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Local band members headed in different directions

Patrick Varine
| Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 5:32 p.m.
?Above, The Composure: Cory Muro, Paul Menotiades, Jeff Wendle and Seth Milberger. The band will play its final show May 3 at Altar Bar.
Travis Neely
?Above, The Composure: Cory Muro, Paul Menotiades, Jeff Wendle and Seth Milberger. The band will play its final show May 3 at Altar Bar.

Members of the band The Composure have learned a lot about the music industry in their seven years.

One of the lessons is that each member has his own musical direction, and it is that lesson that has led them to announce their breakup after a May 3 show at Altar Bar in Pittsburgh's Strip District neighborhood.

Singer and guitarist Paul Menotiades, 30, of Penn Hills was quick to note that the breakup is an amicable one.

“The lineup has changed so much over the years. It kind of held steady with me and (drummer) Cory (Muro), but Cory has been getting involved in other things and not really had time for it,” Menotiades said.

Muro, 26, of Irwin has been playing in another Pittsburgh-area band called Bad Boxes.

“It's a lot different,” he said. “It's more electronic. It's a lot of fun.”

Menotiades said he is focusing on the more-organic style that The Composure used as its primary sound.

“I'm still trying to play more punk and harder rock music, as opposed to anything avant-garde,” he said.

Both Menotiades and Muro play in another group together, the rock band Punchline, which has released six albums and four EPs since forming in 1998.

“We'll have to see if there's going to be a new Punchline record or not,” Menotiades said. “And of course, that's not to say The Composure isn't going to release anything in the future. As an original band member, I could certainly do that.”

His preference, though, is to focus on developing as a solo artist, and, he said, The Composure's seven-year journey has prepared him well.

“We were able to record with so many bigger industry names, and we learned a lot just being in a room with these people and soaking up their knowledge,” he said.

“We went to Sound City Studios in Los Angeles and got to record there before it closed,” Muro said. “We got to meet a lot of people, see a ton of cities and make a lot of friends all over the country.”

Menotiades has been recording solo tunes lately, “and I only know how to do it from watching all these different engineers and producers with their own techniques, styles and tricks,” he said.

Another thing neither will forget is opening two nights for rock legend Bruce Springsteen when he performed at Pittsburgh's Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall in 2011. Springsteen joined the band onstage both nights to help it cover his “Dancing in the Dark.”

“I'm going to be telling my grandkids about that,” Menotiades said.

The Composure's final show will take place with the Trophies at 7:30 p.m. on May 3 at Altar Bar, located at 1620 Penn Ave. in Pittsburgh. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 on the day of the show. It is an all-ages show.

Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or

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