Things To Do: Paper Gliders, White Oak Music Hall, November 25, 2022

There are aptly named songs, and then there’s “Squad Goals,” the new single from Houston indie rockers Paper Gliders. The track’s title and dynamic vibe captures this specific moment for the band and the city, making it slightly better than perfect.

Freshly pressed vinyl copies of the single will be available to fans at a launch party titled “The Black Friday Ball” on November 25 at White Oak Music Hall. The band’s guitarist/vocalist Vaughn Chung said there’s never been a better time than now for Paper Gliders to refocus on their goals.

“We felt, just like a lot of bands, that we were robbed by the pandemic. We had been recording in the studio a few months before the pandemic really happened, or before we all knew it. “Chung said.

“Honestly, so many things have happened to us in our personal lives in those two years,” he continued. “I have to be frank. You know, we lost a bit of focus and as a result we haven’t done much, if anything, for the past two years. But, when we first rehearsed after things started to reopen, we realized, hey, we really like doing this, we really enjoy this as a band. It’s funny how that works. »

This realization came with the addition of a few new members. Paper Gliders have long been a six-piece band, with Chung joined by guitarist Jerick Alegarbes, Henry Dillard on vocals and keyboards, and drummer Adrian Grammer. In 2017, former members Latoya Johnson and Daniel Campos amicably parted ways with the band, making way for Abby Burell (vocals and keyboards) and bassist Moe Lerma. Thus, Paper Gliders remains a sextet.

“I feel like it’s the best representation of us as a group,” Chung noted. “I feel like with the addition of these members, we were able to achieve the sound we were looking for.”

“When Squad Goals was created, I wrote the main melody and chord progression in response to the fact that at the end of 2017 I was so happy to work with a band I had so much faith in. the team and I loved working around those people too. That’s not always the case. Sometimes in sports or whatever, you can be part of a really talented team, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to love everyone you work with, but you understand that there is a mission and a task to be accomplished.

“In this case, I feel like we’re really lucky because I feel like we really love each other,” Chung said. “So ‘Squad Goals’ was created from a place of pure bliss.”

It’s also a bit of an anthem for the band as they take a new approach to breaking into a wider audience, moving away from stream counting and building a fan base through Patreon.

“I think music is already a very difficult life and for a lot of bands you see the countless band cancellations because they’re just not making money to support themselves, it’s like the bare minimum for a lot of these bands,” Chung said. “I knew a band that was like a mid-level band years ago and I talked to the guitarist and I remember talking to him – it was before the pandemic – and he was like, ‘Man, this isn’t my full-time job, I still have to code for a living, but I wish I could. But I just can’t afford to. They had millions of streams on their Spotify and stuff. I thought they were doing pretty well, but a lot of these bands aren’t doing as well as we think, just based on optics.

“I feel like we’re taking back control, we’re trying to take back control of what we have left,” he continued. “I don’t want to use the phrase that we’re ‘going against’ these big tech streaming companies. I think they serve a purpose in the end. I think streaming in general has a purpose, as a social media platform – Spotify, Apple Music, whatever people listen to music – but, I don’t think they’re really the end of everything, be everything for artists, especially for emerging artists.

“For us, to fight that kind of fight that we thought, you know what, are pivoting to creating content. Let’s also honor the city by doing something different as a group and really, really make something out of it, which is a big reason why we felt it was warranted to start Patreon content. We do audio and video podcasts, we do music videos, we do covers. We also use other different aspects of the content and repurpose them in different ways just to keep the engagement more interesting for the customer. »

Click to enlarge

From front to back, left to right: Grammer, Chung, Dillard, Burell, Alegarbes and Lerma

Photo by Jean Velez, courtesy of Paper Gliders

The group posts new content on Patreon every Monday. A minimum commitment of $3 per month grants fans access to new music up to two weeks before its streaming release date.

“If you spend $3 on the band, that’s about 600 streams of a song. You directly support the band much more immediately, with much more impact, giving us three dollars a month than listening to our song 600 times,” Chung said.

A larger monthly contribution includes the opportunity to earn producer credit on future Paper Gliders releases. Not too shabby considering “Squad Goals” was mastered by one of Jack White’s mastering engineers and pressed by White’s state-of-the-art pressing facility, Third Man Pressing. Alegarbes designed the cover.

“Seeing him come home with the blanket and the wrap, it was just real and I think that’s what all bands dream of. There’s that physicality – I don’t know what it is but there’s something about seeing his music come out on a record and especially on vinyl,” Chung said. “There’s a B-side and the B-side, I think, isn’t just the B-side. is the acoustic version of the song “Birthday Candles”. It’s a more stripped down version and anyone who buys a vinyl from us gets this song exclusively. This will not be available to digital audiences. If you buy this vinyl, it belongs to you and you only hear this version of the song. We are very happy that anyone who owns a part of us can hopefully feel the love we put into it and also feel a bit special.

Like any hit song, “Squad Goals” is getting a remix, courtesy of producer Mark Drew. Drew is a longtime Houston hip-hop artist and producer who recently went viral freestyle about the Houston Astros’ latest championship run. Because the song is perfect for times when teams like the ‘Stros get together, and because of the band’s friendship with Drew, a remix seemed like a no-brainer.

“Henry and Mark have had a relationship, professional and friendly, for a long time now. Henry has played keys in Mark Drew’s solo project in the past and Henry is just a music geek, he loves everything. Hip hop , R&B, whatever,” said Chung, who called his friend and bandmate a “pure music lover.”

“When Henry noticed Mark’s success in capitalizing on the Astros’ crazy playoff run and seeing all the videos he put out, he thought, ‘Hey, that’s a guy I know and I love him as a person. Let him do stuff.

This stuff includes a studio video pairing Drew with Paper Gliders to celebrate the World Series champions and Drew singing and rapping an original verse to the remix, which will be released soon.

“It looks really cool. I’ve actually been blocking it a lot more than the original lately. I think it’s great and I think it shows the nervous side, if that’s the expression which I really want to use. It just sounds really cool. I’m a music theory guy to some degree and I could hear what he was really trying to do and I was nervous when I listened to him,” said Chung.

“Squad Goals” is a good song to compose when reflecting on the Astros’ recent success. Chung is an avid fan of the team.

“I’ve followed them since 2004 when I was 12 and they were in the NLCS and lost in seven to the Cardinals. So I’ve been there. I was there and I was a young guy. I didn’t know not much in baseball. My parents are refugees from the Vietnam War, so I didn’t grow up watching baseball,” he said. “It’s something that I saw it on TV and thought, that looks really cool and I identify with them. So it’s kind of come full circle that we win a championship, we exercise all the demons and we bury all the narratives and we can do that as a city. And Mark and I are probably Astros fanatics as well, we just come from different backgrounds but we have more in common than we don’t and we wanted to show we could have fun. And we were happy to have him on board.

Click to enlarge

Team up! Paper Gliders is gearing up for a big 2023

Photo by Jean Velez, courtesy of Paper Gliders

He will be on board for the Black Friday Ball, as a special guest, with support from Terra Coast and No Rehearsal.

“We kind of brought him onto the set because of the way things went and we felt there couldn’t be a greater opportunity for the two artists to combine and be a part of it. each other for that night. I mean, team goals, right? That’s the idea.

“We’re really excited to have him on board, especially on a show that’s promoted with indie rock bands, to have a Houston like him to be welcomed into the fold, I think that alone is going to be exciting.” , Chung said. . “I think he fits in well and I think people who could potentially enjoy our music would also enjoy his music.”

Chung also said that Drew’s current success is a result of the many hours it takes to break through, the same road Paper Gliders travels, and the path to success people everywhere charted in all sorts of endeavors. This makes “Squad Goals” a theme song for anyone banding together to achieve a goal.

“It’s well deserved,” Chung said of Drew’s recent congratulations, “and I think we all share that kind of American Dream fuel. If you keep working hard and being good and kind to everything the world, good things will eventually happen. That’s the idea.”

Paper Gliders is celebrating the release of their new 7″ vinyl for “Squad Goals” at the Black Friday Ball, Friday, November 25 at White Oak Music Hall, 2915 N. Main. With Mark Drew, Terra Coast and No Rehearsal. Doors at 7:30 p.m. for this show for all ages. $10.

About Debra D. Johnson

Check Also

New book traces the paper trail of Montana’s history

Collector and historian Thomas Minckler has spent half a century collecting 19th and early 20th …