A CD Review: Driving Through the Charts

By Renee DiPietro
March 1, 2001

photo courtesy of Matt Tholey

by Renee Di Pietro

assistant features editor

Some music is just about burning off energy. Getting a release from the day.

In the movie “Empire Records,” there is a scene where the manager of the record store, Joe, goes into his haven from stress, his office, and begins to play his frustration out on his drums.

As Joe starts beating on his drums, you can see the anxiety of the day disappear with each hit. He bangs the thin stick against the drum so fast that the noise is the only sign of movement you can pick up. He breaks out into a sweat and bangs extra hard.

Junior English/communication Matt Tholey has been using this sort of emotional outlet for the past seven years through his own drum playing.

“There’s a zone that playing the drums creates,” Tholey said.

The drums appealed to him because of the productivity he feels when playing and creating music while relieving stress.

He admits there is a whole rock star dream at the root of his playing.

In August, Tholey and two of his best friends from Archbishop Carroll High School in Radnor, Scott Slomeana and Anthony Dilella, formed their band, Drive Faster.

Slomeana and Dilella both are juniors at West Chester University, where the band will soon perform in the Music Festival on April 22.

“It’s going to be a good deal for us,” Tholey said. “A wide variety of bands will be there.”

Drive Faster is an emo-punk band. The difference between emo-punk and punk is in the lyrics and the presentations of the songs.

“In punk,” Tholey said, “the lyrics tend to be jovial and not have meaning. Emo-punk has more emotions involved and lyrics have more meaning.”

Emo-punk is sang the way the artist feels and the emotion is self-explanatory by the end of the song.

Drive Faster’s demo CD, “cause they said we couldn’t do it,” is full of energy with fast songs. The nine songs on the demo have a format close to Green Day and Blink 182 with guitar solos that one finds in many Third Eye Blind songs.

The solos are quick in time but have a slower tempo as the song picks up. The CD was recorded in December at Creep Records and the band already has five new songs with more on the way.

“Every practice we have new material,” Tholey said. Each member pitches in to write new songs or to help the other build on raw material.

Over time the format of the punk band may shift because the band is open to change and also because the new material is already starting to grow and mature into an older form of their origin work.

“The songs we recently started to write are a little more complex and more radio friendly,” Tholey said.

The band practices in a studio in Dilella’s basement and performs at any venue.

On Jan. 12, Drive Faster played at the University of Delaware.

The high school audience in Delaware is starting to grow to have a greater interest in the band than the local high schools in Pennsylvania.

Drive Faster can be downloaded on mp3.com. Every time a person downloads a song, the band moves up in the weekly polls, which will allow them more radio play. Tholey, Slomeana and Dilella send out emails to people advertising their songs that are ready to be downloaded.

Tholey did that recently to the English/communication Department. One recent day, the band was listed at 92 out of a thousand bands.

When asked about the future and longevity of the band Tholey said, “We are best friends and with the exception of personal reasons, the band will live on for a while.”

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Renee DiPietro

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