This is the second installment of the new monthly series, Band of the Month, from SceneSC. For the month of August, we have selected River City Extension.
River City Extension has a brand new album out entitled, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Your Anger. Since before it’s release, RCE has been on tour and will be making a stop in Columbia, SC on August 28. I got the opportunity to catch up with frontman Joe Michelini to talk about tour and the new album.
Columbia Show: August 28 @ New Brookland Tavern
Doors: 7 // Cost: $8 / $10 day of
SCENESC: What is your spirit animal?
Joe: I’ve always thought of our manager Billy O’brian as my spirit animal. He’s been with us since the beginning.
SC: For someone that has never heard you guys, describe your sound.
J: I always get asked this and I don’t ever know what to say. I guess we play Americana music, or at least that’s what I tell people at rest stops and gas stations.
SC: What are some of your personal influences?
J: Recently I’ve been really into My Morning Jacket, or anything Jim James (lead singer) does. Also, Margot and the Nuclear So-So’s and Jim Croce. I’ve been listening to them a lot recently.
SC: So your new album just came out June 5th. How is it different from your freshman effort?
J: It’s definitely very different. We recorded at a different studio and I think that always makes the album have a different sound. We’ve also grown as people and musicians, so that changes the way it sounds. That growth also makes the content of the songs different too.
SC: You mentioned a different studio, who did you record with? How long did it take?
J: We recorded with Brian Deck at Engine Music Studios in Chicago. We started pre-production in September, spent October tracking, and by February it was done. It was a pretty quick process. I know some bands will go in and take a couple years, and we might be there one day, but this one was pretty quick.
SC: Do you have a favorite song on the album?
J: Golden Tongue is probably my favorite, but Point of Surrender is my favorite recording-wise. (quality, sound, etc.)
SC: Looking through y’alls website, it seems you’ve gotten some great reviews for the new album from some respectable press. How has that affected you guys? Has your popularity grown slowly, or all at once?
J: It’s always hard to judge the popularity of a band in my opinion. We have been touring a ton since the album released, so that’s probably been the biggest change. And we’ve had good turnouts at all our shows.
SC: When a band is starting out, I think they are faced with a tough decision…do you tour a lot or record solid material. In your opinion, which is more important?
J: I think both are equally important. You can’t tour without solid material, but at the same time, you can’t ignore what the internet and social media has done for advertising of CDs. I think to be successful you have to do both.
SC: If your band was on the TV show The Walking Dead, which member would die first?
J: I’m gonna go with me or Pat because we travel with the least survival gear.
SC: Do you remember a defining moment for the band? A moment when you realized the band could be something special?
J: Actually, I think that moment happened a week ago in NYC. We were playing the Bowery Ballroom and the show almost sold out. I just remember that entire set being perfect. The whole moment was perfect. After the show we sat down as a band and talked about it, and pretty much said, ‘we have the chance to do something special, but we can’t give up.
SC: Do you have a favorite place to play? Favorite band to play with? I know you guys have gotten to tour with some awesome bands. (Blind Pilot, Kopecky Family Band, Manchester Orchestra, etc.
J: My favorite venue is probably Bowery Ballroom, which I mentioned earlier. To be honest, we get along great with everyone, so I can’t say we have a favorite. We really haven’t ever played with anyone we hate. We’re pretty easy going.
SC: If you were an Olympic athlete, what would you play?
SC: Tell us a joke.
J: How do you make a plumber sad?
– Kill his family.
*SceneSC’s Band of the Month is a new and upcoming series aimed at highlighting the best bands from the southeast. If you are in a band or know of a band that deserves some positive press, feel free to email me at email@example.com. Any suggestions are welcome. (except bad ones. i will punch you in the throat.)