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Featured Artists:

Topher DiBona

Ryan Kleshefsky


Religion or Spirituality: 

Objectivist Rationalism (Ayn Rand’s Philosophy)

Stoicism


Artistic Inspirations: 

Stevie Wonder, D’Angelo, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Eminem, Mac Miller, Raelee Nikole, Beatles, Hozier, Amy Winehouse, Eric Clapton, The Band, Van Morrison, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Jackson Five, Alabama Shakes, Paul Simon, Bruno Mars/Anderson Paak, Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey Lomis, Black Thought, J. Cole, Lil Wayne, Adele, Matt Corby, Raveena, Kaiit, Linda Ronstadt, Jay-z, Aretha Franklin 

Grew up heavily into 60s70s songwriters, as well as what you might call classic rock. Lots of Beatles and Stones. Fleetwood Mac, Zeppelin, Santana, Jim Croce, Paul Simon, Bruce, Steve Miller Band.


Favorite Authors: 

Ayn Rand (Fiction & Philosophy), Frank Herbert, Issac Asimov, Steven Pressfield, Allen Ginsberg, Phillip K. Dick


Occupation: 

Construction/Construction Management 


Biggest Wish: 

To be able to live comfortably with music/writing as my main source of income 


Biggest Fear: 

Not working hard enough and missing my opportunity to have music/writing be my main source of income 

Missing opportunities because of inactivity. Letting life pass by without being the author of my own story.


Sleep Habbits: 

Night Owl

Morning Person


Regrets: 

Not that I don’t have any regrets, but when I was young I realized that the pain of regret is always worse than the pain of rejection, and I try my best to tackle head on anything that I recognize might cause me regret

I always look back wishing I had done more. Experienced more. Traveled more. But hey, we’re still young!


Proudest Accomplishment: 

Probably just how far I’ve come as a musician. I didn’t start playing guitar until I was a sophomore in college - just on youtube with an acoustic guitar watching Marty Schwartz videos on how to play certain songs. And now I’m a great guitar player, I play piano, bass, a little bit of drums, and other small/random things like harmonica and percussion instruments 

Recording a few albums with some people I can call genuine friends has got to be up there.


Pet Peeves and Simple Pleasures: 

When you’re talking to someone and are really excited about something and the other person couldn’t care less

Negative self-talk/complaining about things you have easily have the power/ability to change 

People who take up the whole sidewalk. Drivers who don’t use blinkers and block intersections. Close minded folk. Complainers!

Movie trailers that reveal too much


Something You Love: 

I love staying up all night writing/recording music in my apartment. Writing and recording music in general is probably my favorite thing to do. Our last album we recorded over four days, one of them being my birthday. I took the entire week off and it was the best thing ever. 

Hanging out bullshitting and laughing with friends. Genuine belly laughs.


Something You Hate:

It's all fine (lol)


Superstitions: 

I like to look out for synchronicities throughout the day to know whether or not I’m in the right place 


Weirdest Memory: 

My pre-K nun teacher threatening me with a spanking machine.


Approach to Life: 

Do the things you need to do in order to be your best self as often as possible. 

To fear something is to believe the worst to be true 

Balance in all things. Generally try not to take things too seriously. We’ll all be dust soon.


What are you willing to die for? 

I’m willing to live for my own happiness 

Living a life collecting friends and experiences. 


Origin story of Sideways Paving Co, name and band:

Ryan and I had been playing open mics on the lower east side and other random spots around the city circa 2016. One night the emcee for the open mic at Parkside Lounge asked what we should be introduced as and we sort of word -vomited Sideways Paving Co. (it was a mish mash of a bunch of names we had been throwing around) - and it stuck. One thing though - I always knew I wanted our band name to signify a big band/conglomeration of different musicians and singers (hence the Co.). That was always sort of the vision for the type of music and performances we had envisioned for Sideways. Oh and also I wanted something that had a catchy abbreviation (SPCo.)


Band Members:

Ryan & I are the core members/founders of the band and have had a fluid cast of musicians play with us throughout our time performing live. People can’t always make every gig so each show ends up having its own unique crew of people


Instrument(s): [Mix of musicians who recorded on our most recent album/are currently playing with us most often]

2-Guitars: Topher & Ryan

Bass: AJ VanSuetendael

Drums: Misia Vessio

Trumpet: Angelina Rogers

Saxophone: Andrew Pereira

Trombone: Mariel Bildsten

Violin/Viola: Kiho Yutaka

Piano/Keys/Rhodes: Dante Vessio

Vibraphone: Emily Scourges


Inspiration of Style:

Good music is good music regardless of genre is sort of the motto


Band Memory:

In August of 2020 we got invited to headline a music festival in New Hampshire called Toad Hill. We rented an AirBnB log cabin house in the woods near the venue and the whole band stayed together - it was the best weekend and we crushed our set.

^Not to mention the absolutely bangin’ tiger jumpsuits we donned.

Yes! We all had matching, different colored tiger jumpsuits


Creative Process:

I try to incorporate and use any and all methods and processes I can, basically anything goes. But in general, I’ll usually have some sort of melody floating around in my head, while all day every day I’m looking out for words and phrases I like. Simultaneously and separately I’m always working on new music/instrumentals. And eventually one day when I’m in the right kind of mood, some words I’ve written will click with some music I’m working on and it starts to become a song

Also, sometimes something will happen to me in life that I immediately write a song about. Those are always fun and easy

I’ll often get ideas from other songs. Maybe a melody or chord progression, which I’ll mess around with and inevitably it leads me in some new direction not even necessarily similar to the original source of inspiration.

I find I usually start with a progression or riff and then continuously sing some gibberish type melodies over that


Memorable venue you've played:

The Bitter End is always cool with all the history there - literally everyone has played there.

What does an average session look like:

We rehearse at Astoria Soundworks, not even three blocks from our apartment. Anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on where we’re at with the songs

^Usually there will be a few points when someone will start randomly playing something, and the rest will kind of just join in. Not so much of a spoken thing, just improvisational jams that are always super fun.


Goals? And are they unrealistic?:

Nahhh, whatever it is we can make it happen



Find Sideways Paving Co. on Spotify or follow them on Instagram at @sidewayspavingco




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