but sometimes translating that to an album listening experience has eluded me.
Who’s a local musician we’ve never heard of but should have?
Stephen: He’s been in a ton of great bands but Dave Dluga had like a solo kinda project called Softlines that has a bunch of great stuff. I’m particularly fond of this track “Fall“
Favorite venue to play in buffalo?
Evan: Every show at Sugar City is a ton of fun. Mohawk Place is one of my favorite bar venues for sure.
What are some ingredients to a thriving music/art scene?
Diversity and acceptance.
What’s the next move?
Stephen: We have a 2 song 7″ we’re self-releasing this summer or fall depending on how things shake out. Hopefully we’ll be touring on them once that is a safe and acceptable thing to do, which obviously could be next year. We’re also working on some sort of larger release, probably an LP. We re-recorded some of the stuff that was on the demo plus unreleased stuff so I imagine it will be a 10 or 12 song sort of thing, but we’re trying to really be mindful of the presentation to make sure we feel like everything is worth releasing, not just release whatever comes out if that makes sense. Also some quick plugs two bands I was in have releases coming out soon so I’ll point you to the final recordings by Mallwalkers and Slow Mutants two bands I really adored.
Evan: Personally, I’m finishing up the artwork for the 7” and taking this time indoors to acquaint myself more with songwriting and become more comfortable using instruments besides a drum kit.
How do you balance music with jobs, partners, children, etc.?
Bryan: Making solid commitments by saying yes or no. “Maybe” only makes life harder. If I didn’t use the calendar app on my phone, I would never know what was going on. Making a loose schedule for my day to day helps keep me on task. Don’t be surprised if you invite me to something and I consult with the calendar.
What can we all learn from this?
Evan: I hope that this situation makes more people understand (and take action against) the glaring faults of a system built to value capital over human life. The missteps of our government and societal leaders at nearly every point in the pandemic timeline clearly show the incompetence and malevolence of greedy sociopaths in power. We must demand radical changes to our healthcare system and come out of this situation with more empathy for our neighbors and the workers who risked their lives to keep society running. This is such a clear display of the way that healthcare, food, and service workers are taken advantage of to keep profits high with a total disregard for human safety and wellbeing. The COVID outbreak has exposed so many cracks in our societal infrastructure that it’s difficult to pin down any one lesson to take away without nearly going mad thinking about all the other ways that it feels like we’re fucked. If people can come out of this situation with more respect and empathy towards their communities and the human workers that keep them functioning, then I think we’re moving in the right direction.
Craziest Memory from touring:
Evan: I was on tour in 2015 with Alleys, and our friend in Akron told us about an abandoned mall in town. Four of us went exploring in this totally derelict shopping mall for a few hours. It was completely busted and looked like a perfect setting for any dystopian story. I actually just now googled “The Last of Us Mall” and a photo of the ohio mall came up because of their resemblance. We were exploring some dark back-room office with our flashlights when a figure appeared at the end of the hallway demanding that we come out. The light was at his back so we couldn’t make out any features, and in a panic, my friend Alex turned to run and warn another friend of ours who was in another room. In doing so, they slipped and smashed their face against a wall. We were being questioned by 4 cops in an abandoned mall while blood gushed from Alex’s face and all over their hands. We got let off with a warning and cleaned the blood up in a Long John Silvers bathroom down the road. Our Akron friend told us that if you get caught there twice you go to jail, so this was a once in a lifetime thing that was totally worth the trouble