Q&A with Burn It Up

Burn It Up's distinct sound, which fuses alternative rock, reggae, punk and ska makes them hard to classify, but a stand-out in their scene. With their new album, Toys out now and tour dates to round out November, Burn It Up are ending the year with a bang! Read what the band had to say about the New York music scene, upcoming shows and their plans for next year below! 

Interview by Shannon Shumaker

Can you tell us a little bit about Burn It Up for any readers who may not be familiar?

We are an alternative rock-reggae-ska band from Rochester, NY.  Over the last 17 years we went by the name Mrs. Skannotto, but recently changed the name to Burn It Up back in April of this year. We tour nationally on our own, with regional bands, and with bigger bands like The Toasters, Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, A Wilhelm Scream, Mad Caddies, and Flatfoot 56.
 

You just released your new album, Toys last month! What was the highlight of working on these songs for you?

The biggest highlight for me was taking the 10 songs that we wrote and rehearsed to death in our practice space and bringing them to the studio where we could let them loose. More ideas tend to flow in the studio for us, resulting in some amazing surprises on the final product. 
 

What goals did you have in mind when you were working on writing and recording Toys?

The main goal was writing good music that many people and different music scenes can get down to. We obviously get lumped into the ska scene and genre because of our history and sound, but we feel like Toys crosses genre boundaries more so than our last two albums, All These Evolutions and Outlier.
 

Because you all come from various musical backgrounds and share many different influences, your sound merges many different genres. When you’re working on new music, is there ever a conscious effort to include a certain genre or influence, or how does that come about?

It’s never a conscious effort, but ska and reggae are always in there. It’s part of our anatomy.
 

How do you feel the music scene in New York has helped shape your sound or influence you as musicians?

I think the overall pride of being from Rochester, NY influences us as musicians. The Rochester music scene is unbelievably strong right now from jazz and classical all the way to hard rock and hip hop. Our sound is our own though and you won’t find another band that sounds like us in this city.
 

You’re currently out on the road until the end of November in support of Toys with We Were Sharks, North11 and Samecity. How have those shows been so far?

This tour has been a different scene for us, but not in a bad way. It’s always great playing to a new crowd that may have never seen us or even heard of us. Winning over new fans is probably the best thing we do as a band.  
 

What are you looking forward to on upcoming tour dates?

Spreading our music and making new fans!
 

What has been the highlight of your 2016 so far?

The biggest highlight of 2016 was finally releasing Toys. We ran into a few roadblocks along the way, but it is finally out there for everyone to hear!
 

Do you have any big plans for 2017 yet?

Nothing is marked in pen for 2017 yet, but it will involve writing new music and playing shows. Keep in touch with us to find out!
 

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks for having us and covering the little guys. We always appreciate it. Please go check out our new album Toys at BurnItUpMusic.comiTunesGoogle PlayAmazonSpotify, etc. etc. etc.

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