The Rassle

FAULT: What is the story behind The Rassle, how did you guys meet?

ERIK:  We met around 3 years ago when I was playing drums in the Virgins and Reed and Blair were fronting Young Lords.  Both our old bands had played a handful of times together and we became friends.

BLAIR: Of the four Virgins, Erik was the nicer one. He was the only one who would respond to texts about getting us on the guest list for their shows and shit like that ha ha. So we were kinda tight because of that. Reed and I always admired what a great drummer he was in that band though and when we decided to start this new project he was kinda the first and only person we asked.

ERIK:  This past summer we talked about teaming up and doing our own thing and by fall, we did just that.

BLAIR: Yeah it was funny how quickly it all came together. Reed and I had these really crap made demos recorded and I was like “Bro we can’t show those to Erik if we are trying to court him to do this new band.” Cause I didn’t want him to get the wrong idea and say he wasn’t interested. But Reed, like most lil’ bros, ignored me and played the demos for him anyway ha ha. Fortunately though, Erik really dug those song sketches and could hear the potential in the songs, and was on board almost immediately.

FAULT: What’s it like collaborating with new musicians?

ERIK:  Blair and Reed are rad dudes.  I’m stoked to be playing with them.
BLAIR: Yeah it’s great. It’s refreshing. It’s kinda like that Raymond Carver book “A New Path to the Waterfall”

FAULT: Tell us about your style of music?

ERIK:  I’m not sure about our “style”, but I think there’s an authenticity to these tunes, and I find that kinda refreshing.

BLAIR: We didn’t really talk about styles before we started rehearsing and recording. We knew we didn’t want any wanker guitar solos though. But that was really the only thing we knew we wanted to steer clear of when we were arranging the songs. I think now that we’ve created the music it is easier to distill influences or artists to help describe the sound that probably weren’t even there in our minds when we were making it.

ERIK:  The way I see it, these songs are inclusive and bring good vibes.  I think the real magic is when people feel compelled to sing along to them and party with us.

BLAIR: After all the BS with my last band I really just wanted to do something that was honest and positive and uplifting. Music is the great escape and we wanted to try to harness that sense of excitement and freedom.

FAULT: What is the creative process of your music?

ERIK:  I think we’re still in the process of figuring that out.  But I think an important element
is having distinct approaches to creating music and it leading to a cohesive work that we’re all
happy with as an end result.

BLAIR: Yeah I mean with music the creative process is always changing and evolving from song to song, day to day. Like I said before we started with those demos and then just threw the kitchen sink at em. Some ideas and sounds worked and others didn’t but we just kept working really hard until we felt we had captured the essence of what made the songs work the best. We actually started this band in our apartment and made these songs on a bootleg version of pro tools which we hardly knew how to use. That was also a very informative approach though. Rather than sweating it out in a rehearsal space for months trying to find a voice we focused on the recordings first and stumbled our way into the Rassle.

FAULT: What’s it like being a band based in New York City?

ERIK:  It has its advantages for sure.  I think one of the great things about it, is how concentrated the talent is.
There are just so many god damn talented people here, and that’s really inspiring.

BLAIR: It’s funny cause you forget that living in New York has a certain esteem that a lot of places just don’t have. But I think you forget about the allure cause it’s so damn hard to make ends meet and dothe creative things you set out to accomplish in the city in the first place.

FAULT: What do you think of the current music scene? Do you have any new favourite bands?

ERIK:  I think they’re a handful of  new bands/ artists doing some great things; Suckers from Brooklyn is a band to keep an eye on, as well as Toro y Moi.  Yeasayer’s new record is great.  Das Racicst’s “Shut up Dude” mix tape is another gem. The xx is cool too.  Oh, and Cults…  Reed put me onto that shit.

BLAIR: I’m not really into artsy fartsy stuff so most of what’s going on in Brooklyn kinda bores me. I feel like the only new bands I’m into are from San Diego or Nashville strange as that may sound ha ha.

FAULT: What are you currently working on?

ERIK:  Writing and recording more tunes.  Preparing to tour, tour, tour and tour some more.

FAULT: Do you have a favourite Rassle track so far?

ERIK:  I think they’re all pretty awesome.  They’re pretty distinct from one another and have their own individual

FAULT: What was the last thing that inspired you?

ERIK: A strong cup of coffee or a good beer is always inspiring.

BLAIR: I’m into corny things like long walks on the beach and sunsets after rainstorms… I just went to Colorado for the first time and saw the Rocky Mountains. That was pretty cool.

ERIK: The Tim Burton exhibition at the MoMa was pretty damn inspiring.

BLAIR: Jeff “The Dude” Bridges gave a pretty inspiring speech when he won for best actor at the Academy Awards.

FAULT: Is there any female vocalists you would like to work with?

BLAIR: We actually wanted to get some female vocals on our EP but we had limited resources and didn’t really know any gospel singers at the time. Hopefully on the full length we can make that happen.

ERIK:  I wanna work with Rhianna.

BLAIR: Florence Welch or Duffy or Susan Boyle would also be sweet ladies to work with.

FAULT: What is your FAULT?

BLAIR: Speaking of faults – it’s weird how many earthquakes there’ve been this year. Somebody oughta look into that.

ERIK: I think we’re all at fault.

BLAIR: It’s usually Reed’s fault.

Photos: Jimmy Fontaine