When life becomes a series of “Fight or Flight” and “Sink or Swim”, will you be up for the challenge? Long Island pop rock outfit PRSNA certainly is, emerging from the shadows & swinging with a vengeance.
PRSNA defines the triumphs & tragedies of life through melodic vocals, infectious guitars & a blood rushing rhythm that dresses modern pop punk with their indie & pop rock roots handsomely, yet so rebellious in the same attire. Their latest single “Cut Throat” is the perfect example of this sentiment.
Since 2011, PRSNA has released 2 EP’s, 10 singles accompanied by music videos & have shared the stage with acts such as Third Eye Blind, Twenty-One Pilots & Envy on the Coast. They returned from a brief hiatus in 2017 with a fresh lineup & a better understanding of their sound & who they are. “We were putting our hearts & souls into this & our personal lives were taking a toll & falling apart”, explains singer Tom Spartinos. “Taking a step back from this part of my life for a little hurt, but I needed that period to fight my demons & heal the wounds in my personal life” adds guitarist Costas Themistocleous. In 2018, a lawsuit was filed against the group by an artist going under the same name “Persona”. They decided to settle the matter civilly & change their name to PRSNA.
PRSNA, now firing on all cylinders again will be releasing one more single, an acoustic EP & a DVD documentary before heading to The Barber Shop Studios in January 2020 to record their long awaited 3rd EP with Gary Cioni. PRSNA will be taking their all new live performance on the road all throughout the year. Their revitalized live performance is described by the groups manager as a “climactic experience with visuals, theatrics & an out of the box presence that will capture & retain the audience-attention for weeks to come”. Outside of music, PRSNA will be releasing a cartoon series & 2 mobile phone games by the summer of 2020.
The new era of PRSNA has arrived and is here to shake up the industry. Between their new single “Cut Throat” & a sneak peak of all that is coming, I can thoroughly say that PRSNA has found themselves collectively as artists. The only questions remaining, will you follow their lead? Are you ready to face everything & rise?
PRSNA is: Tom Spartinos (Vocals & Guitar), Costas Themistocleous (Lead Guitar), Sam Trestman (Bass & Vocals) & CJ Kostaras (Drums)
What inspires you to make music?
Life. All 4 of us have come from different paths. Different backgrounds & different beings. But somehow fate brought us all here. It is something incredible seeing how 4 guys from 4 totally different walks of life can cross paths on a journey and the rest becomes history. We are such different people but are practically the same animal. Writing music & creating art is more than just a hobby, it is a passion. It is a way for all of us to express ourselves in a way a conversation wouldn’t be able to justify. Each song is its own emotion, casted in its own setting, scenario & time in our lives. We always say there is a little something for everyone, no matter what mood your mind may be in that day. Though there is a signature sound, we believe that no 2 songs sound the same. In life, everybody experiences highs, lows, triumph, tragedy. We all go through things that change us, make us grow, teach us new things, expand on past emotion. This is our way of expressing these times. We hope to do it in a way where a listener can take it & conceive expression in their own lives.
Tell us about this project?
For many years now, our native Long Island music scene has been held hostage by a group of people pulling strings that service their own personal agendas. With the exception of few, promoters are notorious for providing empty promises to bands while feeding the ego & stigma of their friends bands or their own. There have been a lot of unspoken truths about the music scene & the state that it is in. We as musicians, bands & artists have been told for far too long to keep quiet & keep trying. Only to fall flat & have our worth diminished by a group of people who will deny talent & difference to further push themselves.
This has led to stagnation within the music scene. There is only so many times you can see the same 6-12 bands playing the same 6-7 recycled songs. We truly believe there is so much talent & so many good bands on this island who deserve a slot to further expand their audience, showcase their music to new people & feel like they are part of something & not just an outcast.
Since the inception of PRSNA, we have always felt like the outcast. At first, I took it as a personal attack. But over the years I started realizing that this isn’t just a PRSNA problem, it is a universal problem within our music scene. Talks between us went from “why is this happening to us?” to “This is a serious problem why hasn’t anybody brought awareness to it?”. Coming to the realization, that we have been told speaking negative about these promoters or bringing up an obvious issue, could only hurt & hinder the progression of the band or your “career”. But how much could you hurt & hinder your band or career, if the same people that are supposed to be showcasing new music & artists are hurting your band or career by booking the same show over & over again?
We finally decided enough is enough. We are going to speak out. We are going to bring awareness to these issues. About a week before the release of Cut Throat, we took to social media to start airing out our feelings on these issues & have been met with a wide amount of support & musicians who agree.
I know of multiple bands who have asked for a slot on a show where the promoter has responded that they are not taking locals, but will announce their local buddies band on the bill a week later. When it comes to young bands or smaller acts, they are given an opening slot on a show and told to sell 30 tickets, which I do understand is normal. But where can you justify a band selling 30 tickets when the promoters band or his buddies band can just show up & play? You cant. When we returned from a hiatus, we were releasing a single & music video each month. We had a nice buzz going on. Yet we got passed up on a music festival for a band who released a 3 song sampler a week prior to the festival. The common denominator? That band was friends with the promoter. There was a local public outcry after a member of a band was put on blast for engaging with an underage fan. Yet that band is still getting booked on the regular for all ages shows after the noise died down. You reach out to a promoter regarding a show & they tell you that your band doesn’t really fit. The scene is held hostage.
Cut Throat musically & visually is defining the issue & speaking up. Cut Throat is a single, but in itself is a movement. We’re not just going to sit back or keep quiet about these issues that plague our scene. We are not just complaining or whining through an artistic expression either. We are in talks with some other people within the scene behind the scenes to come to a solution to this issue. We as PRSNA can only do so much, but coming together and working for a cause will ultimately bring the change & solution this scene so desperately needs to see. We all have a deep love for music & this is not just about us. There is plenty of raw talent & great artists on this island who do not get the credit they deserve. Cut Throat is the catalyst to taking control away from these self-righteous selfish promoters & bringing it back to the artists.
Who were your musical inspirations growing up?
We all will agree that Blink-182 is the sole reason that we started playing music. If it wasn’t for Blink, who knows when or if we would have picked up instruments. Blink-182 introduced us all at a young age to the punk scene & melodic rebellion & comedic antics are what drew us in to finding new acts. While our influences have changed throughout the years, our early roots still play a heavy part in our music today. Some artists and bands that influence PRSNA are Third Eye Blind, Blink-182, Green Day, As Tall As Lions, Against Me!, Minus the Bear, The Story So Far, Midtown, Motion City Soundtrack, Envy on the Coast, Taking Back Sunday, The Dangerous Summer, Circa Survive, Mac Miller, The Goo Goo Dolls, Nas, Alanis Morissette, Sum 41, Protest the Hero, The Beatles, Matchbox 20, I could keep going, haha. We all share an eclectic taste in music & different genres. Sam recently showed us all this band Little Tybee (check these guys out, wow!) & is always bringing some new artists to our attention. Costas has a deep love for hip hop, r&b & jazz music. Tom has been using Spotify playlists to discover all these new modern pop rock & pop punk bands. He usually seems to bring some 90s era music to us that we have not heard before. Which is pretty rad. CJ brings a little bit of everything. CJ introduced us all to this band Free Throw & they are probably one of my favorite current bands out there right now.
Are You Working On Any New Projects?
We are finishing up an acoustic EP with Matt Lagatutta at Flying Carpet Studios and getting ready to record our 3rd EP in January 2020 with Gary Cioni at Barber Shop Studios. Outside of music, we are getting set to release an animated series featuring PRSNA and our alter ego metal band as well as 2 mobile phone games. We will be releasing a documentary some time in the next year as well.
How long have you been creating music?
PRSNA has been together since 2010-11. Before PRSNA Tom & Costas had a studio project called ILLINOISE which released 1 EP. Tom & bassist Sam Trestman, have been creating music & have been in bands together for nearly 20 years now.
Do you want to say anything to the people who support your music?
Thank you. I know in our nearly 10 years as a band together, there has been some speed bumps & mountains to climb. If you have stuck with us & follow us, we truly appreciate it. As much as we do this for ourselves, we do this for you. We hope our music & our content gives you the same feeling of joy & nostalgia it brings to us. We are truly grateful to have you.
Rock band PRSNA just released a new single and video titled, “Cut Throat.” Ladies and gentleman if you have not heard of PRSNA you need to take notice. This song has a timeless feel. If feels like the rock music I grew up listening to and still enjoy till this day. The band sounds like a well oiled machine and the lead singer sounds absolutely amazing. This band sounds as if they have been playing together forever. This song has unlimited potential and should be shopped around for TV and film placement. I could see this song being played on radio stations world wide and even being placed on the charts. This is the kind of song that you can end up leaving on repeat for hours and learning all of the lyrics. It is well put together, well written and executed to perfection. I really enjoyed this song and are looking forward to keeping my eye on PRSNA in the future. This is one of my new favorite songs and I will be adding it to my personal Spotify playlist. Congrats guys are putting together such a work of art.