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Talking to Tourmaline

Tourmaline is commonly referred to as a red gem stone, but what you might not know is that it's also one of the quirkiest bands I've met, and they're bursting at the seams with unique talent. We spoke briefly after a show they played on a freezing Buffalo night last December.

This band hails from New Jersey. Their CD is entitled "Strange Distress Calls." They're part of No Milk Records, a label that is also home to a local favorite, Sleepaway. They dish out new music often, which keeps their fans happy. Matt Rauch is lead vocalist and singer, and his brother Max heads the percussion. Ryan Baredes also plays guitar. Corey Zaloom, the band's feminist dances to her synth, and newest member Justin Niemic plays bass. The music Web site says "Tourmaline has all the makings for success. They have proven themselves more than capable of writing both excellent slow ballads and upbeat pop numbers, and they have that innate ability of knowing what is ear-pleasing."

What were some of the main influences writing "Strange Distress Calls"?

Matt Rauch: My relationships with people. The way that it all affects my life, basically. Life and all that kind of stuff. Starbucks is a big influence for us.

What are your favorite spots to tour?

Corey Zaloom: Michigan and Wisconsin.

Max Rauch: I like Wisconsin! I love Wisconsin. The kids love us there! It's beautiful!

Ryan Baredes: They're very accepting people.

Max: They've got good dairy products, too. I like Buffalo! The wings! Oh my god!

What do you do when you get home from tour?

Max: I'm Max! And I have a bunch of friends that I chill with usually. I have fun. I try to enjoy my teen years; I'm still 17 years old.

Matt: I try to find my surroundings again. I write and record a lot of ideas and demos and stuff.

Ryan: Play video games!

Max: We like to watch the History Channel a lot, too. That's my favorite channel; I could watch it all day long! With my friends, by myself --

Matt: In the shower --

Max: Yeah! I got a TV in my shower! How cool is that? I can watch the History Channel while I'm taking a shower. But I can't get the TV wet because if I get the TV wet, it doesn't work. Then you die in the shower, and you don't want that.

Were you always set on the style of your music?

Matt: The style wasn't ever a set thing. It's never been.

Max: We listen to everything. We appreciate all types of music. We're not like one way, we're just like whatever. Whatever comes out, comes out.

Matt: Whatever feels right and flows right.

Max: We're not trying to be death metal.

Matt: It's more of a subconscious thing. Subconsciously it floats out of you. And I think for all of us, it's the right thing. We know what's right. If it's forced, that's not right. I think everyone in the band shares the same views.

Max: If it's right, it will always feel right. If it's wrong, it will always feel wrong.

Ryan: We've also matured a lot as a band. We've all gotten to know each other. Kind of like we're all going through puberty.

Max: No! We went through puberty!

So, you've probably been asked this a lot, but what's it like being the one girl with four guys?

Corey: It's really not that bad!

Max: There's a lot of boy jokes that go around --

For additional information on the quirky band, visit

Jessie Lewis is a senior at Williamsville East.

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