Paul Quattrone is one of the busiest bees in the buzzing Pittsburgh scene. Best known as the drummer of psych-rock trio Modey Lemon, he also takes the throne in freakout-rockers Midnite Snake, hardcore screamers Baby Bird and the amazing percussion/electronics duo Italian Ice, with Centipede E'est skinbasher Sam Pace.
Yet somehow he found time to audition for Brooklyn dance-rockers !!! (usually pronounced "chik chik chik") who have a decade-long discography on Touch & Go and Warp Records. "They actually came to me," recalls Quattrone. "They left a message on my machine on a night that Italian Ice played. It was totally sudden and out of the blue."
Initially, !!! sent Quattrone three songs to learn; he schlepped a minimal kit up to their practice studio, and after two days of tryouts, was in. "When I was in high school, I was in a funk band," he says. "I've been wanting to play in a dance band since then."
Quattrone's new position in !!! ensures one of his most hectic summers in years. For May and June, he'll be in New Zealand and Australia with !!!, returning to the States to rock Bonnaroo. Then he'll spend a month on the road promoting Modey Lemon's fourth and newest album, Season of Sweets, a follow up to The Birth of Jazz CD EP the band self-released in March.
Sweets came out May 13 on Birdman Records and sports a carefully assembled cover photo featuring a multitude of tasty candies. "That shot was taken in my backyard," beams Quattrone. Two recent attempts to hold a Sweets release party were aborted -- one by the Liars' cancellation, the other by a torrential downpour which thwarted a guerrilla show in the woods -- but Quattrone hopes to slide in a rescheduled date between tour stints. In July, !!! does the Pitchfork and Bumbershoot festivals, and then some dates on the way back to New York, where Quattrone will do double duty with Modey Lemon opening. The band plays Pittsburgh on July 22.
"By August, I'll be home for a few weeks, and hopefully the Baby Bird 12-inch will be out by then," he adds. "I've also recorded last month with Sam [Pace], so we're hoping to have something out. We have songs, but we also jammed for hours and did some droney percussion-based stuff. Another goal of mine will be to record another EP with Midnite Snake."
A tightly packed calendar is exactly what Quattrone wants right now in his life, as he ponders the possibility of visiting Japan for the first time and the excitement of going back to Europe with Modey. "It's going to be a grueling schedule, but I think I can roll with it. It's nice to feel productive."