Hi there, congratulations with the fact that the whole world can finally enjoy the release of ‘Looking For Today’. The album was self-released in 2016. How and why did you guys get to team-up with Ripple Music?
Joe: Thanks, were glad to finally have being heard all over the world, pretty wild to think about. I think we got fortunate to make a name for ourselves really quickly in the LA music scene. opening for some up and comers and high profile gigs. I think Ripple took notice to that also. We were big fans of the bands on their roster too, like Salem’s Bend, so it made it easy to join forces in that sense.
Did you also re-record/re-mix anything from the original recordings, or is it just the distribution part that has been put in a slipstream, and were you not tempted to put some extra tracks (more recent stuff from the last two years) on the album?
TRB: The only difference is the artwork, so it’s mainly to get the most eyes possible on the album. The band is evolving, so putting anything from the two years after the self release wouldn’t be the same record, you know?
To get back to the beginning; you will not be that known yet to our readers, so can you give an update on the story so far? How did you guys get together, and how did you end up to this point today?
Herns: We all kind of grew up together and got HEAVY into music together. So, we all naturally gravitated towards instruments. Personally, drums just made sense to me. So I always jammed alone in my room, bugging my bro with my loud banging. Joe and Oscar however, were actually in a band together since they were like thirteen years old, I think, so they’ve got history and chemistry together.
Joe: Shout out to Oscars dad for getting me and Oscar into Sabbath, Kiss, etc ...just rock in general.
Herns: We were all super heavy into bands like Uncle Acid and Devils Blood, that sort of retro, throwback sound but also with some new flairs. These bands were totally booming and we thought, what better time than now (then) to start a band. It came pretty organically honestly.
Oscar: I had an early vision of the band drawing inspiration from this new wave of retro sounding music, but it was already in our musical DNA.
Herns: We’re all homies, we play instruments and BAM! The Rare Breed was born. Funny enough, I think our best hit song we have; ‘Mountains’ was our very first song we wrote together. I think once we saw how rad the song actually was is when I think we noticed, or I noticed the potential this band had. Not that I went into thinking we were going to suck but this was my first time in a band. So I was stoked. Still am, playing our own. Tunes in front of people and they actually dig it?! Forget about it! Throw in the travel part ,you’re telling me I get to cram my ass in a car with all our gear and drive endlessly with my homies to play our tunes?! Sign me up!
You are obviously inspired by seventies rock and Black Sabbath in particular, but also by their present day followers Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats, Ironbird, Lord Vicar and Graveyard. Loads of seventies inspired bands hail from Scandinavia nowadays. One does not hear a lot about current seventies inspired bands from L.A. How is that music scene doing in your backyard?
Joe: There’s a lot of great bands in Los Angeles, along with just a lot of bands in general, but I think being exposed to 60s, 70s and 80s music is just part of growing up/ living in LA, so to a lot of bands, especially in our scene, it shows more. basically, it’s alive and well.
Some stuff makes me think of Cream meets Blue Cheer with mostly Tony Iommi and sometimes Ace Frehley on guitars. A foundation like this (and being a trio) seems like an invitation for loads of jams. Is there room for extended versions when playing live on stage?
Herns:(To me) We are 100% a live band!!!! The energy, the extended solos, the unpredictability and beers!!!!
Joe: I agree, we’re a live band through and through, besides the actual song structure and signatures we don’t play anything the same way. Oscar goes off into different jam solos and Herns and I just ride off the feel and yeah….beers and such….. haha
Do the songs also come to existence from jams, or are they written out by one of you?
Oscar: Yeah, besides kind of the outline and riffs I bring, we totally jam it to what becomes the song. Trial and error and see what fits and doesn’t, most times new riffs are born and time signatures change up but all in all the jam is how we write.
What can you tell us about the gear used for the album recordings, and is this the same you use on stage?
Herns: Yeah, Pork Pie drums and Paiste cymbals, nothing exciting really on my end, haha.
Oscar: Blackstar head and cab with custom speakers is what I use on stage and what was used in the recording sessions too. oh and of course my Gibson Firebird and a few different pedals too, spent a lot of thought and time to perfect my sound.
Joe: I use a ob1 500 Orange head, a 4x10 Orange cab and a Fender P for both live and recordings. The guys we recorded with, Big Bad Sound, in Los Angeles, knew exactly what were looking for, to harness as much of our live sound onto a album. They mixed it all too, with our ideas thrown in of course.
Any favorite track on the album that you prefer to play live, or any with a story behind it, which you want to share with our readers?
Joe: I think we all universally have two favorites. first being ‘Mountain Of Dreams’ because it was the first song we really jammed on and discovered the sound and path we’d take the music.
Herns : It’s basically what The Rare Breed does, all mashed into one song. It’s kind of like our ‘Paranoid’, and according to our Bandcamp, 9/10 people’s favorite track off the record.
Joe: Second being ‘Witches Lore’, it’s the first of the songs we wrote together. Oscar had this great opening riff and we were kind of stuck right up until a week before our first gig, and I started kind of messing around and we all liked it, became the verse and then took the second half of the song from another we ended up scrapping. it just fit and it has the sickest jam at the end, live. It’s our favorite to play live.
Herns: Yeah, it’s a total banger . that break down, woo forget about it.
What can you tell us about the album art by the way?
TRB: Ripple and Kyrre Bjurling had a vision and put it as the artwork after listening to our record is my understanding. it has a real ominous vibe and feel, people seem to dig it, so that’s a major plus, they know what they’re doing at Ripple.
Artwork like this, in combination with the music of course, requires a vinyl release n my opinion. Ripple Music also releases the album on vinyl I read somewhere. A personal request by the band or is this also a choice by the label?
TRB: Both really, one of the reasons we joined Ripple is because they specialize in vinyl, were all collectors of wax and wanted to release it as so, obviously a bit of a dream come true. it was a win win for all involved it seems.
As a final question; what are the future plans, and will you guys be promoting the album in Europe also with some live gigs?
Herns: The same thing we do every night, Pinky try to take over the world!
Joe: What the hell is Herns talking about?? Haha. Yeah the plan is to play anywhere the music takes us and wants us, and from the feedback we have gotten since day one, Europe is a destination. I want to say we probably won’t go for this record but by next year or so we should have a second full length to promote and we can open that door or bust it down, whatever comes first but we’ll find our asses there soon.