Albany pop-punkers This Renaissance almost didn’t get the chance to release their debut EP.
The five-song recording, “The Words Out,” was the culmination of the band’s initial nine-month run, from September of 2011 to May of last year. Shortly after the then five-piece group recorded it in Queensbury, they split up, somewhat acrimoniously.
“That was all just kind of like, we all just stopped talking for a couple weeks,” Colin Miner, lead singer, guitarist and primary songwriter, said recently while with some of his bandmates at their practice space in North Albany Rehearsal Studios. “I tried putting a foot down, and the way that I put my foot down was way too harsh — I was like, ‘No, we’ve got to do this; you should do this and this.’ It was just the wrong way to go about anything.”
For the next six months, Miner and original drummer Josh Blair, who together co-founded This Renaissance, played with Poughkeepsie group Mayweather, while then-guitarist and current bassist Todd Montano, guitarist Jonny Krieger and former bassist Alex James Colaruotolo also began playing with other groups.
This Renaissance EP release show
with Titanics, Street Lights at Midnight
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Putnam Den, 63A Putnam St., Saratoga Springs
How Much: $5
More Info: 584-8066, putnamden.com
At the end of last year, though, Krieger and Montano began having second thoughts.
“[Krieger] was playing in another band too, and he called me up to borrow my bass guitar,” Montano said. “And he swung by and was like, ‘Hey, have you talked to Colin recently? We should give him a call and see if we can apologize.’ . . . And I was like, ‘All right, did you want to do that?’ And he was like, ‘I don’t think I should do it.’ ”
Eventually, Miner received a text from Krieger, and the path was cleared for a reunion in December, with some changes — the band has been reduced to a four-piece, and Montano’s brother Mark has replaced Blair on drums. The group will play its first show since reuniting, a release concert for “The Words Out,” Friday night. (The EP will be given out free at the show.)
It hasn’t been easy getting the band up to speed again in only six weeks. Miner had actually forgotten many of the songs the band played during its first incarnation.
“At first, I had a really hard time remembering the parts, because I just, could barely — I never played them over the summer or anything,” he said. “When we were initially writing them, I had problems writing the parts, and then when I came back — ‘I don’t remember what I even wrote; this is bad.’ But we’ve all really caught up with each other. Musically, I’m very confident with what we’ve been able to come up with at this moment; I was really happy with it.”
Losing Blair was another hurdle the band had to overcome. Initially, Miner and Blair formed This Renaissance shortly after Miner left Curse the Mariner — the two met at a bar where Blair was bartending.
“It was like a hole-in-the-wall bar, no one was there, and we just started talking about music,” Miner said. “So I went into this bar, and Josh was like, ‘You look familiar.’ I was like, ‘Well, have you ever heard of the band Curse the Mariner?’ He’s like, ‘I . . . hate them.’”
Despite this, the two soon hit it off after chatting musical influences — the group takes its inspiration from bands such as Story of the Year, Coheed and Cambria and Taking Back Sunday.
Miner had originally asked Blair back to the group when it was reforming. Todd Montano then suggested the band bring his brother on board, and the group quickly jelled from there.
“Mark is like a blessing in disguise — I had no idea how awesome he was gonna be when we initially added him,” Miner said. “I was like, he’s a fill-in for now, and if we find somebody down the road — but he’s done a lot; he’s really progressed.”
Having four pieces instead of five has also helped to streamline the band’s sound. Although some of the guitar parts on “The Words Out” can’t be performed live anymore, overall the band has grown stronger with fewer members, according to Miner.
“Todd was playing guitar at the time, so him coming back and playing bass, he already knew the parts — he knew exactly when there was supposed to be a stop,” Miner said. “And honestly between three guitars, there’s a lot less feedback and extra chug going on. So the dynamic I feel is better as a four-piece.”
The band is already hard at work writing new material, and will be debuting two new songs not on the EP at the show Friday night. Whereas the EP material was mostly written by Miner, the newer songs have been a more collaborative effort. Already the band is looking ahead to recording another EP later in the year.
“[At first] I would just write a song and be like, ‘Let’s play this; this is what we’ll play; here’s the part, here’s the drums,’ ” Miner said. “But now it’s — especially working with seasoned musicians, you can pick apart a song and then figure out, all right — well, instead of speeding up here, we can slow this down and pick it back up, that kind of thing. It’s awesome to have that dynamic.”