Against The Current’s Chrissy Costanza: “We’re such a live band!” (5/14 at UT)

“I’ve always loved dark clothes and leather and harnesses and stuff like that.  My dream wardrobe could double as an assassin’s outfit,” says Chrissy Costanza, who does often look...

“I’ve always loved dark clothes and leather and harnesses and stuff like that.  My dream wardrobe could double as an assassin’s outfit,” says Chrissy Costanza, who does often look as though she could be a comic book anti-heroine…  However, the primary reason we love her is because she’s the frontwoman for pop-rock outfit Against The Current (alongside guitarist Dan Gow and drummer/keyboardist Will Ferri).  And Costanza can be seen donning just such attire in the band’s music video for “good guy,” which dropped just last Friday, and which you can watch below.

Against The Current are currently a little more than a week into the Nightmares & Daydreams 2023 World Tour, whose US dates have the band co-headlining with Australian punk rockers Trophy Eyes, alongside openers [and fellow-Aussie punks] Yours Truly (whose Mikaila Delgado we chatted with in July of 2021).  “We’re really stoked to tour with both of those bands,” Costanza tells me during a recent phone chat, before going on to say, “We’ve never toured with Trophy Eyes, and we’ve toured a little bit with Yours Truly, who are amazing.  I’m seriously so excited for this tour, just so I can get to see them every night!”

The Nightmares & Daydreams tour will find Against The Current, Trophy Eyes, and Yours Truly at our very own Union Transfer Sunday, May 14th.  Although Against The Current have played the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection quite a few times since they started in 2011 (including shows at World Café Live, The Foundry, Underground Arts, District N9ne, and The Trocadero), Costanza tells me she’s spent quite a bit of time here recently: “My partner is from Philly, born and raised, so I’ve been there a lot in the past four years.”  And when I ask if she has any things she especially loves about our city, she quickly replies, “Cheesesteaks from Dalessandro’s, which I’m hoping to get when I’m there!”

“good guy” is the follow-up to like-minded pop-rock banger “blindfolded,” which was released last year (with an acoustic version released this March) and marked the band’s first independent release in seven years, after having been signed to Fueled By Ramen.  Costanza tells me that “blindfolded,” “relates to relationships of any kind,” but does admit that she had something particular in mind when working on it: “It’s really about being disillusioned with the music industry…  I love music, but when something’s your job, it’s easy to become disillusioned with it, when what you wanted turned out to be not so great after all, or even something you hate.”  In a recent press release, Costanza echoes a similar sentiment about “good guy,” describing it as, “all about going from anger to apathy, recognizing that this person that hurt you is too sad to hate.”

However, Costanza tells me that she and the band are thrilled to be releasing music independently again: “It’s honestly awesome!  This is how we started the band and how we did it for a long time.”  She even admits that it makes certain things a lot easier: “We’re a really hands-on band, with a lot of autonomy, and there’s no red tape to cut through, or if there is, we put it there ourselves.”  And for this run of dates, Against The Current are hoping to get hands-on with their fans, offering a $49.99 VIP upgrade that includes early access to the venue, first access to merchandise, a meeting with the band with an individual photo op from their tour photographer, a signed VIP laminate and custom ATC lanyard, and a limited edition VIP ATC tote bag and sticker set.  “That’s a really fun way to get some time one-on-one with the fans,” Costanza tells me, before going on to say that there is also a practical benefit to being a VIP: “The barricade is a big thing for a lot of people, so this will give them first access.”

Although Against The Current have spent a lot of time on the road since their fever EP dropped in July of 2021, including a handful of festival shows, not a lot of that time has been spent in the states, so most American fans will be hearing and seeing the band’s most recent material for the first time, which will include most of the EP, in addition to recent singles.  “We didn’t do a lot of touring in the US behind fever, just a few shows, so we have a ton of new music and pent-up energy that we haven’t gotten to bring to the US in a while,” says Costanza, who also tells me that fans of the band should really make a point to catch the live show: “We’re such a live band!  When you’re at the show, that’s the way you can best experience this band.”

Fans of the band’s YouTube channel, however, have likely been seeing a lot of pro-shot footage of their show from Cologne last year, which was originally available as a ticketed livestream, which Costanza tells me has been, “Helping us with what we want to do and how we want to plan it out bigger and better.”  The concert took place at Carlswerk Victoria, a large club, which Costanza admits is often her favorite setting to play: “Some of the club shows are actually my favorite shows, because when the energy is high in clubs, it’s even more so than at huge festivals, because you can’t see everyone at those shows.”

After the US leg of the Nightmares & Daydreams 2023 World Tour wraps May 17th in Greensboro, NC, the band will resume touring internationally this September, with dates taking them through early December.  And there are a few places Costanza tells me she’s especially excited to revisit: “I’m pumped to be back in Asia and Australia.  I’m really excited to go back to all the cities in Asia… We’ve only been to Australia like twice in our like 10 years as a band.”  However, she tells me that getting to play anywhere for the first time is equally thrilling: “Whenever we go to a new place, it’s exciting.  We never want to take anything for granted.”

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.