Sometimes the best music comes from those who’ve known each other for a long time.
The guys from the alternative rock band Irresponsible — Ryan Paladino, TJ Rogers and Michael Snodgrass — have known each other since they were in elementary and middle school in Buffalo, N.Y.
When Paladino graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., he called up Rogers to suggest they do something impulsive — move to the Washington, D.C., area and start a band. Three years later, Snodgrass joined the group as the bass player and Irresponsible was born.
A favorite at Jammin Java in Vienna, Irresponsible is set to play at the venue on Saturday.
“In terms of the name [of the band], I was actually over at Whitlow’s in Arlington — this was back in January 2008,” Paladino said. “Didn’t have a name yet, really. I had just graduated college and was about to start a real, adult job. Music was my passion. I wanted to do music for a living. So I said, ‘OK, you can do this 9-to-5 for a little while, that’s cool, but remember one day you’re going to have to be irresponsible and get out there on the road and try to hack it with music.’ As soon as I thought that, I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m gonna name the band that to remind [myself].’”
The band has two full-length albums, most recently “Madam Maggie’s House for Wayward Boys,” which was released in 2011 and is available on iTunes. Listening to their music and watching the music videos they’ve created for YouTube, it’s easy to see — and hear — that these guys love playing music and having fun.
Since the trio actually lives together in the same house, it’s important that they do have as much fun as possible.
“We’ve basically lived in the same house the entire time we’ve been a band,” Paladino said. “That gives us the opportunity to share all of our moments together. It doesn’t always have to be just business, business, business. … It’s actually been really convenient for us having that bond we formed as kids, hanging out in high school together, staying friends through college. Yeah, it’s super important to have that fun connection.”
Spending so much time together can become irritating — just look at the long list of rock bands that have broken up because of infighting or fatigue on tour.
Paladino said that being aware and mindful of that pitfall has helped the band avoid it.
“These dudes are awesome, so no matter what, if there’s a little roommate issue, you just keep that separate from the band stuff,” Paladino said. “At the end of the day, keep it separate from everything because it really doesn’t matter that much. So yeah, roommate things can pop up and create a little stress, but since we have all the history together, we’re pretty good about keeping stuff fun.”
Irresponsible has another show at Jammin Java on Jan. 31. Not only are they favorites at that venue, the band really enjoys playing there as well.
“There are so many things about that venue that make it No. 1 for us,” Paladino said. “We’ve been playing there since we started, so it’s kind of like home to us. Our first show there was in January 2008, so it was our first one in a nice venue with a big stage, lights, sound system and all that.”
Plus, it helps that the guys live just a few blocks away from Jammin Java.
“We can walk down there during the summer and bring everybody back to our house to hang out after the show,” Paladino said. “… The shows there are always just so much fun.”
Irresponsible even wrote a song about Jammin Java, “My Great Escape,” which will be featured on the band’s next album. Paladino said the new project would be released sometime in 2014. Another song that will be on the album, “Up and Up,” already has a music video on YouTube.
Irresponsible takes their music seriously, but that’s about it. Their songs are fun, their videos are funny and, if it was up to Paladino, everyone would walk away from their shows having had a great time.
“Is it a little too cheesy to say that I’d like for [the audience] to just give hugs a little more freely after one of our shows?” Paladino laughed. “I’d like them to give some hugs. Smile at a stranger. Yeah.”