Two Fordham Seniors Turn A Spotlight On Their Band Blackout


Dane Cotsonas, FCLC ’10, talks about his new musical adventures with Paul Lynch, FCLC ’10 and Jimmy Meirer, Westwood High School ’10, in creating Blackout. (Courtesy of Dane Cotsonas)

Published: March 4, 2010

Blackout plays power-chord driven, wholesome rock. The partially Fordham-based band could be described as the less pop-infused cousin of Weezer or some other such band, with more adrenaline. Dane Cotsonas, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’10, provides the vocals and plays bass, Paul Lynch, FCLC ’10, plays guitar, and Jimmy Meier, Westwood High School ’10, plays drums. The band is in its infantile stages, but Cotsonas and the band approach their music with an openness that could allow them to expand their sound however they’d like. The Observer spoke with frontman Dane Cotsonas to find out a little more about the band.

Observer: How did Blackout form?

DC: Paul and I had been playing music together before the band—we’re roommates. Paul and Jimmy work at ShopRite (in New Jersey) together. Originally it was just me and Paul. Paul would talk about the band, but no one had ever met me, and no one really thought I existed. Paul mentioned Jimmy to me because Jimmy played drums, and I actually met him this past summer.

Observer: What does your music sound like? Influences?

DC: Whenever someone asks me, “What’s your music like?” I’m like, “Um. I don’t know.” All the songs we’ve written so far are somewhat similar, but they still sound fairly different from each other. Our tastes aren’t unified. For example, Paul loves Oasis. I kind of like Oasis. I’m more… I like Pulp; they were huge in England. They’re almost dance rock. Jimmy? I don’t even know. That kid loves so many different kinds of music. It’s okay for me to call him “kid,” because he’s like four years younger than us. Jimmy has mentioned liking Avenged Sevenfold, which kind of surprised me.

OBSERVER: Is there something you want to acomplish as a musician?

DC: That’s funny, I asked Paul that the other night. Paul said that he would like to work with an orchestra or something, like a small orchestral setup along with a rock group. I’ve always said that you know you’ve made it as a well respected rock band when you have, at least in one song, a backup gospel choir. I’d love to have a good duet with a female singer, as well.

OBSERVER: What’s your take on Lady Gaga—love her or hate her?

DC: I’m going to quote my dad and say that “Lady Gaga out-Madonna’d Madonna.” I think she’s really talented, as bizarre as she is. I wouldn’t go as far as to say she’s like the David Bowie of our generation, but she’s close to that. She’s cool. I wouldn’t say she’s my favorite female artist.

OBSERVER: Oh, who would that be?

DC: I have a gigantic crush on P.J. Harvey. It’s absurd. I’m like a 16-year-old girl about her.

OBSERVER: How does Jimmy feel about that, with his love for Avenged Sevenfold? I mean, P.J. Harvey is somewhat… girly… in comparison.

DC: I… haven’t brought it up yet. There’s a time and a place for everything. I guess I’m a closet P.J. Harvey fan.

OBSERVER: Do you have any recordings in the works?

DC: The three of us have about four or five songs written together as a band. If they’re not recorded already they’re in the process of being recorded. Right now I think we’re just recording to be able get songs up on Myspace.

OBSERVER: Do you have any gigs coming up?

DC: We have two upcoming shows at Bar East in April. We had a show during winter break at Bar East, but with no one around, it was hard to get people from Fordham to come. When you’re first starting off as a band you really have to rely on all of your friends going to shows. Really though, we’ve gotten nice crowds for being a band that has just gotten going. We’re just happy to play at any time.