In this episode, you have the opportunity to meet our Pittsburgh local artist and stand out drummer Ross Antonich. Ross is the lead drummer of the band The Uptown Woods and has a deep understanding of the world around him
Spotify: The Uptown Woods
Host: Kevin Stalker / @kstalker9 /
Production Manager: Mike Kampas / @kampasm
Beats: Joe Cal / @josephj_callahan
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Welcome to Episode 009 for Rawness of Reality. I'm your host, Kevin Stocker, and I'm like the guy. And today you have the opportunity to meet Ross Antonitsch Ross is the lead drummer for the Uptown Woods. On top of being the lead drummer. This man is a comedian, charismatic and colorful. But enough from me. Here's Ross Antonitsch, all right? And it's Anton. It's perfect for your sleep. I've gotten
everything. Answer nooch. And to knock into new G Internet, which look so money.
Okay, say, today, uh, we have a very, very awesome guest. His name's Ross Antonitsch. He is. I want to say he's in Starship Starship Mantis. Waas Okay, way. We have Ross Antonitsch. He is a lead drummer And the Uptown Woods. Yeah, And he is a former member of Starship Mantis. Absolutely. And a big record fan. Oh, man. Uh, if you ever check out his instagram, you can see also loves food. But three things I've noticed that never change in life. Uh, politics being divided. Ross's facial expressions during his performances and the fact that he has his shirt off. So I have a quick question. Any question I love questions. So would you say the last two things in that kind of define your image as a drummer? So you said shirt off and the facial expression faces. Yeah, I guess so. I guess they do. I never intended
for it to happen that way because, you know, some people have, like, it's like a gimmick. Like there was a comedian. Gallagher. He always throw watermelon at the crowd like that was, like, his thing be yours. If you want to see Gallagher urinated by watermelon. So, uh,
it not respect? No, but yeah, it just kind of cap
came about. I'm always like, uh, conscious is the music that I'm playing and trying to make sure I can, uh, progressive and direct it and help it in the best way. So, yeah, I would say that the faces of people people really like photographers love it. They're always like I come into. They're like, Oh, my gosh, I got You were perfect.
Almost. Just playing the drums. Thanks. Yeah, I guess I'm in the
shirt. We just had a shirt on shirt off s O with the starship. And we would do that a lot. The whole thing the idea was we were just trying to, like, almost be so different that it at times could maybe seems intangible her, like, maybe not even real. You know, all these dudes with shirts off that should have shirts on,
you know? So I was, like, kind of
the whole thing is it's like I'm like, I'm like, a pretty big dude. I have my nipples pierced. I'm with these kind of real interesting tattoos. So, like always, I thought it would be funny, cause it's like nobody really wants to see me with their my shirt off. But the fact that it will be off is like, Damn, what's that guy doing? Yeah, it was cool. That actually was, like, a lot of fun doing that, because I like sweat so much, so it was quite like, safe. Close?
Yeah. I have a big sweater. Thio ever catch me in a suit jacket? You'll see sweat stand. Sure. It happens that Oh, yeah. Eso What sparked your desire to even pick up drumsticks in the first place?
Good one. Yes. So all of my family is in show business in some way or my immediate family and my extended So I was kind of was a boost from the get go. But like my dad's a guitarist, my mom's a pianist turn nurse. Both might. My grandpa on the one side was like a traditional Slovak singer, and my grandpa on the other side was a saxophonist. Had two uncles that were actors. So it's just like the whole family is kind of involved in. Somewhere. Was was involved in some way at some point in their lives. But you're growing up my streets of drumsticks so my dad would keep me awake at night because he always you coming from gigs and what not? And so I would watch the David Letterman show with him. That's like kind of like our visit people who Steven. But he always had his drummer was this guy Anton Fig and and Anton said, We always like a drum solo, like at the end of like at the end of the intro of the show. Later, General David Letterman and then he would like the intro music. What happened? Then he took a drum solo and let him come out. Hey, everyone houses going. Here's what happened today, like those types of things. I always thought that that was like, I remember being like two or three or four and being that's remember thinking like, Whoa, that is so cool. I want to do that. And on top of that to it, I like my dad in his guitars and everything. So it was like I was just, like, kind of always around. And then I got a drum set. I think, like my fifth birthday or something like that. E really, I know, I know. It's like I should I should be like Eric Clapton at this point. Yeah, I got a drum set. I think I was like, five. There's a picture of me, It's red and I'm like, Bite size. I look like a Adminis minuscule compared to me now. Yeah, And then So I just kind of always played. Always played that no one really like. I mean, people did push me and, you know, like the rush. You can do it, folks and the like. And the numbers always the people that are you seriously doing that? Dude, you should be a something else, you know? So it was cool, but it was always what I liked so I never It was never, like a never really kind of thought twice about it, Just kind of like this. And I'm like, so, matter of fact about it, I kind of like this. I'll just I'll just do it. Yeah, so, yeah, I said it just, like, kind of in the family. And I don't know. I've been, like in an undated with it, almost like all of my family's, like, pop culture heads to like everybody. So it's, like, Just like, kind of It's hard to come up for air sometimes. Just being my dad will call me and Ross. Did you
see? You know it's gonna be on Seth Meyers tonight. I got that. Who? Because the drummer for a chili peppers What's his name again?
I don't mean Chad Smith. Oh, yeah. You should watch it. You
had that. I'll check it out. Check it out. You never gave me a pointer, so I appreciate it. That's Ah, but that's really nice that they're still like motivating you and your family. It seems a CZ if they're they're still pushing you to follow that passion and a dream of years. They've been great support. So would you say? With that support being there, the naysayers and those who say Do something else. You You should do that. Would you say that? Even affect you anymore? No,
really. It's like I've had, like, everything said to me like even like the worst, like the worst things you could put like I've had, I don't know, like you're having a really bad ex girlfriend to tell you like the riot act when when you break up with her, you know? And she says, I had a girl one time Tell me on she won't hear this But I had a girl tell me one time she said, Way broke up and she wasn't really, uh it came out of nowhere for her, but I was ready for it to be done. And I said, I said, Hey, I was like, I think we should not do this everything. She cried and she told me she was like, I hope you get hit by a bus home and I was like, I
was like, Well, I don't mean to laugh. No, it's funny. It is somebody that she's like. I hope
you get hit by a bus and I was like, Well, maybe I'll be a lot of insurance money
for the bus. I think that happened in Pittsburgh recently. Yeah, I know. It's just terrible.
People actually do get hit by bosses. And then this girl wished it upon me. And so I haven't got hit by one yet. Yeah, I'm still here. Yeah, And then, like you've liked me, some friends or people you thought you were friends might get jealous more because they're doing something that's they don't enjoy what they're doing or something like that, or even see what college here some professors were like, Really? I don't see naysayers, but they weren't like, uh, peaches and cream unicorn.
Yeah, well, not everyone's gonna understand your vision and your dream or your goal, but nobody has to understand it. Not in yourself. You just need you. You need to know what motivates you and what excites you. And just just follow that passion to the best of your ability and just
keep Oh, absolutely. And that's like what? I've been to actually almost welcome naysayers and jerks and dickheads and stuff like that. Because it's funny, because I always think if someone's gonna be a jerk, too. It's like they chose to write because nobody really it's It's easier to be mean that it is nice, I think. But it's like everybody I don't everybody, like, enjoys being mean, Maur I don't know. So I almost animals cracks me up when someone's like a jerk to me, they're like, Oh, hey, man, screw you and it's like, Okay, why? And they're like, uh, you were in my way coming up the stairs, you
know, like it's never for anything but like anything at all. Things makes me think of a quote. I love this quote, and I just want to know what you think. Absolutely so. Mahatma Gandhi once said, Be the change you want to see in the world. What does that quote make
you think? U um, not to sound like a fortune cookie, but but you really only have one shot toe like do whatever you do. It's like some 25. And so it's like, let's say our generation is the generation supposed to live the longest, right? We're supposed to be like 1000 years old stuff, right? Yeah. So if I live to be like 105 like, let's say so. That's a pretty that's a long life. I would I would hope that in my in the time I had been that time I had been given that hope I was able to effect people were made. People feel some sort of way by my whatever I did like my music, for example, that's like the cool thing that people are like, Oh, I had a really crazy day today. I came to the show to see this You play or say, See the band play or see whatever had happened and I feel better So that's cool. So that that that helps. That's like, Okay, I, like, did like a little bit like a little bit on the right way.
Yeah, I've always said, uh, I've been doing speeches for a while in my life, and I really came to the conclusion that if I could impact one person in that crowd throughout my speech, I did my job. Absolutely. That's kind of what that makes me. Absolutely. That's a really good mind set. Oh, absolutely,
it it's only it only makes me want to play it. Don't look like gases me up more like, do more. I know some people, they kind of get it. You could get over hyped, and then it makes you dislike what you're doing. So I like Thio. It's nice when there's like I calm, like normal, normal folks. Someone comes up to me. Hey, man, I really enjoyed what you did. You know, it's like, Oh, thanks, man. I appreciate it. Thank you for being here, you know, A little hopes.
What's it like being a member of the town would?
It's cool. It's cool. It's a lot of the, uh, everybody in the band. So the uptown Woods. For those who don't know, it's ah, we're kind of like if you'd explain it to like your grandma or like somebody that wouldn't understand. It's like we're kind of like the roots, but in my opinion, a little funkier. But, uh, don't tell Jimmy Fallon, but yes, we like a live emcee and then a band that plays behind Jim, who wraps and so I mean, I really like it. It's like I like all kinds of music. I don't really I'm not really partial. I mean, I like jazz the most. I don't know that I also like metal in country and anything else.
They threw your record collection. I could see that you like all time? Yeah, and I get I get
bored real easy. That's like my Achilles heel. Like I really like everything people, food, girls, music, drums like TV, YouTube I get bored of like, I don't know. It's just like I need, like, constant like inundation entertainment. So people like, Oh, do you wanna like, play like like play a board game? You were playing Monopoly for, like, 10 minutes before we go. Can we play the whole dating game like we gotta play just a little bit? I don't think I want, like the whole ingredient gluttonous. I'm gonna eat the whole pizza. Don't eat two slices.
I don't know what kind of person only wants to play 10 minutes of them, and I think it's something
like it's not a spawning.
Thank God that I was trying to think of something that is
not as fun. If you do just a little bit of it, like the whole thing, like play like just one. If you play like 1/2 of FIFA, you always want to play the whole bullshit. Read
one chapter of a book exactly. Once
they really do that. But you're the uptown Woods. Uh, it's cool because they got the folks in the band, um, are all very unique person like human personalities. And then, on top of that musical personalities Look, guys grew together. Yeah. So roll do cane affiliated went to school art class each other in some way, shape or form, Like it's actually kind of fun, you know, like the rapper Jim and keyboards Garrett met. They were like friends. They met their freshman year and state friends and work together like twins. Yeah, they would work together on things and that kind of, like expands it like a little bit. And then they met. Actually, I got hooked into it, Garrett. And three years later, three or significant message on Facebook. So you need a drummer for a show coming up. We, like, met up and just, like, squared up about it, and it seemed cool. And we did it. It worked. That was like,
Was that your first man?
That was like, my first show with them. It was like, uh, like, three Octobers ago. I think I keep track everything like analysts. So I have records, bit of records, a little bit, I think, Yeah, it's I mean, it's cool. I like it. It's Ah, we could do a lot of a lot of, like all over the place type of stuff because we're kind of you can't really like, pigeonhole us. That's the like, Oh, this is this type of music which, actually I actually enjoy a little bit more easterly. Not like that when someone said, Oh, my friend really likes this band. They're great at what they sound like over there like heavy and light like dark and light, A little fast, a little slow like blues e jazz, folk metal. It's like, Oh, it's like you could just hold Keep it. I don't really want to hear,
you know, you just hold
on to that I don't really want. But it's actually kind of school because it makes people like, want to understand, I think a little more because they can't just understand it like real quick. Yeah, you know, it's like two plus two equals four. It's like I don't know if you heard the Uptown woods. I don't know if you would have, like the same like you ever take you a second to understand what's going on. If you didn't if you weren't familiar, I would, I would say, But I really like it's fun we need to do. We worked together on a lot of things. We like. Everybody likes all kinds of music and listens, though kinds of music and is has a very open mind, which is like, really hard to find these days. I think
I think that that open mindedness, though, is coming out of musicians here in this town of Pittsburgh. I've been talking to people on the scene lately, and a lot of different musicians from rappers. The band's two singers have been saying that their sound doesn't necessarily fit exactly a sound, And it seems that's happening in Pittsburgh, and people are understanding that
more and more. Yeah, it's kind of like it's hard to find a just a rock band, I think these days, or just a country band sensitive. I mean, we're fortunate and unfortunate, like 2019. It's like there's so much accessibility to music these days. It's like, ridiculous. You almost lose your mind trying to like especially stuff So it's like I like records. So basically and then there's like I always like life. It's like records. And then there's like this stuff on the Internet and, like real, like record heads will be like, uh, the only good news is on record, you know, like those type of folks. I'm not like that, but and then there's like some folks, they're like, Oh, records just old e only listen to stuff on Soundcloud.
I think that's funny because you can get records today of new music. Excel. Yeah, and it's like it's like that when you tell those
people when you get Triple X on a vinyl, it's like or you get. The new latest was that two chains album Pretty Pretty Girls loved like trap music that record that records on the Final 2017. You know, it's like so I don't know. You really are. Pittsburgh's like old like Rock Town. You can tell by the radio everything they play on the radio, either soxers from 60 years ago. It's like I was in the car, my dad the other day going to, um, we're going to my grandma. Me put on DVD like the Pittsburgh radios. It's like users do you eat in the morning? And they played like all guns and roses on a nothing moment guns and roses, you know, the guns and roses is great, but like, I don't know, Pittsburgh like classic radio every day. Like just You're like, Welcome to Joe or who like I just like Axel Roads. You know, it's a cracked me up or they or what's the or like people they still play Kiss. I wanna rock and rolling like
this was just in town. Really? Yeah, they were just in time. I just tpg
wow, that made the killing. I would love to see Gene Simmons.
I almost think of sold out. Yeah.
Wow, Good for them. Kisses, honey, because they have like their fans are so devout they have kissed convention get like Star Trek. Well, I think they have Star Trek to get action figures. And also, like I saw it, kiss bath towels. So it's Gene Simmons. Face was telling only down behind his chin, and you could just drive yourself after that every day.
This'd could you tell us the difference between listening and hearing music? Yeah,
absolutely. So they could go a couple of ways. So listening is so let's go hearing. First hearing would be like to me would be like if you were in your kitchen cooking and you have music on in and out in and out of the room. And so it's on. You're not really paying attention to it. You're just kind of like it's on your hearing it, you know, like maybe let's say you're hanging out with your significant other and you're trying to set the mood a little bit and you put some music on your hearing that music. You're not necessarily like listening to a persecution. You're preoccupied, significant other you're cooking, you're getting ready for an event, whatever you're doing. So that's like That's what I think when I think of hearing is not listening to me. Listening is like I do it for a multiple of reasons to study some music that I'm not familiar with. Or maybe it's I'm playing with somebody who sent me some music to learn. Hey, Ross, and we're gonna do these songs on my show. It was like, Okay, I'll make sure I listen and learn them because, imagine if I go see that person? They say, Ross, did you get the songs I sent you? Yeah, I heard him. They would like go. Uh, okay. They start sweating headings on it, but if they did, you get my song? Yeah, I listen to him. Okay. Cool. Thinks it's like the attitudes are totally different just by the switch of a word here. The words matter. Yeah, so and then other times, too. It's almost like I can give myself like there's a select group of songs like a rotation of songs that listen to, like, give me goose bumps every time and those ones I hear Pardon me. I'm listening to those ones I got some bad listen to, like the way that the drums crack in and out makes it gives me goose bumps or the way that so and so wraps with this beat gives me goose bumps or the way some of those somebody improvised over a jazz thing gives me goose bumps. So those things I like I'll listen to, But I also listen too, Like, you know, I called the other half music to like, uh, stuff you would hear, like the DJs playing to keep the cowboy. They put like the stuff you would hear like a middle school dance like two thousand's. Nothing wrong with that music. That's just what they play. Wouldn't hurt. Where was I was somewhere and I think it's Tequila Cowboy. And they played the that Marlena Cyrus party in the USA. That club remix. It's just like my okay, but it's like clubs that's got drops and e. It's like man people losing their minds to this people took you a cowboy like falling over each other to Miley Cyrus, Party USA, the club remix. I'm like, Man, if that does that for them good. You know, it's like who Myers said he would be like a song sucks people in your kids and your music, you know, it's like, No, it's like it's like those people having a great time. So it's like, obviously they enjoy it.
Yeah, I love that and said I did. And, uh, I don't go to tequila cowboy that often. They don't really missing Thio. It's good to know thinking of that. You play it burn? Yes. Uh, could you give us, um for our listeners, the uptown woods? They play up, burn by rocket Battal it in the North Shore Pittsburgh. And this is a really cool cigar bar. I've only been once for a comedy night, so I actually have yet to see you guys play. But could you give us an understanding of the aesthetics? What? It was like the play and burn. And it was a cigar Smoke affect
you? Uh, no, I must. I smoke a cigar. I enjoy tobacco. I don't smoke cigarettes or like cigars, like a mall. But somebody at, like, has a cigarette. Or if I feel like it, that's the thing to like I said, I get so bored sometimes, like, I kind of feel like tobacco, or I feel like a cigar. But tobacco usually makes me nauseous. They get out and I just does, which is fine with me. But the smoke and the smoke And like, if I say I'm actually in it like puffing on a cigar like it makes like the gives me like I had Rusher, a buzz which I understand why you would see why people smoke cigars. People smoke giant cigars like its rounds of Pringles can, you know, they're like they're like they were having a crazy old time just trying to sit down. But yeah, no. The scar smoke does not bother me unless unless I wanted, like, like smoke a cigar. But I don't really I actually go in and play, and that's it. But Bert Berns school, it's the It's literally a cigar lounge, the like a big chandeliers, marble pillars. Ah, bar in the middle of bar outside. There's You can also tell, too. It's like people all shapes, sizes, colors like all the whole gamut of people come in. So that's it. That's cool. I really because it's like that to me. That tells me that people from all walks of life really enjoy, like, tobacco use. People from all walks of life really enjoyed cutting grass. You know, you know you could say anything about, but it's cool that people that are really like a receptive of the music, too. But well, do you like we should play every Saturday? We'll play like either something we'll split up, just play background music, go Instrumental doesn't want because we were playing and it's like, Yes, it's about us. We're there, you know, you can see us doing what we do, but also to you know you're there and have a cigar and, you know, enjoy yourself. Maybe got the night off something like that. So the idea is to excuse me. It's those supplement like the the evening that's already happening. Instead of, you know, be the man that yeah, like, be like, be like the main thing Or be just be so for me, I don't like sometimes it burns me when I go into a place like the band. So what? Nothing. This very loud, but just like so present, you can't even do anything.
It's like, Look at you. It's like, man, it's
like you would. It's like even a person was blind and deaf. We know that there was a band here. That's how that's how like, loud and present and like, you know not, but just like all over the way just become in we play. We said, Hi, that polite. We just we do the job, you know, make sure everything goes smoothly, and then we just like, get in, get out sometimes will hang around a little bit. Some people, like, like to hang out and say, hey, or you know, everybody loves drums. So it's like I talked to more people when they're probably talk to my heart. And one
time you were at the Omni. Oh, and think out of everyone loves drums. Didn't Mike EPPS player drum set? Yeah,
So, uh, that's funny. Yeah, I play every Friday in the lobby of the William Penn Hotel, right down here on Grant,
and it's like a similar thing we're hiding from the time
585 days in front of it with my own trio, Which is kind of cool because I'm more of like being a better follower than I am a leader. But I get to lead like this is like It's like my my trio, I guess. Which is. Like I said, I guess it's mine. It's cool. I like it. It's cool to be like that, like the Big Cheese, But I'd rather be like the little cheese that helps the big cheese Wait. We play every Friday five dates back with background music for people, something happy hours to come in and by doing more, drinking a coffee, taking a phone call. So we're just there to, like supplement the evening. But yeah, like people of all sorts Stay there like last week. There was. They had the PPG hosted the N C. A. A wrestling championship division. Yes. So, like all the parents of the wrestling folks and coaches and help for all sorts of things, the hotel was just like crawling with people around, like you said, like all the Duke people in, like 1/4. And then, like all the Louisville people cauliflower. Oh, the whole like the whole bit. You could just tell they were wrestlers. You want some one time? Yeah. Mike EPPS, the comedian from his intense What's scary movie? He also I'm from Wales. He's don't be a lot of things, but yeah, scary movie. Uh, yeah, he walked by and I was on the phone and I recognized that it was him and I was like, Man, I think I recall losing my Gibbs. And then he was kind of like taking his time. And I was like, That's definitely Mike EPPS like we took a break and I'll only one of him, he's on the phone. I tapped him on the shoulder because I should promise to, because I know when people come up to me and they want to say hello. It can either be like the worst thing ever, or like it could be like the most like, polite, kind, like interaction. Other interaction ever. But I almost error on this, and it's a shame, but I almost because some people, they just want to talk. They don't really want to say It's like nothing really about you. It's about them. Yeah, Guy come up to me and burn the other weekend said on Hey, man, I really like your drums. I play drums, too. And I was just like, cool man, like all I did was agree with him. I was a cool man and he was like, Yeah, man, I have really nice drums And I was like, Cool. Like Like I just kept agreeing with him like I didn't volley the conversation back. Yeah, and he just kept going like spilling on me, which tells me he didn't. He could I could have said, Hey, man, there is a, um like there's a there's a fire crackers in my underpants and they're gonna go off in five minutes and oh,
yeah, my Cymbals, Let me tell you, they're this thick
and you can see yourself in them. They're so shiny, You know, It's like he didn't back. I didn't really want to talk to me. That guy doesn't get out of the house too much. Used to play drums. I wanted to tell me about it, but yeah. Anyway, so I'm already thinking so I'm talking to my capsule. I'm feeling already kind of interesting about because it's, like, you know, talk to me, But I'm sure he doesn't mind if someone's like, Hey, man, you my caps. I'm sure that doesn't. It's like a double edged sword. All these people saying hello to me, but they probably really like me. Uh, you know, But he
was really cool. I
just was like, Hey, man, you're my caps, right? He's a gay man. Who are you? I was the man. I was like, I'm Ross Antonitsch Play drums. He was like, Oh, man, you sound good. I was like, Oh, thanks. I appreciate it. He was like, I play your drums As we said, it was like I play your drums. I was like, Yeah, I was like, I take a picture with you. He was like, Oh, yeah.
So straight off. Yeah, that's how that's how it went down. Salutary
Mike EPPS, annihilate! Took a picture like together with the other two guys in the band. He came in like, sat down and, like he, like, sort of could do it like I showed him a couple like it's like, so funny, because in those types of situations, I've I've learned that you wanna show this person something that will make them feel good about doing it. But you want to show them something so crazy they can't do it. And then it's just awkward. And everybody feels like junk. You know? It's just like playing like like this, and he just like couples, like, kind of doing it and like, it kind of worked here a really great time. The guys had a really great. So we got a picture. It was great.
That's cool. Yeah. So? So could you tell us about what it was like travelling to Toronto to play? Yeah. Yeah. You played live in Toronto? Yeah, and yeah,
Absolutely, Absolutely. Yes. We went on those with the Starship Mantis that we went, and yeah, that group for the group Sounds like if James Brown, like made music from out of outer space were kind of like, uh, Langston. The goddess leads very kind of like sings like Prince. Kind of sounds like Jimmy require. It's like those those guys sent me to a hodgepodge. Personalities hodgepodge music's come out to make
their videos are awesome. Yeah, Yeah, they were really nice job watching one with a guy stuck his face up through a bunch of oranges. Oh, yeah, I was just Really? Yeah, yeah.
They those guys would like to think outside the box, but yeah, we played a show in Toronto. So it was, like, good old on the road, going It's so we like we put like, six dudes in a van. Yeah, 60 denier van altered all took turns driving. It was like not that long to Toronto from Pittsburgh. I forget it didn't take, like, eight hours, but it definitely wasn't like four someone. The middle we like went It was funny. The Border Patrol was interesting. I mean, they're doing their jobs, so it's like you can't be like Border Patrol sucks now that they do. The, uh it was a woman. When we got to the thing, we will do anything. And she was like, Which brings you to Canada? Uh, we really were a band. She was like, Oh, what do you have in your van? Were like gear. She was like, any paraphernalia? No. And we actually was like, no beer or anything. We just like something just come out to play and get out. And so, um and she came and she like, they do have the right to search your vehicle if they suspect. And the only thing that was respectful was we related in a big white like free candy van that, like your parents, tell you to stay away from growing up. We were like one of those. So it's like, I understand we slid open the doors and she just living saw a bunch of sweaty dudes and just like drums, you know, And she was like, OK, and then see what we look like. We went into Toronto.
You guys have your shirt's on. In that
moment, we did have our shirts on making Founded. Yes. No. Yeah, we went, Yeah, Toronto. I forget the name. That place to play. It
was like right in
downtown Toronto, like Ronan was like people always. You know, I feel like people that whenever they go out of town anywhere, they always say the city's a cool city. Oh, man, I feel like you're, like talking to your friend on the phone. Oh, I just My plane just landed in Miami. It's such a great city. It's like that. You're still on the runway.
You know, you didn't even buckle your seat don't experience. Yeah, you know, But it was
what? I'm gonna try to take a walk around, make sure to eat something. I poutine up there like I was trying to find authentic or, as they say, boot scene. They say like that. They're like all American people get poutine. Um, but I was pretty good that French fries, cheese curds gravy up a little Suraj on it. And green onions. It was pretty good. I mean, they made my stomach feel crazy, but I knew that going in. So one
thing I've noticed about Toronto, the people of Toronto is they're different than Americans in the sense where Americans it seems as if we need to be grouped up and stay within groups. And when you're in the city of Toronto, There's a lot more individuals walking around and there's less group settings. You notice that. I notice it seems that
people out there obviously there for like like, almost 1/2 a day and it just seemed people were more relaxed. I noticed it seemed like no one was really in a rush. Nobody was like, No,
but he was like
talking on the phone like, really loud, like people in Pittsburgh like yelling to the phone. Even I was a China. Yesterday there was a general in line behind me. I guess his wife called him. What? Ma really, really loud. And I was like, Man, maybe maybe he has a hard time. Like I'm trying to give everybody the benefit without he has a hard time hearing. She does. But then I took the phone call. I leave Giant Ego, and I'm outside of people yelling into the phone again.
No, I'm at the front, the front,
like yelling at each other. We were in Toronto, which, like everyone's, like taking their time. You're doing great to see you. Yeah. Oh,
yeah. Welcome to Canada. Nice. Yeah, I really,
really like really kind, uh, people. So, Yeah, I liked it. I love to go back to Canada, eat more protein. And what else do you get up there like maple syrup?
Just just Sarah. Just nothing, but that you
put it on a spoon and you eat it like you don't like. It's medicine medicine called amoxicillin.
The love that I was the kid who loves Madison
medicine. Did you eat like Flintstone gummies for fun?
Oh, yeah. You're just like, Oh, yeah, they taste really good. It's like it's like when you're getting 1000% vitamin B. Eso So how do you overcome adversity? Okay,
adversity as in Hey, Ross, you can't do it like those types of phone. Like adversities were like
adversities in the unexpected adversities that come into your life like a tornado
selects stuff you can't prepare for exactly. Okay, so that's a that's a good one. Adversity. So I like I said, I actually kind of enjoy a little obstacle, or I like I like a little pressure because it's fun.
Diamonds? Yeah, don't say that,
because people be getting that tattooed on. Uh, yeah, adversity. I just deal with it accordingly in the best way, and then figure out how to avoid it again in the future. Or, um or sometimes sometimes you gotta take it on the chin, for example. I, um it's a good adverse. OK, eso in my house in South Side, we're not. When you open the front door, it's like all skinny hallway, and then you open another door in the wall and that's my apartment is up there. The skinny hallway has on my drums in it. And I was I was in a hurry like this one day, and I was moving quick and the hallway so skinny. And there's so much stuff that you have to walk in a very specific way, kind of like Indiana Jones in that one movie where he, like, swaps the crystal skull for that bag of things. But in the floor shoots, ex spikes and stuff like that. My floor isn't do that, but there's just like drumsticks and stuff. So if you take a wrong step, you're gonna twist an ankle during a stub, a toe, and I know that I should I should clean it because of what I'm about to tell you. But I was walking and I was holding a record player like something else. And I tripped over a bass drum case like, literally. I know it was there. I knew two step over. I've done 1000 times. Just one time. I didn't do good enough, so I really stepped over it. Tripped and fell, holding record player like bruised a rib and, like, broken toe on like both foot a both feet. So I was like a 1,000,000 there. And I'm like, Well, damn, this sucks. I was like, but I think you might have a full weekend of drums, the plate, like two gigs on a Friday and take us on a Saturday mall drums. And so it's like that using my feet, my feet are sore and it's like like I broke my pinking both my pinkie toes. So if you break those, it's like your balance goes out the window. It's really, really hard time. Like standing, walking like a penguin. Know exactly like guys that just did squats for 10 hours. Can you really have a hard time walking? So I was like, Well, I'm not gonna cancel, like, not gonna have to do it, So I played the full weekend like my fever sore but it's a pretty high pain tolerance anyway. So it's okay Another time here, actually thought is here to cane we to play an orchestra concert like on a Friday night. Friday during the day I was at the Power Center playing basketball with some guys were playing. I went up for a rebound and I just like, went up and wasn't paying attention. I, like, went for the rebound. The basketball came, like straight down on all my fingers, but it was it was totally my fault. I would be just like I shot my hand. I'm like this and it was total, like, total my bad. And I did it really didn't like so good that my left hand, the middle finger ring finger and pinky all turn purple like tiptoe bottom. I had to play like in the orchestra concert. Play through that. Yeah, I play in the orchestra concert that night and to cane music school people for the better to be kind of strict with a ce faras what you can miss and what's cool when which could make up on those things. As you know, anybody in a school on a college campus would be, but I basically said orchestra larger. I was like, Hey, Joe Jones. I was like, I stove all like, almost like half. I slept half the fingers on my left hand and I can't It's really hard for me to like. Players don't play tonight. And he only said to me was Ross, if you don't play off fail, you and I was like, I was I was in it for two credits, so I couldn't really fail it if it was zero credits, I mean, he would have leaned a little more that way. Yeah, and so Okay, cool. I'll be there. Just like Stratos trip. Took it on the chin like unexpected stove my fingers. And really what I did, I had to play xylophone like the whole cart. Like only two pieces in the concert. I literally taped sticks in my hand, take my fingers up all the way around, closing around the stick and take the stick in. Yeah, I made
it work. You do handle adversity?
Yeah. Do handle verse another time. I'm trying to think What's the dice here on one. Okay. One time. I was going to see this. See this girl? in Highland Park and I would like So that's like by that is you. And I wouldn't walk there from South. I liketo walk. I used to run a whole bunch, but I got such a big dude. I got, like, scoring, like, sort of tired of throwing myself up and down hills and stuff like that.
That's all picks May I know,
right? It's like heels heels everywhere. I'm going to see this girl's I leave. I think mine's like 11. It was like four miles from my house to her, so that took me, like, almost two hours to walk. But I like walking and people like me, You're so crazy. You walk at night like like I'm gonna like 64 to 35. People are more scared of me than I. I have them and I'm not. And I'm not even really that scary. I'm just leaving. But I get there and sure enough, there was a homeless gentleman sort of in front of her house. Her house was like there was like the sidewalk. Then you open the gate, washed down like 10 feet of sidewalk upstairs. We were at the front door. I could see the front door from where I waas. But there was this gentleman who was blocking the gate and he said to me he was all state without the emotion that he said it with. He said, Hey, give me all your money And he was shorter than me. He was definitely. He was upset. Please, He didn't say, Please.
He's like, Hey, man, sorry to bother you. Do you have eight bucks? You know, that's all. I love that
when people ask you for a specific amount of money, it's a statement on him and I need 35 50. You got
it. I think that I was taking a bus to Harrisburg. You this guy says to me in Highland
Park, it's like, Yeah, it's like probably midnight on like a Thursday night. He says, Amen. Uh, hey, man, give me all your money and I was struggling. I was dressing like a white T shirt, black basketball shorts. I just got a call of duty and tennis shoes, and I and I think I have my phone with headphones on my keys because sometimes to on those walks, I'm gonna take my wallet because if I have my wallet. I'll be, like, more inclined to stop at a gas station and get a couple of time. The overs, you know, maybe a strawberry shortcake, Popsicle or Twinkie, or hope you'll cream pies. I could eat like a boatload of those, but
yeah, I was like him, and I didn't say,
Hey, man, I was a kid. I don't have any money. He was blocking my way and like this little gate, he was in front off and I was like, I was like, Hey, man, I don't I don't even have any pockets, like because the shorts I dropped my pockets in my other pants and he didn't really take kindly to that, and he's out of his right sleeve. He slipped out like a knife by the blade on it. It was probably like Michael. It wasn't that serious of a knife goes public. It was still a knife, but it was like may have five inch blade on it and he's holding it. He's not like directing and everything's holding, and he just said, he's really you guys. You should really give me all your money on the man I was like, because at this point. I don't really get scared at all. Not see that one of those dudes that's like, uh, a guy show. Nothing scares me one of those guys, but, uh, I just I don't know. I've been I've been scared and like things growing up or you get in trouble in things like that, just, you know, when you know the consequences of something and it kind of cancels out fear. So I'm thinking, like, so this guy, just quoting a knife wants my money. It's like, Well, either I'm gonna get stabbed and he's gonna get no money or I'm gonna beat him up and he still going to get no money. So I was like, Man, So those are my options. I'm not gonna, like, walk away because he's in front of like like, this girl's waiting for me, like, literally inside, like a marketing. I just leave him like this, dude, like, be right here. It's awesome. And I was like, I'm sorry, I don't have any money. And he was like, Man, that sucks for you. And you just, like, came at me with the knife. And so
he was like, five. He was like finding a buck. 80 maybe, Uh, he wasn't that big, but
he was, like, shortened heavy. And so he, like he missed Hey, like he just totally missed. And then he was like, I guess he was surprised that he missed. I grabbed his hand with a knife and I squeezed his wrist so hard that he dropped the knife and, like, started to get teary eyed, Which I'm not like a pressure points expert like people. You know what your friends in middle school were like. No, man, my mom signed me up for taekwondo. There's a pressure point in your eyeball. It's like, Dude, do it to somebody else, just like squeezes do tourists. He dropped a knife just like threw him aside Because I hate fighting like I've been into my entire life because you just, like, walk away or I could, like, take a punch. It's like fine, but the and he kind of pushed him aside and he got up really quick and pushed me back. And I was like, All right, so I push them over again and he was on the ground. And when he fell backwards, he hit his head on the curb And so, like I'm a pretty big guy were, like, anywhere from happening on the shoe, like 16 like a 19 and just spend on the shoe eso literally like, uh was the guy's name for the guesthouse key for the Patriots. I kicked him straight in the head, hard as I possibly could because I felt a my life was in danger be I was like, I don't want this guy to get back up because I'm not trying to do with him any longer than I have to And it's
like I shouldn't have
to. It's like it's like like my night was interrupted by this dude.
Well, with a knife with a
knife. Yeah, you know, So straight up, yeah, I kicked him in the head like a kickball and his head really turned over And like, blood came out of his nose. He, like, got up and walked away, and then I just like the wind.
Carry on. Yeah, Yeah,
it was like it was wild, but I don't know that could that could That could have ended. Totally. Another
guy was playing and totally
not cool. But, man, it wasn't my time. My time. Then
you handed that? I tried. Tried to handle
it the best way possible. Because you never wanna not handle something. If it needs handles, that's always the worst.
Yeah, I completely agree with that. I'm gonna hit you with anything. Quick questions, Anything s o favorite record.
Favorite record. Like ever. Ever hear ever. Um oh, jeez. Probably one. I'll be able listen to you for the rest of my life. Quasimodo. The unseen. So Quasimodo is a a fictional character made up by the producer Mad Lib Matters of Hippocrates from the West Coast. He did what you want. You and people would know that he did on Anderson packs second to last record the sun's couple waters on Anderson Pack Malibu. That record. He made the beat for Waters. He also madam also did Theo. Uh, I think basically this this Quasimodo project is mad lib. He ate, I think like it. He said he ate, like, 10 grams of hallucinogenic mushrooms and then he's a sick. So he makes all his beats his music from sampling. So he takes records like I do like you said, He's like probably like my fight. It's Adam use or like Ah, I hate saying, influenced by that sounds like so, like eight by 11 white piece of paper. But, uh, it's probably He, like, basically takes records, takes part of the records that makes new music from that. And I really like that idea. I like the idea of you could take music from the past and then rework it or use it in some way to make music. That is for the future, for the president. Some people weren't really hate that they hate sampling. They're like, uh, why do you do that? It's It's so annoying.
I really enjoy it. I really enjoy, too. But I actually
understand people. They're like, Oh, it's stupid riding like, Really, Why do you spend your time doing that? It's like it's like, Well, it sucks. It was like, Yeah, I know it sucks, Yeah, but it's not like it. But he made this album from sampling, and he was all in another world because he took, he took something and he any wraps. It's him wrapping, but he pitches his voice way up to make it sound like this alien who he calls Quasimodo. And so that's the whole album. It's really wild. It's I would recommend it to literally anybody that wants to listen to more music. Or they want to split their head open a little bit because it's kind of it's kind of heavy with all the music choices. What what? What he sampled in what he uses are very. It's not like your classic everybody samples Marvin Game, which dramas on it. And then that's like the song that everyone here is. It's like it's all kind of stuff. So I probably said that one of their albums, Quasimodo the Unseen, isn't as a motive. Isn't that the name of their
favorite food in Pittsburgh? Just one item, not the place. You want to talk about the place if you know
what? I don't like the place. OK, so I'll say all the things I'm supposed to say, and then I'll say what I really feel. So I'm supposed to say I'm from Pittsburgh, So I grew up in the suburbs, and so when I when I wanted to impress people, I say I'm from Wexford because that's just all like Range Rovers and like Starbucks is. But I grew up like little outside, more like middle class and Allison Park. So I'm supposed to say that per Manny's is really good and that you should go to prom and ease and eat a sandwich, and then you should go to, um, like the Jerome Bettis Grill and get that giant burger they have. What else I'm supposed to say you should go to De Luca's. Lucas is actually Lucas and Pamela's to get breakfast, but, like, Amanda's is kind of gross. But people from Pittsburgh would like, crucify me if they heard me say that. It really I don't know. I'm from here and I don't really eat it. Like, been eating it, Um, and then you guys, But my favorite food, like my choice, Uh, man, like everything. Like I mean, like everything. Everything Mom like, Oh, I eat like Chinese food, like I like. Like I'm not vegan like vegan food. I like vegetarian. I meat, fish, dairy. I eat like everything. I'm each but bad food to like Twinkies and McDonald's. Yeah, like cream pies. Yeah. Yeah. Really. Like I could eat scallops is and then do it like a crib, like, doesn't like both. It doesn't really matter.
Yeah, it doesn't really matter probably to get food. Uh,
it's like so, uh, man, Well, I'll tell you what's good. I've eaten recently. Uh, there's a vegan place up in Arlington called Onion Maiden. They have pretty good vegan food, and it's, like, pretty good. And what I mean by pretty good it like it tastes good as its own thing, Like some vegan food I've eaten is like, Oh, this is vegan chicken. It was made toe almost taste like chicken. And it's like, Well, it's not really gonna taste like chicken. Then your intentions were just to make it taste almost. But then it's like, did people on your maiden I don't know. What they do is I'm not that like, uh, cooking, vegan cooking hip. But the whatever they do, I think it's like soy based meat, chicken drumsticks. They were like soy, but like coded really well and it tasted really good. I mean, really, like, unbiased. Pretty good. Not like, you know, like, Oh, yeah, my girlfriend's the waitress. Anything that she brings over taste great, you know? Oh, yeah, she liver and onions. And it was super. You know, I was actually like you enjoy. Yeah, I actually enjoy it, but I like to go to go out and get food. Um, I used to eat a ton in South Side, but then none of my clothes fit. So I had excited to cook. None of my clothes really would start like they quit fitting. I like defended the Venezuelan place on Eighth and Carson the cilantro hee ho they make like It's pretty authentic, like Venice. I've never been to Venezuela, but I've eaten a lot of food that I've been told his Venezuelan and home like holds up. I got home. It was a close call, but it was like P R N I E l. And I think the guy said it per needle. It was like on a rape. So it was like a corn biscuit that was that was like sliced half. So it's like it's not like two pieces of bread. It's still connected at the water, and it was filled with like like an avocado mayonnaise. And I know people like mayonnaise is like the world's favorite thing to hate right now. If you like, you like mayonnaise, but it's not like
I'm on that trend. You like honey, honey, is my supplement. The man is a man. Is
I made homemade managed before where I just kind of got the things that are usually in it, and it works. But some and I really do understand it can it can really break something like I had a sandwich one time with, like off brand mayonnaise like I really grounds, my dear, it just it just wasn't good. I was like, but the band is the homemade managed and mix it with avocado of It's like it doesn't sound that bad. Oh, excuse me, it's it's delicious. You could like. I was always looked like that dish when I'm in there and I must make fun of myself because my mom, growing up like, sent us the like etiquette school. And it was very hard on us, like etiquette wise and something that eating manners. So I always make fun of myself because she would be livid if she's slumming like addition, public should lose it. What would that sauce is so good? It's tough, but you're the rape A. It's like a It's like the corn, like the cornflower like biscuit, teething biscuit. And then it has like this avocado mayo with pulled chicken in the mayo and it's delicious, it's not. But people are like, Oh, isn't the mayo so chunky? You can't take the chicken and I'm like, No, it's actually viscous enough where it it actually helps the chicken. You're still even still. Taste chicken And not just like you're eating like a glob of mayonnaise on that taste. Terrible. Don't do that. I did it. I did that once because someone said they would give me money If I do it. Yeah, it was It was It was totally like a split. A big tablespoon of Manning's like it was Jell 00
I need a honey comb. The honey. Yeah, so that I'm just really in the honey. I don't know what's up with that Money is good. Really
good for you and bees. Or, like the coolest insects ever rate saving these all that's Look, that's us for the Venezuelan spot with my
pick. And what does rawness of reality mean to you? Uh ah.
Rawness of reality just
like rolling, just like, uh, like
rolling with the punches. But somebody said the best way to take a punch just to be there when it's not thrown right. That's like a good one. So I don't know. I mean, I've run with reality pretty good, but I've also, like, figured out howto working in the best way, so it works for me. You know what that's like? Different for everybody. Like there was this one time am I called, like a nay Sayer. This guy at the William Penn, an older guy comes up to me and he says, Like, opens with this. I don't know from Adam. He says to me, and he has a southern accent. I'm not gonna do it. But he goes, he goes, Hey,
man, how much money they pay
you to work here, out the gate, Just like says that to me. And I said eight bucks. I think we make eight bucks a box tonight. I was like, we split between the three of us, so I make 2 50 No. Come on, man. Come on. Tell me. Tell me. Tell me how much money you make it. Okay? Wait a minute. It's nine bucks. We make nine bucks. We split it three ways, which makes three. And he was just like, uh, he was a Come on, he goes. You sure he goes? I'm sure that this isn't just all you do. And I said because it's it. I wasn't trying to really show my cards, because in this conversation, I figured out already. This guy just wanted the Flex. He didn't really want to talk to you Give up. I could be holding a jackhammer, and he probably still said the same. Hey, I don't much they pay you to hold that jackhammer, You know what I mean? And hey was like, the best thing is for sure Can't be all you do. And I do. I have to do as much stuff as possible. Like like my slices of the pie, or like 1000 slices. Just cause I tried to do is many things musically as possible, but I don't tell him that I do a lot of things, but always a doom. And this works every time when someone does this to me. I was I said, do. It just depends on what kind of life you want to live. I know what kind of car you drive. A Mercedes. And he just looked at me. His eyes got really big anyone good for you and Martha way.
Wow. Okay. Yeah. So
rawness of reality was me dealing with that guy and not being a jerk when I went very easily. That could have been like, Dude, go pound salt, like leave me alone. You know, I
love everybody. Always. Yeah. Yeah. It's like I don't read. Um,
there's no reason. I mean, it's, like, just being nice if someone's being mean to you and you're nice to them. Always makes them look double worse. Okay. I hate you like you suck. And you were, like,
give you Yeah, whatever. Whatever, you
know, Do you really? You're the worst. You're like, maybe whatever, dude, like whatever. And it's just, like, rolls off.
Uh, yeah, eyes there. Anything coming up in your life or anything you want is to know about that you're doing or you're of where they could
see you play. Yeah. Okay. So let's split arm. Yes, every every Friday, if you wanna come hang out in lounge, get lounge, eat a crab cake, drinking the most. So whatever you like to do Friday nights, the William Penn in there, 5 to 8 with my country. It's all jazz. you come say hi and, uh, have a jolly old time. Saturday's not this Saturday, but, uh, April shoes. April starts. Um, actually, the second Saturday in April the Uptown boots will be back will be it. Burn the player so that'll be 7 to 10 in April. Raina. It is April holy smokes. Whoa! It could call. So it is April right now, So yeah, we'll be there. Seven like 7 to 10 2nd 3rd 4th paper have five Saturdays. We have 1/5 1 will be there, too. Um, playing April 11th. Playing it Walls is whisky in tap Romany Celebrity with Like a Brazilian samba band Rippling, rippling, all Brazilian music. That's April 11th No covers 79 at Wallace's Um And
then just like
online stuff, there's a lot of good, like beat be desk things coming. Gary and I just just like judge to beat competition here at you came for the Duke in Composure Society. So we'll be like announcing some things with that Jim from the Uptown. Woods has a couple more solo records on the way that Gary nine of some other folks made the music for, and Jim Help. Jim brought it to life with the stuff you put on top. Um, time Woods were like, our record is, like, ready? We're just like we just keep chopping away. Like the last little pieces of fat that are still on it. Cut off, cut off the fat. Yes. Oh, yeah. All good things. All good things, But yeah, obviously thing going is good Summer. Summer time would be good too, because Pittsburgh always comes alive. And it's so funny. In Dr Users hate the cold. They can't say just here, like two young girls on the street s o court out here. I can't even stand. Yeah, they're just They're just, like, hate it so much, but yeah, when the sun comes out, that makes everybody's, like, happier. So I'm excited for
that. And, uh, yes, this is it. We're gonna wrap it up here. A big shout out to Ross Antonitsch too, for coming on the show today. Thank you. You're welcome. And we'll see you guys. What's up, guys? We're back again. Not really, we But it's me, mic. The mic guys out getting coffee or a doughnut. It something like that. But I really enjoyed speaking with Ross Antonitsch today and I hope you guys enjoyed listening. If you did, please subscribe on our apple Spotify sound car Google and stitch your podcast platforms and remember Raiders five stars because our episodes can only get better from here. Another big thank you to mic the mic I, our production manager and Joe cow on beats. And remember, stay raw with reality.