Interview With Paul Saliga and Cody Wright From 1818

Somewhere between a holy vision and an overdose is 1818, a south central Pennsylvania based band born on a staple of metal, rock, and ethereal vibes.

This heavy cross over Metal/Rock band combines the perfect blend of in your face aggression while molding in hooky and memorable melodic pieces throughout their catalog of songs.

Established in May of 2015, 1818 have shared the stage with countless national acts and built up their regional fan base considerably in such a short amount of time. This led the band to form a partnership with the Cold Cock Whiskey family.

1818’s intense live shows move and entice you, bringing you on a journey though parts of your psyche once thought dead and gone through years of regression therapy.

XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Paul: lots of things have been happening. Our EP Hiraeth just got released through Pavement Entertainment which is cool as hell.  Just picked up a hot shot drummer named Oren and I still have no idea where that name comes from but I dig it.  We’ve got a really cool cancer benefit show coming up in Gettysburg, PA here in like a week which we got asked to headline.  We played it a couple years ago and they asked us back, which is crazy cool.

XS ROCK:How long has the band been together?
Cody:  two years this past May

XS ROCK:What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
Cody: I liked listening to music so I wanted to play it. Looked like fun, turns out it is fun. That and to really have total control over something if that makes sense.  Someone can tell you how to work your day job, tell you how to go to school, tell you how to drive or whatever. But they can’t tell you how to play your music.  I mean if you produce complete shit you won’t be successful I guess, but it’s still yours.

Interview With Paul Saliga and Cody Wright From 1818XS ROCK:What is your music background?
Paul: I played drums when I was a kid. Took vocal lessons from a local lady when I was younger and played guitar for a while.   My father always had music playing when I was growing up though. I remember he had this old ass silver radio with tape decks in it. We’d listen to it until like 3 in the morning while we grilled on the porch during the winter times.  He always had CCR or Bob Dylan playing on it or some old stuff.
Cody: I just always wanted to be a guitar player. I started when I was 11. I didn’t play sports or anything as a kid I just always wanted to do music. My parents are old metal heads so I remember being exposed to the hair bands and everything else 80s at an early age.

XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Cody: Honesty.  Paul and I always try to stay humble. Yeah we are in a band that plays heavy music but you will never see a picture of us looking like tough guys.  We both feel fortunate to be where we are in life and doing what we are doing. I’d like to think that comes out in our music. If it sounds good it is good, our music is the result of four people just playing together and finding our place together.

XS ROCK: What are your immediate music career goals?
Paul: Tour, write, record, rinse, repeat.  Really that’s all I want to be able to do.  I took this little butane grill out last time we went on the road and maybe I’d like to upgrade to propane, but other than that I just want to play as many shows as I can. I just want to be able to wake up every day and be in front of people.  There is nothing like it. Not a lot of people have the opportunity to do it.

XS ROCK: What are your long-term career goals?
Cody: Long term I want to tour in something that has a toilet.  Seriously though I’d love to take something I’ve created and turn it into a viable living. I don’t live in my parent’s basement anymore, I’ve given up being a cellar dweller. We all have kids and bills and whatnot so to be able to provide while doing what I love with something I wrote is the ultimate goal.

Interview With Paul Saliga and Cody Wright From 1818XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Paul: Hand over fist, live.  I mean I love pulling new shit out at shows, which requires writing new songs and it is a breath of fresh air, but I always want to go live first. That’s where my mindset is always, how it will go over live.  To be honest there have been times where we don’t have a song 100 percent down and I’ll push it.  I make sure that I have a group of guys around me that can pull impromptu stuff like that off of course, but at the end of the day it’s all about connecting with people I think.
Cody: Live 100%! Recording is to stressful.  Everything we do is with the idea that it will go live in the end.  To me that’s what makes a band.  Getting out there and playing in front of people and by the end of the night being family with them.

XS ROCK: What are your songs about?
Paul: I write from what’s inside of me.  They act as a part of my personal journal I guess or at least my ideas about life or different situations.  Like on Hiraeth I touch on religious things in “Seven” and “Believe.” They’re my views on having a religious family and having my own spiritually apart from what they believe.  I’d like to think that  I write cryptically enough that anyone can find some type of meaning in my words though because I know for me that what I’m singing changes over time and how I respond to it.  I purposely try to write in a way that allows anyone to find meaning in anything that I put out for that fact that we’re all just having this human experience and it’s nice to know that you’re never alone in this big world.

XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.
Paul: I woke up one day and rubbed my face. I think we were in Louisiana. The smell on my hands turned my stomach and I wasn’t quite sure what it was. I was thinking that it was something from the lady I was with last night.  While I smoked my cigarette and really contemplated what I’m doing with my time I realized I completely forgot that a local brought us a five pounds of craw fish and shrimp to the gig the night before.  So for the record, the other bands merch girl on tour was clean. It didn’t help that everyone from the band felt the need to open up the van while I was doing business that night.
Cody: What Paul said. That and whiskey is purely medicinal on the road.

XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Cody: For me it was signing the ass cheek of a pair of chicks pants.  Felt like I was ruining them.  Oh that and signing a bad pair of boobies.  Signing anything really is odd.
Paul: For me to wear a dress again on stage or to get tattooed while playing.

XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
Cody: Mine most definitely were. Still are, more so me being in this project than in previous ones. They always pushed having a backup plan but that hasn’t really worked out for me. They get that this is and will be what I do.

XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Cody: For me its Seven because it’s one of the first I wrote in this band and it’s just a good heavy song.  That and also “Burnt Offering,” which isn’t on this record.  Paul and I have been playing different variations of that for about 6 years now.  It’s kind of a complete 180 of anything else we do at the moment.

XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Paul: I have a few. As far as who I like to watch live it’d have to be Rob Flynn of Machine Head or Jon Davis of Korn, great front man.  As far as actually wanting to sing, Dez of Coal Chamber, Ryan of Soil, and Chad of Mudvayne.

XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Cody: It would be real cool to tour with any of our favorite local bands that we play with, we are already all family.  That and David Allen Coe, for the parties.

XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Cody: The next show

XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Cody: Probably still a warehouse bitch unfortunately.
Paul: I paint with acrylics and I write pretty much every day. I’d like to do that. If that doesn’t work out I might just raise llamas or something. Actually there are a few people in our area that do that

XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Cody: I use mostly Gibson guitars and only Mesa Boogie amps. I could give up the guitars but not the amps.  I use just a few pedals, nothing fancy. I don’t like to get complicated.
Paul: I use Shure. I recently found a guy that a got a custom mic through and he did great work. Mutant Mics. He’s done stuff for Sully of Godsmack and Dez of Devildriver, as well as Mos Def. I got my 55 copper plated and got blue and green LEDs dropped in it and the element tweaked.  I need to get another one from him actually.

XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Cody: I think it’s a little too much online to be honest.  It’s also full of talent and really awesome bands, but for me I want to be there in the shit seeing it live.  I understand how important social media and the Internet are to what we do, but I thrive on playing shows and meeting people.  I get sent videos and stuff every day, but I don’t watch many of them.  I want to go see what someone has to offer performance-wise.

XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Cody: I don’t practice much.  I really should, but I don’t.  We also write many of our songs by just jamming.  Some take 5 minutes, some 5 hours or longer.

XS ROCK: If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
Paul: Emotion.  That’s what I try to bring across. I want to take you on a journey when you see us live.  I want to take you low and I want to get you high as well. We aren’t a bash-your-face-in metal band, but I want you having an experience at our live show more than anything else.

XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Cody: Just thanks.  Thanks for listening thanks for coming to shows thanks for buying a t-shirt. I’ve been able to do some cool stuff with this band and you guys keep showing up, so I guess it is working.

XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS Rock!
Cody: Thanks for having us

Paul Saliga -voice
Whit Bender-bass
Cody Wright -guitar
Scott Magruder -drums

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