WHO REMEMBERS NOW IN STORES?! To wrap this up, I had to reach out to Angelo Ondras (guitars) to find out not only what the hell he’s been up to these past 18 years, but to rein in NIS for this very special throwback issue of WRETCHED SOUND. And you wouldn’t believe how upset I was to learn that NIS had reunited for one show in 2016 at Mohawk Place and I had no idea. Literally. I didn’t hear about it from a single soul, but nevertheless, I guess I’m here reliving it now. NOW IN STORES were Buffalo’s own Orange County boys. They were going all-in on the classic sounds of AVENGED SEVENFOLD and ATREYU long before it was “cool” to do so. Let’s see what Angelo had to say for the guys in our interview!
1. What first inspired you to start playing guitar?
– Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath and Kurt Cobain of Nirvana are who Inspired me to start playing. I always loved their riffs and they were fun to learn and play, even for a beginner.
2. What geared you towards the style that Now In Stores became known for?
– I think it was more of a collaborative effort, Our singer Ryan was a big part of the guitar writing process and heavily influenced by harmonized guitar riffs and we would mend all of our ideas together.. sometimes chaotic but always what we felt sounded good to us, and that’s all that mattered.
3. How did NIS first form and how did you guys arrive at the name?
– Dave, Ryan and my brother Tony were in a band together beforehand so it was an easy choice to join with them once they wanted to start a new project. They wanted to name the band something sarcastic and we rolled with it. It became a staple for us. We later on auditioned Matt out for bass once we had a few songs written and he was instantly welcomed into the group.
4. As I recall, back around the time you guys started Avenged Sevenfold’s Waking the Fallen had reached its apex of popularity. This record came up in the conversation a lot back then and it was definitely a game changer for a lot of heavy metal/hardcore crossover bands. Was this album one of your collective favorites as a band?
– Yea we all loved that album and definitely had that in heavy rotation back then, along with a few Dead to Fall, and Darkest Hour albums.
5. Who were your favorite bands in the local scene back when you guys were active?
-Phaetasm, 3 Below, This Gun Smiles, Switch 86, From This Day and It Dies Today. Pretty much any local we shared the stage with.
6. I had no idea that you guys got back together for a reunion show in 2016. How did that come about and how did it go?
– It went pretty smoothly. We were on the fence with the idea of doing it at first because we didn’t really have a ton of recorded material.. but then we were able to work out a few months of practice to get a decent sized set list together, so we had to do it! Cory Coleman was kind enough to bring the event together and promote it with us. I think we packed about 50+ heads into Mohawk place and had a bunch of our friends open the show as well. If you’re lucky, there may be a video from the show floating around in the YouTube universe as we speak!
7. “Where are they now?” – What is everyone from NIS up to these days? Even if none of you are in a currently active band, tell us what’s going on in everyone’s life in general.
-Dave, Tony, and Matt are all married with children and are not currently active in any music projects. Ryan and myself still have the itch for recording and producing but also find time for a hardcore side project called MEGAMOUTH. I also play guitar in a band called “Voice in Captivity.”
8. What was your favorite NIS song? Name a few if you must. As a follow-up, what were some of your favorite contributions to the band (riffs, lyrics, anything YOU were responsible for)?
– I always loved the song “Name Like a Superhero .” It was one of the funnest songs to play on guitar with all the different riffs we had in it, and it was always one of our choice songs to close a set with.
9. List off and talk about your favorite venues from back in those days.
-Xtreme wheelz was always a staple because of how cheap it was to get into shows and it was so accessible to us kids. Also having skating, arcade games and pizza there too didn’t hurt! I also have to talk about the amazing “Rock and Bowl” Sunday night shows at Voelker’s Bowling Alley. Those were always the funnest shows to play hands down. I think we actually had someone try to crowd surf at a show there too (laughs).
10. Narrowing it down a bit, talk about 5-10 of your most memorable live experiences with NIS.
-Best show- Our CD release show at Xtreme Wheelz (flier shown) was probably our best show. There were at least 100 kids there and with the help of Bangerang, Tomorrow’s Broken and Fillmore, we put on a great show filled with tons of sweaty dudes! Shout out to Sickboy Productions for that one.
-Worst Show- A “battle of the bands” at Club infinity was probably our worst show..Not entirely our performance, but the way the whole thing went down. We had to sell tickets (obviously).. but we were only given a 15 minute set and had to play on “house gear.” We were pretty sure the judges hadn’t arrived yet either to catch our set. Anyways… we definitely did not win that one.
-Most Memorable- The reunion show was most memorable to me because I got to feel an old familiar feeling playing NIS songs again. It was great to see people still cared to come, listen and scream our words back at us after a 10 year breakup. I’ll never “say never” on another reunion happening.. but I do feel safe saying that it was probably the last show NIS will ever play.