What happens when a junkyard worker, an ice factory worker, biologist, and math tutor get together and make music? You get All Systems Go, a local pop-punk band based in Allen Park, MI. Despite a hodgepodge of college student jobs, these four united twenty-somethings all grew up with the classic stylings of bands like Blink-182 and New Found Glory, and consequently, their music incites the nostalgia of such bands in their heyday.
All Systems Go, inspired by the Boxcar Racer song of the same name, consists of Matthew “Rico” Morris on lead vocals/guitar, Joe Fenech on lead guitar, Andrew Camilleri on bass, and Andrew Laich on drums. The band steadily came together as the members left previous local projects such as Empire, Cassandra Nova, and Everson.
At its roots, ASG all started when Fenech, Laich and friends would record instrumental tracks for fun, but as they became more invested in the project and shared similar inspiration, a full band gig seemed like a viable option. The crew recruited Morris for guitar and vocals after his time with Empire ran its course, and Andrew Camilleri, looking to stay busy with music, hopped on board to play bass. The pieces began to fall into place.
Since their humble beginnings, All Systems Go have thus released two four-song EPs (self-titled and “Anywhere But Here”) and played a handful of local shows, typically at Simon’s After Dark in Allen Park. The two EPs scale the pop-punk spectrum, from “Put Up or Shut Up”-era All Time Low, to radio-esque Blink-182, all the way to the angst of modern acts like The Story So Far.
This can be attributed to the wide range of influences that the band is inspired by. While Fenech draws his lyrics and guitar work from bands like The Wonder Years and Four Year Strong, Laich takes quick-witted drumming notes from Aaron Gillepsie (of Underoath fame) and Camilleri slaps Taking Back Sunday bass hooks, with Morris as an aspiring Patrick Stump behind the mic. The result is a pop-punk band that any fan of the genre can enjoy.
Although the band would like to record their music professionally, they get by just fine by recording in Fenech’s basement under the moniker “Average Joe Records”. Fenech says that the recording process for each song can be lengthy, nearly one month for each song, but the band strives for perfection on every track.
Even when bass, drums, and guitar have been recorded, the melodies and lyrics can be rewritten three or four times until the band is truly satisfied. They have built a modest discography, enough to potentially get noticed by a label, but getting signed is not the number one priority for the band; right now, they’re just along for the ride.
As far as live shows go, All Systems Go know how to please the crowd. Since their set-lists are about 60% original music and 40% covers, you don’t have to be a diehard fan in order to have a good time, and with songs like Fall Out Boy’s infamous “Sugar We’re Going Down” at their disposal, they have the whole crowd moving and singing along.
They’ve also shared the stage with other up-and-comers such as Hung Up, Narco Debut, and Marina City, so expect to seem them pop up in the downriver area. The band is looking to play as many shows as they can, including a potential road-trip to Chicago, so if they’re in your town, be sure to show up, jump around, and, most importantly, support local music.
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And check out a brand new documentary on the band, brought to you by Fancy Chicken Productions: