Rozwell Kid performs at SXSW. Photo courtesy of Cassandra Mullinix. For more of her photos, visit https://www.facebook.com/bucketofrock.
You have to love Rozwell Kid, right? Right. Rising from the ashes of Shepherdstown’s The Demon Beat, the quartet released their “Good Graphics EP” last month and rocked and rolled through SXSW (as Cassandra pointed out a couple weeks ago). They’ll be at MacRock this weekend in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and we recently caught up with them via email about receiving praise from Fuse, how SXSW turned out, and their upcoming tour with Superheaven and Diamond Youth. You can check them out on Facebook and Twitter, if you so desire, and if you have the opportunity to see them play, you really ought to take advantage of it – all signs appear to show that these guys are ready to blast off into a world far bigger than Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. So … enjoy!
First and foremost, how was SXSW this year? Did you guys make any notable contacts or play any notable showcases or have any notable stories you might be kind enough to share? It’s always a madhouse, I know, but overall, how do you think it went?
The more removed with time we are from SXSW, the cooler and cooler it gets in retrospect. We were fortunate enough to play some great showcases (Infinity Cat, Exploding In Sound/Stereogum, Do512, The Midgetmen’s Jumpstart Texas) and we met a lot of really cool people. It’s just a logistical nightmare for bands loading in, parking, etc. I woke up with some extreme anxiety the second day of SXSW, but it all worked out. I mean, thousands of bands do it every year, so it can’t be that difficult (that’s what I was telling myself). In the end, it all went smoothly and we made some great friends. Everyone at Do512 is a rock and roll angel.
Likewise, I see Fuse named you guys one of their 10 favorite discoveries at SXSW. That’s pretty amazing. How did you find out about it and what was your initial reaction?
I was ego-surfing on Google and saw it. I was stoked when I found it. At first I thought it wasn’t actually FUSE-Fuse, you know? Once I realized it was actually the music television channel that used to be Much Music, I floated to the ceiling.
Now, for a little background. How did you guys get together? Where? Why? When? If you could, just give us a brief rundown of the beginnings of Rozwell Kid.
We’ve been together for almost four years. We knew each other from playing in other bands in the West Virginia, Virginia and Pennsylvania area. And we all have similar taste in rock and roll music.
Who were some of your biggest influences and why?
We all love rock and roll music because it pumps us up. I draw a lot of influence from Weezer, Ozma, The Shins, Nofx and Green Day. The Beatles, too. I love melody.
You guys are on Broken World Media. What led to you deciding to partner with that label? How did you guys come together?
Derrick, who runs Broken World, approached us about releasing our first record (“The Rozwell Kid LP”) on cassette. Derrick is from West Virginia originally, so that small sliver of connection was cool, even though it turns out we have a lot of mutual friends. I’d never actually met them before we decided to put out the tape, but everything went well and they introduced us to a scene that was entirely new to us. The reception for the cassette was very positive, so we just kept moving forward with new releases.
Have you guys played MacRock before? If so, what’s your perception of the festival?
Yeah, I played MacRock a few times with my old band, The Demon Beat, and Rozwell Kid played last year. It’s always really, really fun. I like the smaller scale of the festival. All the shows feel very intimate and the energy is palpable throughout Harrisonburg. I love it, actually, and I’m really stoked to be back this year!
What’s your perception of the music scene in and around Frederick – over in West Virginia, and the like?
I live about 45 minutes from Fredrick but I’ve only played there a few times over the years, so I’m not really an expert on the subject. It seems like there are some really great bands starting up in town and I’ve heard shows there can be insane.
Can you give us the names of some bands or artists that you think we might not know about, who we should know about? I’m sure you’ve come across some pretty great acts on the road – who are some of the best of the best?
Goodwolf and Bishops are two great West Virginia bands who are really hitting the road and getting out there. Also, the band Neat from Lafayette, Lousiana. We just played with them and they were siiiiick!
What does 2015 hold for Rozwell Kid?
We are doing a North American tour supporting Superheaven and Diamond Youth from May 15 through June 21. Then, we have a split 7″ with The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die coming out in June. It’s called “Fourteen Minute Mile.” After that, we are going to tour as much as possible and write and record a new record.
And finally, what can we expect from your set at MacRock?
We are going to do our best to perform our original material with a delicate balance of passion and reckless abandon.