Shipping off for success

By Assistant Arts & Culture Editor

Ship Captain Crew, an enthusiastic group of pop-punk wanna-be mariners, first took the stage in warehouse-turned-venue The Lighthouse, in Monee, Ill., circa 2012 and have since matured their  poppy sound. 

Since they formed in 2010, Ship Captain Crew has swapped out guitarists and bassists, worked on perfecting guitar work, wrote deeper lyrics and networked to play at bigger venues. 

The band’s current lineup consists of lead vocalist Roger Alexander Moreno, guitarist Ben Darling, new bassist Drew Moralez, drummer Mike Reda and guitarist Angelo Sakellaropoulos. 

Throughout the last four years, the band has added more condensed guitars and emotive lyrics, such as: “I think I learned my leason/ I‘m just lucky to be alive” from their song “Talking to Your Ghost,” without losing their upbeat edge in the process. 

Originally playing small shows at venues such as Mojoe’s Rock House, 7537 W. 159th St., in suburban Tinley Park, they now play at bigger venues such as the Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont Ave.,  and Reggie’s Music Joint, 2015 S. State St.

Having spent the majority of 2013  recording their first studio-released EP, House of Mercury, the band plans to officially release the EP this summer,.

The Chronicle chatted with Moreno over the phone  to discuss the band’s nautical name, its new EP and  how to make it in the music industry.

THE CHRONICLE: What is your songwriting process like?

ROGER ALEXANDER MORENO: I write the lyrics. I kind of write them as we write the music, so it’s all kind of happening at once. I definitely think about the lyrics too much and it surprises me.

CC: Have you always had a nautical theme?

RAM: We tried to have the stereotypical pop-punk nautical theme with sailors and that type of thing, but I think our sound has grown since then. It’s not something we’re trying to live up to anymore. 

CC: Talk about your new EP.

RAM: We kind of go for a little bit of ancient science; it has a lot of astrology in it. As far as the singing, it’s about loss and anxiety, but also coming across it in a hopeful way and knowing that things pass and that everything is going to be great in the end. Writing it helped me get through so much and I hope it can help others too. Musically, Angelo’s guitar leads kind of crash through the sound but also tend to be subtle. 

CC: What musical artists influence your music?

RAM: We all have such completely different musical influences. Our drummer grew up on Blink-182, so he’s really fast-tempoed. Angelo [Sakellaropoulos] is more of our metal guy and ‘80s arena rock. I’m more of a pop music kind of guy and old school jazz and blues. And Ben [Darling] is our more music-theory-based musician, so he brings a lot of complexity to our sound.

CC: How has your journey been so far?

RAM: It’s been slowed down because we’re all trying to find jobs to support the band but also we’re all growing up at the same time. Definitely in the past year it seems like we’ve been gaining momentum. 

CC: Any advice for new bands?

RAM: Make friends. It’s good to make friends with promoters and with other bands so you can have a sense of community, that way your band can help each other cross borders and counties and townships and grow together and you can dig yourself out of a rut. 

For more information, visit