You know how sometimes you hear a song and it’s just what you needed to hear? The new song, “Going Out Dancing” by newly formed band Social Order, is exactly that song. Social Order is a band formed during COVID-19 by four guys with a creative vision and a heart for bringing something uplifting and fun into the chaos that we all find ourselves in. Made up of Mason Musso (of Metro Station), Louis Vecchio (of New Politics), Anthony Improgo (of Parade of Lights, LOWLAH), and Matthew Di Pani (of The Mowgli’s), Social Order reminds us that even though things can get bad there is love and there is hope and there is always, always the music. By thinking outside of the box these guys have come together, virtually, of course, to bring the infusion that our playlists (and our hearts) needed.
I’ve enjoyed the music of all four of the bands these guys hail from over the years and to hear that they had come together with a new project was exciting, to say the least. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and it’s not often that you get talent like this together in one supergroup. Let’s just say that these guys are putting their talents together for the good of us all and doing it amazingly well, especially considering that they’ve not even been able to be in the same room together. I’m hooked and I trust that you will be too. I got the chance to chat with Mason and Anthony and hear more about how Social Order was born and how they have made it all work in this new world we all find ourselves in.
I’m thrilled to meet up with you guys! I’ve gotten hooked on the song and it’s exactly what we all need right now. So how did Social Order actually come together to be a thing?
Mason: The very first thing was our manager introduced me to Lou, the drummer, online. I rented a house in Palm Springs towards when everything was getting shut down and I was kind of feeling down and trying to figure out what I was going to do. So he introduced me to Lou and I wondered if he knew Matt from The Mowgli‘s because I‘d worked with Matt a bunch. They knew each other so I was like “This is awesome! Maybe we could all do something together!” Then I hit up Anthony because we needed one more element, kind of the perfect puzzle piece to make this whole thing work. So Anthony jumped on board. Our first thing was a Zoom call and we all really clicked. We all kind of knew each other from touring and stuff like that but we’ve never all been in the same room together because we were formed during the quarantine.
Anthony: That Zoom call was actually the first time I met Matt and Lou. Mason and I had been in Metro Station back in the day so he’s like my little brother. It’s funny, because on that Zoom call I told Matt, “Wait a minute. I had a cigarette with you when Parade of Lights and The Mowgli’s opened up for 30 Seconds to Mars in Vegas.” With Lou, in between bands I was doing some session work so I did some work for Big Time Rush and then on drums was Lou. So it’s kind of been six degrees of separation with all of us which is cool.
That’s cool! So you kind of all knew each other on the perimeters, but here in the middle of this crazy time, finally gave you the chance to come together and make something happen!
Mason: Well, that’s kind of in the name. I mean, we’re living in a whole new social order with people communicating even more so now online than we were, for better or for worse, before.
Was it a bit of sanity for you guys too? In the middle of all this, tours are being cancelled and you can’t get into a studio to do things together. It’s kind of a creators-gotta-create and musicians-gotta-music and how do you make that happen? Did it bring a bit of that back into your world then?
Mason: For me, I was definitely feeling a little crazy. Obviously, there are people who have it way worse than me, but being alone I’ve been really trying to isolate and not really see people, not hang out with friends or go to parties. It does drive you a little crazy, but yeah, one of the great things was being able to hop on Zoom with these guys, talk about music, talk about different ideas we had for the group. It has definitely helped me a lot being able to bounce ideas back and forth with these guys, with my bandmates.
Anthony: I think, also, there’s something that’s born from all this chaos. You have to work a little bit harder and more creatively so we don’t take things for granted now. If someone’s gonna have an idea, I’ll lay some chords on it or Mason will sing on it and we don’t treat it like we did before COVID. But yeah, it’s definitely hit everyone. I supplement my income with graphic design and that’s been slow since businesses are down. For Matt, on the side he also tour manages. That’s another income stream for him and that’s out the door. It’s been tough.
It’s interesting to see so many artists doing so many things and get creative with things and thinking outside of the box. Just to get your thoughts on this, how do you think the state of music is going to come out at the end of all this? Do you think it’s going to change in many ways?
Mason: Absolutely. One of the things I was thinking in my head the other day is that people are saying once this is over things will all go back to normal. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I don’t think we’re all going to go back to normal. Like you’re saying, I think it’s going to be very different. I think the big arena shows and festivals are going to come back last. In my opinion, I think it will be easier to handle small clubs. So I can kind of see the allure that small clubs used to have coming back. Places like the Whisky a Go Go or the Roxy and that are still really cool, but it once had this super appeal. You HAD to play there. I think those smaller venues are going to be even more important than they were before COVID.
Anthony: That’s a good point, Mason. I feel like over the last few years there’s a festival every three days and there are 200 gazillion bands in that festival. It’s kind of diluting things. It’s nicer to have maybe more of a traditional thing where you get, I don’t know, ten bands or something so you can actually enjoy more than three songs.
Mason: It’s just easier to deal with. They’re going to have to be fever checking everyone and doing all those things so I think those smaller venues will have a bigger pull. Who knows? Maybe even A & R guys will start going to those smaller venues again looking for talent instead of finding them on Soundcloud.
And really, speaking from the observer side of it. Those are the shows that a lot of us like more. It’s so much more intimate. You can be closer and more in things, not sitting up in the nosebleeds because tickets were $300 to see someone.
But even on collaborations like this, I’ve been seeing a lot of different artists that maybe would have never even thought of collaborating together, but through Zoom or live streams or whatever, suddenly there are different people doing things they never would have thought of before together.
Mason: Absolutely! It’s so true.
Anthony: Exactly. I think this wouldn’t have happened if there was no pandemic because everyone’s lives are so busy. Like Mason is in LA and he’s just constantly writing with other artists. So yeah, it’s a forced break.
And it’s good to see the good that can come out of this despite all the bad. Some of this has just been so amazing to see! Things like what you guys are doing!
Mason: You know, Anthony’s mother said something to me when we were watching the music video together. She said, “There’s hope in the song.” I thought, man, even though this whole thing is very serious, the song does have this hope in it. Even though it doesn’t necessarily only have to do with the pandemic, but yeah, it’s very hopeful.
Yes and that’s something I wanted to ask because the song really is sort of a happy way of looking at not only the current situation that we’re all in but really in everything. Sometimes things are going to be bad. Things aren’t always going to be great, but I’m with the people that I love and we’re going to make the best out of it and go out dancing. Was that kind of your goal as you all sat down to work on this? How did you even begin to start?
Mason: 100 percent. I had the idea of exactly what you were saying. Even while the world’s coming down, I’m gonna go out dancing. Kind of my “I’ll stop the world and melt with you” type feeling. I definitely did feel like that. Again, I know people are having it way worse than I am, but I just didn’t want to sit there and be depressed. I wanted to write something that was uplifting. Then the guys came in and they definitely honed it in and we switched some stuff around especially during the mixing and mastering, but I think having us all together doing it really made it what it was. Especially the video and the other content we’re going to be putting out. Like, we have a stripped-down version of the song with just me on piano which is really cool because if a song works with all the bells and whistles taken out then you have something really cool on your hands.
Anthony: To add to the video aspect and the hopefulness, that idea was born from another Zoom call. Mason said “We should get all of our friends and do it. That’s what they’re doing anyway. They’re just at home.” So this was recorded very early on, probably during the first few weeks of shelter in place but we just didn’t release it until now. I think it really represents what people are going through and that’s why when people watch the video, they can relate to it in a way.
Definitely! And how much fun did everybody have doing that? To get your friends and family in on that….you can’t watch that video and not just grin. It just looks like everyone is having a blast.
Anthony: When I was editing it I was laughing the whole time.
Mason: That’s the funniest part. I was trying to tell my friends “Listen. I’m going to send you a song and I want you to dance to it.” I think some of them felt like they didn’t want to look stupid or whatever and I just said “Trust me. Anthony’s got this. No one is going to look dumb. Bring your dogs, your kids, everyone just dance.”
Well, and that’s where we’re all at. We’re home with our family, our pets and whatever so why not? Extremely relatable. Another thing I wanted to ask was that you all come from different bands so how was it to collaborate with new people? Did that bring some fun and some interesting dynamics back into that was well?
Anthony: I think in every band, there’s the guy that just kind of coasts, there’s the diva, and then there’s the talented songwriter that’s in his head. I think Mason is the talented songwriter that’s in his head and I’m kind of like the guy that complements that. Matt and Lou too, we’re all like the nice guys in the band. So our first Zoom we just knew. Being in music, you just know within two seconds. So that’s the one thing we all felt is that there was a connection there. It was all very easy and it’s still very easy. The guys are very communicative and easy to talk to, lots of great ideas and we’re not trying hard at it. I think that’s the key and that’s why it’s going well.
And when you’re in a band for a certain amount of time, it seems like you all can kind of fall into those categories, into your place, and you can get stuck in those ruts and that’s where you fall all the time. So to be able to do something like this, a co-creation with other people just brings a whole new something to what you’re doing.
Anthony: Yeah! And when Mason and I do talk, we always tell each other we have our other bands, but with this, it has to be our release, our break. This can’t be work. If it takes off, cool. If we tour with it, then cool. But it has to stay in this place. If not, it’s going to turn into every other band. Your creative relationship, unless you’re really really really good, it lasts for about five years. And then there are those legacy bands, like U2 maybe, where they keep at it and they’re still together but that takes a lot of work. Those are special bands and they make it work to make it last that long. For us, we want to keep it in that space because it feels good right now.
So what’s your plan going forward? Do you guys have more stuff in the works (she asks hopefully)?
Mason: We do! Especially when we can tour. We have a couple of different booking agents that want to start booking us some shows. But yeah, we have a bunch of different songs we’re working on right now and hopefully, when bands are able to tour we can get out on the road and do some shows. I think that would be a lot of fun.
Anthony: I’m actually really excited for the next song that we’re working on right now. It’s pretty cool. I think you’ll like it.
I’m happy to hear that! Even with just this song, you can just feel that it’s coming from a fun, creative place. That comes across in the music. For people that really LISTEN to music, you can really tell. You were saying for bands that have been together for so many years and maybe they put out a new album and man, you can just tell it was a slog. The music may be good, but there’s that feeling there. For you guys, it’s such a great feeling right now so I’m looking forward to some new things! That’s exciting! Anything else that you guys wanted to add or make sure people know about?
Anthony: Just be sure to add us on the socials. We’ve got a lot of content we’re going to be putting out, whether it’s funny parts of our Zoom calls or things like that. We want to be as transparent and real as possible. We want to let people in more.
So one thing we always ask is “My Four”, so just kind of off the top of your head, what are four things that have just really brought you happiness and kept you sane over the last few months?
- Definitely talking to my family. I’m super lucky to still have my grandparents around so I talk to my grandma all the time and try to tell her everything’s going to be fine.
- I haven’t drunk in a long time but I’ve been buying lots of great Pinot Noir for when I do finally drink. That’s a fun thing.
- Now that it’s nice here we’re able to go to the beach. That’s always been a peaceful thing for me. I’ve always loved that.
- Listening to music. I don’t think I’ve listened to more music in my life.
- I’m in the desert and it’s very vast. So I’m lucky there’s this running/biking trail right by my house and it’s 20-30 miles of paved trails and nobody is on there. That’s how I’ve kept my sanity actually. I go out really early to beat the heat and go out.
- Music and recording. I’ve always recorded demos here and there but I’ve never really taken the time to produce something that’s quality. I’ve always been the artist, playing things. Being on the production side, it’s a different beast. So I’ve been delving into just being a better producer and musician overall.
- My pets. I cuddle with them more. I see them more often and they’re really happy because we never leave the house.
- Social Order is an unexpected project that came into my lap. Mason and I being friends for ten years, it’s not always the best. We’ve had blowouts. We’ve had times where we don’t talk, but I think that’s a sign of a good friendship is you take the good with the bad and learn forgiveness. We made up and it’s just like it was when we were in Metro Station and we’re good friends first and foremost. So yeah, friendship is my number four.
“Going Out Dancing”, the first single from Social Order, is out now on all your favorite streaming services. Please be sure to check out the song and dance along to the video. Follow, like, subscribe on socials and just enjoy and have fun with it! I know I’ll be dancing along with Social Order for quite some time and cannot wait to see what else these guys have coming!
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