Soon to be based in Chicago, Box House is a rock band currently making noise out of Northern Illinois. Comprised of four talented members including Beckland Sargeant on vocals and guitar, Jon O’Brien on lead guitar, Drew Zaremba on drums, and Luciano Passaretti on bass. With so many diverse influences ranging from Paramore to Weezer and Fall Out Boy to David Bowie, Box House can’t be labeled as one genre. Formed in 2018, Box House is currently touring their new EP “Sick Days”.
Featured on the EP “Sick Days” is the hard-hitting track “Chip” with spectacular riffs, addictive melodies and retro vocals reminiscent of the bands eclectic influences. Box House’s mighty, crunchy guitar riffs together with their pummeling, rhythmic textures and dynamic edgy vocals are laced with old school elements while still maintaining the focus of a modern rock band. Classic legendary rock sounds such as the raspy and powerful vocals are a timeless addition to a killer rock song. My absolute favorite part is the very end when Beckland delivers a Sebastian-Bach-like note that might blow your speakers. So powerful! I think Box House has a sound that’s finely-calibrated well beyond their years. “Chip” adds a much needed gritty edge to today’s rock scene. Stay on the lookout for Box House, we can’t wait to see what they deliver next.
Check out “Chip” here and read more below in our exclusive interview!
What’s your writing process like as a group?
Songwriting for us usually goes one of two ways:
(Becky): I write the basis of the song (lyrics, structure, chord progression), and then bring it to the rest of the band to fill it out. a lot of the time i have everything for the song written out pretty thoroughly in my head, so whatever i’m thinking for guitar or bass or what have you, i usually show to them. sometimes they go with it, sometimes they don’t, most of the time i only really suggest the idea i had in mind because i know the three of them are good enough musicians to be able to either put their own spin on what i had in mind and make it better, or just come up with something else entirely that also ends up working super well.
We jam on a riff that one of us has, or just a general idea or concept of the song we want to make, and then record it onto someone’s phone as a demo, then i’ll go and listen to that demo and write lyrics and try to arrange the structure of the song based off what we played, then i’ll bring that back to the band so we can form it into a song, either way, we usually finish songs within one or two rehearsals. i’m always coming up with new ideas, and almost every time we rehearse either jon, luch, or drew, has something to bring to the band so we have a pretty steady stream of new stuff always being added to our live sets. even while we were recording our ep we were working on new songs.
(Luciano): Becky comes in with chords and lyrics and sometimes a direction he wants the rest of us to go, then us other three write our own parts or modify his ideas for our parts.
What inspired you to make music everyday?
(Becky): Being avid and borderline obsessive music fans. We all have different specific artists that probably inspired us, personally for me it was David Bowie and Black Flag, but i think at the core of it, that’s where that passion and drive to make music came from.
(Luciano): I don’t know what else to do. The only other thing I like is cars and those are even more prohibit-ably expensive than guitars.
Tell us about your track “Chip”!
(Becky): Chip started out as a very spontaneous jam, and it was actually one of the first times the four of us had played all together. jon, drew and i were all part of another band, Seasalt, for about a year and had been playing with each other for awhile, but luciano was a fairly new part of the whole equation. the singer and bassist of Seasalt had left us for about a month or so to audition for a singing show, and there was a lot of tension between her and the three of us. admittedly, on both sides, some of it was kind of petty and immature, but there were also very real concerns as to whether or not she was serious about the band or was just looking for either a stepping stool into her solo career, or a backing band. luciano had been filling in on her bass parts and i took up her vocal parts (she and i split lead vocals) while she was gone, and the first rehearsal that she was back for she was not very happy about it for one reason or another. at one point, she decided that she was so frustrated that she was just going to leave rehearsal, despite us having a fairly big show the next day. We channeled our own anger and frustration into the jam session we had for the majority of the hour and a half that she was completely AWOL. i believe it had started from a drum beat drew had started playing, which jon matched with the song’s guitar riff, and everything else followed suit. about a week later, Seasalt’s lead singer was now our former lead singer, luciano officially joined the band as our bassist, and i’d become our sole lead vocals. there was so much catty drama between both parties that was so infuriating to me, it started getting very personal with people verbally attacking significant others and trying to coax friends and other musicians we had worked with into joining sides, so i think i sat down one night at home after being absolutely sick of it all, and just pounded out all the lyrics in about 5ish minutes. we were a little afraid to play it at first, as Seasalt was known for being a fairly light and admittedly basic indie pop band, and here was this song that had a very obvious punk and hard rock leaning to it and was so incredibly different from anything that we’d been attached to previously, but it was so much fun to play and we really believed in it, so we went for it anyways.
(Luciano): I was in an awkward position when we wrote that song, because I was plopped in the middle of serious band drama. Before I was in Box House, the other three were in a band called Seasalt. I happened to be at one of their final rehearsals because their old singer had been out of town and the other three were having me fill in for her instrument parts. She had just gotten back and I was showing her the bass part for the new song Becky had brought to the band while she was away (which happened to be Lovesick #2). Somehow, an argument started between her and the other three, and she stormed out. In their upset energy; Jon and Drew began to jam. I, frazzled and still holding a bass guitar, joined. Afterwards, Becky exclaimed something like; “What the hell was that!? I have lyrics that could work with that!”, and Chip was born.
What’s your favorite lyric/part in “Chip”?
(Becky): probably the guitar solo section where we break into a bit of a straight hardcore punk passage. i came up playing in small, and admittedly really bad, punk and trying-to-be-metal bands, and listening to stuff like Minor Threat and DRI, so it was really cool to hear us do something kind of in that vein. also it’s one of the first times i’ve really screamed on a recorded song, i used to a lot when i was in those smaller, dinkier bands, but that was also middle school and my first two years of high school, so i’m not really sure what that counts for.
(Luciano): The bridge into the breakdown after the second chorus. Becky calls it the “hardcore punk” part; Jon, Drew, and I call it the “psychobilly” part. I guess it’s just our perspectives because of our specific tastes in music. While we were putting the song together, we were all experimenting with different parts. I was effectively in control of the chords as the bass player since Becky hadn’t written any and there was no rhythm guitar part, just riffs. Drew suddenly changed the drum groove to a raw, uptempo beat that made me picture a cartoon hillbilly riding a mine cart on an exaggeratedly rollercoaster-ish track through a mountain, so I reacted with the straight 8th note descending line. Then it transitions more smoothly than it should to the Black Sabbath-ish breakdown.
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