“Without the tour, we still wouldn’t be a band”—Rx Bandits on new album, anniversary shows

March 10, 2014 by Romain Jeanticou

“Without the tour, we still wouldn’t be a band”—Rx Bandits on new album, anniversary shows

It’s the first time you’re self-releasing a record since your 1996 demo. Were you nervous approaching the crowdfunding process?
Yes, we were really nervous. Initially, I had a bad feeling about the crowdfunding thing. I didn’t really know about it and just had a bad taste in my mouth about it. But then, as I learned more about it, and as we decided what we wanted to do, we realized that was the best way to go. If you want to have the most freedom, you don’t want to have other people changing the creative process, the best way is to do it that way. It’s essentially just a glorified presale. They’re buying it before we put the record out and not after; plus they get the whole process of seeing it being created. I tried to look at it through the eyes of a fan: when I was younger, if I could have watched Fugazi make The Argument or Refused make The Shape Of Punk To Come, that would have been the coolest thing, I would have paid $100 for that. I believe this is the new business model for a band to be able to make a living. The musicians make the music and bring the people to the concerts, but most of the time other people are making much more money than any musician is, and it’s like indentured servantry in a way. It’s not right. You wouldn’t go and ask a dentist, a plumber or a taxi driver to sign a contract where they don’t make as much money as they would. Because artists have the kind of minds where they don’t really think all the business side out, that’s why most of us have been really vulnerable to bad situations.

How far are you into the creative process? Do you write on the road?
We’re about seven or eight songs in; almost done with the whole album. I write everywhere. On the road, I don’t write as much. I like to go walking in every city and record sounds of things around that I will listen to at home and that will give me inspiration.

Do you still have the same creative process where all your ideas are extremely visual? Something you’ve described as similar to writing a soundtrack.
Yes, it’s very similar. That’s how we are when we get together. When we’re writing down–you know how bands usually have this erasing board where you write “intro,” “verse,” “chorus”… Well, we don’t do that. What we do is write down whatever it sounds like but visually. Like a happy brontosaurus. Or if it sounds like a swamp full of words, sinking. That’s what the part is called.

When do you think the record is gonna come out? Are you already working on an artwork and a title?
July. No date but we have a month. And we don’t have artwork yet; we’re looking for people to do it. The title will come itself.

You don’t have any touring plans when you go back to the US. Are you going to focus on finishing the record?
We’ll work on the record for a couple more weeks, and then we’ll begin to rehearse for the Sound Of Animals Fighting’s shows. We’ll do those shows and then we’ll go to the studio for the new album. We are going to tour this summer on the new record, but no dates yet.

This will be the first the Sound Of Animals Fighting tour since 2006. It will also be the first time you’ll be playing songs from The Ocean And The Sun. What can fans expect? Same musicians and same live setup?
I don’t know yet. Some are the same people, some are not. But it will be Rx Bandits plus Anthony Green, Rich Balling [ex Rx Bandits], Matthew Kelly [Minus Music, ex the Autumns]. So there are multiple interchangeable, but mainly Anthony Green and I singing backup.

How about Craig Owens of Chiodos and Keith Goodwin of Good Old War?
They may make an appearance. I can’t say yes or no.

Is it difficult to bring everyone together?
Yes. Everyone in the band has other bands. And some of the guys don’t do music for a living. One of them is a professor, one of them is an English teacher, many of them have children and all of us live in different parts of the United States… Just getting together in the same room to practice is hard.

Do you want to make more music as the Sound Of Animals Fighting?
It depends on the situation. I would be open to it but like I said, it’s really hard to get everyone together. Rx Bandits are my first priority so I’m not going to push for it, but I think we could make another record that would be amazing. ALT

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