Poughkeepsie, NY sextet What’s Your Problem Brian will be helping open up the festivities at Irving Plaza on May 31st, when The Apple Stomp rolls through the Big Apple. I gotta be honest… I’ve never heard of them and haven’t even heard a single song they’ve played while I write this, but Asbestos Records puts out good bands and works with good people, so I’m glad to get to know them and happy they’re a part of this amazing event!

Let’s call this one a drive-by interview for poops and laughter… I got in touch with drummer Mike Rutigliano to get to know the band and players, the Poughkeepsie Ska scene, and what’s up with that name of theirs. Oh, we talk about Apple Stomp, too!


G- Hi there and thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Live High Five! Introduce the members in the group… Who is everyone, what do they play, and where does everyone come from?

First off, Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview! I checked out other interviews you have done with some of the other Apple Stomp artists and found them to be AWESOME!

I’m Mike, I play the drums, and I am from Poughkeepsie NY. Adam Fachler, our bass player, lives in the Bronx. Anita Colby plays saxophone, and she is also from the Bronx. Andrew Raia is our Guitarist and he lives in Orange County, NY. Omar Reyes plays Trumpet and he currently lives in the Boston area. Andrea Vitale, our lead singer, lives in PA.

G- Well, thank you very much! Flattery will get you EVERYWHERE in this business 🙂 

So tell us… How long has What’s Your Problem Brian been around and when did you first get started? 

M- Well, we started out in the late 90’s and changed members frequently early on. This line-up has been the core line-up since 2001.

G- Just because I want to hear the story, where did the name come from, or what’s in the name?

M- I would love to give you an awesome answer for our odd name, but the fact of the matter is, Andrea is the only one who knows. Next Friday, maybe we can get it out of her!

G- Ok… I’ll wait for it. Perhaps a live Q&A before your set ;)-

So, Poughkeepsie, NY eh? Tell us a bit about where you are from… How is the scene and how are the responses at your shows?

Poughkeepsie used to have an amazing music scene, but I think it might be dead at the moment. We are home to one of the coolest venues we love to play, The Chance Theater (TheChanceTheater.com). People don’t seem to come out to shows like they used to back in the day. We only play (maybe) 1 show a year or every 2 years… Kinda just a way for us to get back together and enjoy each others company for one night.

G- Yeah I gotcha. There are a few reunions at Apple Stomp this year, and it seems to be quite a celebration of music and friends!

And speaking of Apple Stomp, how pumped are you to be a part of the bill, and who are you most excited to see at the shows?!

Everyone in this band is extremely excited to be a part of The Apple Stomp! It’s a huge honor to be given this chance to play with so many amazing bands! I cannot wait to see The Pilfers, Suicide Machines, The Pietasters, Spring Heeled Jack…

Wait….Just look at the complete line up of this show, I AM EXCITED TO SEE EVERY BAND!!!

G-Right on! So much music taking place. It’s really hard to pick a favorite!

So, it says you break up and reunited on a daily basis on your Facebook page… Do you currently have, or are you working on, any releases right now? When will you be heading back to the studio or on the road? Anything currently in the works?

M- Nope. We are all really busy with our lives and i think this will be the extent of this band… A show once a year for fun!

G- No punches pulled and no delusions of grandeur… Love it! Play to play!

So, to get you thinking a bit about what you’ve done in the past, what is the craziest or most memorable show that you have played to date? Where was it and what was it like?

M- I would have to say the shows with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones at The Chance were ridiculously amazing! The energy of the crowd, and knowing when your set is complete you get to watch The Bosstones perform on that same stage you just did, is amazing.

G- Absolutely! Those shows were INSANE back then… So much fun!

And to finish up for today, lastly, what advice can you give some of the young, up and coming bands everywhere who want to make it in music, on the road, and as a professional musician?

I would say, NEVER “worry about making it”. Just do your thing, enjoy yourself, and have a good fucking time out there…because ultimately that is all that matters!