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Clear for Takeoff Talks Up New Music in HC Chatham Sit-down

[Clear for Takeoff’s new single launches tonight! HC Chatham Music Blogger Onastasia Youssef gets a private sit-down with the band.]

“I think we all go back a really long way as far as our musical pursuits go…” Joe Whiting, Clear for Takeoff’s drummer, explained. “My parents had me take piano lessons… So did Mark, and Joey’s been involved in school bands…After all our prior training at school, it was a natural next step to form a rock band. As we got older and were able to get into more legit venues and clubs, that’s kind of where it went from there. We were able to transition from high school messing around to being a pretty serious band.”
Brendan Biondi, the lead singer and guitarist, interjects, “Being awesome!”
“Yeah,” singer and piano player Marc LaMartina adds, “I think…that we all had a lot of different smaller bands that we were a part of that became pretty successful in our own right, but when we met each other and formed Clear for Takeoff, it was different. We could tell it was special compared to everything else, it fit really well, we had a lot of chemistry together, and the rest is history.”
History began in 2009 when Marc LaMartina and Brendan Biondi, the band’s lead singers, met. After joining with drummer Joe Whiting and bass player Joey Enste, they formed alternative band Clear for Takeoff. Working together to create a rock sound (which they describe as “Jimmy Eats World meets New Found Glory”), they drew inspiration from their favorite bands: The Beatles, the Ramones and Queen.
“Well, besides the sex and the drugs… [All laugh],” Brendan continued, “I think we all just eat, sleep, and breathe music. It’s just who we are.”
In Towson, Maryland, the boys performed their first show together at the Recher Theatre in June 2010. The band’s second appearance as Clear for Takeoff was at the Last Band Standing Competition at Jammin’ Java. For some, it was their first time in a band with two lead singers. For some of the others, it was just another day in the life as a musician.
Even so, they knew there was something special about this band. Similar values and music influences led to a long-lasting collaboration that eventually blossomed into their first EP, Wake the City. Brendan notes that, “Every song on the CD is special to us, because we wrote them all. ‘Rockaby in E-Flat,’ it’s a different like dance, old-school kind of vibe and it…wound up playing in [Hollister] stores worldwide.”
“We had the whole story behind the album,” Joey says. “Brendan and I had a bunch of songs we recorded and Marc had a bunch of songs…. ‘The Drive Home’ was written after we had formed Clear for Takeoff, it was the first song we ever wrote together.”
Joe says, “We like to have fun…one of our goals is just to make the experience fun.…” The band notes that they try not to become too gimmicky, but they like to keep their performances fresh and entertaining for the crowd. “We dressed up as Ninja Turtles on stage for Halloween.”
The band’s biggest success to date was performing at the 2010 Virgin Mobile Free Fest. Its turnout – over 50,000 – was a new record for the festival, which featured performers such as Cee Lo Green.
Marc states, “That was such a fun experience… our stage was right next to the West Stage.” There, famous dubstep artist deadmau5 played. “The way it was set up, every time the West Stage would end, we would play, and it went back and forth.”
The band’s official YouTube channel features both behind-the-scenes video of the band’s activity and comic episodes written and performed by the band members. Clear for Takeoff credits this online presence to Brendan, who is a big fan of the video-sharing site and its many famous faces, including Charles Trippy, who attended the Virgin Mobile Free Fest.
Marc added, “He’s gotten us obsessed, as well, so Brendan was the orchestrator of our YouTube stuff. He’s gotten me on it now… I love checking out live performances on YouTube.”
“We love interacting with people,” Marc continues. “We want to explore it as much as possible. We’re not one of those bands who don’t really check it or aren’t the ones who are behind it… That is the most important thing to us. We run our Facebook ourselves, every comment that is posted, we see it and we respond to them. We love reading every single one and we want our fans to know that we care about what they have to say and that we appreciate them.”

The band remarks on their newest work: “We didn’t showcase our writing on the first album. [The second album is] more narrative and relatable. They tell stories, and people can really get into them even more so than our first album. We’re excited to hear how people react to it and if it strikes a chord with them.”
Brendan holds up a doll of R2DR: “He’s going to be playing the beeps and the boops.”
Clear for Takeoff’s second EP, Line of Fire, comes out on iTunes April 21st, 2012. Be sure to buy their latest single today, and visit their official website or Facebook for news articles, music, videos, and more!

Meet the Band!
Marc LaMartina (Singer/Keyboard)
Age – 26
Hometown – Sykesville, MD
Favorite Show – Dexter
Favorite Pizza Place – Pizza Boli’s
Favorite Personal Sport – Martial arts
Brendan Biondi (Singer/Electric Guitar)
Age – 25
Hometown – Ellicott City, MD
Favorite Show – Merlin
Favorite Pizza Place – Pizza Boli’s
Favorite Personal Sport – Foosball
Joe Whiting (Drummer)
Age – 23
Hometown – Maryland State
Favorite Show – Lost
Favorite Pizza Place – Pizza Boli’s
Joey Enste (Bass)
Age – 24
Hometown – Ocean City, MD
Favorite Show – Downtown Abbey
Favorite Pizza Place – Pizza Boli’s
Favorite Personal Sport 

Photo Credit: Clear for Takeoff Official Facebook page

HerCampus Chatham's Entertainment Writer, Onastasia Youssef graduated from high school in 2010 and entered Chatham University the same year. Although she majors in Art History and English, she has always had a passion for music journalism. She hopes to engage her readers with exciting stories that will broaden their knowledge of musical genres and provide them with the very latest in the entertainment world. Random Fun Facts: Favorite Movie - The Avengers Favorite Album - No Fences Favorite Color - Blue Favorite Food - Yogurt (yes, yogurt)
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