78 West:
not a trend
October 1994

Robert Reilly likes the crowd his band attracts.

"It's a very blue-collar audience," he said. "The age-group is mid- to late 20s into the mid-40s. ... We're not a trend or a fashion thing with kids. It's tradition, we like that. These people are music lovers, not trend followers."

The band, 78 West, is a hard-edged rock quintet which Reilly, the group's lead singer and songwriter, likens to classic Genesis leavened with a dash of Bruce Springsteen.

"It's mainstream alternative," he said, then amended: "It's pretty tough guitar-driven rock 'n' roll, and it's definitely very original. ... We were all raised on classic rock, and we've interpreted that to be our own."

Band members hail from a wide field, claiming hometowns in England, California, New York and New Jersey. After coming together as a group two years ago in New Jersey, the group moved its home base to Reading, Pa., which Englander Reilly said is "about two hours from everywhere."

The past two years have been spent mostly on the road, playing gigs in the New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas.

78 West recently released its first CD, Whatever It Takes, and is working on a second. The album title reflects 78 West's state of mind, said Reilly, who writes the band's original tunes.

"I write about the things that move me," he said. "None of it is invented or pretentious. I inspired by what I feel and what I see.

"It's music about making it out, about getting out from where we are and making a mark. We truly believe we can make it. It's very optimistic, but it's very truthful and gritty. The songs are really a personal experience."

interview by
Tom Knapp

what's new