For Pat McLaughlin, it's an amazing transition from being drummer in his former band, Miapollo, to having the role as vocalist and guitarist with the rock and soul act The Magnatones.
McLaughlin makes the move to frontman after 10 years as a drummer.
"I feel it's amazing being a frontman and guitarist," he said. "As a frontman and guitarist, my job is to make sure everyone in the crowd is feeling the feelings that I have and that everyone gets the right message as to what I am trying to portray. Everybody sees that I am not uptight and that I am having a good time on stage, and I feel that everyone should do the same. I love to talk to the crowds when we perform and get some 'hell yeahs,' and I love getting the crowd excited."
The Warren-based band will be releasing the EP "Just A Taste" with a show Friday at Cedars West End.
"Every song on 'Just A Taste' is a story," McLaughlin said. "Some of the songs are sad and some of them are enlightening. This is our first release and it is completely DIY on printed burnt CDs. We are not going for the whole major packaging for this release. The EP, 'Just A Taste,' musically comes out as blues, soul and funk, and it gets heavy at times. I would say the track ' I Been Out' is the song people are most familiar with. It's like a party tune and it's about a tight situation, which turns into a good time. Everyone could relate to that situation."
The Magnatones - McLaughlin; Zack Lovitz, bass; and Shawn Kashay, drums - has more of a soul influence than Miapollo, which embodied more of a classic and southern rock vibe.
WHO: The Magnatones and The Automatons
WHEN: 10 p.m. Friday
WHERE: Cedars West End, 706 Steel St., Youngstown
HOW MUCH: $5.
McLaughlin credited Miapollo with molding him into a different kind of musician.
"While I was playing in Miapollo, I was still growing up and I was discovering those emotions in rock 'n' roll. I was going back and listening to old blues and soul records. I am a soul man. After I left the band, Miapollo, I moved to Akron and I would see people sing and I never thought that I could sing. On two hour drives I would listen to soul artists such as Aretha Franklin, Muddy Waters, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, and Al Green. I would sing along to these artists until I felt I got the gist of this style. I did not sing in front of people for a long time, until I sang 'Steady Rolling Man' by Walter Johnson at an open mic night at a guitar shop. I got everyone's attention."
McLaughlin said that The Magnatones have been together for four months. The beginning of The Magnatones was when McLaughlin and bassist, Zach Lovitz, were talking about guitar and bass gear online. At the time, Lovitz was just an acquaintance to McLaughlin, but then the two decided to meet at a guitar shop. He said that Lovitz taught him about amplifiers and amplification pedals.
"After I met Zach Lovitz, we went through different drummers. Then Shawn Kashay, my buddy from grade school, joined in on drums. I sold my drum set to Kashay so that I could buy a guitar," McLaughlin said.
The band currently is working on its full-length debut, which will be called "Night Problems."
"All the music for 'Night Problems' has been done, we just haven't recorded it yet. We would like to have the album done by next summer. We just want to release the 'Just A Taste' EP for now and see how it goes. We will be playing one or two songs that will appear on 'Night Problems' at the show," McLaughlin said.
For The Magnatones the musical journey is wide open and positive.
"I would like to be successful and within the next year, we would like to continue playing shows and to tour the East Coast."