Interview with White Reaper’s Tony Esposito

This Monday, garage-rockers White Reaper are playing the Foundry, upstairs at the Fillmore in Philadelphia.

The band’s latest album, The World’s Best American Band, sees the band evolving beyond their basement-sized sound into something ready for a bigger stage. WQHS chatted with lead singer and guitarist Tony Esposito in advance of their performance.

The following has been edited for length and clarity.

WQHS: Are you actually the world’s best American band?

Tony Esposito: If you come and see our show it’s not that hard to believe were really killing it these days. People can take it however they want.

WQHS: How was touring with Cold Fronts? WQHS loves that band!

TE: Those guys are great, I really like those guys. My amp was broken and Craig [lead singer of Cold Fronts] let me use his amp.

WQHS: How many times have you been confused for the Blackhawks hockey goalie [also named Tony Esposito]?

TE: It’s been happening a lot more lately. It was a thing when I was growing up because I grew up in Naperville [suburb of Chicago]. Then when we moved to Kentucky and it stopped and now it’s happening again.

WQHS: How has living in Kentucky as opposed to say, New York or LA affected you as a band?

TE: It’s easier for us to do things we wanna do here, cause it’s a lot cheaper. Not a lot of traffic, really easy city to live in, and it’s fun. We’re happy when we’re home. It fosters this really great feeling in all us that allows us to strive in our careers, or whatever.

There’s definitely not industry talk when we’re home which is nice cause that stuff sucks really bad. We’re not far from Nashville so we’re there a lot, so when we need to do industry things its fine because we’re within range but it’s chill when we don’t wanna do industry things.

WQHS: Dream venue?

TE: I think it would be really cool to play on a space station or even on the moon. Red Rocks is pretty cool, but I wanna play in space.

WQHS: Where would you want to tour that you haven’t yet?

TE: Probably Japan, or like Australia maybe.

WQHS: Favorite labelmate band?

TE: Probably Deerhoof. There are so many cool bands on Polyvinyl. We’ve been on that label since we started so this is our third year.

WQHS: Speed round! The Strokes or Interpol?

TE: Lately, Interpol [Editor’s note: WRONG answer, the Strokes are the greatest band of all time].

WQHS: Baseball caps or beanies?

TE: Baseball caps.

WQHS: Ale or lager?

TE: Liquor.

WQHS: Casettes or vinyl?

TE: Casettes- you can bring it in a car.

WQHS: New York or LA?

TE: LA, probably.

WQHS: Macaroni or ramen?

TE: Ramen.

Catch White Reaper at the Foundry on Monday with Cold Fronts and Post Animal. 8PM, $14. Can you think of a better way to spend $14 than seeing the World’s Best American Band ™???


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