The Rocketboys have just kicked off their summer tour in support of their upcoming full length “20,000 Ghosts.” While The Rocketboys are from Austin, Texas and we are a South Carolina music website, we decided sometimes your duties expand to great bands deserving of promotion outside of our area. Plus, they are coming to New Brookland Tavern on July 15th, playing with Scene SC favorites Kill Anties, and local music czar Ben Walker, along with tour mates Dear Future. As we do with All Get Out, we are going to do a series of “On The Road” posts to keep up with The Rocketboys on their current tour. Let’s make South Carolina their second home.
This interview is with Mitch (Guitar/Vocals) and Daniel (Guitar, Aux)
Describe your music for those of us that aren’t familiar.
Ambient indie rock, drum-driven, lots of singing and group vocals
How did the band get started?
Brandon and Mitch went to high school together in Memphis, TN, and when Mitch graduated (Brandon is two years older), they both went to Abilene, TX, for college. They began playing acoustic songs together and soon met Daniel, who seemed to be a perfect match for the duo. The three, along with a cello player, played various smaller shows under the name Homer Hiccolm & the Rocketboys and, when Josh and Philip moved to Abilene from East Texas to play bass and drums in the band, the name stuck for the next four years. Justin joined the band when the cello player quit and has proven to be the x-factor that we were looking for all along. He’s a great addition.
Two of your biggest SC fans want to know why you changed your name?
It just got hard having a long name. Several factors persuaded us to change the name. We got tired of repeating ourselves when someone would ask us what our band name was, and no one ever understands Homer Hiccolm & the Rocketboys the first time you say it. Also, it’s tough to fit that long name on tour posters and T-shirts. We feel like The Rocketboys is easier to remember, easier to spell, easier to say. All fingers pointed to shortening the name, so we did. We’ve been pretty happy with it so far.
How is Cornerstone? Did you get to catch any good bands?
Cornerstone is always a lot of fun. Besides being greasy and dirty for several days in a row, it’s fun. Our shows have been awesome so far. We played Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon. Both shows were fun and there were a lot of people. It was great having people singing really loud during the older ones. As far as watching music, we caught Dignan, an amazing indie band from McAllen, TX, that we’re good friends with. They blow me away every time I see them play. They have kind of a darker, eclectic sound. They’re awesome, and you should check them out. Also, our good friends from Ivoryline played and were solid as usual. There were other good shows but those are the highlights off the top of my head.
What is your favorite and least favorite part about being out on the road?
I can’t speak for everyone in the band on this one, but my least favorite thing — besides being away from my fiancee — is not having a bed to sleep in every night and, furthermore, not knowing where we’re going to sleep every night. Other least favorites on the list are not having a steady diet, being in close and germy quarters with five dudes, and drives that are longer than a few hours. But other than that, the road it’s great! Haha.
Texas is known for having some pretty awesome music scenes. Paste said that Denton was one of the best in America and we all know about Austin. What city do you think has a good thing going?
We love Austin. Austin seems to be the most consistent of all the music scenes in Texas. It doesn’t matter what night of the week it is, someone you’ve at least heard of will be playing a show. You can catch a good show anytime you want. Also, Austin has a wide variety of venues to play. Some of our favorites include Stubb’s BBQ, The Mohawk, and The Parish. Austin is a great city for a lot of things, but mostly music. Denton is awesome, too, though. We love a lot of cities in Texas. Abilene, our former hometown, is great, too. There is a built-in crowd at every show there and the show-goers are enthusiastic about music. Abilene supported our music for four years, and it will always have a special place in our hearts.
Rangers or Astros?
Red Sox and Braves. Haha. Justin and I are the only big baseball fans in the band. I grew up in Connecticut watching the Red Sox and Justin grew up in Atlanta watching the Braves, so I guess the answer is neither.
Texans or Cowboys or Oilers?
Oilers? Uhhh, that’s so 10 years ago! The Oilers are the Titans now! I think the consensus is Cowboys. Daniel and Josh grew up in East Texas, which is considered Cowboy Country because it’s close to Dallas. Justin likes the Falcons because he’s from Atlanta. I don’t really like the NFL. I’m a college football guy.
(Editor note Warren Moon is retired??)
Is the TV Show Friday Night Lights accurate? Just wondering what you thought because Riggins was a senior in the first season. (If you don’t watch the show you can just skip this question and I’ll give you the first couple of seasons on DVD when you come through Columbia.)
I’ve seen the movie, but not the show. It’s pretty accurate. High school football is a huge deal in Texas. In some of the smaller towns it gets pretty competitive. They actually filmed some of the movie “Friday Night Lights” in Abilene. They filmed in the Abilene Christian University (our alma mater) football stadium. We would love the first couple seasons on DVD. Hook it up!