Preview/Interview: The Roomsounds @ Hill Country BBQ

The Roomsounds are bringing back that old school rock and roll sound that has been missing with the release of their sophomore album. The Texas based band has a unique combination of rock, blues, and country influences that has led them to create a unique take on roots rock. The Roomsounds will be playing in DC at Hill Country BBQ on April 19th at 9pm. WGTB got the chance to interview lead singer and guitarist Ryan Michael.

What inspired you to become a professional musician? Was music something you were always passionate about?

My dad listened to a lot of Beatles, Zeppelin, Bob Marley, Fleetwood Mac, Springsteen, some soul records and was always encyclopedic when it came to rock trivia. I got into punk rock around 14 and really got into playing guitar. I picked it up pretty quick learning a bunch of Nirvana and Green Day songs and decided I wanted to write my own songs. It seemed like the coolest thing in the world to be in a band and I was hooked right away. I actually put out my first CD when I was 15 and got a management/development deal with a NYC based agency. That certainly made me aware of the industry and what it was to be a “professional.” None the less I’ve always had a passion be a great songwriter more so than to be the best guitarist or singer.

You went from playing at Warped Tour to moving to Texas to work on your music. What inspired that change?

I had some coming-of-age moment around 21 where I decided I wanted to make more meaningful timeless music. I was seeing all these bands around me that I could tell were going to be irrelevant in a few years because their was no integrity to what they were doing. I decided I wanted to make music that I could feel proud of in 20 years. I got back into classic rock records and began to approach songwriting differently. At that point I wanted to immerse myself and the band in the South. So we came to Texas to find authentic blues, folk, and country and hoped it would make us better.

Listening to your music it is easy to detect a multitude of different genres. How would you classify your sound?

To me it’s just rock & roll. Some sort of hybrid of 60’s British Invasion meets American Roots music.

“Elm St.” is one The Roomsounds most popular songs. What was the inspiration behind the song?

It’s somewhat auto-biographical. I had just moved into a new place outside of Dallas and had broken up with my girlfriend of 4 years who was back in Connecticut. I started writing the song years ago and could never find a chorus for it until one day it just happened. I chose to use “Elm St.” because it was where we all hang out. It’s the bar and venue district in Deep Ellum, Texas. It’s the spot all the musicians and artists meet up. It also happens to be the street where we played our first show in Dallas.

What other artists and bands have influenced you musically?

Collectively we’re huge Tom Petty, Beatles and Rolling Stones fans. Bands that are like institutions and have a timeless quality. They write great songs, are great players, look cool, and just have the rock & roll attitude we dig.

What can people look forward to on your sophomore album?

We played about 250 shows in between the first and second album so we were much more confident in the studio this time around. There are some ballads on there that show our range and abilities a little more. I guess it’s just more diverse.

What is the first album you ever bought?

I think it was Green Day “Dookie” or Rage Against the Machine “Evil Empire.” Haha!

What’s the last song you listened to on your iPod?

Mia Dyson – Right There

Your sophomore album drops tomorrow. What is next for The Roomsounds?

We’re about to do 5 weeks of US tour dates. After that we’ll do some summer festivals and then we’re going to Europe for the month of October. Can’t wait!

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About the author

Rhiannon Catalano

Rhiannon Catalano

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Rhiannon Catalano is a senior in the MSB double majoring in Marketing and Operations and Information Management. She loves all genres of music from alternative, to classic rock, to country, and everything in between. Listen to her show Everything Goes from 8-10pm on Sunday nights.

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