Allstar Weekend: A smooch, a pooch and a dream

LSY!'s Francesca Harvey interviews bassist Cameron Quigley and lead singer and guitarist Zach Porter from Allstar Weekend. Out of the frame is drummer Michael Martinez.

LSY!’s Francesca Harvey interviews bassist Cameron Quigley and lead singer and guitarist Zach Porter from Allstar Weekend. Out of the frame is drummer Michael Martinez.

Are you a dreamer? Are you a risk-taker?

If you want to be in a band, you’ve got to be both.

When we sat down with the guys from Allstar Weekend, they gave us the insight on making your dream a reality. One of the key ingredients is taking a risk.

“This band in general is a pretty big risk,” said bass player Cameron Quiseng, who a few years ago was living with his grandmother (insert “Awww!” here), going to school and holding down a job. Then he left it all to take Allstar Weekend to the next level.

“In the beginning it was really rough – I had negative denero in my bank accounto, and we really lucked out,” said Cameron, who is one-third of ASW. (His bandmates are lead singer and guitarist Zach Porter and drummer Michael Martinez.)

“I would just have to say, the fans are kind of what really saved us,” Cameron added. “Without our fan base we wouldn’t have made it.”

You wouldn’t believe how dedicated their fans have actually been. Zach once got a live dog from a fan as a birthday gift!

“That was pretty crazy,” he said.

Of course we are all wondering, did he actually keep the dog?!

“I did not keep the dog,” Zach explained. “It was a live dog, we were on tour. It was a six-week old Chihuahua, which sounds cute if it’s not yours to keep, all of the sudden. It was in a basket and they just left it with me, and it was very awesome but I couldn’t keep it.”

Lucky for Zach (and his almost pet!) someone who worked at the venue was willing to adopt the dog.

“It would have been wrong of me to keep it,” Zach said. “I couldn’t take care of it on the road.”

The crazy moments don’t stop with crazy gifts. One time, a fan punched Michael in the face. He’s also been kissed (on the lips!) by fans several times.

So has Cameron, though it didn’t work out the way he planned!

While in his tour bus one time, he happened to be watching Elvis perform on TV and he saw him bring a girl up onstage, and kissed her! Cameron had never seen anything like it before. Although he knew it would be awkward, Cameron felt this was something he had to do especially given the response Elvis had.

“I kissed the girl onstage and it didn’t have the reaction I thought I would,” Cameron said. “Then I went, ‘Well, that wasn’t a good idea. I won’t do that again.’”

“It was probably the most awkward moment of my life,” Michael said. “I feel like it was more awkward for me then it was for you because I had to watch it. It was weird!”

That risk didn’t work. And that’s OK. Because not all of them do. But the big risk – quitting everything “normal” and starting a band – has worked out great for Cameron, Zach and Michael.

There are certainly a lot of fans – some with dogs, others with puckered lips – who are happy they did!

Francesca Harvey, LSY! deputy editor, Mount St. Mary Academy, and Tim O’Shei, LSY! founder, with research assistance from Rebecca Wojcinski

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