NEPA Scene’s Got Talent spotlight: Scranton indie punk duo Pulak (Connor Langan and Dom Ludovici)
Every week of NEPA Scene’s Got Talent, our free open mic and talent competition at Thirst T’s Bar & Grill in Olyphant, we feature a quick Q&A with the latest audience vote winner, which was Scranton indie/punk rock duo Pulak on Oct. 6.
The weekly winner receives $50 in cash, courtesy of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, and the headlining slot for the following Tuesday, and all other performers are encouraged to compete again as often as they’d like or simply show off their talents for fun. The event is sponsored by Samuel Adams; LT Verrastro, Inc.; Fireball Cinnamon Whisky; Fuzz 92.1; TwentyFiveEight Studios; and Thirst T’s.
After 12 weeks, the 12 winners will face off against each other at the Finals Showcase on Dec. 1 in front of a panel of local celebrities who will determine the winner of the grand prize – a winter getaway package with ski passes and more, $250, an interview broadcast on Fuzz 92.1, and a free 10-hour recording session at TwentyFiveEight Studios in Scranton. The second place winner will receive $100.
Vocalist/guitarist Connor Langan and guitarist Dom Ludovici are only 21 years old, but they’ve been playing music together for over five years and both are members of Scranton bands Karate Camp and Crock Pot Abduction. We talked to them about their new duo, Pulak, and winning Week 6 with their fun original songs and covers.
NEPA SCENE: How did you hear about NEPA Scene’s Got Talent, and what made you decide to perform over the last few weeks?
PULAK: Through Facebook posts and following NEPA Scene on Facebook. We have been wanting to perform around the area more and be more involved in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre scene.
NS: For those who don’t know you yet, tell us a bit about your backgrounds as musicians. How did you both get started?
P: We’ve been friends for 10 years and been playing music in a band called Crock Pot Abduction since 2010.
NS: What musical projects are you currently involved in?
P: We are currently in both Karate Camp and Crock Pot Abduction together. Connor is also in the band The KLAP (The Kids Laughing at Pedestrians).
NS: Where does “Pulak” come from, and will you be putting out any music under that name?
P: There’s a character from the movie and TV show “Wet Hot American Summer” whose name is Victor Pulak; we thought the name “Pulak” had a nice ring to it. We might put something out in the future, but as of now, we’re just using it as our name for NEPA Scene’s Got Talent.
NS: It seems like you guys have a lot of fun onstage. How important is presentation and stage presence to your music?
P: Stage presence is just as important as the performance itself. If people don’t think you’re enjoying what you’re doing onstage, why should the audience enjoy it too?
NS: Is music something that you’d like to pursue as a career or is it just for fun?
P: If the opportunity ever came up, we would. However, a career in music is a tough thing to do. We won’t ever give up trying to make it happen, though.
NS: What was your immediate reaction when you won the audience vote last week?
P: Surprise, as there were such great acts on the same stage every time, and the competition was tough.
NS: Why do you think you won the audience vote?
P: The passion and energy we try and put in the performance.
NS: How will you spend your $50 prize?
P: Dom spent his $25 on fast food and gas money. Connor spent his on Taco Bell and cheap beer.
NS: What are you most looking forward to about the Finals Showcase?
P: Getting to be in the finals is honorable enough, being on stage with all the people who we’ve performed with. It’s going to be a fun and exciting night. Plus, we get to wear our monkey suits, and that’s pretty exciting.
NS: What is your opinion of the local arts and entertainment scene? What is great about it, and what needs improvement?
P: There is a lot of great talent in this area; it’s really awesome. It’s just a shame because there is a lack of venues, and without a place to play at, there is no audience to play to.
Unless you’re a well-known band that bars want or you know the right people, you don’t stand a chance.
It wasn’t always this way, though, and it’s not too late to fix it. NEPA Scene is really doing a good thing in giving it a reboot and getting the community back together.
NS: Do you have any upcoming shows or performances you’d like to promote?
P: Karate Camp is going to be performing a live show for Holland Sound Studios’ live broadcast on Monday, Nov. 23.
NS: Where can people find your music online?
For more information on Season 2 of NEPA Scene’s Got Talent, which is always free and open to anyone, click here.
See more photos from last week’s event here.
Photo by Robb Malloy/NEPA Scene
by Rich Howells
Rich is an award-winning journalist, longtime blogger, photographer, and podcast host. He is the founder and editor of NEPA Scene.