And with close-knit bands like Circa Survive and August Burns Red citing the city as home, it's obvious that there is more to this town than just cheesesteaks and TastyKakes.
Apparently, there are lots of dudes walking around with guitars screaming about their feelings.
PREM!ERE is no exception. Comprised of CAPA High School peers and long-time friends Will Tham (guitar), Jimmy Nghieu (guitar), Gary Le (bass) and Brand Ho (drums). Fully formed in the fall of 2009 with my addition as lead vocalist, it wasn't long before we were relentlessly composing songs and practicing on a weekly basis.
But as all good things, my time with the band came to an end a year later in 2010, leaving the remaining members to continue where they left off. In the subsequent years, they've secured vocalist Chris Lee and have been promoting themselves across the internet incessantly while booking shows at local venues such as The Legendary Dobbs and the Troc.
Recently I caught up with Jimmy and Chris to discuss cutting their first [self-produced] demo, opening for Hawthorne Heights and the collapse of the local scene:
Their first demo is being recorded in their practice space, which affords a lower production cost but comes with it's trials and tribulations.
"It takes Will like two weeks to do recording for just guitar parts [for one song]...It sucks that we don't have like an actual room for recording," Jim stated.
But that's the least of their worries. Booking shows seems to come pretty easily, except for the fact that a lot of their fans can't come.
"The people that like us are either too far away, or they're under twenty-one," Jimmy explains.
But there are good times to be had as well.
The boys revealed their most absurd moment backstage at a show and internet haters (we're looking at you Think Basic). Being an all Asian band, there have been some good and bad reactions. At a show a few months back, some random guy in another band approached them with, "Hey, look, a bunch of Asians! We're gonna do some karate!" Chris recalled.
And apparently, members of the local rock outfit Think Basic, spammed the PREM!ERE facebook wall with some racist bullshit. But of course, that's the card that gets pulled when the band in question sucks. PREM!ERE's musicianship and instrumentals alone put Think Basic's to shame.
It's like telling Hugh Heffner he's old.
He's still Hugh Heffner.
All in all, PREM!ERE are just a bunch of South Philly kids trying to make something out of nothing. They're on the right track so far and if you jump on the bandwagon now, you can be one of those fans that knew them way back when.
For more info on the band, check out their Facebook, Twitter and Reverb Nation, where you can download free tracks.
Now Playing: Back and Fourth (Demo)