It doesn’t take much to make the members of The Bluechips happy. Throw them on stage, give them a microphone and they’ll soar.
Since The Bluechips formed their rock band in January, the trio of childhood friends have enjoyed meshing their personalities and individual musical styles into their music to create a unique sound for people of all ages to enjoy.
“We want to be the band you don’t see right now,” said 21-year-old vocalist and guitarist Paul Beladino. “Instead of doing something popular or something that could get us to the next level (right away), this band is just getting us back to the basics and doing what we love and grew up on. We just want to play straight rock ‘n’ roll.”
Their sound earned the trio a spot at this Saturday’s Pleasantville Music Festival, where they will open the festival’s Main Stage after excelling in the Battle of the Bands competition.
Crafting their styles over the years has helped their collaborative process. Bandmates Jake Albi, 21, who sings vocals and plays drums, grew up with Beladino, having performed together for more than a decade. They formed the band Daisychain as teenagers, where they gained a strong local following and a spot on the 2015 Vans Warped Tour at Jones Beach.
But teen angst led the duo to dissolve that partnership and go their separate ways. While both joined national tours with different groups, the road made them realize that they’d rather play music together.
“You get out to the middle of nowhere and wonder why you’re not performing with your best friends,” Beladino said. “I was already homesick, but it made me realize I should be performing with the people I care about most.”
Along with bassist Tom Davis, 25, the trio have combined their influences, which includes The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Green Day, Bruce Springsteen and Pink Floyd, to craft a progressive pop rock ‘n’ roll sound.
“We’re just going for it. There’s no rules,” Davis said. “We want to come off as unique but also smart in what we do.”
No stranger to festivals or music competitions, The Bluechips entered the Pleasantville Music Festival’s Battle of the Bands competition hoping to gain enough attention to book Westchester gigs. While being named one of the competition’s winners came as a surprise, the group said they were victorious because they had fun and stayed true to themselves.
“We just wanted to get our names out there and we got so much more by being ourselves,” Albi said.
“I’m so confident in this band going forward that we’re going to be good enough. I just want to be in the best band we can be, and the situation feels right,” Beladino added. “We’re in this for each other.”
Beladino said that as they prepare for their performance on Saturday, they’re working to craft a memorable set to ensure they make a great first impression, especially as they gear up to release their three-track EP album this summer.
While the young musicians are relishing their early success, they hope the festival is a steppingstone to the next chapter.
“We finally have the right unit, we have the right songs and we’re all in the right time of our lives for everything to happen,” Beladino said. “I feel like us serendipitously getting this opportunity feels like it finally came together. We’re looking forward to playing and putting that feather in our cap to move forward. We got this under our belt, now let’s tackle the rest.”