joe zorzi goes to the moon and back…
A Rocket to the Moon originally started out as a small project by singer Nick Santino back in 2006. Since then, it’s become a full band who’ve released four EPs and a full length. This past January, the band recorded their follow up to On Your Side with producer Mark Bright (Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood). I recently spoke to A Rocket to the Moon drummer, Andrew Cook about a number of things, including their recent tour with the All-American Rejects, recording their new album, and the recent success of their labelmates Fun.
Pop-Break.com: How was touring with the All-American Rejects?
Andrew Cook: The shows have been running really smoothly because there’s only been two bands. So that’s a really nice change for us, ‘cause we’re used to touring with more bands.
PB: The new album you guys just worked on was on Alternative Press’s Most Anticipated Albums of 2012. How does it feel to get on a list like that?
AC: Oh it’s awesome. They’ve always been very supportive of the band and it’s just nice to know that they’re excited about it, you know?
PB: You produced this album in Nashville with Mark Bright. How was that experience? I know the styles that he usually works with are a lot different than Matt Squire, who you guys worked with on your first album. Was it a lot different in the studio?
AC: Yeah. I actually didn’t record on the first Rocket record but I did record with Squire in my old band so I do know what it’s like to work with him. Every producer’s different, you know? It’s just you gotta go in with an open mind and be willing to learn from them and hope that they don’t take too much away from you and let you kind of do your thing as well. And Mark was really great about that. He is very focused on performance, about getting everybody in the room playing together. And so that when I do a drum track, which is the first thing to get laid down I’m not just in the room playing to a click track, I’m playing with the rest of the guys so that there’s that feel there that sounds like a band playing a song. So, I really enjoyed that aspect of it. I’m not too sure, but I do know that I think everybody felt really comfortable playing in the studio with him and he was very, very encouraging and he was really warm dude to be around. It was all around a really great experience
PB: And with the difference of producer styles, did you guys switch your sound up a lot?
AC: I think it’s growing in the direction, that’s the goal. I mean, we didn’t switch the sound, you know like change the nature of the band. But I think we improved upon some of the elements that were there in the past. I think that you know, our band is known for doing a couple ballads and things like that. We had a ballad that was a single on the radio from the first record and I think we improved upon that. And there’s a few more songs like that that are even stronger than the ones on the first record. I think we kind of incorporated a bit more of the country element. ’Cause we used to hint to that in past songs and we still have some really fun, upbeat pop rock songs too. It’s a really good mix I think, so hopefully people feel that way when they hear it.
PB: Very nice, and have you guys named the album yet?
AC: We know what it’s going to be called but it’s not announced yet, so I can’t really say anything about it.
PB: Gotcha. Have you figured out when you’re releasing it?
AC: Yeah, this summer sometime. We don’t have an actual date but we know that it’s going to be this summer.
PB: What would you say were your band’s biggest influences, especially on this record?
AC: We were listening to a lot of classic stuff like Tom Petty, things like that. We listened to a lot of pop radio too ‘cause if you’re trying to make a record that you want to be big, you’ve gotta know what’s going on out there, you know? And we all have odd tastes, from country music to pop to classic rock to punk rock. Everything, you know? So, I think we kind of bring a little bit of all of it to the table.
PB: Do you think with pop radio, it’s hard for bands these days since everything’s going more electronic. Do you find that a struggle at all?
AC: Yeah, without a doubt. It’s a monumental challenge to get a rock song on pop radio these days. You know, we’re gonna try and see what happens. It’s about the right song, you know what I mean? We’re really happy to see a band like Fun. who come from our label and who are friends of ours doing what they’re doing on radio, you know? And they’re a pretty unconventional band and it’s just nice to see that people are reacting to something like that. It’s really cool. It gives us hope.
PB: What’s the best and worst parts of touring?
AC: Probably the best part is definitely playing live and getting to do you what you want for a living, if you call it that. And the worst part is leaving your family and friends behind while you’re on the road and not really getting to see them for months at a time. I think everybody would kind of agree with that.
PB: If you could play a dream show what would that be?
AC: Let’s see… Probably Tom Petty, Jimmy Eat World and Death Cab for Cutie.