By: Rick Polo (Editor-in-Chief)
After seeing a revolving door of area musicians and fill-in guitarists, Youngstown, Ohio’s premiere punk act, Idle Shades, returns with a new permanent guitarist ready to step up and reclaim their place of punk supremacy.
Idle Shades is the product of veteran Youngstown musician Angelo Scordo, who’s extensive resume is filled with the likes of major local acts whose collective styles range clear across the rock and roll landscape. Those acts include Asleep, Clearscale, Dim Star Shining, The Turbo Lovers, The Contradistics and a slew of others.
Throughout his many musical endeavors, Scordo always returns to his first love: punk rock. Idle Shades is his very own punk brainchild and he serves as the group’s bassist, lead vocalist and lyricist. He’s had the project going for many years, but a constant rotation of band members has hindered the project from really taking off, and in the downtime he’s channeled his creativity into the aforementioned bands and projects.
Now, with the indefinite hiatus of his last band, Clearscale, he’s ready to pick up where Idle Shades left off with no plans of stopping along the way this time around.
“We were looking for a permanent member for a long time. We never planned on stopping, but we didn’t want to keep having fill-ins,” said Scordo. “The songs were already written and we wanted someone to add their style and flavor, but wanted to make sure they remained a permanent member.”
Roughly two years ago, Scordo, along with drummer Anthony Rapone, who was also in Clearscale, recorded an eight-song demo that was to be made into a full-length album. The demo featured Scordo pulling the duties of vocals, bass and guitar on his own.
For live purposes, Idle Shades was in need of a permanent guitarist, someone who Scordo notes would also contribute to the project and not just serve as a fill-in.
By the summer of 2012, Scordo began talking with a young local musician named Josh Wakeford. They began discussing the resurrection of the band, which eventually lead to auditions and rehearsals.
“I worked with Josh and he was basically willing to fill in,” said Scordo. “I gave him a CD and he came to practice and to try out and he had all of the songs basically down, with ideas of his own thrown in and he was looking for something permanent also.”
Wakeford said he was really into the music Scordo and Rapone had made and knew he was willing to take on the job.
“I’ve been into music since I was little and have been playing for five years. I met Angelo at the restaurant I work at and we began talking and he asked me if I was interested in jamming with him since we had some similar musical interests,” said Wakeford. “He showed me the Idle Shades demo and I was really into it. After a few jam sessions, it seemed like we all blended well together and they decided to bring Idle Shades back with me on board.”
This is Wakeford’s first major musical project and he hopes to keep it rolling and bring his unique and aggressive styles of guitar playing into the fold.
“Musically, I hope I bring a more aggressive and darker tone,” said Wakeford. “As far as jamming goes, I hope we have a lot of shows coming our way and get Idle Shades rolling.”
Scordo also shares Wakeford’s hopes to keep the band moving forward while also hoping to remix their current recording, adding Wakeford onto the tracks.
“I want to get our name out there finally and get a proper recording,” said Scordo. “Right now we’re just about finished putting the final touches on some of the old songs, as well as new material. We’re going to attempt to re-record and remix our current eight-song demo with new vocals and Josh on guitar and see if we’re happy enough with that. Then we may record another EP, and have it pressed as a double disc. Otherwise, we’re just going to go in and redo the album completely as a full length.”
Through Idle Shades, Scordo incorporates his own unique brand of dark minor chord progressions with up-beat tempos, giving the band a somewhat darker feel, similar to likes of The Damned, Tiger Army and The Offspring.
Idle Shades’ official return to the scene was on Aug. 3, 2012. They will performing at the Raw Alternative launch on Sept. 15 at The Lemon Grove in downtown Youngstown and have another high-profile gig with area favorites The Turbo Lovers on Oct. 27 at The Royal Oaks in Youngstown, Ohio.