Lunch with Nic Palermo of Have a Good Season
By Alex LaVallee
Have a Good Season is a three-piece alternative/emo band from Eatontown, NJ comprised of Nic Palermo (Guitar/Vox), Dan Stattner (Bass), and Dan Sakumoto (Drums). Their blend of intricate guitar parts and catchy vocal melodies really distinguish them from some of the other NJ bands. Have a Good Season (HAGS) is one of those bands that just makes consistently good music. I had an opportunity to grab lunch with the singer/guitar player of Have a Good Season, Nic Palermo, to talk about his band. Nic ate a whole personal pizza from the food court in like eight minutes and it was super impressive.
A.L.: Tell us about Have a Good Season.
N.P.: We started summer of 2013 with Have a Good Season. We used to play together in bands before that though, like I used to play bass and Sakumoto and Dan Stattner used to play guitar, so one day we decided to switch it up a little bit and that’s how Have a Good Season got started. It was weird, like we all decided to switch instruments for the day and it ended up working out.
I remember seeing an old video of you guys playing a Weezer song.
Oh wow, that was our band in eighth grade called Terrapin, and we were like Dad rock/Metal and we were sick.
Where can we listen to HAGS?
You also have your own individual Soundcloud, right? What songs have you posted and what can we look forward to hearing from that?
That is true, I do have a Soundcloud. There aren’t many opportunities to play shows down here at Rowan, so I thought I would try to be a little creative and do some stuff on my own. So I made a Soundcloud called Nic Palermo and I just try to post whenever I can. The most recent song I did was a Basement cover. I’ve done a Weakerthans cover, I’ve done a Bon Iver cover, and I’ve done a Forth Wanderers cover. As for what’s next, I guess when I hear a song and I kinda relate to the lyrics or I feel like it’s a song that has a special meaning to me, I sort of cover it on the spot. So like, I hear a song and I think “Hey, I’ll cover this tomorrow,” then I do it. But I take requests.
Describe Have a Good Season’s sound in five words.
We are sad (long pause) as heck. It’s like a haiku, “We are sad as heck; Have a Good Season is sad; we are sad.” But we’re not emo. I mean, we’re emo. People often ask what genre we are, and I think genres are kind of lame. I guess we’re emo because the lyrical content is pretty emo and personal, but like when I think about my biggest influences, they aren’t emo bands. I think that it’s just how our sound kind of formed and how I write lyrics. I don’t hear a band like American Football and think “Hey, I want to sound like American Football.” Like, my favorite bands are Dinosaur Jr., Pavement, and Built to Spill and while they might have sad lyrics they’re not emo, you know? I guess it’s just how we sound.
So you have two EPs out, can you tell us a little bit about them?
The first one we put out is Last Picture Day EP. We recorded it while I was still in high school, and they were just the first songs that the three of us finished and we were really proud of them. So with the next one (Joseph) we kind of wanted to step it up. So we were a little bit more intricate with guitar parts, and I tried to write a lot more vocals. A lot of the feedback that we got was along the lines of “Oh, we really like your singing voice and your lyrics but you don’t sing that much on the first EP,” so I thought that I should write more lyrics and vocal melodies for the next one.
So each song on Joseph is named after a different person. is there a concept to the album?
That wasn’t on purpose, but we soon realized that every song on the album was about a person that had influenced me in one way or another.
Can you describe what a live show is like for Have a Good Season?
Well, when we play hometown shows like Red Bank or Asbury Park, or even basement shows for that matter, we definitely get a pretty high energy reaction. Especially if our good friends come out because they all know the lyrics, it gets pretty rowdy. We don’t play out of state that much but when we do, we get some pretty good reactions. We don’t have any shows coming up until the summer just because our members are away at school.
(At this point in the interview Nic sneezed really loud.)
Any final thoughts?
Nic is a cool guy and Have a Good Season is a great band.
About the Writer
Alex LaVallee is a junior, Public Relations major at Rowan University. He grew up in a small rural community in Hunterdon County, NJ. LaVallee is a lover of music, art, and nature, spending most of his time finding new music or outside with his friends. LaVallee takes pride in the fact that he grew up in NJ, and continuously is fighting for the proper recognition of Central Jersey. Follow Alex LaVallee on social media @alex_lavallee(Instagram), @bread_cruz (Twitter).