Friday, December 11, 2009
Meet A Rocket To The Moon!
If you caught the OP tour when it roared through your town this fall, you probably caught this next band, A Rocket To The Moon. A Rocket to the Moon started in 2006 when Nick Santino started it as a "musical experiment". Fronting bands all around Boston, Nick had already had a name for himself and released an album on his own.
When he was asked to play Bamboozle in 2008, both Brighten member Justin Richards and Eric Halvorsen joined the band as full time members and just this year, when their debut album "On Your Side" released, the fourth member of the band was added, Andrew Cook on drums.
Through the progression of this band, they went on numerous tours including the AP Ball tour and opened for established acts like Secondhand Serenade, The Cab and Cute Is What We Aim For. When we sat down with Nick and Andrew at the end of their most recent tour, they were on the road with Boys Like Girls! They are quickly making a name for themselves and have just announced that they will be taking part in the Take Action! tour with We The Kings and Mayday Parade so catch them close to you soon!
Prior to their set on November 27th, the second to last day of their tour with Boys Like Girls, we got the chance to talk with Andrew and Nick about everything from the worst to the dream venue they wanted to play to their favorite song to play live. Once I really saw the boys in their element and live later that night, it quickly changed! Read on for that and more!
If you were forced to change your name from A Rocket To The Moon, what would it be?
Nick: The whole band naming process is kind of a long hard process so it's hard to pick a fake name.
Andrew: Yeah I always thought that if I had to name another band, that I would want to name it Champions of Real Estate because it's really pretentious and indie rock sounding so that would be kind of funny.
It's the second to last day of the OP tour and this is kind of a hometown show for you. Are you particularly excited for this date?
Nick: Yeah I'm really excited. Usually Massachusetts shows are good cause we really don't get to come here that often so when we do, it doesn't even feel like a date on the tour, it feels like it's something special you know. It's really cool.
Andrew: Different air about it.
I know you were on Warped Tour this summer for a while, I got to catch the Montreal date. How did it go for you?
Nick: Yeah Warped was awesome. It was long though. Montreal you say? The really rainy one?
I saw your set and maybe two others because I got stuck in the back.
Nick: Warped was fun, it was really long and tedious though. You hang out with some people that you never thought you would hang out with before. That day in particular was really cool because it was pouring out even though it was really wet and pouring, it was still pretty cool. I just remember running back to the bus that day too. All the buses were parked maybe a mile to two miles away.
Andrew: Yeah, it was probably about two. It was crazy. We had to lug all our gear in the rain. Definitely memorable. I like Warped tour because you don't have to worry about if there are going to be kids at the show. There's always just like so many people. It's a good atmosphere for bands to spread the word. It's fun.
What's your favorite part of touring?
Andrew: Um, just playing every night you know. It's the time where you're not thinking about anything else. You're just having fun with your friends. Meeting new people every day, seeing new places every day.
Nick: The traveling aspect is cool. When you see things though, you may not have time to hang but it's cool that you get to see so many things in such a short amount of time. I feel like when it's time to settle down in your career as a musician, you'll have a good idea about where you want to be because you'll get to see. Then when they retire, buy an rv, put a bunch of stickers on the back. That's what Andrew's parents actually do. I mean, I'm 21 and I can pretty much say I've been to every single state so it's awesome!
What are some of your favorite cities to play?
Andrew: California for me.
Nick: Yeah definitely. It's really cool there. South Carolina is fun, we played there like one once and it was cool the one time we played there.
Andrew: Canada's awesome. A neat Canada show is always good.
Nick: A good experience!
You went to Toronto on this tour right?
Andrew: Yeah, it was great. Probably my favorite show on the tour. Of course here is awesome.
If you could tour with any three other bands, who would they be?
Andrew: Alive or dead? The Beatles.
Andrew: I mean best pop rock band ever. Creedence maybe.
Nick: Creedence Clearwater Revival. Um, maybe someone like Coldplay would be cool. Jimmy Eat World.
Andrew: I think that's a more feasible answer there.
Compared to the Beatles?
Andrew: Jimmy Eat World, Beatles, Rocket. Not in that order obviously but that would be fun.
What was one of the first shows you went to?
Andrew: Wasn't yours 'Nsync , Nick?
Nick: My first concert was 'Nsync yeah.
Andrew: Mine was Local H and Deftones kind of back to back in sixth grade. The first actual concert I went to was Sawyer Brown, he's a country artist when I was five. That was awesome, it was at Symphony Hall in Springfield mass.
How did A Rocket To The Moon get started?
Nick: Well yeah I was just kind of putting up songs and this kid found me on myspace and wanted to like manage me while I was still solo so I did and then I flew out to Arizona and that's where I met ERic. Then I met Justin not too long after that and then we were recording this past february/march and we were looking for a drummer when our producer, who had recorded Andrew's first band, so we got hooked up through Andrew from our producer and here we are.
Who would you say are some of your bigger influences?
Nick: Um, Johnny Cash for me.
Andrew: You know, a lot of the bands we just mentioned for the tour. Personally, they're all over the place for me as far as like sounds that influence the band.
Nick: I really listen to anything. Anything that's like catchy and you know is a good song or a good beat. I'll listen to anything from like Johnny Cash to John Lennon to like the Jonas Brothers or something you know.
(Sierra Kusterbeck, the lead singer of VersaEmerge comes through..)
Andrew: VersaEmerge is a big influence. So many bands, it's an endless list.
Nick: In general, all kinds of music.
Andrew: We're a pretty open minded group of dudes.
On Your Side came out a little under two months ago I believe. How has that been doing for you guys so far?
Nick: Really good. We've been playing a lot of new songs from it and they've been going over pretty well I think. The record's doing pretty well.
Doing pretty good for you guys?
Andrew: Yeah absolutely.
You've put out multiple EP's over time in A Rocket To The Moon. And Andrew this is your first. How does the songwriting process come together?
Nick:This record at least started with Justin and I getting together and we wrote maybe like ten or eleven songs together like in my bedroom in a two week span then we got together in Arizona and we put the songs together. Before we just did them acoustic, then we met up with Eric, and our old drummer who also lived in Arizona and we put them together as a full band. We'd be in the garage for two weeks and playing them altogether. We took them to the studio and then they all kind of came in line. A lot of them came together in the studio with parts and harmonies and stuff like that but like the structure of the song pretty much came from Justin and I sitting in my room for two weeks writing acoustic songs but everybody put their fingers in the pot so it was really cool.
My personal favorite from you guys at the moment is Annabelle. What's your favorite song to play live?
Nick: I like playing the song "Give A Damn". It's really fun to play. Annabelle's fun to play too. I just like playing the new ones because like they're so new and we're not sick of them yet.
Andrew: Everything is still pretty new to me so I like playing them all. "Give A Damn" is probably my favorite right now too because I get to do the we will rock you drum beat.
What's the craziest place you've ever played or recorded in?
Andrew: We played in a bowling alley once.
Nick: When Justin and I were on tour for a couple weeks together, we played in San Jose, California at this arcade called Nickle City. It was an arcade and we played the birthday room and there were like more people there for the arcade then there were for the show. There was like a painted mural on the wall behind us that said happy birthday with balloons and stuff.
Andrew: I want to play at Chuckie Cheese. That's like my dream show. Playing on the stage with the mechanical animals.
Sounds perfect to me!
If you were to collaborate with any other band on this tour, who would they be and what would the song be about?
Andrew: I'd probably say the Maine.
Nick: Yeah. We hang out with them the most just because we've been friends way before this tour. We've been friends for a long time. I feel like we get each other pretty well.
Andrew: It would be a pretty easy song to write. We have the same kind of ideas. It would sound like a Third Eye Blind song with really bluesy notes and some pretty big hooks. That's what I'm guessing.
And finally, what's your favorite treat?
Andrew: Like a candy?
Andrew: There's so many. I like those red and black raspberry candies with the little dots on the outside. Kit Kats and peanut butter cups are my two favorite candy things. Milky way midnights and-
Nick: Coconut M&M's!
You can catch the boys debut album on itunes "On Your Side" and on the road this February/March with We The Kings on the Take Action tour! Find them on myspace here.