I got the chance to talk to Frederik, from the pop-punk outfit The Rocket, to talk about the band, as well as their new single ‘Chain Reaction‘! Learn more about the band’s forthcoming projects below!
Hi Fred. Thanks for taking time to answer a few questions for Distrolution! Could you please introduce your band ‘The Rocket’ to our readers? Hi! The Rocket is a synth driven pop punk outfit. We aim to bring a refreshing take on the classics we all grew up with. We’re inspired by bands such as Motion City Soundtrack, Blink-182 and New Found Glory, but we don’t want to copy what they do. We simply hope to offer their fans something else they can enjoy.
We’ve released two full albums and one EP so far, played some big stages such as Groezrock, Europe’s biggest punk rock festival and a whole lot of smaller ones all over the Benelux. I guess people know us as a party band – we love to make every live show an event to remember. Oh, and we wear costumes on stage. That helps too.
There’s so many pop-punk bands around the world. According to you, what do you think sets your band apart from all the other bands in your genre? We like to think we have a very recognizable sound, thanks to the way everything blends together. We’re not afraid to put synths front and center instead of just using them as filler. And we never limit ourselves by the boundaries of the genre we happen to be in.
We also love to play live, and we think it really shows. Our singer Tom is a gifted entertainer and it’s as much fun being on stage with him as it is watching him. I’m quite confident that, should our equipment ever fail on stage, he’d just fill the whole set with stand-up comedy and everyone would forget we were there to play music.
You guys did a break to pursue other musical endeavors, before recently getting back together. Can you tell us what you guys were up to while taking this break? What prompted you to start making music again? We went in all kinds of directions, which kinda proves how varied our own taste in music is. Tom, Stijn and Jos were in the NOFX cover band NØFX, Stijn played guitar in electropopband Get Off My Shoes, Bastiaan went on to play both pop (The Lighthouse) and prog metal (ATMOSPHERES), Fred, Jos and Bastiaan formed an emo band (Ghosts + Villains)…
But The Rocket never really left our minds and hearts, and everything got in motion again simply because Tom told Stijn he really felt like picking it up again. I think we decided to write a new album even that same day.
You recently released your single ‘Chain Reaction’, which I think is a catchy pop-punk anthem. Can you tell us more about this song? What’s the story behind it? It’s always tricky to talk about stories behind songs, because the beauty of music is that every listener can make the song his or her own by fitting the music and lyrics into the puzzle of his or her own life.
Musically, Chain Reaction has been around for a little while now. It originated as an idea of our first synth player Geoff and bounced around in different incarnations until it landed on the desk of our producer, Marc McClusky.
He definitely had a big hand in taking it to the next level by ripping us out of our comfort zone. The moment he sent us his take on our demo was a real eye opener for us, and it shaped the way we handled the rest of the album.
You also plan on releasing a new album in 2018. How long have you worked on it and how did you approach the writing process for this record? From the instant we decided to get the band on track again, we agreed to get together every week to work on songs. Four months later, we had 22 demos under the belt. I think that kinda shows how much we missed The Rocket, although the fixed schedule helped us not to rest on our laurels.
While looking for a producer, we didn’t listen to the songs for a while to clear our heads. We didn’t want to record more than 14 songs, so we had to ditch 8 songs before we could even start recording. That was tough, but it’s always better to have more songs in your pocket than you want on the album. That way, you’re sure only the best ones – or the ones that fit together best – end up on the record.
When deciding on which songs to record, our producer Marc was a great help. He worked with some of our favorite bands (such as Weezer and Motion City Soundtrack), so we almost blindly trusted his instinct. And that turned out to be a great decision! But of course you’ll have to wait for the album to come out to hear it for yourself!
That said, the writing never really stopped. We took it down a notch when recording the album, but we’ve already written about 6 new songs since then. It’s never too early to start working on the next release!
New record means promotion, right? What are your other plans for 2018? Can we possibly expect a tour? Yes! We have high hopes for this album and we’re very eager to get back on stage. Before our hiatus, we had a reputation for being the go-to party band of the Benelux. We want to live up to that reputation again. We hope to make a name for ourselves in the rest of Europe as well, so we welcome any and all inquiries from bookers, promoters and labels!
Thanks so much for your time Fred! x