Interview: A Rocket to the Moon — "Our album is almost like Superbad…"
Mon, 17 May 2010 07:21:20
A Rocket to the Moon Videos
A Rocket to the Moon's debut, On Your Side, could very well slingshot the band to the top of the pop rock heap. Given how infectious they are, it's exactly where the young quartet deserves to be…
On Your Side's often dreamy at points, but it's got a pop punk flare that keeps everything fun throughout. You'll have a blast with "Anabelle", "Dakota" and "Give A Damn," which segue from snappy riffs to insurmountable hooks that'll stay etched in your head for days. Frontman Nick Santino also croons out all kinds of stories across the album's landscape, creating vignettes of everything from summer love to bad girls. A Rocket to the Moon are in a galaxy all their own.
While pulled over in a McAllen, TX Mexican joint, Nick Santino talked to ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino about why On Your Side could be rock's Superbad, the album's hidden country influences and some of his favorite lines on the record.
Did you approach On Your Side with a concept for the entire record in mind?
It wasn't really a concept; it was more about simply writing songs. We were writing from personal experience and talking about stuff that's happened to friends. We even got inspiration from some movies like The Notebook and a few chick flicks [Laughs]. We write songs about what we feel. They're not all about personal experiences, but we write to tell stories and hopefully they'll touch somebody.
Were these songs all written around the same time?
We wrote the album within a few months; so it was around the same time. We were in that writing mode where the songs flowed into each other. There are a couple songs about a party girl, and there are a couple about a summer love. We didn't have the intention to make the album flow the way it does; it worked out coincidentally. I think it worked out in our favor.
Where did the album title, On Your Side, come from?
I was on a plane with Justin [Richards, Guitar] heading back to Boston, and we were in the middle of writing the record at the time. I was writing a blog on our MySpace or something, and this line, "My love will always be on your side," came into my head. We worked out a song with that line in it, and then it seemed like it would fit as the album title perfectly.
If On Your side were a movie, what would it be?
Probably some '90s high school movie like American Pie where they have a big party scene in the middle of it, but there's also a summer romance. It's almost like Superbad. It's not really a love story per se, but there's a whole love story that's in there about these guys wanting to get laid in the summer—I guess it's not that graphic on our half though [Laughs]. On Your Side has that summer love story in a song like "On a Lonely Night." Other songs are about really liking this girl. There's a party scene. I'm thinking of a feel good, summer movie. I can't really think of any titles—maybe Superbad or you could go back to something from the '80s like Better Off Dead or Say Anything.
Maybe even Can't Hardly Wait or 10 Things I Hate About You?
Exactly! That's what I'm talking about [Laughs]. It was very cool to write the record especially coming from my and Justin's perspectives. We take both sides of our stories, put them together and make one.
Did you always know that "Give a Damn" and "On Your Side" were going to serve as the album's conclusion?
I really like the way we ended the record. There's a detail that I paid attention to—the very last line of the record is "On your side." Those are the very last words you hear, and it goes with the title. I love "Give a Damn;" it's one of my favorite songs we play live and the imagery in it is awesome. I love all of the details, "She loves the taste of Captain Morgan's, cigarettes…" I feel like a lot of people can relate to that song—whether it be a boy or a girl, it's somebody you had a crush on in middle school or high school. That's a feel good song.
You could bring these characters to life with some really engaging videos too…
We were thinking about stuff like that. It'd be awesome!
What are some of the records that shaped you?
When we were writing this record, Justin and I were listening to a lot of country like Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift and Brad Paisley. We were also listening to Johnny Cash, The Beatles and kind of going all over the place. We were listening to today's pop and going back to classic pop. We focused on country aspects, so when you listen to some of the songs you can hear pedal steel guitar and a little banjo. It's not overpowering because we're still a pop rock band, but we definitely do take influences from country. It sets the songs apart.