Younger readers of The Noise might have difficulty relating to the following, but circa the turn of the millennium Dunkin’ Donuts sold caps bearing a legend along the lines of “Red Sox/ Yankees: The hundred-year rivalry”; this caused an incorrigibly snide talk-radio host derisively to cite the saw, “The rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox is like the rivalry between a hammer and nail.” This dynamic comes to mind when regarding Those Alone, because the band’s story is essentially the story of founder and lead singer Mike Giammarco… who lives south of the state line, in his native Rhode Island. Just as the Big Apple, some 215 miles down I-95, casts its shadow over us here in the Athens of America, so too does the Hub draw limelight away from Providence and environs. Presently you’ll discover that one can’t keep a good rocker down, but prior to evincing said happy moral let’s direct some love to Mike’s crew.
Mat Sarcia, Michael Vellante, and Jon Morris are all Bay State denizens, thus technically it’s a stretch to tab Those Alone qua Little Rhody outfit. Whether he’s wielding an ax in service to Those Alone, toiling at his day job, or pursuing a business degree, Mat Sarcia is the same guy: The last word in taciturn, Mat is a bona fide technician whose focus on doing justice to his instrument amounts to one of the band’s greatest strengths. He and Mike have been collaborating since 2012, when he responded to the latter’s ad on craigslist. Michael Vellante also came aboard via Craigslist, last year; while he has fifty percent fewer strings to pluck than Mat; he’s exponentially more garrulous; buttonhole him following a show and you’ll have a new boon companion! Those Alone’s drummer joined the lineup most fortuitously; Jon Morris and Mike Giammarco just happened to cross paths in the workplace. Jon’s just one of those guys who’s carrying more incidental skills in his quiver than is readily apparent.
As pledged, the balance of this profile will concentrate on Those Alone originator Mike Giammarco; that said, in examining the friendly front man one is actually treating a couple of overarching themes… one old (indeed, ancient), one new (verily, cutting edge). The scantest acquaintance with classical history reveals how important music has been to man since written language was devised (and doubtless long before that). Take it in good faith that Mike would’ve fit right into society two-and-a-half millennia ago. [Whether he would actually like living in the Iron Age we will ignore.] That’s because with him it’s ALL about making music. While a lot of rockers harbor – or make no bones about – an agendum such as impressing chicks (certainly that’d be this scribbler’s motivation), desire to be part of the scene, a craving for performance, some combination of the preceding, etc., etc., Mike lives to emit a joyful noise. He’s content conducting a modest existence so long as it’s funded by revenue raised from his passion (e.g., voice and guitar instruction).
It’s possible Mike had no choice in the matter: He was literally born into it. Giammarco’s dad was a psychedelic rocker back in the day, whose band, Crystal Chandelier, previously bore the moniker Those Alone; in reviving said “brand,” Mike pays tribute to his two greatest supporters, his parents.
If you’re (still) reading this, you know how technology has utterly transformed the music industry. You don’t have to accept the opinion of some ‘zine x band is kickass; you instead sample ditties readily available via electronic media and make up your own mind. [That’s what America is all about.] Ergo this outlet encourages you to check out Those Alone’s YouTube channel; in particular, direct your attention to the show they played at the Hard Rock (Boston location) circa the vernal equinox. [That gig was the championship round of a band competition.] While there, also seek the rendition of “Empty Spaces” (recent winner of an Akademia award) performed on the night Those Alone preceded Highly Suspect at Fete in Providence. Folks who live-stream might hear Mike Giammarco and company on WEMF, Reverbnation, Boston Rock Radio, or assorted other ’net entities… [In fact, cyberspace is your best bet for hearing Those Alone these days; the quartet’s busy in the studio transforming the 5-song EP String by String into a full-length, consequently their live appearances have dwindled.]