Drift Into Black

City Native Releases New Material With Band

Paul LaPlaca is ready to release new material with his band Drift Into Black. Submitted photo

Paul LaPlaca is keeping busy these days.

The Jamestown native is working on his own solo project while getting ready for a release of Drift Into Black’s new lineup of songs.

In full disclosure, I went to Jamestown High School with Paul, and we, along with drummer Brent Isaacson, would jam as a trio. I remember those days fondly as Brent and I would follow Paul’s lead. He had a lot of musical ideas back then, and that explains why he does so well in the music business now.

Before moving to New York City, in 1994, Paul was a two-time first place winner for the Western New York Hottest Guitarist competition. While in the NYC area, Paul has played with October Thorns, The Great Kat, Grey Skies Fallen, THOR, and Zandelle. He has also worked as a touring tech for other popular bands as well.

He plays bass for Drift Into Black. The band was formed around 2018 with founder Craig Rossi on vocals, guitar, and keyboards, and Klemen Markelj on drums, and LaPlaca.

The new release is entitled “Voices Beneath The Rubble.”

The irony of this band is that the members have not recorded in the same room at the same time. Paul has been with Drift Into Black for about six years.

“It’s just a recording project,” Paul said.

Markelj is from Slovenia, and Paul said, Markelj has his own studio and records everything for the band there. So, Paul sends him stems from his own studio. According to izotope.com stems are stereo recordings sourced from mixes of multiple individual tracks from a digital audio workstation (DAW) like Protools or Apple Logic, such as drums, vocals, and bass. For example, a drum stem will typically be a stereo audio file that sounds like all of the drum tracks mixed together.

Paul is also sent stems, so he can record his bass part.

“I’ll end up getting a mix of everything, but bass. Usually I try to ask for just the kick (bass) drum track by itself, so I have a visual representation of where I should be focusing. The more I’ve done it with a band, the easier it’s been where I don’t need it so much anymore. When I started with them, I was really hyper-focused on making sure I was locked in with a kick (drum),” Paul said.

Paul has been a sideman in different bands where he was to basically play the recorded parts in a live setting and not really deviate from the path.

With Drift Into Black, Paul said, it’s different. He has more space for his creativity, but he still plays for the song making sure his part serves the song and not vice versa.

“With Craig, this is a different situation,” Paul said. “Craig is the leader of Drift Into Black, and he has the song structure. He has a template for you and says, ‘Here’s what I came up with now do your thing.’ He gives us free rein. I have only been asked to redo something maybe three times in six years. … I stick to supporting the feel and the vibe of the song. I don’t really go too far outside of it.”

Paul has been involved with music since his time at Washington Junior High School. At Washington, he learned about the drums as well as keyboards, and his go-to instrument – guitar. After JHS, he attended Jamestown Community College, and then transferred to SUNY Fredonia, and earned a bachelor’s in Communications.

He started playing bass regularly while at JCC, and while at Fredonia, he purchased a Fender Precision Bass guitar.

“And it’s always been just like a love,” Paul said about the bass guitar. “But I didn’t really learn how to play well until recently. It took a long time to understand.”

And when Paul isn’t busy playing music or working for Google, he has an internet radio show called 6 Degrees With Paul LaPlaca.

More information on Drift Into Black can be found at driftintoblack.com and more information about 6 Degrees with Paul LaPlaca can be found at Facebook.com/6DegreesPRR.


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