Future looks bright for Poor Young Things

Connection to The Trews helped North York band along

It’s 3 o’clock on a Monday afternoon and Matt Fratpietro and his Poor Young Things band mates are excited about the newly acquired Victorian style chairs they just picked up from the side of the road.

“We just moved,” he says. “We’re in a nicer neighbourhood but we’re like the (lousy) house, but all these people, the stuff they’ll throw out, like they’ll throw out a brand new leather couch.”

Fresh off their first major tour supporting The Trews, Fratpietro reveals the most important lesson he learned on the road was not to trust the fellow Canadian rockers.

“Those guys would prank us all the time so we just learned to be less trusting,” he says, interrupted by the sound of the fire alarm ringing through the band’s house.

“Oh no, the chairs!”

Hailing from Thunder Bay, he says most of the group, which includes bassist Scott Burke, drummer Konrad Commisso and guitarists Michael Kondakow and Dave Grant, met in high school. After playing in different bands and doing cover shows they decided to relocate to focus more seriously on making music.

They found a house in North York near Bathurst Street and Finch Avenue the same weekend in November 2010 where they loaded up a trailer and drove down with as many processions as they could cram in.

“We didn’t have anything up until that point so we came in kind of under the wire,” he says. “It’s always exciting to leave your hometown and kind of go out into the world and try to make your own way.”

Although he jokes being fulltime musicians means they have to resort to furnishing their home with other people’s trash, things have happened quickly for the band since they made the move.

“Our friend Jeff Heisholt, who is the keyboard player in The Trews but he’s also a Thunder Bayite, was the one that told us to come to Toronto. And when we got here, he hooked us up with a guy in Hamilton that we did some demos with, and then he showed the demos to Bumstead, which was The Trews’ label,” he says. “Then they came out and saw us and I guess for some reason they liked what they saw.”

Although he says luck and talent were part of the mix, he also credits their success to hard work and the number of live shows they played to get more experience prior to recording their debut EP Let It Sleep.

Fratpietro says they changed their band name to Poor Young Things because they wanted a fresh start when they moved to Toronto and says the moniker stems from a song.

“We were just big fans of Peter Elkas and we loved that song and in that song it says, ‘you and me let’s make a band, we’ll call it Poor Young Things’ and then we did,” he says. “And then we met him and he was like, ‘Oh, I was actually going to use that for my next band’ and then we felt really bad.”

Before they embarked on the last tour, which wrapped up during Canadian Music Week, they moved into their current digs together near Bathurst Street and Lawrence Avenue, which is why they are just now settling in.

“It seems like most of the band highlights are coming right now,” he says. “The Trews tour was great, we got really spoiled on this first tour. Canadian Music Week was awesome … playing between Wintersleep and The Reason, that was fantastic.”

The band ended their set at the Horseshoe Tavern with a cover of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World,” which also saw members of The Trews, Adam White of The Reason, Tim Chaisson and Tom Wilson of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings and Junkhouse take the stage.

“They say that if you don’t get nervous then you don’t really have a love for it anymore,” he says. “I always get nervous not right as we’re going on stage but about 10, 15 minutes before and then it kind of goes away. Once you get on stage it’s kind of like autopilot. You just take it away and then we wake up from our black out and the show is over.”

About this article:

By: Ann Ruppenstein
Posted: Apr 19 2012 3:43 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto