There’s the oft-spoken and written about quality that a band, actor, or performer in any artistic capacity that sets them apart from everyone else. It’s called “it”. She’s got “it”, he’s got “it”. That band’s got the “it” factor. Blah blah blah. A pretty stupid description as far as I’m concerned. There is no “it”. People get lucky. Musicians get lucky. I could talk your ear off about bands or directors who’ve totally wowed me with their first album or film and then completely fell off the face of the earth. (Richard Kelly, anyone?) Others get better with time, honing their craft and learning from mistakes. And some just hover through seas of mediocrity until their careers just… end.
This is part of the reason I love The Rassle. By their own admission, “just rock and roll”, “familiar but fresh”. They understand that thousands of people have been there, done that. They’re here to enjoy whatever the moment is right now, and it feels pretty damn great. Listen to The Rassle’s first single, “Wild Ones” and you’ll hear what they’re talking about. It’s a sound that’s been done before. A little synthy, a little danceable. But by the time that kick drum chorus comes bellowing forward, it doesn’t matter. You’re bobbing your head like this is the first time you’ve heard indie rock before. It’s fantastic.
So it goes with the rest of their debut EP. Strong songwriting that teeters over both tried-and-true and original. Sure to be on everyone’s “it” list.
01. Who are you?
We are The Rassle out of New York City, and we recently celebrated our first birthday.
02. What do you sound like?
At the end of the day it’s just rock and roll. Familiar but Fresh. We tend to aim for the rafters.
03. What do friends say you sound like?
Everyone’s listening experience is different, but we’ve heard everything from Arcade Fire to
04. How did the band get started?
The long and short of it, is we all knew each other from playing in bands over the last few years. Erik had The Virgins, Mark had The Takeover UK, and my brother Blair and I had Young Lords.
A little over a year ago, my previous project had dissolved and Blair and I were kicking around the idea starting something new. We called up Erik, who happened to be at a musical crossroad as well, and began talking more seriously about starting a new band. Initially apprehensive, Erik jumped on board after hearing a couple rough demos Blair and I had coughed up.
We all had a loose idea of what we wanted to do creatively, but didn’t really know how to get from point A to B. So we sat in my apartment day in day out for a several weeks, writing and recording, experimenting with sounds, and bouncing ideas off of each other. Nothing was too out there to try. Obviously not everything worked, but we tried everything. Anyways that initial batch of songs made up our first EP.
A couple weeks later Mark picked up on Bass duties, and a few weeks after that we played our first show.
05. Give me your five band-defining albums?
Five is quite limiting, but some favourites include
Lou Reed – Transformer
Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run
Oasis – What’s The Story (Morning Glory)
and more current ones I’ve really liked are :-
The Walkmen – Lisbon
The Vaccines – What Did You Expect from The Vaccines?
07. Tell us about the last song you wrote?
The last song we wrote is our new single “21.” We wrote and recorded the song in our apartment over what happened to be the thickest and nastiest heat wave of the summer. Some songs take time to develop and take shape, others write themselves. Even in the debilitating heat, the latter was the case with this one.
08. Who would be some dream collaborators?
Lykke Li, Mick Jones, and Andre 3000. Also I’ve been a big fan of Spike Jonze since seeing his skate videos when I was a kid. It would be rad to collaborate with him on something.
09. You’re making us a mixtape. What’s going on it?
Jock Jams Volumes 1-4 would probably make up the bulk of it.
10. First time listeners, where should they start?