Written by guest writer Angela Mastrogiacomo, Founder/Owner of our friends at Infectious Magazine and Muddy Paw PR
It was just over 5 years ago that my life changed forever. Wandering down the streets of Providence, RI and into the dingy walls of Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel on Washington Street, I had no idea the direction my life was about to take. As I sat in the audience, waiting for my favorite band, Anberlin, to take the stage, I found myself fixated on the opening band. A five-piece from Rhode Island that called themselves The Coming Weak. It was in those moments that I found myself suddenly obsessing over the idea of getting this small time, unsigned band into the eyes and ears of anyone that would listen. It was that night that my music blog, Infectious Magazine was born. And it was 5 years later, in that same vein of inspiration and determination that I decided to launch my public relations company, Muddy Paw PR. All because I got to an Anberlin concert a little early. In this sense, Anberlin are quite literally responsible for the path my life has taken.
As soon as I began Infectious, I made a “must interview” list, and at the very top was none other than Anberlin. Just 5 months after Infectious was born, in the summer of 2009, I interviewed Stephen and Nate in the back of their bus for what would become one of my absolute favorite interviews to date. It was, fun, relaxed, and easy to bounce jokes off one another. To be honest, it felt a lot more like hanging out with old friends than new strangers. I loved every minute of it, and it only further inspired me to take my dreams to the next level.
As the years went on, I made it a point to attend every Anberlin show that came through Boston, and in the past 5 years have had the extreme pleasure of interviewing the band four times. And although they say you should never meet your idols, I can’t imagine where my life would be had I not. As I boarded their bus for the first (but not yet last) time, I’ll never forget how nervous I was. Here I was, this 20-year-old girl full of nothing but admiration and awe for the two people I was about to interview. And they were taking time out of their insanely busy schedule to talk to me. I couldn’t believe it. But as soon as the interview began and we all started talking, that instantly faded away. I wasn’t nervous, and in fact, felt completely at ease being myself. That just goes to show what genuine people they are.
Earlier this summer, I conducted my fourth and final interview with the band at the 2014 Vans Warped Tour with Stephen and Joe. Not only was it another fantastic interaction and interview, but it meant that I had officially interviewed everyone in the band. Something I could have never dreamed of five years ago when I started Infectious.
I don’t know if they’ll ever quite understand the impact they’ve had on me, and so many others. But I do hope that when all is said and done and they’re settled into the routines of their lives off the road, they can look back and feel not just nostalgia, or the occasional twinge of pain that comes from missing what once was, but that they can feel a sense of pride, a sense of accomplishment in knowing that they’ve made so many people’s lives infinitely better. That their dream has inspired so many other dreams. I hope I can say that someday about my passions. To make a difference in even one person’s life, to inspire one dream, would be an honor. And if ever I get to that point, you can bet I’ll still be singing praise to Anberlin for making it all happen, starting on that cold January night back in 2009.
Angela Mastrogiacomo is a forever Anberlin fan, coffee lover, and ice cream fanatic, as well as owner of music blog Infectious Magazine and public relations company Muddy Paw PR. Both specialize in bringing up and coming bands into the eyes and ears of the public, and wouldn’t exist without Anberlin.