Street Sounds: Sauce

Street sounds for the week of Tuesday, September 24.

Temple’s own Sauce prefers basement shows rather than flashy performances. | Claire Sasko TTN
Temple’s own Sauce prefers basement shows rather than flashy performances. | Claire Sasko TTN

They’ve played at small venues in Philadelphia and even played at an Allman Brothers show in New York, but Sauce, a Temple band comprised of five students, prefers to play music at house shows.

The band frequently held concerts last year in its own basement, or what became known to students as “The Sauce House,” where people packed shoulder-to-shoulder beneath strands of holiday lights to enjoy the band’s music.

Comprised of junior JP Moynihan on vocals and guitar, junior Mike Paszkiewicz on guitar and bass, senior Nick Kaulback on guitar, bass, and vocals, junior Robert Hassl on keyboard, and junior Pedro Purcell on the drums, Sauce caters to the crowd.

Sauce calls itself a “live band,” meaning its focuses on playing music live rather than recording it.

Sauce will play a 21+ show on Oct. 12 at The Grape Room in Manayunk.

THE TEMPLE NEWS: How would you describe your music?

NICK KAULBACK: I think we kind of transcend genres in the sense that we pick and choose a little bit of all different sorts of music and it’s not genre-specific. Sometimes it’s funky, sometimes it’s jazzy, sometimes it’s a little more Americana.

TTN: Would you call yourselves a jam band?

NK: [We’re] a band that jams. That’s what makes the live performances cool, ‘cause it’s not the same every time. If we came out and played the same set, then people would be like, what’s the point of coming to see this band again?

MIKE PASZKIEWICZ: We tend to be more guided than just kind of aimless and wandering and we like to keep people’s attention. The second people start dancing is when things go downhill.

 TTN: How did the band start?

NK: I was sitting in class with Mike and I had a wristband from a Phish festival I went to that summer on my wrist and [Paszkiewicz] had an All-Good bracelet on, which is another music festival. We walked around and played some music that day. Then he said he had a friend who is a drummer and [Purcell] brought over the drums and then [Moynihan] came and the next semester [Hassl] came.

JP MOYNIHAN: It took a bit for me to find the basement show scene. Freshman year the parties sucked. Then we found the basement show scene and we were like “Oh, we could do this too. We could play basement shows.”

ROB HASSL: We’ve been playing for a little longer than one year.

 TTN: Tell me about “The Sauce House.”

JH: It was terrible to live in, but fantastic for a big party. The atmosphere during shows was usually hot, dark and loud. The basement would be filled, and so would the first floor.

TTN: Why do you prefer house shows to formal venues?

MP: We play off the crowd. We’ve played shows at bars with 30 or so people and everyone just sits and stares around. We don’t play as well there as packed and crowded basements. That’s where we thrive.

TTN: Where is the most memorable place you’ve played?

MP: We were up in Long Island [,N.Y.,] this summer at Jones Beach Amphitheater and we got this sweet hook-up for a gig. Everyone coming in to see Grace Potter [and the Nocturnals] and the Allman Brothers walked by us playing and started dancing.

PEDRO PURCELL: I remember this one guy stopped and said, “I’ll see you guys on the main stage in a couple years.” That was the coolest compliment we ever got.

 TTN: You’ve been referred to in public as “Temple’s favorite band.” Did you know that?

 NK: After the block party at Temple last year, I was with my friends and it was the first time I was in public and heard people say, “Hey, that’s that kid that was in that band at the block party.” It was an interesting feeling, getting recognized for this thing that I just like to do.

RH: I think it’s cool even if people don’t know my name and they walk by and say “Hey, Sauce!”

 TTN: How do you set yourselves apart from other Temple bands?

NK: A lot of people who come to our shows listen to different types of music but can get down to what we’re doing. People can appreciate our versatility.

TTN: You’ve covered the theme songs to “Hey Arnold” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.” How do you pick what songs you cover?

RH: We usually do one or two covers a show. A lot of times we mix covers into original stuff.

MP: When you break something out like that out at a show no one sees it coming, and it’s also a great funky jazz song and everybody has a great time.

JM: We like to play stuff that people will recognize and associate with their time period and their life. They’ll just know it and that will make them happy because it makes them feel like they can relate to the music.

 Claire Sasko can be reached at

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