Actor|Observer embody perseverance and raw ambition on new LP ‘Pareidolia’



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It’s long been said that good things come to those who wait. So that must mean we’re about to get something really special from Actor|Observer.


It would be a gross understatement to say that the band has been through complete hell during the year-and-a-half it has taken for them to see the release of sophomore full-length, Pareidolia. The LP, pronounced Pair-eye-dolia, is finally out this Friday (August 24) via No Sleep Records.

A number of passings throughout their families and a near-fatal car accident involving bassist Brett Colangelo are just a few select hardships the local hardcore quintet has faced since recording the album in February 2017 — but come Friday, they will finally see the fruits of their labor come to the surface when the tracks are unleashed, and there’s a much-deserved release party that night at Great Scott in Allston.

Frontman Greg Marquis is, of course, stoked for us to hear it.


“When we say we this album is important to us, and we can’t wait to release it, we really mean we can’t fucking wait,” Marquis tells Vanyaland during a recent chat. “In a year and half since we recorded this thing, so much life has happened to us. Now, it’s just time.”

Colangelo agrees, adding: “I’ve had a chance to reflect upon the last 18 months a lot, and I like to think about the first line of the first track on the album (“Tyranny of the Remembering Self”), which is ‘In service to a dying dream’”… I think about how much of our lives during that very turbulent time are representative of that line, and I hope that that’s the first impression people get from it when they hear it.”

With two singles out ahead of the full release, “On Your Laurels” and “In Your Ways,” the initial sounds of the new album represent a growth in the band’s raw power and drive, by showcasing the emotional intensity of Marquis’ wide vocal range, and an audible growth in the band’s abilities, both as a collective and as individual musicians, with guitarists Kyle Kowalsky and Nick Grieco showing a palpable chemistry with the rhythm section of Colangelo and drummer Dan Bob Goterch.


That chemistry will be in full view at Great Scott on Friday, when they are accompanied by New Jersey natives Gatherers, who the band considers family, and fellow hometown friends Long Time, who guitarist Kyle Kowalsky is especially excited to share the stage with.

“The guys in Long Time have always been the sweetest guys,” says Kowalsky. “In a former life, I played in a band with their bass player, Colin [Dinnie], and their singer Tom [John Cadrin] is a great guy. I’ve also known their Drummer Andrew Nault for the entire decade I’ve been here in Boston, so to have those three guys get together when they did, and create music that we love listening to, there’s no better way to say it other than we love them so much.”

The band is anticipating celebrating their achievement with friends and family, but while some may feel a certain type of pressure to bring the full power of a studio album to the live stage, Actor|Observer is up for the challenge, because, as Marquis sees it, there really isn’t a challenge at all.


“It certainly isn’t a pressure,” Marquis says. “If anything, it’s a privilege. The live performances are actual therapy, because being able to play these songs live is how we get all this stuff off of our chests, and sometimes, the physical act of getting it out there can be what you need, and that’s why we do it. We want people who come to see us to get physical or sing along because we want people to have the same freedom of expression that we feel when we’re on stage playing these songs.”

ACTOR | OBSERVER + LONG TIME + GATHERERS :: Friday, August 24 at Great Scott, 1222 Commonwealth Ave. in Allston, MA :: 10 p.m., 21-plus, $10 in advance and $12 at doors :: Advance Tickets :: Bowery Boston event page :: Facebook event page :: Featured photo by Kelsey Ayres