‘Never Enough’ touring for New York boys Public Access T.V.


Courtesy Big Hassle Publicity

New York rocker boys Public Access T.V. is hitting Schubas Tavern, 3159 N. Southport Ave., Jan. 26 as part of its Never Enough headlining tour and debut album. 

By Ariel Parrella-Aureli

Don’t stop, do you what you wanna do,” sings John Eatherly, lead singer and songwriter of Public Access T.V. on the band’s single, “On Location” released in Fall 2016. 

These simple yet appealing and motivational words speak to the band’s career as a rock ‘n’ roll group from Manhattan—a place where rock bands are hard to come by nowadays, in Eatherly’s opinion. 

Although the band has struggled to find its place in today’s music scene, doing what it wants to do and not stopping has worked in its favor. PATV carved a home in New York City with unfiltered guitars, sticky vocals and a growing reputation from touring and recording music in England. 

Eatherly and bandmates Xan Aird on lead guitar, bassist Max Peebles and drummer Pete Star are beginning 2017 with their first headlining tour, which started Jan. 19 in Boston and ends in May in Atlanta. After just a month home recuperating from its last tour opening for Hinds, PATV is back to the traveling life with its debut album Never Enough, released Sept. 30, 2016.

The band will play Schubas Tavern, 3159 N. Southport Ave., Jan. 26 with Splashh and The Britanys. The Chronicle spoke with Eatherly in anticipation of the show about the group’s UK connection, its rock ‘n’ roll background and its “Sesame Street” lifestyle.

THE CHRONICLE: How did England influence your music?

JOHN EATHERLY: In England, there is a lot more attention [to] rock ‘n’ roll shows and people going and letting loose a bit more. If anything, it [makes] for a little more immediacy in the music and energy of playing live and being over there away from home and [being] excited about everything. It all [feels] real and in the moment. If we were doing it here, it would have been more low-key and chilling. 

Are there any songs from Never Enough that evoke emotions from you?

It is strange. It is more so when you are writing it or recording it, and then when [I am] playing it, I am more detached from it. I am just singing words, and I don’t necessarily know what they mean anymore. [On tour], we are going to be playing some songs that we have not played live yet, [like] “Remember.” 

How did you and your bandmates come together and find your chemistry?

[Peebles] and I played in bands together when we were teenagers [in Nashville]. We moved to New York together in 2008, so he was a friend who I was always learning from. He was more of the adamant record collector guy, so I would listen to a lot of stuff he found. I knew him for a long time, so it was a really natural thing.  [Star] is the chillest member of the band. He is the father of the group.

When or where do you write music?

I am a night owl creatively, so I work best when everybody else is asleep and there is no pressure, and you are not thinking if anybody is going to text you or anything. The best ideas come when you are not trying to force them out, so if I go and try to treat it like work, which is a good thing to try to do, I do it during the day and go to a practice space and try to write. I get a little bit of work done, but I usually get the actual idea late at night.

Do you have any pre-show rituals or traditions before performing?

We say a little prayer together and wish each other good luck onstage, and we give each other a hug. [Peebles] probably makes himself a cocktail, and me and [Aird] grab some waters, and we make sure that [Star] has not been napping. He has been known to take naps beforeshows, and that’s not allowed. Nothing special, but hopefully we are getting along that day.

Do you still live together? 

We used to live together, but our apartment exploded [in 2015]. Now, we all live in the same block. We live a “Sesame Street”-style life. We go downstairs, and then everybody is within the same 40 yards. It is like a sitcom.

Do you think that rock ‘n’ roll is making a resurgence?

I don’t think it is a resurgence because people have been going to rock shows forever, and it is not going anywhere. We are naturally doing what we have always done, so some might say that it is tough for us to find a lane where we fit in the music world these days, playing the music that we do. I don’t know where exactly we fit in. I guess we are a rock ‘n’ roll band, but we are just a song band playing our songs on guitars.