Interview: The Rocketboys
Mon, 19 Aug 2013 09:49:20
The Rocketboys blast off on Build Anyway. The Austin quintet's latest album is constructed on artfully catchy hooks and warm soundscapes, paving a journey worth taking.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, The Rocketboys singer Brandon Kinder talks Build Anyway, songwriting, and so much more.
What's your take on Build Anyway as a whole?
It's definitely a very thematic album. It's all sort of about the same thing. It's got these different angles and outlooks on one situation. At the beginning of 2011, about half of our band quit. We had a lot of momentum in 2010. When they quit, we were like, "What are we supposed to do?" Build Anyway is about being at that point. You go from being mad to getting over it and letting everybody live on.
What does "Marching to the Palace" mean to you?
That takes two different looks. A lot of us used to live in this house in Abilene, TX called "The Palace". It was this huge, nasty, and dilapidated house. It was a super "college guy" house. It was actually a battered women's shelter at one point previously. There were seven or eight bedrooms and an indoor swimming pool that was just an empty hole. The song was speaking about "The Palace". Now living in Austin, it's a look at the past and how things used to be so grand back in the days we were at "The Palace". That song is right at the top of the story like, "I'm really mad at you guys right now, but I'll get over it".
Was the music video your concept?
The director Dustin came up with it. We went to college with him. We were all big fans of Total Recall. It's so funny. It's one of the action movies of the late eighties and early nineties. We had talked about a couple of different things, but that one stood out to us.
What's the story behind "Best"?
That was the last song we wrote for the album. We'd been talking about it. We didn't like the idea of having the album end on this angrier tone. We wanted some sort of uplifting ending to the story of Build Anyway. The other guys who quit are all doing their own things. I wanted to be honest as I could. I was mad for a while, but everything is good now. We're all friends, and our relationships have healed. We're back to a good place. I wanted to let those guys know that through singing the song.
If you were to compare Build Anyway to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
That's an interesting question. There are so many different storylines. What's the greatest revenge story? Whatever that is [Laughs]. I'd say Total Recall and Bridesmaids [Laughs].
What artists shaped you?
I got a bunch of records from my grandparents' house. There are a bunch of these old Southern gospel albums I've been listening to. There's something about the way they sound. There's one with all of these superstars like Dolly Parton and Carl Perkins on it. That will always be a part of my musical life. I go back to that stuff I listen to as a kid. There's so much new stuff that's inspiring to me though like Arcade Fire and Sigur Rós's new album is super incredible. Sunny Day Real Estate made me want to be in a band. I knew I could be in a cool interesting band and not just something cheesy from the nineties when I heard them.
Have you heard The Rocketboys?