Interview: Rescue Party

 

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Have you heard of Rescue Party? If not, you should check them out. The alternative rock band started out as a group of high school friends performing at small venues around Spartansburg, South Carolina. Now, Rescue Party’s in college and playing shows with artists like Daya, Mayday Parade, and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.

We recently caught up with Landon Rojas, the lead vocalist, and Lucas Morand, the bassist, to learn more about the talented new band. Read on to hear about their creative process, best concert experiences, and favorite Halloween costumes.

TYF: Let’s start off by introducing Rescue Party to the readers who haven’t heard of you yet. If you had to describe your music in three words, what would you say?

Lucas Morand: Soft-core punk.
Landon Rojas: There we go. That’s perfect.
Lucas: Soft core in two ways. (They laugh)

TYF: How did you come up with your band name?

Landon: Oh, gosh…Well, it was band practice one day, and one of our friends got stuck out in the woods. I don’t know why he was in the woods. But he was playing with my younger brother, and they were just being stupid in the woods. And he got stuck in a mud hole. And it was, like, freezing. It was under 32 degrees. And he was a freezing temperature, and he was stuck in this mud hole for six to ten hours. He almost died. And we stayed out there all day. And 911 came and everything. And that’s how we got our name.

TYF: You guys started playing together in high school; now you’re in college. How do you think your transition to a new environment has affected your band?

Landon: Awesome. Absolutely love it.
Lucas: The transition and the freedom allow you to be more creative than you would in a little old Southern city.

TYF: On your website, you list Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Lifehouse, and Catfish and the Bottlemen as some of your influences. How have these bands shaped your sound and inspired you as performers?

Landon: Pretty much anything you’re gonna write is gonna come from where you came from, and that’s what I grew up listening to…We all bring something to the table. It’s always what we grew up listening to.
Lucas: You grew up looking up to these people, and so you’re trying to emulate, put your own touch on all the different styles.

TYF: On October 27, you’ll perform with Mayday Parade and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Congrats; that’s awesome! How did this opportunity come about?
Landon: Well, we obviously started small, playing bars and stuff, and then as more and more people come you get more of a following, and then it just gets bigger and bigger. Every step you take is a little bit higher. So it’s just the culmination of starting at the bar and working your way up to local events, and then bigger state events, college events, and now we’re actually doing it.

TYF: Recently, your band performed with Daya. What was that experience like?

Landon: Awesome. That was such a great night. It was a big jump to be able to perform with people who are doing what we want to be doing. Guys—and girls—that are going on tour and doing what we want to be doing. We learn a lot every time we play, with every single person we play [with].

TYF: What would you say are your all-time favorite concert memories, both onstage and in the crowd?

Landon: For me, I would have to say when I threw a demo to Van McCann from Catfish and the Bottlemen. And he caught it onstage and he said… Wait, you mean from our perspective? I think mine is…Playing with Daya was probably my favorite show we’ve ever done. The energy you get from the crowd, just the love you get. You put these hours into recording songs, and everyone comes up with their own little line and adds little parts to the music, and then you get up onstage and you perform your songs, your little creations. It was an amazing night. It was awesome. And the fact that people were trying to grab [Lucas’s] guitar and trying to pull him into the crowd… I thought that was kind of funny.

TYF: What was the story about Catfish and the Bottlemen you were about to tell?

Landon: Oh, that was from when we were a little smaller. We were at a Catfish and the Bottlemen concert, and our guitar player, Cameron Smith—he threw our CD, demo. [Van McCann] caught it onstage, and he called us out and he said, “I remember when that was me two years ago, exactly where y’all are.” We thought that was the coolest thing.

TYF: You write your own music. Can you tell us how your songwriting process works?

Landon: Well it used to be just kind of like, messing around until something sounds cool, and then you put words to it. But I guess it’s now… We’ve improved. So I guess it’s like sketching a picture. I bring it to these guys, and then they add their part; it’s like coloring the picture. So it’s just a matter of drawing it. We finish it together. It turns out something really nice.
Lucas: Hopefully.
Landon: Hopefully, yeah. If doesn’t, we don’t play it. (Laughs)
Lucas: For the rest of us, you get the story that Landon’s telling, and you see how it applies to you and how you can add to it in your own musical form. So if it’s a sad song, we’ll add a slow beat with the drums, we’ll add something more emotional with the guitar riffs…For us, the experience is how we apply our own experiences to Landon’s stories.

TYF: Imagine that you can make any kind of music video you want for one of your songs, with no restrictions. Which song would it be, and what would the video be like?

Landon: It’d be probably this one we haven’t recorded yet called “3 to 1,” and it’d be the sickest video ever. It’d have to be, like, an abandoned… I don’t know, mall? With concrete. Just somewhere creepy-looking. [I’d] make it really emotional, with a bunch of weird stuff.
Lucas: Black and white.
Landon: Black and white for sure, yeah. That’s a cool question. (Laughs) “3 to 1” is my favorite right now, but later on I’d like to do something with as many of the fans as we can get in a venue. Sort of like a live music video.
Lucas: Get as many people involved as we can. Have [the fans] involved in something they were instrumental in.

TYF: Since Halloween is coming up soon, what are the best Halloween costumes you guys have ever had?

(They laugh)
Landon: I used to be a Power Ranger. (Laughs)

TYF: Which Power Ranger were you?

Landon: I was the red one. And sometimes I’d be the blue one, cuz the blue one’s cool. But mostly I was the red one. This was when I was very little. It’s better than my little brother being a cat.
(They laugh)
Lucas: Cade the cat.
Landon: Yeah, Cade was a cat when he was little. He’s the drummer. Lucas, what about you? What were you? Any embarrassing Halloween…
Lucas: When I was, like, six, I did the typical bedsheet with holes in it.
(They laugh)
Landon: Classic.
Lucas: That was pretty solid. I think everything since that has been downhill.
(They laugh)

TYF: Are you guys going to dress up or do anything special this year?
Landon: Of course.
Lucas: Gotta think of something.
Landon: I gotta think of something also. Haven’t thought of anything yet. What are some good ideas?
Lucas: Definitely not a clown.
Landon: Not a clown.
(They laugh)

TYF: Not a clown. Not right now.

Landon: No, not right now. I don’t fuck with that.

TYF: Have there been any clown sightings on your campus?

Landon: Yes!

TYF: There have?

Landon: Yeah, there was one… We went to eat. It was, like, 12 o’clock. Wendy’s trip. And then this dude came up to us. He was like, “There was a clown discovered near our dorm. They just found him.” We were like, “Oh, God!” (Laughs)

TYF: Oh, my gosh. That’s so scary.

Landon: Yeah, it was terrifying.

TYF: Are you working on any new music at this time?

Landon: All the time.
Lucas: Always. That is the one constant.
Landon: Yeah. We have tons of new songs. We just need the time to record them now.

TYF: When do you think we can we expect new music from Rescue Party?

Landon: Hopefully, in November we’ll start recording.
Lucas: Yeah. November, we’re gonna actually start getting in there and working on the stuff we have ready.
Landon: Might do an EP. If all goes well, we’ll have an EP.

TYF: Is there anything else that you want to say to the readers before the interview is over?

Lucas: New people or old people?

TYF: Anybody.

Lucas: Just “thank you.”
Landon: Thank you for checking us out, and if you like us, then we love you. (Laughs)
Lucas: If we get anywhere, it’s because of the people that take the time to listen to us, read about us. Write about us, like you. (Laughs)
Landon: Exactly. It’s definitely just a big “thank you” for joining us where we are. Joining the rescue party.
(They laugh)

Brittany Menjivar is a seventeen-year-old music enthusiast who listens to everything from Britpop to EDM to up-and-coming Warped Tour bands. She is passionate about many things in life, including (but not limited to) flower crowns, Foster the People, S. E. Hinton novels, scimitar-horned oryxes, The Great Gatsby (both the book and the 2013 film), theatre, the music of Damon Albarn, blue raspberry ICEEs, and thought-provoking films. Brittany loves spreading the word about interesting ideas, which is why she writes for TYF and serves as the editor of her school newspaper and literary magazine. She also loves metaphors and similes, which explains why she enjoys reviewing music so much. In addition to being a member of the TYF staff, Brittany is a poet who has been published in KaPow! Creative Writing Zine, The Noisy Island, Crashtest, and YARN. If you're reading this, she hopes your day is full of good art and good vibes.