Band Q&A – Qu!et

QU!ET are based in Suffolk county, New York! Their members are;

  • Michael Scarabino – Vocals/Guitar/Piano
  • AJay Hosking – Bass/Vocals
  • Juliana Pitto – Drums/Vocals

1. Who are your top 3 influences?

(Mike): Muse, Pvris, Against the Current.
(Juli): Personally I take influence from many different artists and genres but my main influence has been Cher. In terms of influence on writing and drumming I like older rock bands and I get a lot of inspiration from bands such as INXS, Bon Jovi.
(AJay): It’s hard to say. If I had to pick, probably Nine Inch Nails, Blink 182 and Foals.

2. How did you get your band name?

QU!ET was an idea that AJay came up with as we were brainstorming ideas for a new name. We liked the name for a few different reasons, but it really resonated with us because the word itself kind of matches our personalities in a way. However, our music isn’t exactly quiet, which is why we made it all caps and subbed the letter “I” with an exclamation point.

3. Your latest single came out October 11. What inspired the lyrics to ‘Halo’?

(AJay): The lyrics for Halo were based on observations that I made of people who were in abusive relationships, as well as drawing from my own experiences of being in that type of relationship and how tired I was of it all. You’re with someone who you love, but they treat you like garbage, manipulating you, hurting and sabotaging you, promising that they won’t do it again and that they’ll change but it just keeps happening over and over.

4. What is your current writing process?

We always try to have each band member to contribute to the song when we’re writing. One of us will come up with an idea for instrumentals and all three of us will take that idea and build upon it, adding our own ideas into the mix until we come up with something that we’re all happy with. From there, we’ll record demos which Mike would produce, and from that point we continue to fine tune the song until we’re satisfied.

5. What do you hope to achieve with your single ‘Halo’?

We’re hoping to show those people who are currently in an abusive relationship that they aren’t alone, that they are not the only one’s who’ve experienced it, and they don’t have to stay. At the same time, we want people who haven’t experienced anything like this to keep in mind that this is an issue, and to just stay alert and recognize when someone close to you is in need of help. There are many organizations out there that are dedicated to helping someone escape from situations like these, and we urge anyone who needs help to seek it out because everyone deserves to live a happy, and a safe life.

6. What was ‘Qu!et’s first gig experience like?

It was a very exciting night, and it was an amazing show! We played a small bar called Velvet Lounge on Long Island, and we packed it out with our biggest fans, closest friends and family members. It was great to bring everyone together to begin this era of the band.

7. Biggest challenge so far?

(Mike): Managing my time! Like anyone I have a life, a day job, and a number of things that get in the way of being a musician. Over the years I’ve learned how to prioritize what matters the most on a daily basis. It’s part of growing up, and once you figure out what works for you, everything gets easier.
(Juli): My biggest challenge definitely has been writing lyrics. I have many ideas in my head but getting the words down is extremely difficult for me.
(AJay): Definitely managing time between music and work.

8. Favourite thing about performing?

(Mike): There’s nothing more thrilling to me than going on stage with your best friends, in full force, and having the chance to show off what you practice so hard to do.
(Juli): I could list so many but definitely my favorite thing about performing is being in the moment on stage and getting into that character. When I’m on stage I’m not the insecure shy person I am when I’m not onstage. I love having that spotlight and moment all to myself.
(AJay): I’m more into the writing aspect of music rather than performing, although I can’t say anything bad about getting free drinks at the venue every once in a while.

9. What has been the most surreal moment of your career so far?

(Michael): Performing at Great South Bay Festival in 2018 was hands down insane! It’s one of Long Island’s biggest events, they host bands that everyone knows and loves. It was almost overwhelming to play a festival that I grew up attending.
(AJay): We opened up for most of the original line up of Third Eye Blind back in 2017, while they were touring under the name XEB. It was out of this world to see them play their debut album since they were one of my favorite bands growing up.

10. How did you all meet?

(Mike): AJay and I met at a party that my neighbour had one summer. This particular group of people was very into music, so we eventually crossed paths and began talking about our favorite bands and we hit it off. We jammed a week or two later. The following spring we discovered Juli on a facebook group called LI Musicians, she posted that she was looking for a band to play with. So we reached out to her, and we held an audition and she completed the lineup on the spot!

11. What do you all do when you’re not musically involved?

(Mike): I’m a World War II living historian, every now and then I participate in re-enactments and various events with my unit. I do this to share the legacies of the people who defended our country to younger generations.
(Juli): I don’t really have anything I do currently. All I can say I do is compose music in my spare time. I’m definitely all about family time when it comes to down time. I’m very involved with my family.
(AJay): I game heavily in my free time when I’m not focusing on music or when I’m not at work. You’ll usually catch me playing Warframe (Excalibur is best frame).

12. Where would you most like to perform?

(Mike): Definitely the one and only Madison Square Garden. To be a part of a passionate crowd of New Yorkers on an exciting evening, screaming the lyrics of your favorite artists is truly special. I can’t imagine how amazing it must be to feel that energy on stage, it would be incredible to experience that one day!
(Juli): I’d love to perform at Wembley stadium in England. This venue is so large, and it would be amazing to play to an audience in that stadium.

13. Who has the worst dress sense?

(Mike): I’m honestly not sure if I can answer that. My only complaint is when someone goes to a photoshoot wearing new and expensive footwear, and gets upset when they get ruined by the terrain. Totally directed at Juli!
(AJay): Mike, because he never wears jeans. Not once in my life have I seen this man wear jeans. Ever.

14. Funniest show story?

(Mike): A couple years ago we played at a bowling alley, and after our very last song in the set, we always play three heavy riffs from our favorite bands to help us leave it all out there. So the stage was next to a lane. During the riff session, AJay ran out on one of the lanes and he slipped! He wasn’t aware that it would be slippery. Me and Juli are getting a good laugh, and yet all three of us are still playing. I go out to make sure he’s okay and I almost fell myself! It’s not often that you get to play a venue like that, and we got a little more than what we bargained for, I think.
(AJay) I thought it would be a great idea to hop across the lanes, jumping over the gutters while playing. I think I got over two lanes before I slipped backwards, and I hit my head pretty hard. I wish I could’ve seen what I looked like from the crowd because it was definitely hilarious.

15. Pizza! What toppings do you have?

(Mike): Baked ziti! It happens to be my favorite food anyway, so I can’t go wrong with putting that on pizza. If I had to mention another notable topping, definitely chicken and bacon, too good.
(Juli): It depends what I’m in the mood for. Usually I go for pepperoni, bacon or chicken, whatever I’m feeling in the moment.
(AJay): Either plain or BBQ chicken. Can’t go wrong with either.

16. Most annoying member?

(Mike): Definitely AJay, for always calling out cheesy jokes at the wrong times, and keeps it up until Juli and I have had it.

17. Who has the worst tattoo?

(AJay): I’m the only one in this band with tattoos. I mean, I think they all look pretty good…

18. Fast forward and you’re millionaires. What do you do with the money?

(Mike): I would donate a lot of it to support military veterans in need. I care a lot about anyone who has ever sacrificed themselves for our country, they’ll always have my backing. Otherwise, I would probably order three custom guitars from Manson Guitar Works. They make the best instruments and I’d love to have an arsenal of my own!
(AJay): Either one of three things; donate a majority of it to some charitable cause, use it all on gear and equipment, or just drop off the grid and move away some place.
(Juli): I would definitely use the money to help my family. Also I would start an organization for people on the Autism Spectrum that like to play music. There is still a very bad stigma and discrimination against disabled people so that’s something I would want to help make in the future.

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Photo by Holly Turner.

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