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Despite two band members being from the state I'm based in, the band has had an incredible journey since the first record has dropped which lucky for them has kept them steadily on the road across the country which kept them away from this local scene so I definitely took up the opportunity to sit down with Eric Halvorsen from the band when they came back around home. The band has now just about finished the record cycle for their debut record and will hopefully be back in the studio really shortly from now in January before they head out for their first major (besides the UK) of international touring. Be ready to hear new music from this incredibly talented band and read on for my exclusive with Eric about his first musical experiences to what the band will be up to into these next few months!
It's not exactly soft but 'On Your Side' has been out for about two years now. Is it in the works to do the new full length?
Yeah! We're writing now and hopefully we'll be all set to start recording in January so long as we have all the songs that we want and we think that the record is good enough to put our name on it and give it out to the people.
So you've obviously been touring then a bunch. You did your headliner in April most recently then you went to Indonesia.
Yeah we did Indonesia then the UK and then over the summer we did a bunch of Six Flags stuff.
Then how do you think the record's been going over, all of this touring, being that you've grown so much since that release?
Yeah we definitely evolved a lot since 'On Your Side' came out. I think we're focusing a lot more on the music itself and just being real and raw. Instead of you know having a bunch of lasers and keyboards and all of that stuff. It wasn't very heavy on 'On Your Side' but it was there. We're just trying to wean that out and just focus more on playing live rock music. I think that side of things has changed. I think the touring side of everything is going really well. This tour kind of happened randomly for us. Like it just was an option. It was either we sit at home and do nothing or we can go out and tour with great people and great bands. It's a fun tour for us because 'On Your Side' is so old. We're not really focusing on pushing a record I think it's more just going out and playing music every night. So, it's a lot of fun!
That's why I ask about the new record because it has been out for a while. Maybe do you think the sound's going to change a lot then on that record?/
It will still be Rocket To The Moon but it's definitely going to be far different then 'On Your Side'. I don't think it's going to be too drastic to where people are like taken aback by it but I don't think it would be fair to anyone if we put out the same record again you know. Especially with how long it's been out. I feel like we would be cheating ourselves and our fans if we put out the same thing.
And that's what seems to be one of the most talked about reasons behind bands calling it quits like The Academy Is and Augustana because I think the fans expect the same kind of music.
I don't really understand that. I don't know why fans are like that because with me at least, if a band is putting out a record then I want it to be different. I want them to be completely new songs and not sound the same. Them playing their music is just as exciting for me to hear it as a musician and a fan as well. To see some one grow and change. Yeah I never really understand why some bands just crank out the same records over and over again. It's a shame too because both of those bands are really great. I love Augustana and it's just really unfortunate that that happened.
I won't lie, I was really excited to have the chance to interview Dan. I've listened to them my whole life.
Yeah totally. 'Can't Love, Can't Hurt'. The perfect record. I did hear recently though that he's still doing stuff as Augustana.
Oh so he's still going to do it and just have different people?
Yeah, I guess. I mean that's a rumor and I'm not completely sure but that's what I heard last time we were in L.A. but yeah we'll see what happens.
Then, maybe for a soft one, obviously you do tour with bands all over music, like Never Shout and Fake Problems on this tour who are definitely something different from what your fans may be used to but maybe who would be like your dream tour with three past bands you've already toured with?
That we've already toured with? Jeez! Well I'd love to tour with Hanson again. That was probably one of the coolest tours we've done just because they're such an amazing band. Watching them every night was such a big influence to all of us so I would love to tour with them again! I usually say friends' bands because those are always the funnest tours. You have to be careful with your choices!
Well, you can make like a festival line up!
Alright! The Maine, The Summer Set, Mayday Parade. If we're going just off music, I would love to tour with The Maine again. Their new record is really good and I'd love to watch that every night and then my third. I really enjoyed touring with Fun. I love that band and I love that record and they were one of those bands that I watched every single night live. Plus I loved The Format so it was kind of a big deal. That would be a cool tour!
Perfect then maybe what was the first CD or cassette you ever bought as a child and then the first concert you can remember? Be honest!
Well the first CD, I don't remember cassette, that I bought I bought two. I bought Hanson's 'Middle of Nowhere' and then I also bought the Savage Garden CD. That was both on the same day which is really weird because we ended up touring with one of those bands and it's very surreal and weird to me. I was in third grade and jamming out to Hanson and then now we're touring with them but I guess the first real concert that I was taken to was Stevie Nicks but I was like six years old when that happened. The first concert that I wanted to go to was this big holiday festival. It was Blink 182, MXPX, Liz Phair, Moby (laughs), 311.
It just keeps getting better and better.
Yeah (laughs) it was a really broad line up but yeah that was my first show that I wanted to go to. Now I probably would much rather go see Stevie Nicks.
Well, do you think those experiences influenced you at all just you as musician or Rocket as a band?
Well yeah, sure I mean I'd say the first show I went to really influenced me to start playing music and stuff but growing up, my parents were huge Fleetwood Mac fans, Pink Floyd, The Eagles. My dad really loves Tears For Fears so just listening to bands like that I think that's what really shaped my music interests to what they are now but yeah I liked bands like Blink 182 and stuff like that definitely got me into playing music and wanting to be in a band.
Perfect then you may not be able to say specifics and talk about it, but what is going to come up after this tour? After Never Shout, like are you going to focus on making the new record?
Well, yeah we've already started writing. We're going to write some more and then hopefully start recording around January and then we're doing a bunch of international stuff. Some things I can't say. What is announced though is we are going to Australia for the Soundwave festival in February and then we go to Brazil after that with The Ready Set and We Are The In Crowd. So, very exciting. There are other places in there but I can't say it because it hasn't been announced. Going to be very exciting stuff for us and those are all new places for us.
You haven't been to Brazil yet, really?
Or Australia and the other few I can't name but we haven't done much international touring. We've only done Indonesia and the UK and I guess you can consider Canada international because it's outside the US.
Crazy because you guys have been touring for so long.
Yeah but really we've only been on the road, I mean I've been with Nick for three and a half years, for about three years and then as this band it's only been about two so it's pretty crazy. It seems like it's been forever but definitely been a lot shorter then everybody thinks .